Policies & Procedures Manual and Operations Handbooks: Section 9

Updated June 2020



9.1.1 Definitions

In the following the term ‘publications’ shall include magazines, transactions, letter-style journals, digital publications, conference proceedings, books, and derivative content delivery vehicles intended for delivery in any and all media as well as any other content or collections of content published by the IEEE Computer Society. The term ‘magazines’ and the term ‘transactions’, which includes letter-style journals, shall be as defined in the IEEE Publications Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual. The terms ‘series publications’ shall refer to magazines, transactions, and other content published in a continuing series, ‘periodical publications’ shall refer to magazines and transactions, and ‘individual publications’ shall refer to derivative and unique publications and series.

9.1.2 Logos

All society publications are to bear the names and logos of both the IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE prominently in a manner appropriate to the medium in which it is presented.

9.1.3 Peer Review Process

Policies shall be established regarding various levels of peer review appropriate to different types of work. Some materials, such as, but not limited to columns, editorials, blogs, and product reviews, may be published with minimal or no peer review. Review policies shall be developed by the Publications Board in conjunction with the responsible publications operations committee.  The review policies should generally be typical of review policies of respected scientific, scholarly, and technical societies.  The policies should provide for appropriate author appeals, but the anonymity of the reviewers should be maintained.


9.2.1 Membership

The Publications Board shall be chaired by the vice president for publications as provided in the bylaws, and shall consist of the following voting members appointed by the vice president: secretary, finance chair, Magazine Operations Committee chair, Transactions Operations Committee chair, the IEEE Computer Society’s representative to the IEEE Publications Services and Products Board (PSPB), and an additional three to six members-at-large (non-editors in chief) with experience in publications.  The Magazine Operations Committee chair or the Transactions Operations Committee chair shall be elected annually by their respective editors in chief and shall not be current editors in chief (EICs) for IEEE Computer Society publications.  In addition, the president, executive director, all EICs, and the publisher shall be ex officio, non-voting members of the Publications Board.

9.2.2 Publication Review and Planning

The Publications Board shall:

  1. review each of the society’s series publications at least once every five years, based on the periodical review submitted to the IEEE Periodicals Review Committee;
  2. consider changes of scope and name to evolve publications with changes in the field;
  3. consider terminating or combining of series publications when necessary;
  4. plan for and recommend new publications to the Board of Governors;
  5. consider ways to improve the content, quality, delivery, and format of the Society’s publications; and
  6. provide a forum for the development of strategies and tactics for improving the financial posture and content impact of the publications in light of the needs of their specific communities as well as the broader member, non-member, and institutional readership.

9.2.3 Finance Chair Responsibilities

  1. The finance may assist in preparing and recommending annual page budgets and may consult and assist in preparing and recommending editorial reimbursed expense budgets. The finance chair shall be responsible for presenting budgets to the Operations Committees and Publications Board. The vice president for publications shall be responsible for presenting recommended budgets, including editorial page budgets, prices and frequencies of periodical publications, to the Finance Committee and the Board of Governors.
  2. The finance chair is responsible for submitting a complete annual report at the mid-year meeting of the Publications Board and BoG. The annual report includes a detailed final financial report for the prior year, including the performance of each publication against its budget, along with explanations of variations. The report must be sent to the appropriate society staff member and presented by the finance chair to the Publications Board. The vice president for publications will provide the report to the BoG and may additionally report on highlights.
  3. The finance chair is responsible for advising EIC’s on managing their budgets, incurring expenses, and addressing their questions or concerns on financial matters, including requests for additional funding. The finance chair will keep the vice president for publications informed of issues as they arise, and shall consult with other volunteers and staff as necessary to formulate solutions.
  4. The finance chair will review and advise the vice president for publications on new title proposals with regard to their financial outlook and impact.

9.2.4 Secretary Responsibilities

The secretary, under the direction of the vice president for publications, shall maintain Publications Board rosters, organize and support Publications Board meetings, draft meeting agendas, collect and archive meeting documents, draft meeting minutes, and conduct ballots.   The secretary shall work with the Publications Board and staff on revisions to the Publications Handbook and Editor in Chief Manual to ensure compliance with the Society’s and IEEE’s governing documents.  The secretary may assist the vice president for publications with other projects as requested.

9.2.5 Publications Handbook and Editor-in-Chief Manual

The Publications Board shall create and be responsible for maintaining a Publications Handbook and Editor in Chief Manual which set forth detailed procedures for the operation of the Society’s overall publication program.  These manuals will be the primary means of ensuring appropriate quality and continuity in the operation of the Society publications.  The Publications Board may modify its procedures without Board of Governors approval provided that its procedures are consistent with these policies and procedures and with applicable policies and procedures of the IEEE.  However, all changes to publications procedures shall be published in the Agenda Book prepared for the next Board of Governors meeting following the change.  The vice president for publications is responsible for seeing that copies of the then-current manuals are distributed to each member of the Publications Board, TOC, MOC, and the Board of Governors at the beginning of each calendar year.

9.2.6 Mentoring Future EICs

The bylaws establish that the Publications Board is responsible for recommending EIC candidates to the president.  To carry out this process, the Publications Board shall establish and maintain a mechanism for mentoring future EICs in order to produce a pool of candidates with experience that permits them to assume an EIC position.

9.2.7 Editor in Chief Appointments

  1. For publications solely sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, EIC search committees shall be used to evaluate all applicants and nominees following the process defined in 9.2.8. Reappointment considerations shall follow the process defined in 9.2.8.
  2. For jointly sponsored publications with steering or management committees, the steering or management committee shall appoint the EIC following the search process defined in the MOU for that periodical. The VP for Publications shall recommend Computer Society candidates for the steering or management committee representatives for appointment by the Computer Society President.
  3. a. Any individual who formally proposes a new Computer Society publication shall not be eligible to apply for, nor shall be selected as, the inaugural editor in chief of such a publication.

b. If an EIC search committee seeks an exception to this policy, the chair of the search committee must obtain approval from both the relevant Publications Board Operations Committee and the vice president of Publications, prior to completing its process. In the event that the Operations Committee and the vice president of Publications cannot agree on whether or not to grant an exception, the final decision shall rest with the Computer Society President after consultation with all parties.

c. For cross-societal shared titles, the MOU shall include a policy to address this situation, which may or may not reflect the Computer Society’s policy.

9.2.8 Editor in Chief Search Process

The vice president for publications and the chair of the relevant Operations Committee shall establish an ad hoc EIC search committee for the open position.  The committee shall consist of at least three members, at least fourteen months in advance of the known vacancy. This time can be less in the case of extraordinary vacancies (e.g., the resignation, severe or prolonged illness, or death of an EIC). In such extraordinary situations, the vice president for publications, in concurrence with the Publications Board’s voting members, shall, as expeditiously as possible, recommend to the president for appointment an “acting” EIC, while the EIC search is conducted.

The search committee shall develop a list of applicants through open solicitation, including recommendations from the corresponding operations committee. The committee shall solicit applications from people being mentored for EIC positions, from former or present associate editors, from people who have editorial experience outside of the IEEE Computer Society, and from those nominated as a result of the open solicitation. Nominations and applications shall be sought from technical committees, conferences, and other editorial boards. With respect to potential conflict of interest (COI), the search committee shall be referred to Section 2.6.2 A of the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual where conflict of interest is defined as –

“…any situation in which a member’s decisions or votes could substantially and directly affect the member’s professional, personal, financial or business interests.”

Additional details regarding the handling of COI is included in the “Guidelines for IEEE Computer Society EIC Search Committees” document.  If a significant level of influence exists, the search committee member should disclose the conflict of interest immediately and not participate in the voting or ranking of that particular candidate.

If the VP for Publications determines that the search committee will not be able to reach an objective decision, the VP for Publications may request approval from the President to appoint a new search committee.

As the search progresses, the search committee shall keep the vice president for publications and president of the Society aware of the candidates being considered. The functions of each body and officer need to be well understood by all involved: the search committee’s function is to identify and evaluate applicants, and to select and recommend candidates from the applicants; the relevant Operations Committee reviews those candidates and makes its recommendations to the president; the president evaluates, in consultation with the past president and president-elect, selects and appoints the EIC from the candidates brought forward by the Search Committee; and the Board of Governors reviews and consents to the appointment.

Early in the search process the committee shall ask each applicant to prepare a dossier including:

a)    a letter of institutional/employer support for this editorship, should the position be offered.

b)    a plan or vision statement that details the prospective course of action that the applicant projects to take with respect to the publication. This plan shall include:

(1)  the applicant’s perspective of the publication including challenges and opportunities,

(2)  the tasks of the EIC to meet the challenges and to exploit the opportunities,

(3)  the objective milestones associated with the intermediate and final accomplishment of these tasks,

(4)   the projected schedules for the accomplishment of these milestones,

(5)   the projected organization which will accomplish these tasks, and

(6)   the funding requirements to accomplish these tasks.

c)    a resume, including publications and editorial experience.

These, in addition to those listed in IEEE PSPB Operations Manual 2.4.3, are necessary conditions for an applicant to be considered as a candidate.

The search committee will use the standard “scoring matrix” described in the Publications Handbook to ensure that its members consider all relevant experience and abilities of each candidate and to ensure that these are treated similarly for all candidates.

The search committee shall recommend two or more candidates to the Operations Committee.  In exceptional cases where the search committee recommends only one candidate, the committee must report on attempts to find other qualified candidates.

After the search committee selects its top candidate(s), the chair shall discuss the committee’s recommendations with the relevant Operations Committee chair and the vice president for publications and the president and prepare the Committee’s report.  The report shall provide an overview of the search process and recommend the candidate(s) for the EIC position.  The committee report along with the dossiers of the candidate(s) shall be securely distributed electronically to the voting members of the relevant Operations Committee and Publications Board at least 15 days before the meeting at which the recommendations are to be considered.  The Operations Committee shall maintain the confidentiality of the information.  In extraordinary circumstances the chair of the relevant Operations Committee may waive or reduce the time allotted for Operations Committee review.

The search committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Operations Committee in executive session.  Those included in the executive session are the voting members of the Operations Committee and Publications Board,  the vice president for publications, the president of the Society, and members of the Search Committee.

The Publications Board shall review the recommendations of the Operations Committee and endorses all, some or none of the candidates. The Publications Board shall make its recommendation to the president in confidence. No public disclosure of the candidates’ identities shall be made until after the new EIC has been notified of his/her appointment.

As provided in the bylaws, the final step in the process occurs when the president selects an appointee from the candidates brought forward by the search committee and presents the appointment to the Board of Governors for concurrence. This shall include a copy of the appointee’s plans. The vice president for publications shall provide a written executive summary of the search process to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors may consent to the appointment of the president’s appointee, in which case the president shall make the appointment.  If the Board of Governors refuses consent, then they may bring forward a second candidate that has been recommended by the search committee. If the president is unable to identify an acceptable appointee from those candidates presented, the Board of Governors shall be informed and a new search initiated.

EICs may be appointed for a maximum of two consecutive terms for a given position.  A first term is three years and a reappointment is for a two-year term.  For a new publication, at the discretion of the vice president for publications, the first three-year term of office of the EIC shall begin with the appearance of that publication.

9.2.9. Reappointment of an Editor in Chief

  1. An EIC who is serving his/her first term is eligible for reappointment. The chair of the relevant Operations Committee shall ask his/her willingness to serve a second term fourteen months before the end of the first term. If the EIC is not willing to serve a second term, the process defined in 9.2.8 shall be followed in selecting a new EIC .
  2. If the EIC is willing to serve a second term, the chair of the relevant Operations Committee shall appoint an evaluation committee to evaluate the EIC’s performance. The EIC shall prepare and submit his/her dossier as defined in 9.2.8 and include his/her accomplishments during the past year.
  3. The evaluation committee shall seek input from the periodical’s editorial board, the IEEE Computer Society Publications’ staff, the relevant Operations Committee and the Publications Board and prepare its report with a recommendation on reappointment. The report along with the dossier of the EIC’s shall be securely distributed electronically to the voting members of the relevant Operations Committee and Publications board at least 15 days before the meeting at which it will be considered (normally the mid-year meeting). In extraordinary circumstances the chair of the relevant Operations Committee can waive or reduce the allotted time for review.
  4. The evaluation committee’s recommendation on reappointment shall be presented to the voting members of the relevant Operations Committee and Publications Board in executive session.  If the evaluation committee recommends reappointment, the Operations Committee and Publications Board are asked to endorse reappointment and the president elects to reappoint the EIC for a second term, after consultation with the past president and president-elect, the reappointment shall be presented to the Board of Governors for their consent. If there is no agreement on reappointment, then a search committee shall be appointed and shall follow the procedures in 9.2.8 in seeking and recommending additional candidates. The current EIC may be considered as one of the candidates.

9.2.10    Editorial Board Member Selection Process

Editorial Board member roles shall be defined in the IEEE Computer Society Editor in Chief Manual.  New Area Editors, Associate Editors and Associate Editors in Chief for each periodical shall be appointed by the respective EICs with the advice of the Publications Board, utilizing the following procedures:

1.   The EIC shall send through e-mail a lead paragraph explaining the need for and justifying the nomination and the Editorial Board Member Nomination Form as specified in the IEEE Computer Society Editor in Chief Manual.  The form shall contain the following:

  1. The candidate’s contact information, professional memberships, professional website, areas of expertise relevant to the publication, and role on the editorial board.
  2. The candidate’s declaration of no conflict of interest and declaration of no previous misconduct or ethical problems.
  3. The candidate’s list of all editorial positions covered in the past 10 years and list of positions covered at grant/funding institutions in the past 10 years.
  4. The candidate’s technical biography similar to what appears at the end of a paper: at most 10 to 20 lines describing the nominee’s main qualifications and accomplishments.  Emphasis should be given to the candidate’s qualifications that are relevant to his or her duties as an Editorial Board member.
  5. Selected list of relevant publications (maximum of 10).

2.   Publications Board members have 14 days to provide advice on the proposed appointment.

9.2.11 Editorial Workshops

The Publications Board will organize EIC planning, orientation and leadership session as necessary.

9.2.12 Evaluation Procedures for Periodicals

It is the duty of the Publications Board to review publications and decide their fate.  If the review of a publication determines that it is no longer viable, then the Publications Board has the responsibility to recommend to the Board of Governors that it should be either, closed, merged with another publication, or dealt with in some other way so that it neither detracts for the Society’s reputation or becomes a drain on the Society’s resources.

The evaluation of publications shall use the criteria below:

1.    Objective Criteria.  Examples of items to be evaluated include current and projected financial health (net revenue and contribution margin), current and projected circulation, subscriber, retention, peer review and publication cycle times (submission to first decision and final acceptance to publication), submission and acceptance rates, citation indices, and usage in all digital collections.

2.    Subjective Criteria.  Examples of items to be evaluated include the scope and breadth of coverage, sampling of readership opinion, sampling of authors’ opinions and editorial overlap with other publications.

When possible, the evaluation of a publication should be done in conjunction with a search for a new EIC for the publication.

9.2.13 Editorial Budget Policy

The IEEE Computer Society and the home institution of an EIC together shall supply the support required to perform the functions of the EIC.  The EIC should use funds from the host institution or other available sources in preference to the funds of the IEEE Computer Society where a choice is possible.  The IEEE Computer Society shall assure sufficient funding to perform the following when the home institution funds are insufficient to support these activities:

Secretarial Support: An EIC needs secretarial support proportional to the workload, based on the number of submissions and page counts. Secretarial support is provided by the IEEE Computer Society.

Office Expense:  Office expenses include the cost of communications and supplies.  The expenses related to phone, fax, mail, filing, copying, and so forth are reimbursable.

Travel Policy:  Each EIC shall have budgeted funding for the EIC or the EIC’s designee to travel to up to three Publications Board meetings annually.  In addition, each EIC shall have budgeted funding for the EIC or the EIC’s designee for travel to an EIC meeting with staff editors and to an editorial board meeting.  Each EIC shall have budgeted funding to hold and annual editorial board meeting.  If an EIC chooses to hold an editorial board meeting, the EIC is encouraged to hold it at a major conference that is normally attended by many members of the editorial board, and for which travel support can readily be obtained from sources other than the IEEE Computer Society.

Publication-specific expenses:   When identified by an EIC and endorsed by the finance chair, some publication-specific expenses can be included in the budget.  Among the items that qualify as publication-specific are travel of some editorial board members to a meeting for a specific purpose, assistance to associate editors, and special activities for particular publications that are not generic to all publications.


9.3.1 Membership 

The membership of the Magazine Operations Committee (MOC) and the Transactions Operations Committee (TOC) shall be the current EICs of all Society publications.  EICs of cosponsored publications managed by the Computer Society will be ex officio non-voting members of their respective operating committee.  These two committees collectively shall be referred to as the Operations Committees (OCs).

The MOC and TOC chairs shall be elected annually by the current voting members of their respective committees in accordance with the procedures defined in the Publications Handbook. A chair shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.

The MOC and TOC chairs shall represent the respective committees they serve, and their votes on publications-related motions considered by the Publications Board shall represent the members of MOC and TOC. MOC and TOC chairs shall poll their members in a timely manner on motions to be brought forward to the Publications Board, but no quorum is required.

To be qualified as a candidate for a chair position, a nominee must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The nominee must have served in the past as an editor in chief for a Computer Society sponsored periodical for a full two terms. No current editor in chief of any Computer Society periodical or of any non-IEEE sponsored periodical is eligible.
  2. The nominee must have had no previous misconduct or ethical complaints that were validated, or have been included on the IEEE Prohibited Authors List.
  3. The primary criterion for candidate selection is performance (as measured by publication metrics) in his/her past role(s) as EIC.
  4. The nominee must have participated in at least one IEEE Periodicals Review and Advisory Committee review.
  5. The nominee must be a current Computer Society and IEEE member.

9.3.2  Duties

  1. The OCs are responsible for the operational aspects of their publications — dealing with insufficient or overabundant backlog, soliciting manuscripts, refereeing processes, copy editing processes, monitoring the timeliness of  publication, and other issues.
  2. The OCs will encourage publications with common technical interests and overlapping scopes to (a) sponsor joint publications and explore ways to collaborate that might help in reducing backlog and publishing manuscripts with minimum delay, and (b) provide useful, complementary coverage of important topics for the reader.
  3. The OCs will establish an effective interface between the EICs and other activities of the Society.
  4. The OCs will assist the Publications Board and the periodical EICs in recognizing outstanding technical leaders and achievers (EICs, editorial board members, guest editors, quality referees, authors of outstanding manuscripts, etc.l). and assist the EICs and vice president for publications in submitting the necessary documentation for nominating candidates for the various IEEE and IEEE Computer Society awards.


The IEEE Computer Society is committed to ensuring that its publications contain material that is properly identified as the work of its authors.   To that end, it identifies a member of the Publications Board to promote integrity in publication and to enforce the IEEE and IEEE Computer Society policies regarding plagiarism and improper publication of material.

9.4.1 Chair of the Committee on Integrity

The vice president for publications shall form a Committee on Integrity, and designate one of the members of the Publications Board as the chair of the Committee.

9.4.2 Committee on Integrity

The chair of the Committee on Integrity, with the approval of the vice president of publications, shall appoint Society members to the Committee on Integrity.

9.4.3 Duties

The Committee on Integrity shall implement IEEE and IEEE Computer Society procedures that address author complaints concerning plagiarism and improper publication of material.    The committee shall take actions to promote the integrity of Computer Society publications, such as developing educational materials for prospective authors.


The current scope statements for all publications shall be included in the Publications Handbook.  Scope statements will be reviewed and, if necessary, refreshed during the periodical review process.


Advertising may be accepted in Society publications. The publisher has full discretion to accept or reject any advertising. Guidelines for determining acceptable and unacceptable advertising are:

*    Products or services of direct interest and usefulness to members. Examples include electronics and electrical materials, components, and systems; positions available and wanted.
* Products which in consensus are deemed socially valuable and which complement the members’ research and/or business needs, or a vocational bent.  Examples include technical or high-technology hobbies (audio equipment, photographic equipment), auto rental companies, and airlines.
*    Tobacco, liquor, get-rich-quick schemes, venture capital available, questionable educational opportunities, and diploma mills.
*    Any advertisement presented in a format or illustrated in a manner not in keeping with the professional image of Society publications.
* Any advertisement suggesting or implying age, gender, or other types of discrimination.


IEEE Computer Society publications are intended to focus on the needs of the reader.  These needs can only be met if the publications are understandable and readable.  Both technical and copy editing at some level for author-submitted technical material are essential in producing an understandable, readable, and technically accurate article in the style of the publication.  Technical editing involves the author and EIC, and copy editing involves the author and copy editor.  Both processes impact the technical content, understandability, readability, and publications style and quality.  A set of general guidelines shall be developed and incorporated in the Society’s Publications Handbook.  They shall necessarily be general in nature because of the diversity of situations encountered.


The IEEE Computer Society is committed to the exchange and dissemination of technical information.  This may be accomplished through the publication of conference proceedings and periodicals.  The secondary use of the intellectual property from the publications shall follow the guidelines given in this section.

9.8.1 Copyright Policy

The IEEE requires that all technical, educational and professional publications of the IEEE, except newsletters, but including society and technical council Newsletters, be copyrighted by the IEEE.  In the case of jointly sponsored conferences, IEEE recognizes the right of another qualified sponsor to hold the copyright and administer all copyright matters on behalf of the IEEE and its author, provided, however, that such right shall be the subject or written agreement between the IEEE and the qualified sponsor.  Except in the case of a conference which is sponsored and maintains its own permanent administrative office, a conference is not considered a sponsor and may not hold a copyright to IEEE material.

9.8.2 Conference Proceedings

  1. The IEEE Computer Society shall collect the accepted papers for every conference it sponsors and cosponsors and shall have the right to place them in its digital collections, according to policies set by the IEEE Computer Society Publications Board.
  2. Conferences may not offer individual papers or collections of papers for reuse without the written permission of the IEEE, in accordance with the IEEE copyright policy.
  3. Revenues generated from the inclusion of proceedings in the Digital Library or other collections shall be distributed in accordance with policies set by the Finance Committee and the Board of Governors.

9.8.3 Periodicals

  1. The IEEE Computer Society invests heavily in the development of the content of periodicals and shall control the reuse of this content.
  2. Except for authors’ posting their work on their own Web sites, individual papers or collections of papers from the IEEE Computer Society periodicals shall not be posted on servers other than the official Society dissemination servers.
  3. Any reuse of intellectual property from periodicals in collections shall require the written permission of the IEEE.