IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

The IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to applied research on professional communication—including but not limited to technical and business communication. It has been published since 1957 by the Professional Communication Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Readers include technical communicators, engineers, scientists, information designers, editors, linguists, translators, managers, business professionals, and others from around the globe who practice, conduct research on, and teach others about effective professional communication. The Transactions publishes original, empirical research that typically addresses one of these contexts:

  • The communication practices of technical professionals, such as engineers and scientists
  • The practices of professional communicators who work in technical or business environments
  • Evidence-based methods for teaching and practicing professional and technical communication

Issues are published online in March, June, September, and December. The March and June issues and the September and December issues are printed, bound, and mailed together in June and December, respectively. All issues are available electronically.

The Journal’s Content

Topics of the research include (but are not limited to):

  • Communications technologies and their impact on the workplace, such as the impacts of content-management systems, social media, electronic books, intelligent agents, and similar technologies
  • Design and usability of communication materials in various media, such as the design of web-based materials, online help, printed and electronic books, user interfaces, and live presentations
  • Design, usability, and impact of communication materials in various genres, such as technical reports, embedded assistance, video tutorials, proposals, public-relations materials, slide decks for presentations, and engineering specifications
  • Collaboration practices of groups that produce professional and technical communication materials
  • Processes, strategies, and standards that support information design and management efforts, such as agile development, structured authoring, localization, and Darwin Information Typing Architecture.
  • Social impact of communications and related technology to engineering, management, or other efforts
  • Reports on the effectiveness and limitations of research methodologies used to study these issues

The Journal’s Purpose

The purpose of the Transactions is to extend the body of knowledge about professional communication.

The Journal’s Audience

Our readers are engineers who need to communicate on the job, those who communicate on behalf of engineers, and the educators who train both engineers and professional communicators.

Our primary audience is members of the IEEE Professional Communication Society, a highly educated group (most have graduate degrees), of which a significant portion work either as engineers who have a communication responsibility or as professional communicators. Only about one third of our members work in academic institutions.

Our secondary audience is academics and graduate students in professional communication, professional communicators who are not members of the IEEE, and engineers who are members of IEEE but not of the Professional Communication Society.

To address the needs of our many readers who work in industry rather than in universities, and those whose field is not professional communication, we ask authors to follow some specific formats to ensure that readers have the background that they need to follow the articles and to provide readers with a consistent reading experience so they can anticipate the types of material provided by different types of articles.

The Journal’s Name

Although Transactions might seem a strange name for a journal, its use in journal titles is more than 350 years old. During the Enlightenment period of the late 17th and 18th centuries, scientists and other researchers began to interact with each other in significant numbers. Organizations such as the Royal Society of London (founded in 1660) provided venues in which eminent scientists, physicians, and mathematicians could meet. Shortly the Royal Society was established, the first technical journal appeared. The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (1665) not only provided a place where knowledge shared at meetings could be published for the benefit of those unable to attend, but it also served as a permanent record of the knowledge presented at meetings or submitted to the society by those at a distance. Many of the journals published by IEEE include Transactions in their titles, a reflection of the history of the research journal.

Professional communication is an interdisciplinary field comprised of and borrowing from many others. It includes a spectrum of communication subdisciplines—engineering, technical, medical, scientific, and business—as well as aspects of many associated fields such as usability and user experience, content management, cognitive psychology, instructional design, and many others.

We use professional communication here as a shorthand for all of the varied interests that contribute to our umbrella discipline.

To Learn More

  • For our Early Access (pre-published online) articles, most recent issue, and archives, visit our online publication.
  • For more information about preparing a manuscript for submission, please review Submitting a Manuscript.
  • To learn more about the mission, activities, and leadership of the IEEE Professional Communication Society, visit the Society’s About Us page.