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Steps for Bringing an Issue of JSAC to Press

The following is a step-by-step account of the JSAC publication process from the proposal for an issue to publication.

Suggestions for Topics: Suggestions for a topic for a JSAC issue can be made by the Editorial Board, any technical committee, a ComSoc member or, indeed, any interested person. If anyone would like to see an issue of JSAC appear on a specific topic of interest, they should notify one of the members of the Editorial Board.

Proposals (sought or submitted): In the event that the Editorial Board has received a request to investigate the possibility of publishing an issue on a topic of interest, the Board may contact individuals known to that particular field to help in developing a proposal.

Individuals may at any time submit a proposal to the Editor-in-Chief for consideration. A set of guidelines on submitting proposals is enclosed in the guide.

Evaluation of Proposals: Once a proposal has been submitted, it is then circulated to the Senior Editors for evaluation. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of novelty, interest to readers, qualifications of guest editors and timeliness of the subject matter. The evaluation process usually takes about a month. In some instances, guest editors may be asked to re-submit a proposal based on suggestions of the Board. This usually occurs because the topic chosen covers too broad of an area.

Acceptance of Proposal: Once a proposal has been accepted, the Editor-in-Chief will notify the guest editors and assign a Senior Editor to act as a JSAC Board Representative for that issue. At this time, the guest editors will be directed to the information necessary for bringing an issue to publication.

The JSAC Board Representative will contact the lead guest editor to discuss the issue and request a call for papers.

Call-for-Papers: A call-for-papers should be prepared by the guest editors. The call should specify, in fairly specific terms, the areas the guest editors would like to see covered. It should also include proposed dates for initial submissions, final manuscripts due, and the anticipated date of publication. (These dates will be reviewed by the Executive Editor to assure that these dates are workable within the JSAC timetable.) Guest editors should include full addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses. The call should be sent to both the JSAC Board Representative and the Executive Editor simultaneously. Once the call is approved by both, the Executive Editor will see that the call is published in the appropriate ComSoc publications. The Executive Editor is responsible for tracking the publication of the call and dates.

Role of Guest Editors: Once the call is published the guest editors should consider the following:

  • Soliciting colleagues for paper submissions
  • Lining up reviewers (at least three per manuscript)
  • Creating a system for processing the manuscripts

Please note that while graduate students or postdocs of the guest editors may serve as paper reviewers, the following tasks must be performed exclusively by the guest editors who are named in the proposal: soliciting reviewers, evaluating the reviews, making the accept/reject decisions.

Manuscript Flow & Issue Preparation: The following is a typical breakdown of the actual process:

  1. Scan papers initially for quality, conformance to IEEE style and length.
  2. Letters acknowledging receipt of manuscript and proposed notification dates must be sent to all authors submitting papers. Receipt dates must be recorded for future use by IEEE.
  3. Manuscripts logged in and sent out for review. Only allow 3-6 weeks for the initial review process.
  4. Papers reviewed; acceptance/rejection/revision determined. Letters written to authors (for those accepted or revisions requested they should be reminded to submit their supporting materials along with their finalized manuscripts). Special attention to IEEE style should be followed explicitly. Copies of accept/reject letters should be sent to the assigned JSAC Board Representative.
  5. Guest editors prepare the Guest Editorial for the issue. Table of Contents for the issue is prepared. Guest editors gather their own supporting materials (bios and photos).

Submission of Issue: At this point, all manuscripts should be finalized and in the possession of the guest editors (or on the way). The Guest Editorial and Table of Contents should be finalized. In other words, the issue should be ready to submit to IEEE for publishing. Therefore, the following should be done:

  1. Final manuscripts and supporting materials received by the guest editor are checked for compliance to IEEE style. They should then be submitted to IEEE Headquarters as they come in. A courier service should always be used when submitting any material to IEEE Headquarters.
  2. The Table of Contents should also be submitted either with the first submission or shortly thereafter so that IEEE will know the order in which the papers should appear. Along with the Table of Contents, the Guest Editors should also submit a list of authors, their mailing address, email address, phone numbers and fax numbers. (In the case of multiple authors, please indicate one person to whom correspondence should be directed.)
  3. A list of received and revised dates for all manuscripts should be submitted to IEEE.
  4. The Guest Editorial and the guest editors' bios and photos should be sent to IEEE.

IEEE Headquarters & Board Responsibilities:

  1. IEEE notifies the guest editor that materials have been received. At this point IEEE Headquarters will be working very closely with the lead guest editor on pulling the issue together.
  2. Galley proofs are sent to authors.
  3. Issue is typeset.
  4. Issue is published.
  5. Executive Editor requests statistical information, list of reviewers and the best paper nomination from the guest editors.
  6. Senior Editor sends letter of thanks to Guest Editors.

Very Important Note
Successful issue publication requires that these guidelines be followed EXACTLY and that all items be submitted for publication and received at IEEE Headquarters FOUR months prior to the issue publication date (cover date).

Average Timetable

The following table gives the average time for bringing a JSAC issue to press. The average time required for the entire process is on the order of 18 months, although this is subject to considerable variation. The fictitious date assumes that the proposal is submitted in early January 1999.

When the call for papers is scheduled for publication, a publication date is assigned to the issue. It is extremely important that the issue remain on schedule from that point forward.

Average Timetable

Issue Item
Months Allotted
Fictitious Date
Proposal Submitted   January 1999
Proposal Approved, Call Prepared 1 February 1999
Call Published 2-3 April 1999
Manuscripts - First Submittal 4-5 September 1999
Review Process Completed 2 November 1999
Accept/Reject - Final Manuscripts 2 January 2000
Guest Editorial, Table of Contents   January 2000
Submit Issue to IEEE 1 February 2000
Publication of Issue 4 June 2000