IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering: Submit a Manuscript

Submit a manuscript

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Templates are provided above to assist you with formatting your manuscript. Full specifications on the IEEE Computer Society style can be found in our Style Guide PDF.

Submitting a paper to TSE

To Submit your paper, please use ScholarOne Manuscripts.

Detailed information on submitting your paper to TSE can be found in the Authors tab of the IEEE Computer Society Journal Peer Review page.

The full scope of TSE can be found on TSE's about page.

Manuscript types accepted by TSE

NEW MOPC Policy Effective 18 Feb. 2018

TSE accepts papers that report on substantial novel findings in the field of software engineering. It also welcomes papers that comment on previously published papers as well as surveys of the software engineering literature.

While there is no length limit on regular, comments, or survey papers, it is expected that the contents of the manuscript justifies its length. In particular, the editorial board may recommend that fewer pages be allocated to a paper that appears to be unnecessarily long.

Please note that double column will translate more readily into the final publication format. A double column page is defined as a 7.875" x 10.75" page with 10-point type, 11.5-point vertical spacing, and 1/2 inch margins. All margins should be one inch (top, bottom, right and left). These length limits are taking into account reasonably-sized figures and references.

Journal First Publication

Authors of papers that report completely new research results or that present novel contributions that significantly extend and were not previously reported in prior work may submit papers using the "Journal First" manuscript type.

These papers undergo the same review process as regular papers, but they may qualify for presentation at a conference if they are accepted.

TSE has an agreement in place with the ICSE conference to present journal-first papers that are accepted by TSE. ICSE organizers contact TSE to request journal-first papers for presentation by the December preceding the conference. All journal-first papers that have been accepted by TSE and were not originally submitted 18 months prior to that request qualify and will be invited by ICSE for presentation. Authors are under no obligation to accept the invitation.

Authors should note that papers that extend prior work solely with additional proofs or algorithms or other such details presented for completeness, or additional empirical results, or minor enhancements or variants of the results presented in the prior work should be submitted as "Regular" manuscripts to TSE. Authors of "Journal First" manuscripts will be required to submit a 200-word statement that attests to the novelty of their work relative to these criteria.

Open Access

This publication is a hybrid journal, allowing either Traditional manuscript submission or Open Access (author-pays OA) manuscript submission.

The OA option, if selected, enables unrestricted public access to the article via IEEE Xplore. The OA option will be offered to the author at the time the manuscript is submitted. If selected, the OA discounted fee of $1,950 must be paid before the article is published in the journal. If you have unusual circumstances about this, please contact the Editor-in-Chief. Any other applicable charges (such as the over-length page charge and/or charge for the use of color in the print format) will be billed separately once the manuscript formatting is complete but prior to the publication.

The traditional option, if selected, enables access to all qualified subscribers and purchasers via IEEE Xplore. No OA payment is required.

Manuscript Review Process

Manuscripts submitted to TSE undergo a multi-phase review process.

In making decisions about manuscripts, the editorial board and reviewer community use the following criteria when considering manuscripts for publication. Papers accepted for publication in TSE must:

  1. present a substantial novel contribution to the theory or practice of software engineering;
  2. provide convincing evidence to support their claims - evidence may come in a variety of forms, e.g., analytical, empirical, or experiential; and
  3. clearly and accurately present their findings.

Upon receipt of a manuscript members of the editorial board assess whether the manuscript should undergo a full review process; they may consult with experts in the field in making this decision. Papers that have a significant weakness with respect to any of the three criteria listed above will be rejected at this point; a justification for this decision will be provided along with an administrative rejection notice.

In a full review process a member of the editorial board will commission multiple experts in the field to write reviews of the manuscript. It is common practice at TSE to use three expert reviews, but in some cases more or fewer reviews may be used to provide sufficient information for editors to make a decision about a manuscript. When a sufficient set of reviews is obtained an editorial decision is made to accept the paper for publication, request revision of the manuscript, or reject the manuscript as unsuitable for publication in TSE.

Revisions may be minor, in which case the editor will determine whether the required changes have been made by the authors, or major, in which case the manuscript will be sent back to the expert reviewers to conduct a followup review.

Manuscripts that are found to be unsuitable for publication in TSE may be rejected outright or they may receive a recommendation to revise and resubmit as new. The latter is an indication that substantial additional work is required to address weaknesses identified during review, but that the editorial board and the reviewers found value in the research and wish to encourage that followup work. Authors who resubmit a paper should understand that the paper will be treated as a new submission. They may, however, request reviewer continuity which allows the editorial board to use some of the reviewers of the previous submission to expedite the review process.


ORCID Required: All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors. ORCID is a persistent unique identifier for researchers and functions similarly to an article's Digital Object Identifier (DOI). ORCIDs enable accurate attribution and improved discoverability of an author's published work. The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.