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Editor Guidelines

The IEEE Communications Magazine Editors

Associate Technical Editors (ATEs), Technical Editors (TEs), Series Editors (SEs), and Senior Editors of the IEEE Communications Magazine (ComMag) constitute the Editorial Team of the Magazine who perform editorial activities and safeguard the Magazine’s quality and highest publication standards.

Guest Editors (GEs) of Feature Topics (FTs) and/or Special Issues (SIs) are REQUIRED to fully abide by the same rules governing the editorial and review processes of the magazine (like ComMag editors). All Editors carrying out the IEEE Communications Magazine editorial work (including GEs) must apply the same guidelines, criteria, and operation standards of the IEEE Communications Magazine irrespective of the publication track they are handling and the specific assignment(s) they are working in.

Editors are assigned an account in Manuscript Central with a user id and password and have an email account associated with it. Upon assignment of new manuscript(s), the Editor(s) receives email notifications and should be able to access his/her/their manuscript-central account to initiate the review process of the new submission.

In the case of FTs and/or SIs, GEs MUST regularly check their email account for manuscript submissions, processing, and for communications from/with the Editor in Chief until the work of their FT/SI fully concludes with final decisions for all manuscripts (which may happen after the FT/SI is actually published due to belated manuscripts).

The Editor Responsibility in the Review Process

Editors (ATEs, TEs, SEs, and GEs) of ComMag are responsible for managing and overseeing the review process of manuscripts submitted to the magazine (each per his/her respective Track: Series, Open Call, or Feature Topic). Upon conclusion of the review process, the editor(s) make recommendation to the Editor in Chief (EiC). Main recommendation types are to accept, reject, or revise (major or minor) the manuscript. Per the IEEE PSPB policy the final decision concerning any manuscript is the responsibility of the EiC who issues his/her decision based on editorial recommendations, his own evaluation, magazine needs and policies, and/or any other factors that deem relevant.

The IEEE Communications Magazine Editors MUST carry out their work according to the following guidelines:

  • An Editor may NOT handle a manuscript where he/she has conflict of interest (CoI). If a manuscript is assigned to an Editor where CoI exists, the Editor must recuse himself/herself. Editors may refer to IEEE and IEEE PSPB policies in regard to CoI, if they need to do so.
  • Manuscripts not complying with the Manuscript Submission Guidelines  (Format Guidelines) are recommended for immediate rejection (IR) by the Editor(s). They may not be forwarded to the review process. Authors are usually encouraged to revise such manuscripts and submit new –compliant- manuscripts to the magazine. Only manuscripts in full compliance with all format guidelines are forwarded to the review process.
  • A minimum of three (3) reviewers are assigned to each paper (article). These three are required for the Editor(s) to make a recommendation and should NOT include the editor(s) himself/herself/themselves. More than three reviewers (up to five) are recommended, if possible, in order to maximize the chance for timely editorial recommendations. Editor(s) must assign appropriate, competent, and independent reviewers who are geographically and institutionally diverse. The editor(s) must exert utmost effort to select reviewers from geographical regions other than those of the manuscript authors. A strong case must be made to the EiC if an exception (for one reviewer) is necessary. In his/her assignment of a reviewer to any manuscript, the Editor MUST reference the magazine Reviewer Guidelines and emphasizes the reviewer’s responsibility to abide by them.
  • The purpose of having a minimum of three (3) reviews for each decision is not only to decide on acceptance or rejection, but also to help authors improve their work. In particular, reviews should offer constructive advice for authors of rejected papers.
  • Editors oversee reviewers’ responses and activity to ensure that they deliver substantive and technically-sound reviews in a timely manner, leading to timely editorial recommendation. Editors send reminders to reviewers when needed and may rescind a review if lacking substance or violating policies. For example, reviewers may NOT exploit the opportunity of reviewing to require that authors cite reviewer’s own paper(s).
  • The editor, not the reviewers, is ultimately responsible for making a proper recommendation about a given manuscript. The recommendation should not simply be based on a majority of the three reviewers’ opinions. The editor must assess the totality of the remarks on the manuscript, including his/hers.
  • When submitting his/her recommendation, the editor(s) must fill the “comment to the authors” section making a strong case for the recommendation based on reviewers’ remarks and the editor’s own remarks. The Editor should examine the manuscript compliance with the Manuscript Submission Guidelines (format guidelines) and report the outcome of this examination. The Editor may also fill the “comments to EiC” section with useful justification(s) of the recommendation made.
  • The Editor must rate the reviews delivered for the manuscript.
  • If the minor changes requested by reviewers are adequately made, the editor can make a recommendation with either a limited number of reviewers or without reviews.
  • Details about how the editorial and reviewing process are carried out in Manuscript Central are available by clicking on the "Guest Editor Center Guide" title in the Guest Editor Center, where a pdf may be downloaded. IEEE Support can be contacted if Manuscript Central is not functioning according to the Guide.

Guidelines to Write Series/FT Editorials

Series Editors and Guest Editors are required to prepare an editorial for their papers. The editorial should introduce the papers in the order of their appearance and should address the significance, impact, practical usefulness, and future directions of the topic(s). Perhaps most important, it should convey the Editors' enthusiasm to the readers. An editorial which does little more than describing each paper will not be acceptable. For 3-6 papers, the editorial (roughly 800 words plus short editors’ bios and editors’ photographs) must not exceed one magazine page. For 7-12 papers, the editorial (roughly 1600 words plus short editors’ bios and editors’ photographs) must not exceed two magazine pages. Editorials should be emailed in plain text to the publications staff, along with the color photographs of each Editor. Digital photographs should be in .tif format with at least 300 dpi resolution.

Timeline (for Series and Feature Topics)

  • Accepted Manuscript-Central IDs due: The 4th of the month, 3 months prior to publication. For example, a complete list of all papers in the January issue is due by October 4th.

  • Final manuscript files due: The 15th of the month, 2.5 months prior to publication. For example, all final materials for a paper in the January issue are due by October 15th. Please be aware that if this deadline is missed, the paper cannot be published on time.

  • Series/Guest Editorials due: The 1st of the month, 2 months prior to issue date. For example, all final versions of the Editorials in the January issue are due by November 1st.

  • Page proofs sent to contact author: 3 weeks prior to publication date.

Page proofs back to department: 2 weeks prior to publication date

Download the IEEE Communication Magazine Editor Guidelines