Associate Editor Guidelines
Associate Editors are responsible for the quality, consistency, and impact of the magazine. This is achieved by selecting qualified, independent, and experienced reviewers to review the submitted manuscripts, and by efficiently managing the peer-review process.
So let's suppose you are an AE, or are considering becoming one. What's the role and process?
- After a manuscript undergoes administrative checks, the EIC assigns it to an Associate Editor, possibly you!
- The EIC may ask you for an independent assessment of suitability for the magazine prior to review. If you believe it may be suitable, then you select at least three qualified reviewers. Otherwise you report to the EIC the opinion that the paper should not be reviewed. Please respond to the EIC's request within two weeks.
- The Scholar One system will expect a reviewer to to submit the review within three weeks. Experience has shown that fast review-times are more likely if you approach reviewers by personal email, text, or phone call before the assignment, inquiring after their interest and ability to review within this time-frame.
- When all reviews are returned, you make one of the following recommendations to the EIC: accept, request minor revisions, request major revisions, reject.
+ Sometimes in a narrow field it is difficult to secure three reviewers. In this case it is permissible to have two reviewers, plus a review of your own.
++ If you receive two reviews, but the third reviewer is overdue despite repeated reminders, within Scholar One you may set the number of reviewers to 2 and make your recommendation.
Reject or Request Major Revisions?
With a less-than-stellar set of reviews you are faced with the decision of rejecting out-right, or asking for major revisions.
- Could the revision turn this paper into a first-ranked manuscript (not just a manuscript with major problems fixed)? We encourage you to give guidance on what is expected in the revision, selecting from the various recommendations made by reviewers.
- Is the contribution suitable enough to warrant publication in IEEE S&P?
- Is the impact of the paper going to be significant enough to warrant publication in IEEE S&P?
If you can answer "yes" to all these questions, give the authors a chance to revise and resubmit.
+ You have the discretion to send significantly modified papers back for review, to the same reviewers or including new ones, or to make the final recommendation based on your own careful reading.
+ Normally a paper gets just one 'major revision required' assessment. If the resubmitted manuscript does not rise to accept or request minor revisions you should reject it.
Using Scholar One
The IEEE Computer Society uses the Scholar One manuscript management system to track submissions and progress. It is a complex system, and occasional users may need reminders on what to do and how to do it. We've developed Scholar One and the AE Role for reference.
Questions? Contact EIC Sean Peisert