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General Background

Guest edited issues are in many ways the backbone of IEEE Wireless Communications. Indeed, initially the idea was that every issue would be a Special Issue (SI) on a particular topic. In the first several years, virtually all issues fell into that category. IEEE Wireless Communications has continued to focus on guest edited issues, or SIs, containing good articles and editorial content.

Proposing a Special Issue Topic

Please note that under current IEEE Communications Society magazine requirements, Guest Editors are prohibited from publishing papers they have (co-)authored in their own SI. However, Guest Editors are responsible for authoring a Guest Editorial that introduces the SI and is printed as a preamble to the accepted articles.

Submit a one- to three-page proposal to the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) describing the significance, direction, and anticipated feature article content and contributors of articles for the SI. The proposal should contain the following sections:

  • The subject
  • Purpose, significance, and a general description of the SI
  • Guest Editors and their short biographies (a guest editor is allowed to serve in no more than one special issue for IEEE WCM in a 12-month period)
  • Proposed articles (provisional titles, potential authors, scope of the articles)
  • Plan for advertising the Call for Papers (CFP) and handling the reviews of submissions
  • Proposed schedule (manuscripts due, acceptance notification, final revised manuscripts due, manuscripts to publisher)
  • Identification of the qualified expert(s) who can contribute one comprehensive survey paper on the topic

The proposal may contain additional information (a list of potential reviewers, etc.) The proposal is reviewed by the Technical Editors, with a consolidated recommendation from the EiC, 4–6 weeks from the date of submission. Continue to identify a full slate of 3 to 6 feature articles and authors for an SI, and obtain authors commitment to scheduled availability of draft papers.

Guest Editors should be aware that:

  • SIs are focused on a topic, and the topic should have broad appeal to the magazine's readership.
  • Submissions should be collected from open call, not personal invitations. Individual authors may be encouraged to write a paper, but all submissions go through the same peer review process without assurance of acceptance.
  • Guest Editors should mention how the team members will work together.
  • A team of Guest Editors representing both academia and industry is an advantage. Roughly half of IEEE Communication Society members are from industry and half from academia. The magazine targets both groups simultaneously; thus, a team of Guest Editors representing the two groups helps ensure that the FT will support the magazine’s mission.
  • SI proposals will be reviewed by the editorial board. The EiC will notify the Guest Editors with a recommendation that may be rejection, conditional acceptance with recommended changes, or acceptance.
  • An extremely important requirement is that each proposal must respect the timelines given by the Publications Staff. Please ensure that all articles comply with the style, length, and timeliness guidelines (see Paper Submission Guidelines).

Call for Papers

Guest Editors must always prepare some form of a CFP, and this call should be broadly advertised. Advertising a CFP should not rely only on publishing the CFP in the magazine and on the magazine website, but should also be distributed through other avenues according to the SI proposal plan (e.g., mail lists, conference flyers, websites, newsletters, editors’ professional networks, etc.). Guest Editors should advertise the CFP through their relevant professional networks. It is extremely important that all potential authors have an equal opportunity to submit a paper. Of course, all papers under consideration for the SI must undergo a thorough peer review (receiving at least three reviews) according to the magazine's Reviewer Guidelines.

Issue Management

Arrange a timely review by at least three experts in each feature article subject area. The comprehensive survey paper for an SI can be invited but must be reviewed just as other papers, with the final decision made by both the Guest Editors and EiC. Candidate authors for this paper must be so informed. The page limit can be relaxed with the approval of the EiC. All paper reviews are handled through the Manuscript Central system. Please notify the reviewers about the style requirements for IEEE Wireless Communications, which are available on the magazine website, as well as about the fact that the reviewed article(s) belong(s) to a larger entity containing several articles on a common subject. Please supply the reviewers with a copy of the accepted SI proposal.

Manuscript Central

The general process for Guest Editors using Manuscript Central is:

  • Log in with your user id and password. You may update your password and edit your information.
  • Click on "Guest Editor Center."
  • To see all the manuscripts assigned to you, click on "Original Manuscripts" in the left frame. To search, insert information about a specific paper (e.g., author's name) on the right and click "search." Note: your designation will be "Guest Editor" on any paper for which you are the assigned editor.
  • Download the articles by clicking on the article title. In the next window, click on the article's title again. The file will be downloaded to your hard drive and opened by the appropriate application.
  • Familiarize yourself with the article. Once you decide if an article is to be either rejected without review or submitted to the review process, return to the manuscripts page and click on the "View Details" button for the article you are working on. Find the "Guest Editor Actions" section and do one of the following:
    • If you choose to reject the article without a review, click the "Make Recommendation" button. In the next window, go to the "Post Recommendation" block and click the "Post Recommendation" button. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the "Rejected" radio button. You may add information to the two comment blocks at the top of the page as you see fit. Click "Send to the Editor-in-Chief" button.
    • If you choose to submit the article to the review process, click the "Assign or Remove Reviewer" button. In the next window, follow the instructions in the box in the lower half of the page. You must assign a minimum of three reviewers to the article. We suggest that you assign more than three, if practical, because (a) often a reviewer will be late with a review or never completes the task; and (b) generally, the more reviewers there are, the easier it is for the Guest Editors to make a good decision, and the better the quality of the published article. When reviewers notify you that they accept the invitation to review, you must return to the Editorial Board Center of Manuscript Central. Choose your article and then "View Details." Click "Assign or Remove Reviewer," and click on the "Agreed" button next to the reviewer's name. A standard email letter will pop up again. If this article is going to be part of a topic, you should insert a reminder to the reviewer that this article is part of a larger entity containing several articles on the same topic. The reviewer should take this into account in their review. You can add information on the topic at this point if you see fit. While reviewing manuscripts, please check for plagiarism or double submissions.
  • The reviewer reviews the article. You will be notified by email when the review is complete. To make a decision once a minimum of three reviews are completed, return to the Editorial Board Center of Manuscript Central. Click "Original Manuscripts: Manage Reviewers and Make Recommendations" in the left column, and then click "View Details" for the article you are working on. Scroll down to the second from the bottom block and click "View Review Form" for each reviewer. To see any documents that the reviewer may have added to their evaluation or to add your own documents, click the "Attach Files" button below the "View Review Form" button. When you are ready to make a recommendation, go to the "Guest Editor Actions" block and select the "Make Recommendation" button. Scroll down to click "Post Recommendation" when you are ready to send your recommendation to the EiC. Fill out the form and enter your comments. When you are finished, click "Send to Editor-in-Chief." Click "Send Letter."

There are detailed instructions for this process in Manuscript Central. You can download a PDF of the instructions by clicking on the "Guest Editor Center Guide" of the Guest Editor Center. Please contact IEEE Support if Manuscript Central is not functioning according to the Guide.

Acceptances and Rejections

  • All articles must comply with the magazine's guidelines for style and format. Articles not in compliance risk being rejected.
  • The purpose of three reviews for each submission is not only to decide on acceptance or rejection, but also to help authors improve their work. In particular, reviews should offer constructive advice for authors of rejected papers.
  • A submission may be rejected promptly without review for certain reasons:
    • It is not technical in nature.
    • It is essentially an advertisement of a commercial product.
    • It has been previously published or has been submitted elsewhere at the same time.
    • It grossly violates the magazine's guidelines, for example, the paper is 7000 words long or contains 20 equations.
    • It is outside the scope of the magazine entirely.
    • It is clearly better suited as a journal or a conference paper, for example, due to the amount of mathematical content included, or the brevity or narrow scope.
  • If a submission is judged to be outside the scope of the SI but otherwise has merit, the EiC should be notified to redirect it to another part of the magazine.
  • It is helpful if authors of a paper that requires revision return a revised paper along with a list of changes made in response to specific reviewers' comments.. If the reviewers’ requested changes are adequately addressed, the Guest Editor can then make a recommendation with either a limited number of reviewers or without a second round of reviews. Note that if the paper decision is Accept with Minor Revisions, the authors do not upload a revised paper, but are expected to make these revisions in the final manuscript they send to the Publications Staff.
  • An SI schedule will often not allow acceptance of papers requiring major revisions because these papers need to go through a second round of reviews before acceptance. However, if these papers are revised and found to be acceptable eventually, they can be published later as standalone papers.

After a paper is accepted for publication, the author will need to submit an entire publication package over and above what they have submitted for this review process. The publication package will be sent to the Publications Staff. The Publications Staff does not have access to Manuscript Central or to materials submitted there

Important Dates

List of Articles/Manuscript Central IDs Due: The 18th of the month, 3 months prior to issue date. For example, a complete list of all papers in the April issue is due by January 18th.
Final Manuscripts Due: The 1st of the following month, 2 months prior to issue date. For example, all final materials for an article in the April issue are due by February 1st.
Guest Editorials/Columns Due: The 15th of the following month, 1.5 months prior to issue date. For example, all final versions of Guest Editorials and columns in the April issue are due by February 15th.
Page Proofs Sent to Contact Author: 4 weeks prior to issue date.
Page Proofs Back to Department: 3 weeks prior to issue date.

Guest Editorial Guidelines

Guest Editors should prepare a Guest Editorial (1500 words maximum) that mentions each paper in order of appearance and includes IEEE-style biographies for each Guest Editor (75 words maximum). The Guest Editorial should address the significance, impact, practical usefulness, and future directions of the topic. Perhaps most important, it should convey the Guest Editors' enthusiasm to the readers. An editorial that does little more than describe each feature article will not be acceptable.

Guest Editorials should be emailed in plain text to the publications office, along with color photographs of each Guest Editor. Digital photographs should be in .tif format with at least 300 dpi resolution.

Submission of Accepted Materials

Please instruct authors to read the Author Guidelines page to determine what they need to send the Production Staff prior to the deadline.


Please refer to the Publication Staff List for contact information.