PURPOSE OF REFEREEING
Refereeing for IEEE Network has two functions: to provide feedback on articles that guarantees a high-quality publication and to provide feedback to authors that may assist them in preparing quality manuscripts for submission in the future.
Referees 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 Network at a later date.
The former option is appropriate for those articles that have sufficient technical content so that judicious revisions can result in a high-quality article for publication. The latter option is appropriate when the author(s) submitted an article that is not appropriate for publication, or even consideration, in IEEE Network. In the latter case the referee report should contain sufficient information to allow the author to understand the type of article that is appropriate. Indeed, it is probably appropriate to have a canned description that can be used.
In some sense, reviewing for network is more closely akin to participating in the development of the articles than in passing judgment on suitability. But, referees should be clear about whether they are asking for a revision that is expected to render the article publishable or they are asking for a revision that should be submitted as a new article and are rejecting the old one. With respect to the latter, statements such as "The article in its current form is not appropriate for publication in IEEE Network. On the other hand, there are several ideas that, if developed, could lead to an article that would be very interesting to the readers of IEEE Network. For example, ..." are entirely appropriate.
CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING SUITABILITY FOR PUBLICATION
Value to Readers
The usefulness to readers is the single most important issues for the referee to consider. Articles should be timely, relevant, tutorially oriented, and nonredundant.
Everything that is said must be technically correct. Technical sloppiness must be pointed out in every instance to the best of the ability of the referee.
Referees should be aware that the primary purpose of IEEE Network is to inform readers on topics of interest to the networking community. Articles must be written in a style that is understandable to the general practitioner in the communications field as well as to the networking specialist practicing in a different area. Key concepts must be clearly explained and articles should cite other articles that provide background information liberally. Where such references are neglected, the referee should strive to correct the deficiencies by either offering specific citations or pointing the author in the right direction. For example, the referee might suggest that the authors consult the "last four years of IEEE PCS, IEEE Communications Magazine, or ACM CCR for relevant articles, especially those of a survey nature."
Referees should feel at liberty to suggest additional material for inclusion in the article. Again, the primary consideration is the value to the reader, and referees should not be shy about asking for additions that increase the value of the article to the reader.
Referees should not hesitate to point out approaches that they think would make the article more interesting. Statements like "In the judgment of the referee, the article could be made a lot more interesting if section 3 were deleted and a reference to Vargus's article on pp. 75-90 in the January 1994 issue of IEEE Network were made." Similarly concerning deletion of unnecessary equations, additions of figures, reorganization of the material, etc., are appropriate.
Need for the Article
The article must be nonredundant in the sense that there are not already appropriate tutorially-oriented articles readily accessible to the readers of IEEE Network. The article must be of interest to the networking community in the sense that it covers a topic that either uses networking technology or impacts networking.
The archival value of articles in IEEE Network is mostly historical. If the article is plowing new ground, which is entirely appropriate so long as the new ground is covered in a tutorial fashion, then the new ground should be identified as such. Similarly if an idea builds upon other ideas, liberal reference to source documents should be practiced.
GUIDELINES FOR REVIEWERSSummary of guidelines for review of manuscripts submitted to IEEE Network for consideration for publication:
Please provide a one-paragraph description of the content of this manuscript.
Please identify and discuss the contribution of this manuscript. Please include in your discussion items such as the following:
Does the paper have significant tutorial content? That is, is there enough background provided so that the generalist in networking can understand its main contributions? Elaborate.
Does the paper contain original contributions? What is the nature of the contributions?
Is there a description of lessons learned that are given to the readers to help the readers avoid pitfalls in their own work?
Is there a need for a paper such as this in the Networking community? For example, are there articles that are already available which cover more or less the same topic at about the same depth?
Please comment on the organization of the paper, and offer any suggestions that you think will improve the paper and its readability.
Please comment on the technical correctness of the manuscript in general, identify any specific technical inaccuracies that you find, and make suggestions for correcting those.
Please discuss the quality of the citations in this manuscript. If you think the citations should be improved, please provide specific references or sources of articles, such as journals or magazines, that should be consulted.
If the manuscript does not require major revision, please provide a list of minor changes, such as spelling or grammatical errors, that need to be made. Please use the format "p. 7., l. 18 somth ==> smooth" to mean "on line18 of page 7, correct the spelling from somth to smooth."
Please provide a summary comment on the overall suitability of the paper for publication in IEEE Network, assuming the recommended revisions are made. For example, if this is an outstanding contribution, please so state. If a major revision is needed, please so state. If the manuscript requires major editing, please so state.