Being an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking (TGCN) is a recognition of your technical achievements, deep expertise, and prominent stature in the green communications and networking community, as well as a significant responsibility. I greatly appreciate your service to the journal, and also expect a high level of dedication and commitment to excellence from all members of the Editorial Board.
In order to make the journal even better, here are some general guidelines.
- Papers are assigned to you by your Area Editor, after a screening for both content and correct formatting by the Assistant to EiC. You can work with your Area Editor to help tune your assignments to topics you have expertise in and/or are interested in. You should return to the Area Editor any paper where you have a conflict of interest, or the possible appearance of such a conflict, with any of the authors.
- For each paper, you will need to immediately solicit at least 3 high quality reviewers within 7 days, ensure the reviews are returned on time, and are of a quality commiserate with the stature of TGCN. The reviewers should not have any conflicts with the authors and be active researchers in the field with a reasonable diversity in geographical regions and technical backgrounds.
- All papers entering the regular review process should receive at least three independent reviews. Two reviews are acceptable only in exceptional cases (e.g. “quick reject”, non-responsive reviewer, etc.) or the Editor him/herself serves as the 3rd independent reviewer. In that case, the Editor has to disclose that he/she is the author of the review.
- The review process should be timely and fair. Editors should assign reviewers immediately after receiving a new paper, and send personal emails to overdue reviewers (the automatic emails are easily ignored). Reviewers are expected to return their first-round reviews within 30 days. Then, the editor makes his/her 1st-round review decision within 5 days; authors return major revisions within 30 days and minor revisions within 14 days; reviewers return their 2nd-round reviews within 14 days; the editor makes accept/reject recommendation to AE within 5 days; the Area Editor sends out decision letter within 5 days.
- The decisions should be of high quality. The Editorial decision is yours – not the reviewers. The reviewers serve as indispensible input, and justification for your decision, but the correct and appropriate decision must be taken by the Editor and not just based on a majority vote from the Reviewers. For example, two reviewers may recommend accept, but the third finds a fundamental flaw. Or two reviewers urge reject for reasons you consider unessential, e.g. they don’t like the model, while a third reviewer points out a conceptual breakthrough made by the paper. Breakthrough papers often introduce new models and ways of thinking that reviewers may not appreciate, or even feel threatened by. Your main job as an Editor is to make sure that weak papers don’t get through (even if the reviewers give it a “pass”), and that excellent papers don’t get rejected. Own your decisions and the papers you handle.
- The Editor should read the paper and the reviews before making a decision.
- All Editorial recommendations to Area Editors require a written justification, summarizing the key points leading to your decision. In the case of a Reject decision, this would include the key flaws in the paper. In the case of a Revision decision, it would also include your view of essential enhancements the authors must make or any other particular issues related to the paper. The one exception is that accepting a paper after just minor revisions (e.g. after a 2nd revision) may not require any editorial summary.
- In the case that you receive two credible reviews suggesting reject, the Editor has an option of making a decision at that point without waiting for the final review.
- The five allowable Editorial decisions are:
- Accept – this is usually given to a strong paper after 1-2 rounds of revision
- Minor Revision – Rarely given to a first round submission unless it is just a sparkling and near-perfect paper. This is a common decision after a high quality major revision has been completed.
- Major Revision – This is the typical first round decision for a very good or excellent paper, which will be enhanced substantially by such a revision based on the detailed reviews you have collected. This decision should be used with great hesitance on the second round: generally if it still needs major revisions, it should then be rejected.
- Reject – This is our most common decision, and means that the paper is just not up to the quality we require for TGCN. In some cases, the major issues you and reviewers identify can possibly be fixed with a “super-major” revision, but in this case Reject is still the correct decision. The authors can always later resubmit the paper as a new submission, which we will generally direct back to you for further consideration.
- Immediate Reject – If you think the paper is just not up to our high standards, and that getting reviews will be a waste of everyone’s time, you can use this option. In this case you should write a one paragraph summary of your decision, and run it by your Area Editor first. Note that the EIC is also trying to reject such papers before they get to you, but in many cases you may have more expertise on the topic that EiC may be more conservative than necessary.
- Editors should report any form of suspected author misconduct (e.g. double submission, plagiarism, adding self-citations after acceptance of a paper, etc.) to the EiC. Neither the Area Editors nor the Editors should communicate their concerns to the authors. Instead, the EiC should collect all relevant evidence and report the case to the relevant ComSoc committee on author misconduct. They will provide further instructions to the EiC. See also the IEEE Communications Society's Policy on Plagiarism and Multiple Submissions.