Guidelines for Reviewers

 

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Guidelines for Reviewers

 
Last updated: November 2015
 

Thank you for agreeing to review a manuscript for the IEEE Transactions. Per your agreement with the Associate Editor, you are asked to complete the review within six weeks of receipt of the manuscript. For the review of revised manuscripts, reviewers are asked to complete their reviews within three weeks. Please note the peer review cycle for Signal Processing Letters is three weeks. Reminders of deadlines will be sent from the Publications Office in pursuit of this deadline.

Any questions you may have about this manuscript or the review process should be directed to the Associate Editor. Questions that you may have related to access to Manuscript Central should be directed to the staff member listed in the email you received after agreeing to review the paper. Please refer to the Manuscript Number in all all correspondence or phone contacts with the Associate Editor or the Signal Processing Society Publications Office.

Please utilize the Manuscript Central system to submit your review. Associate Editors cannot enter the reviews for you. Reviews of manuscripts submitted to the transactions are "blind" reviews, and the identity of every reviewer is carefully protected. However, you must make sure that there is no identifying information in the properties of any documents that you upload.

The review categories are self-explanatory. However, two criteria are necessary for a recommendation of acceptance for publication: NOVELTY (new or innovative methods or approaches to a problem of engineering, science or mathematics) and APPROPRIATENESS (a complete well written manuscript that falls within the scope of the transactions to which it was submitted). In assessing novelty, you should be aware that it is acceptable for authors to submit expanded versions of their work that has been previously published in a conference paper, but that the prior work must be cited and the extensions clearly explained in the body of the paper. In such cases, the journal submission should include some new elements, such as expanded theoretical discussion, algorithm refinements, more extensive experiments, and/or new results analysis. In assessing appropriateness, you should consider the scope of the journal, completeness of the technical work, and quality of the writing. The IEEE does not provide editorial services for correcting grammatical errors, but we can point authors to services that they can make use of at their own expense.

You are to score the manuscript according to the following codes:

A = Manuscript is ready for publication as is.

AQ = Manuscript is almost ready for publication; the author should be required to make some small amendments as noted in the Comments part of the review form. The amended manuscript should not be returned to the reviewers.

AQE = Manuscript is almost ready for publication; the author should be required to make some small amendments, specifically regarding the use of English in the manuscript, as noted in the Comments part of the review form. The amended manuscript should not be returned to the reviewers.

AQE2 = To accept the paper with minor but required changes, specifically regarding the use of English in the manuscript, that the AE can adjudicate directly, but which also requires authors to send their paper to American Journal Experts (AJE) or another professional English editing service for English editing before it can be formally accepted. In this case, the AE should post and AQE2 decision within the system. The AQE2 should only be used after an AQE decision has already been made. It is the responsibility of the author(s) to provide supporting documentation as proof that the manuscript was reviewed by AJE.

RQ = Manuscript requires some major changes by the author, and should be returned to the reviewers for a second review round. Please note there is no RQ status for Signal Processing Letters, all other statuses are used.

R = Reject, A major rewrite and/or additional experiments are needed such that the author is unlikely to be able to complete the changes within 6 weeks. If the paper has merits and the authors should be encouraged to resubmit, please indicate that within the review comments. If the paper is not of sufficient quality or novelty to be published in this Transactions, the author should not be encouraged to resubmit.

R - Reject (The paper is not of sufficient quality or novelty to be published in this Transactions. The author should not be encouraged to resubmit.)

Please provide detailed comments in the review form that will guide the effort of the author in amending the manuscript and preparing it for publication; or in the event of a score of R, that will help the author understand why the manuscript is considered unacceptable for publication at this time. Your comments are also important to the Associate Editor in making a decision, because it is frequently the case that reviewers disagree in their assessment, and detailed comments help an editor to resolve the discrepancy. Typically a review will consist of a brief summary of the paper in your own words, pointing out its contributions; a discussion of the novelty and importance of these contributions; a list of major comments that may motivate rejection or require major revision; and finally a list of minor comments and corrections.

In completing this and all sections of the form, desist from ad hominem remarks, even if you may have formed some strong negative opinions about the manuscript. Reviews should be constructive and courteous and the reviewer should respect the intellectual independence of the author. If you have comments that you do not think should be read by the author, there is a separate place where you can enter confidential comments to the Associate Editor.

Remember that manuscripts should not grow appreciably, and when appropriate probably should contract a bit. Authors should not state the obvious in their papers, but only refer to established research by providing a reference. The desirable published manuscript length for regular papers is 10 pages, for the Transactions on Multimedia the published manuscript length is 8 pages and the Signal Processing Letters the manuscript length is 4 pages, so please help the author identify, through your review, how the paper can be improved to save space while still making full scientific disclosure.

In some cases, you may have the opportunity to review a paper that makes a particularly valuable contribution. If you think that the manuscript is award-quality, please complete the appropriate section. It is very helpful to us in identifying such papers.

In very rare cases, you may find that you suspect author misconduct (including plagiarism or duplicate submission) associated with the paper that you are reviewing. If so, you should contact the Associate Editor handling the paper immediately, and be prepared to provide documentation explaining the allegations. All such cases are handled confidentially and should not be discussed with anyone other than the Associate Editor.

Reviews should be objective evaluations of the research. If you cannot judge a paper impartially, you should not accept it for review or you should notify the editor as soon as you appreciate the situation. Examples of conflicts of interest are shared institutional affiliation with one of the authors, collaboration on a publication or research project in the past five years, and supervision of the author's PhD or post-doctoral work. A manuscript should only cite papers that are directly related to the topics covered in the manuscript, and the authors should explain how each paper relates to the manuscript. Listing several papers without such explanations is unacceptable. Please note that, according to IEEE Policy 6.4.1.C: Information contained in a manuscript under review is confidential and must not be shared with others, nor should referees use non-public information contained in a manuscript to advance their own research or financial interests.

Once again, thanks for serving as a reviewer for the Transactions of the IEEE Signal Processing Society and for your timely response. Your participation adds value to the peer review process.

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