Information for Authors-SPM

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IEEE Signal Processing Magazine

Information for Authors - SPM

SPM is the Signal Processing Society magazine received by every society member bimonthly. Different from other publications that focus on new research results, SPM publishes tutorial articles with comprehensive surveys of important theories, algorithms, tools, and applications related to signal processing. Each issue includes articles from three main categories -- special issue articles, feature articles, and columns/forums articles. Papers in a special issue are focused on a central theme in a mature, critical area that is interesting to a broad audience. Feature articles address relevant subjects related to general signal processing fields of interest. Papers in columns and forums focus on a wide range of topics in digital signal processing and are divided in categories with different objectives and dynamics.


All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors. ORCID is a persistent unique identifier for researchers and functions similarly to an article’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI). The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.

What is a tutorial article?

A tutorial paper should present a systematic introduction of fundamental theories, common practices, and applications in a well defined, reasonably matured, or emerging area, preferably an area that is of interest to readers from multiple fields in signal processing. (The technical scope of a field is determined by each individual technical committee of the Signal Processing Society. An overview paper for readers of a single technical field may be submitted to Transactions of the Society.)

The tutorial article, either as a feature article or as an article in a special issue of SPM, should cover the history, the state of the art, and the future directions. Prospective authors should avoid making a common mistake in covering only their own work or presenting a narrow and biased view. They should also avoid confusing tutorial papers with transactions-style papers, the latter of which usually present new research results or a focused overview specialized in one single technical field. A tutorial paper should be understandable by a non-expert across different fields in signal processing. Therefore, the authors are advised to minimize the use of complicated equations if possible, and instead use layman's terms and illustrations.

What is a special issue?

A special issue comprises multiple, interrelated tutorials that provide a comprehensive coverage of a specific topic of interest to the signal processing community.

What is a feature article?

A feature article is a tutorial paper submitted by prospective authors without responding to any call for papers for special issues. Accepted feature articles are published whenever the review process is completed and the magazine has adequate page capacity, without using a fixed special issue structure.

What is a column paper?

A column is an article, either technical or non-technical (depending on the column's profile) that addresses a specific topic of special interests to the general reader. There are several columns in the magazine, and a column paper should be submitted to the column where the paper fits best.

What is a forum paper?

A forum paper is the result of an open discussion with several experts. The structure of a forum paper is different from that of the papers mentioned above, as it consists of comments and responses of the participants on several aspects within the topic of discussion.

What are the page specifications?

  • Special issue article: For each paper in the special issue, up to 20 single column double-spaced pages, 11 point font size, including figures, tables and references. The total number of figures and tables may be up to 10 (sub-figures in (a), (b), (c), etc. counted separately). The total number of references may be up to 30. There should be at least 1.25" margin on left and right sides, and 1" margin from top and bottom. The figures and tables should be placed in the center of the column, and not tightly embedded into the text column. For some special issues, the page limit may be even less if more papers are included. In any event, check with the guest editors before writing the full manuscript.
  • Feature article: Up to 40 double-spaced pages, 11 point font size, including figures, tables and references. The total number of figures up to 15 (sub-figures in (a), (b), (c), etc. counted separately) and the total number of references up to 50. There should be at least 1.25" margin on left and right sides, and 1" margin from top and bottom. The figures and tables should be placed in the center of the column, and not tightly embedded into the text column.
  • Column paper: For most columns, up to 10 pages with 1.5 pt spacing, 12 point font size, including up to 4 figures, up to 12 references and (for some columns) the short bios of the authors. For columns in the News category, up to 2000 words including 1 or 2 figures and up to 5 references. For most columns in the Resources category, up to 2200 words.
  • Forum paper: Up to 12 pages, 1.5 pt spacing, 12 pt font size, including the short bios of the forums participants.

What are the submission guidelines?

To submit an article proposal or idea, prospective guest editors or authors are encouraged to contact the corresponding Area Editors or the Associate Editors according to the following guidelines.

Special Issues:

Individuals interested in organizing a special issue as guest editors should submit a proposal to the Area Editor of Special Issues (refer to the Editorial page.) The proposal should include sufficient information and clear evidence addressing the following:

  • Motivation, timeliness, and importance of the topic (e.g., recent activities in conferences, research projects, and funding programs)
  • Qualification, track records, and broad representation of the proposed guest editors (GEs). Include short bios of each proposing GE.
  • A tentative list of topics covered in the special issue.
  • A tentative schedule of submission and review.
  • Relation to any recent special issues published or planned for publication in SPM or other journals/transactions/magazines.
  • References

Proposers are encouraged to include a team of GEs with a broad representation from different organizations and countries. Proposals with overlap with any topic covered recently or in the near future in SPM or other publications are discouraged. The list of recent topics covered by SPM is available on the SPS website Special Issues page (2009-Present). View all other previous issues (2003-2009). Sample proposals for special issues are available upon request.

Review of papers submitted to a special issue involves two stages -- white papers and full manuscripts. A white paper is usually no more than four (4) pages long, including the following components:

  • title
  • the author list, contact information, and short bio for each author
  • motivation, and significance of the topic
  • an outline of the proposed paper
  • references

Feature Articles

Individuals interested in submitting a survey/tutorial article (not part of a Special Issue) should submit a white paper outlining the content of the proposed article to the Area Editor for Feature Articles (refer to the Editorial page) via the ScholarOne Manuscripts Web submission system. A white paper is usually no more than five (5) pages long, including the following components.

  • title
  • the author list, contact information, and short bio for each author
  • history, motivation, and significance of the topic
  • an outline of the proposed paper
  • references
  • a tentative timetable

Each white paper will be reviewed by the editorial board. Upon white paper approval, the authors will prepare a full manuscript, which will undergo a peer review process determining acceptance or rejection of the manuscript. Positive reviews of the white paper and invitation for submitting a full manuscript should not be interpreted as acceptance of the full manuscript. It is very important that prospective authors adopt a systematic approach to comprehensive and balanced coverage of all important issues, rather than only focusing on their own work.


To submit an article for any column of the magazine, please upload the manuscript to the ScholarOne Manuscripts Web submission system. During submission, please include a short letter to the Area Editor for Columns and Forums indicating the name of the column for the submission.


To organize and moderate a forum, please follow these steps:

  1. email the associate editor(s) responsible of forums, informing of your submission.
  2. alternatively or concurrently, email the Area Editor of Columns and Forums (refer to the Editorial page). In your email, specify:
    • the title of the forum
    • issues to be discussed and/or debated
    • the panelists to be invited
    • the proposed format for the forum (on-line/off-line, open to public input/limited to invited panelists)

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