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Guidelines for Proposal Preparation

As indicated in the Introduction, all IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (J-SAC) issues begin life as a proposal. Proposals may be developed by anyone having interest and expertise in a technical area within the scope of the IEEE Communications Society. Each issue of J-SAC is devoted to a single topic in the communications discipline, and it is important that special attention be paid to new and rapidly evolving communication techniques.

A number of stimuli give rise to quality proposals. Proposals typically come from individuals having expertise in an emerging technical area who also wish to make a significant technical contribution by bringing together the expertise of others working in the same area. Technical workshops are especially appropriate sources of J-SAC proposals since workshops usually deal with new cutting edge technology. Technical sessions at IEEE Communications Society sponsored conferences can also stimulate proposals. Organizers of workshops and conference sessions covering new as well as perennially popular topics in communications are encouraged to propose J-SAC special issues on these topics. In addition, the work of IEEE Communications Society technical committees can serve as a catalyst for J-SAC proposals.

The J-SAC Board also entertains proposals for mini-issues of J-SAC. These mini-issues contain approximately six papers and are published along with a mini-issue in a different technical area. Mini-issues can also result from a regular proposal that results in fewer than the expected number of paper submissions.

The success of J-SAC depends upon a continuing flow of quality proposals. Any of the J-SAC editors can help with proposal preparation.

Information to be Provided

The proposal should have the following information and structure:

  1. The topic and scope of the proposed issue should be carefully identified. It is important to describe why the proposed topic is timely and significant.
  2. A brief outline of the proposed issue should be given, indicating the areas in which papers will be solicited.
  3. A plan for obtaining quality papers should be given, indicating the potential sources of papers.
  4. The Guest Editors should be identified. (J-SAC issues usually involve four or five Guest Editors.) If possible Guest Editors should be selected so that a good technical, geographical and gender balance is achieved.
  5. The proposed review process should be described, and list of potential reviewers should be included with the proposal. (A peer-review process is essential to the development of a quality issue.)
  6. A proposed call-for-papers should be included.
  7. A brief resume of the proposed Guest Editors should be included.
  8. An indication that Guest Editors understand that guest editor-authored research paper submissions will no longer be accepted. (JSAC encourages guest editor-authored tutorial and overview papers.)

General Information

The two essential ingredients of a successful issue of J-SAC are a timely topic and Guest Editors who are willing and able to develop the proposed topic. Each issue of J-SAC will include between 8 and 20 papers. The Guest Editor is responsible for developing an editorial which establishes the perspective of the issue and introduces the papers. This editorial is the first item in the issue. If appropriate, a tutorial paper should be included in the issue, which overviews the subject area of the issue and places the global theoretical and/or implementation techniques in proper perspective. (If such a tutorial paper is deemed appropriate, it should be remembered that tutorial papers must be especially well written, must accurately cite previously published papers, and must contain a reasonably complete bibliography. They must also go through a review process.)

Duties of the Guest Editor

After approval of a proposal, the first duty of the Guest Editors is to establish a tentative publication schedule with the J-SAC Executive Editor. The normal lead time is 18-24 months.

The next duty of the Guest Editors is the extremely important task of paper solicitation and review. In addition to the solicitation process identified by the Guest Editors, it is important that a call-for-papers be published in the publications of the IEEE Communications Society since without a call-for-papers many IEEE Communications Society members will not have access to the issue. The Call for Papers is prepared by the Guest Editors and briefly describes the topics to be addressed and identifies all deadlines associated with publication of the issue.

The Guest Editors are in charge of the review process and make the important decisions on which papers are to be published. The J-SAC Senior Editors are available for consultation. The Guest Editors conduct all correspondence with the authors and oversee all revisions required or suggested by the reviewers. The Guest Editors notify the authors of accepted papers, that exceed the guidelines, that their paper may be longer than the 8-page limit and thus may accrue over-length page charges.

Disposition of the Proposal

All proposals should be submitted to the J-SAC Editor-in-Chief (EiC). The J-SAC Editorial Board will make every attempt to arrive at a timely decision on the proposal, and the proposer will be notified of the Editors' decision. At that time a J-SAC Senior Editor will be assigned to work with the Guest Editors on development of the issue. If a proposer has questions on the development of the proposal, or needs help in some part of the process, they are invited to contact any of the J-SAC Editors.

Submitting a Paper to Your Own Issue

J-SAC encourages tutorial and overview papers authored by guest editors. There will no longer be guest editor-authored research paper submissions. The review process for tutorial and overview papers will be managed by the issue's mentor or another senior editor.