Purpose of the Review Process
Reviewing manuscripts for IEEE Communications Magazine (ComMag) has two functions: a) to provide feedback to Editors on manuscripts to guarantee high-quality publications and b) to provide feedback to authors that may assist them in advancing their manuscript toward publication or preparing quality manuscripts for future submissions.
Reviewers should strive to offer feedback that is useful to the authors in revising their manuscripts for publication or rewriting a manuscript for resubmission to IEEE Communications Magazine at a later time. The former option is appropriate for those manuscripts that have sufficient technical content and quality so that judicious revisions can result in a high-quality paper (article) for publication. The latter option is appropriate when the author(s) submitted a manuscript that is not appropriate for publication, or consideration, in the IEEE Communications Magazine. In the latter case the review should contain sufficient information to allow the author to understand the reason for not accepting their manuscript and the type of manuscript that is appropriate for publication.
Reviewing for IEEE Communications Magazine should not aim only at passing judgment on suitability of a submission for publication. It should also help authors to develop manuscripts that are useful for the ComMag readership. Reviewers should be clear about whether they are asking for a revision that is expected to render the manuscript publishable or they are asking for a revision that should be submitted as a new manuscript and are therefore rejecting the current manuscript. With respect to the latter case, statements such as "The manuscript in its current form is not appropriate for publication in the IEEE Communications Magazine. On the other hand, there are several ideas that, if developed, could lead to a paper that would be very interesting to the readers of the Magazine. For example, ..." are entirely appropriate.
The IEEE Communications Magazine Reviewer MUST carry out his/her work according to the following guidelines:
- A Reviewer may NOT handle a manuscript where he/she has conflict of interest (CoI). If a manuscript is assigned to a reviewer where CoI exists, the reviewer must recuse himself/herself. Reviewers may refer to IEEE and IEEE PSPB policies in this regard, if they need to do so.
- Papers must have value to the magazine readership, and should be original, timely, relevant, and within the scope of the magazine. Everything that is written in the manuscript must be technically correct. Technical sloppiness must be pointed out in every instance to the best of the ability of the reviewer.
- Reviewers are expected to be familiar with the IEEE PSPB Operation Manual and how the IEEE policy differentiates between journal, transaction, and magazine papers. Papers published in the IEEE Communications Magazine should be tutorial in nature and should be written in a style comprehensible to the average reader in the Telecommunication/Communication field and to those outside the specialty of the paper. ComMag does not publish core-research and/or highly-theoretical manuscripts of the type intended for journals, transactions, and/or research conferences.
- Mathematical equations should not be used and the Magazine has limits in terms of word count, figures/tables count, references, similarity (originality), etc. The number of two-column pages of any paper must not exceed the firm limit of seven (7) pages at any time during the review process and upon acceptance and publication. Reviewers are REQUIRED to familiarize themselves with all the Magazine’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines and should include in their remarks any deviation from them.
- If the manuscript is part of a Feature Topic or Special Issue containing several papers on the same topic, the reviewer may want to take into account whether certain aspects missing in this manuscript are covered in other manuscripts. The reviewer may inquire about this matter with the editor(s) who assigned him/her the review.
In his/her review, the reviewer is asked to provide a one-paragraph description of the content of the manuscript, identify and discuss its contribution, and include in this discussion items such as:
- Is there a need for this paper in the ComMag/ComSoc community? For example, are there papers already available which cover more or less the same topic at about the same depth?
- Does the paper contain original contributions? What is the nature of the contributions?
- Does the paper have significant tutorial content? That is, is there enough background provided so that the generalist can understand its main contributions?
- Comments on the technical correctness of the manuscript in general, any specific technical inaccuracies, and suggestions for correcting them.
- Comments on the organization of the paper, and any suggestions that would improve the paper and its readability.
- Quality of the citations in the manuscript. However, reviewers may NOT exploit the review opportunity to require that the author(s) cite the reviewers’ own work/publications.
- Where applicable, is there a description of lessons learned that are given to the readers to help the readers avoid pitfalls in their own work?
- The reviewer may provide a list of needed minor changes, such as spelling or grammatical errors, that need to be made. The reviewer may use the format "p. 7., l. 18 somth ==> smooth" to mean "on line 18 of page 7, correct the spelling from somth to smooth."
- The reviewer may conclude with a summary comment on the overall suitability of the paper for the IEEE Communications Magazine, assuming the recommended revisions are made. For example, if this is an outstanding contribution, major/minor revision is needed, or if the manuscript requires major/minor editing.