Submission and Peer Review Policies

It is important to understand IEEE’s position on submission and peer review policies. Multiple submission, prior publication, and plagiarism are addressed in IEEE’s submission policies. Editor responsibilities and how articles from embargoed countries are handled are explained in IEEE’s peer review policies.

IEEE Submission Policies

Authors must understand and abide by IEEE’s submission policies.

1. Policy on multiple submissions and prior publication

IEEE policy requires that authors should only submit original work that has neither appeared elsewhere for publication, nor is under review for another refereed publication.

This means that authors must disclose all prior publication(s) and current submissions when submitting an article. Section 8.2.4.F of the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual provides guidelines for handling reported cases of authors who have submitted the same article to two or more publications, or who have not properly cited the reuse of their previously published work in newly submitted articles.

1.1 Prior publication

The guidelines recognize that it is common in technical publishing for material to be presented at various stages of its evolution. As one example, this can take the form of publishing early ideas in a workshop, more developed work in a conference, and fully developed contributions as journal or transactions articles. This publication process is an important means of scientific communication. The editor of a publication may choose to re-publish existing material for a variety of reasons, including promoting wider distribution and serving readers by aggregating special material in a single publication. This practice continues to be recognized and accepted by the IEEE. At the same time, the IEEE requires that this evolutionary process be fully referenced by the author.

Authors submitting articles must disclose whether there are prior publications, e.g. conference articles, by the authors that are similar, whether published or submitted. They must also include information that very clearly states how the new submission differs from the previously published work(s). Such articles should be cited in the submitted article.

1.2 Multiple submissions

“Multiple submissions” is defined as a given article being concurrently under active consideration by two or more publications. It is at the discretion of each IEEE Organization Unit whether or not to allow multiple submissions. Authors shall inform editors of multiple submissions of articles.

2. Policy on plagiarism

The IEEE PSPB Operations Manual in Section 8.2.1, describes plagiarism in the following way: “IEEE defines plagiarism as the use of someone else’s prior ideas, processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and is considered a serious breach of professional conduct, with potentially severe ethical and legal consequences. Section 8.2.4.D provides detailed guidelines for a) handling allegations of plagiarism, b) applying appropriate corrective actions when findings of plagiarism have been reached, and c) referencing previously published material.”

The guidelines in Section 8.2.4 of the PSPB Operations Manual also describe a method for investigating an allegation of plagiarism. Section 8.2.4 states: “In considering the allegation, the responsible person shall appoint an independent ad-hoc committee of experts in the topic to confidentially investigate and make a recommendation on the allegation to the responsible person.

Additional information is available at:

3. Policy on Electronic Posting

Authors submitting manuscripts for review should be aware of the IEEE policy on “Electronic Information Dissemination”. The policy applies to authors who post part or all of a submitted manuscript on a Web site. The policy is found in the IEEE Publications Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual, in Sections 8.1.9A and 8.1.9B, as follows.

3.1. Copyright Notice

The following copyright notice must be displayed on the initial screen displaying IEEE-copyrighted material electronically:

“© 20xx IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, collecting new collected works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.”

3.2. Electronic Reprints

Upon submitting an article to the IEEE for review and possible publication, the author must add the following notice to the first screen of any of his/her previously posted electronic preprint versions of this paper:

“This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication. Copyright may be transferred without notice, after which this version may no longer be accessible.”

When IEEE accepts the work for publication, the author must add the IEEE copyright notice shown in Section 8.1.9A to any previously posted versions of the particular paper submitted and provide IEEE with the electronic address (URL, ftp address, etc.) of the primary electronic posting.

When IEEE publishes the work, the author must replace the previous electronic version of the accepted paper with either: (1) the full citation to the IEEE work or (2) the pdf of the final accepted manuscript, including the IEEE copyright notice and full citation. Note that the author cannot post the final IEEE version, but can post the final submitted version of the accepted paper.

Research on Human and Animal Subjects

Excerpted from the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual, sections 8.1.1.E.

Authors of articles reporting on research involving human subjects or animals shall confirm upon submission of an article to the Editor whether or not an approval was obtained from a relevant Review Board (or equivalent local/regional review). If such an approval was obtained, the original source and reference shall be provided to the Editor at the time of submission and shall appear in the article.

Responsibilities of the Editor

Excerpted from the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual, Section 8.2.1.D, in relation to Editors of IEEE Journals, Transactions, Letters, and Magazines.

  1. The Editor-in-Chief is ultimately accountable for acceptance or rejection of an article, although the decision may be delegated to another editor of the publication.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief should generally grant the request of an author who asks, when submitting an article, that particular individual(s) be excluded from the review of that article.
  3. The Editor-in-Chief shall establish a review process that minimizes bias.
  4. The Editor-in-Chief shall subject all articles of a given type to equivalent and unprejudiced reviews. Decisions about acceptance for publication should occur in a reasonable time frame, and (except for issues devoted to special topics) articles should, to the editor’s best ability, be published in the chronological order of acceptance.
  5. The Editor-in-Chief should provide to the authors a written rationale for editorial decisions regarding an article submitted for publication. This is especially important if the article is being rejected.
  6. Unpublished articles must be treated as confidential documents by all individuals involved in the editorial process.
  7. The Editor-in-Chief shall correct errors in an article if the errors are detected or reported before publication, or publish corrections if they are detected afterward.
  8. Articles submitted by the Editor-in-Chief or an editor of the publication shall be handled by another editor of the publication.
  9. The Editor-in-Chief or another editor of the publication shall not perform or accept any action that has the sole purpose of increasing the number of citations to influence the bibliometric independent measures of quality or impact of a periodical.

Handling of Articles from Authors in Embargoed Countries

This policy on handling articles from authors in embargoed countries is based on the ruling IEEE received from the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in December 2004.

The following activities may be done:

IEEE is free to publish such articles once they pass peer review.