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Thank you for agreeing to serve as Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of a publication of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS). As EiC, you are responsible for supervising all facets of the peer review process for the publication over the course of your term. You will work with a team of Associate Editors (AEs), Senior Area Editors (SAEs), where applicable, and SPS staff to ensure timely peer review and quality publication. The role of EiC is essential for the publication of scholarly, peer-reviewed transactions, journals, letters, and magazines; the EiC oversees the entire peer review process and is the decision maker in situations of ambiguity or conflict. Your time as EiC is valuable to the academic community as we foster new ideas and advance technologies.
You will use your “Editor-in-Chief” Center in S1M to perform your EiC duties. From there, you will be able to see all papers assigned to you as EiC that are currently in peer review. You can also search for papers using the “Search” options on the right side of your screen.
Your SPS Publication Staff person is also available to provide S1M assistance.
The IEEE Publishing Operations Production Portal is your connection to the IEEE Publishing Operations journal and magazine production process. It is intended to streamline interactions between IEEE volunteers with publications roles and the IEEE Publishing Operations editorial staff. This tool was designed to provide you with detailed information about journal and magazine production status, enabling you to interact with our production system to make decisions about page budgets, manage issue contents, and view useful reports.
General EiC responsibilities:
NOTE: Please note that some of the instructions on specific functions in S1M may vary slightly among the SPS S1M portals. Each journal has its own portal that may include variations specific to that journal. Further, some journal peer review processes vary as well. Therefore, if any of the following instructions do not seem to apply to the portal you are using or the publication for which you are EiC, please contact the journal administrator for clarification.
On the 1st and 15th of every month, EiCs are welcome to send nominations to the SPS Publications Board. The nomination should include the nominees’ CVs and nomination forms. The Publications Board has two weeks to assess the nominees and, if there is no objection, the nominee is then approved to be an SAE or AE. At this time, notification should be send to the SPS Publications Staff and the staff will grant the new SAEs/AEs access in S1M and add his/her name to the publications’ webpage and email aliases, etc.
For some publications, the EiC is not the person who selects SAEs and AEs. In some cases, the EiC designates the SPS Publications Coordinator to do this task. The SPS Publications Coordinator selects the S-AEs and/or AE based on EDICS.
If the EiC wants to assign SAEs and AEs, then he/she should keep track of the editors and how many papers are assigned to each. SAEs may receive a total of six papers per week, but no more than two per day. AEs may receive between two and three original manuscripts per month.
If the SPS Publications Staff is responsible for assigning SAEs and AEs, then the staff will select SAEs and AEs based only on the EDICS they have selected for themselves in S1M.
For SPS publications, it is usually the AE who posts decisions on all papers, except “immediate rejects.” See “Posting ‘Immediate Reject’ Decision” below.
If an EiC receives an Overview Article proposal, the EiC has to send the proposal out to the Editorial Board for feedback and then to the Publications Board for final decision.
For full details on Overview Articles, please go to: Overview Articles page
When an EiC receives a special issue proposal, it is the EiC’s responsibility to send the proposal for vetting. For J-STSP and SPM, the EiC should send the proposal to the Senior Editorial Boards. For the regular transactions, the EiC should send the proposal to the Editorial Board.
For jointly owned publications, the EiC should send the proposal to the editorial board of the publication for comments and feedback; afterward it should be submitted to the Steering Committee (SC) or Technical Liaison Committee (TLC) for final approval.
Special Issue Resources:
For SPS publications, the EiC is the only person who may post “Immediate Reject” decisions. An “immediate reject” is a paper without full peer review. SPS typically requires a minimum of two reviews for any paper sent to peer review, but “immediate reject” papers may be done without any reviewer input.
A paper is a candidate for an Immediate Rejection if it is:
In cases where the EiC questions the technical content of a paper, he/she should request the assistance of two other editors (SAEs or AEs) to decide if it should go to peer review. If the two editors agree on the immediate reject, the EiC is still the only person who can post that decision within S1M.
When the decision letter is sent, it should include input from editors who provided feedback.
Please be familiar with the IEEE Policies.
Please be familiar with the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual Manual. Specifically, Section 8 “Procedural and Operational Decisions.”
Ensuring a Timely Peer Review Process
The peer review process for each publication varies slightly. Some publications have SAEs while others do not. Also, some publications review only special issues or letters, which makes their processes different from the regular transactions.
For all publications, S1M flags any papers with overdue tasks to make it easy to see where delays are occurring. The EiC should work with the SPS Publications Staff to help any SAE or AE who is having difficulty finishing peer review tasks within the allotted timeframe. In some cases, the delays may occur with the reviewers, in which case the AE should either attempt to contact the overdue reviewer and decide upon an extension, invite more reviewers, or discuss other options with the EiC.
To get a good, general idea of the peer review time for your publication, you can check the POPP under the “Metrics” section or you can view you “At-a-Glance” report within S1M.
Reviewing Cases of Alleged Author Misconduct
The IEEE and SPS take author misconduct very seriously. Specifically, please see the “Allegations of Misconduct” under Section 8.2.4 of the PSPB Operations Manual.
Every publication is reviewed by Periodicals Review and Advisory Committee (PRAC) every five years (or after the first two years for new publications). The PRAC review is a way for the Technical Activities Board (TAB) to assess the health of the publication. PRAC will send the EiC the review form and the EiC, along with SPS Publications Staff, will have approximately six months to fill out the form. The review is usually done in-person at one of the IEEE Board Series meetings and is usually attended by the publication’s EiC and VP of Publications.
However, it is possible that your term may begin and end before the publication actually comes up for review.
The EiCs work with the SPS Publications Staff early each year to prepare page budgets for their publications for the following year. Staff will track trends and provide a proposed page budget for the EiCs to consider. Typically, the process starts at the beginning of the calendar year and the final budgets are presented to TAB at the June IEEE Board Series meetings.
EiCs are encouraged to write incoming and outgoing editorials. The incoming editorial should appear in the January (or first) issue at the beginning of your term and the outgoing editorial should appear in the December (or last) issue at the end of your term. These editorials should be between two and three pages long and should be submitted to the SPS Publications Staff and IEEE Publications Department about two months before the publication date. It is recommended that the editorials be sent to the VP of Publications for review as well as the SPS Publications Staff.
For some publications, the EiC may need to work with the IEEE Publications department on approving Tables of Content and selecting cover images for the publication. You can track your production processing by viewing your publication’s portal in POPP.