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Guidelines for Proposal Preparation

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.

Information to be Provided

The proposal should have the following information and structure:

  1. The topic and scope of the proposed issue should be well described. It is important to motivate why the proposed topic is timely and significant scientifically.
  2. A brief outline of the proposed issue should be given, indicating the research areas in which papers will be solicited. A proposed call-for-papers should be included.
  3. A plan for obtaining quality papers should be given, indicating the potential sources of papers. There must be clear indication that there is substantial research conducted in the area (such as workshops and sessions of conferences).
  4. The Guest Editors should have a good standing in the proposed research area and must have accepted to serve on the guest editorial team. (J-SAC issues usually involve four or five Guest Editors.) The Guest Editors should be selected so that a good technical, institutional, geographical and gender balance is achieved. A brief resume of the proposed Guest Editors, listing up to five related papers in the area of the proposed issue, should be included.
  5. The proposed review process should be described, and a list of potential reviewers should be included with the proposal (at most one page). (A peer-review process is essential to the development of a quality issue.)
  6. 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. Such a paper should agree to the page limit of regular papers in the issue, unless otherwise agreed with the Editor-in-Chief and the mentor of the issue.)

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 this period, the following needs to be accomplished.

  1. In addition to the solicitation process identified by the Guest Editors, the call-for-papers needs to be publicized widely and published in the publications of the IEEE Communications Society to facilitate access to the IEEE Communications Society membership. These need to be done in a timely manner to provide ample time for authors to prepare submissions to the issue.
  2. 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. In this phase, the following needs to be adhered to. The J-SAC Senior Editors are available for consultation.

  1. The Lead Guest Editor is responsible for conferring  the policy decisions with the Senior Editor mentoring the issue.
  2. The Guest Editors are responsible to solicit three independent reviews per paper. Examples of not necessarily independent reviewers include researchers from the same group.
  3. The Guest Editors conduct all correspondence with the authors and oversee all revisions required or suggested by the reviewers.
  4. The Guest Editors notify the authors of accepted papers, that exceed the guidelines, that their paper may be longer than the 10-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.