IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology
IEEE

Procedure Manual

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NANOTECHNOLOGY

PROCEDURE MANUAL

Version 2.3, June 7, 2010
Updated January 2015

(Adapted from the T-ASE Procedure Manual, with thanks to Peter Luh)

PREAMBLE

This Procedure Manual is an evolving, working document to outline the scope of TNANO, its structure, manuscript and decision categories, detailed operating procedures, and long-term goals. A complementary report of Best Practices for TNano Editorial Board Members is available here.

 

1.    SCOPE OF TNANO

The IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology (TNANO) publishes novel and important results on engineeering at the nanoscale. It focuses on nanoscale devices, systems, materials and applications, and on their underlying science. It is an interdisciplinary journal that covers all areas of nanotechnology. The hardcopy version is published bi-monthly, but accepted papers are published on the web as soon as they are submitted in final form. Web-published papers have a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), and are fully citable and downloadable. Nanotechnology is evolving rapidly and swift publication is necessary to ensure that authors submit their best work to the Transactions. Fast publication is achieved through TNANO’s entirely electronic submission and review process.

The following specific areas are covered by TNANO: (1) nano and molecular electronics, (2) circuits and architectures, (3) nanomagnetism and spintronics, (4) nanooptics, nanooptoelectronics and nanophotonics, (5) nanorobotics and nanoassembly, (6) nanosensors and nanoactuators, (7) nanomechanics and NEMS (nanoelectromechanical systems), (8) nanobiotechnology aand nanomedicine, (9) nanofabrication and nanolithography, (10) nanometrology and characterization, and (11) computational nanotechnology. In addition, papers in other areas, especially new or emerging areas, are also welcome.

Further information on TNANO’s scope and covered areas is available on the journal’s web site http://tnano.org .

 

2.    STRUCTURE OF TNANO

Overall Structure.  TNANO has an Editorial Board and a Senior Editors Panel.

 

Editorial Board.  The Editorial Board is responsible for handling papers, from the time of their submissions, throughout their review, to publication.  It is a three-level system consisting of an Editor-in-Chief (EiC) supported by an Editorial Assistant, a small number (three to five) of Editors, and multiple (on the order of 20 to 30) Associate Editors (AEs).  Editorial Board members are reputable experts with the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to make TNANO the premier engineering journal on nanotechnology.  Their collective expertise covers the major areas of nanotechnology.  While editorial board members normally are members of a IEEE Nanotechnology Council (NTC) sponsoring society, some will be invited to join from outside to encourage submissions on non-traditional topics, and to handle these submissions in a timely fashion and to high quality standards.  These non-IEEE members will be strongly encouraged to join the IEEE, to attend the NTC flagship annual conference, and to submit papers to the conference and the Transactions.

Senior Editors Panel.  The Senior Editors Panel consists of the current EiC, Editors, and the NTC Vice President for Publications. Its responsibilities include evaluating AE candidates, AE one-year checkpoint reviews, Special Issue proposals, and long term strategic planning.

Editor-in-Chief.  The EiC represents the TNANO in the scientific and industrial communities; interfaces with the NTC, IEEE Publications and other units, and other professional organizations; develops the Editorial Board, manages related administrative issues, chairs Editorial Board meetings, and sets long-term visions and strategies; solicits contributions, receives paper submissions, assigns them to Editors, coordinates the review process, and oversees the publication process; resolves conflicts, ensures the smooth functioning of the TNANO, and is responsible for the overall success of TNANO.  The EiC is supported by an Editorial Assistant who handles the administrative and daily operations of the TNANO.  The EiC is appointed to a two-year term, renewable twice.  The EiC is recommended by the current EiC and the NTC Vice President for Publications, and appointed by the NTC President with the concurrence of the NTC AdCom. While not a requirement, the EiC is often selected from those who have served as Editor.

  1.   Editors are the interface between authors and the review process.  The handling Editor of a submitted paper is thus always known from the beginning to the authors.  Editors are required to work closely with AEs to manage papers in their general areas of expertise in a timely fashion and to high quality standards. Target turn-around times are approximately 1 month for Research Letters and 3 months for Regular Papers.  Editor’s tasks include assigning papers to AEs, deciding the dispositions of papers based on AEs’ recommendations and their own evaluations, directly communicating with authors about the decisions and responding to questions that the authors might have, and serving as Editors for Special Issues.  They guarantee fairness, quality, and timeliness of the overall review process, balance the relevance of contributions according to general areas of interests, and resolve conflicts that may occur in the review process.  The workload of an Editor is expected to be around 100 papers per year.  As a member of the Senior Editors Panel, an Editor will have the right and the obligation to evaluate AE candidates, will conduct AE one-year checkpoint reviews, and evaluate Special Issue proposals.  Editors are selected by the Senior Editors Panel, often from present or past AEs to ensure the highest standard of quality and familiarity with procedures.  Editors are appointed by the NTC VP for Publications with the concurrence of the Council’s President, and upon the recommendation of the EiC.  The initial term is for one year. A one-year checkpoint review is conducted by the current EiC and the NTC Vice President for Publications. If the results of this review are positive the term will be extended for two more years without reappointment.  Another one-year extension may be granted in cases of special needs.

Associate Editors.  Associate Editors are the core of the service of TNANO, and are responsible for complete (originality, relevance, technical correctness, paper organization and presentation, references) and fair reviews of papers in a timely fashion, and upholding high quality standards.  Upon the assignment of a paper, an AE should judiciously select three reviewers. (Optionally, securing four reviewers may help increase the likelihood of obtaining three substantial reviews.)  After reviews are obtained, the AE should analyze their ratings and comments, and combine them with AEs’ own comments to prepare a recommendation to the handling Editor.  More will be said below about securing reviewers, the preparation of recommendations, and the associated time frame.  AEs are kept anonymous until the publication of papers, where a footnote is provided identifying the handling AE.  The workload is expected to be around 2 or 3 papers per month.  In a more proactive way, AEs should beat bushes to invite top quality papers and submit their own papers, promote nanotechnology, network with experts in the general nanotechnology areas, and grow professionally within NTC.  Associate Editors are selected by the Senior Editors Panel, and are appointed by the NTC VP for Publications with the concurrence of the Council’s President, and upon the recommendation of the EiC. (This requires By-Laws changes, which have been approved by the ExCom but not yet recorded in the By-Laws.) Their selection is based on scientific quality, international reputation, commitment to service, reliability, and the needs of the Editorial Board.  Geographic distribution over the various IEEE regions is also desirable. It is also important that AE candidates have shown their active involvement in the scientific life of the NTC.  The initial term of an AE is one year. A one-year checkpoint review is conducted by the Senior Editors Panel. If the results of this review are positive the term will be extended for two more years.  While another one-year extension may be granted in cases of special needs, it is normally required that a person take a break for at least a year before serving a second term as an AE.  This is to provide an opportunity for other members of the scientific community to participate in the editorial process and to avoid having the Transactions become a province of a small group of people.

Editorial Board and Senior Editors Panel Meetings.  The Editorial Board and the Senior Editors Panel shall meet once per year, normally in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO, the NTC’s annual conference).  Urgent matters shall be communicated, coordinated, and decided by email.

 

3.    PAPER AND DECISION CATEGORIES

Paper Categories.  TNANO publishes Research Letters, Regular Papers, and Correspondence Items. Research Letters report on important and often time-sensitive results, and must not exceed three printed pages. They are subject to the same thourough review process as regular papers, but receive prioritary treatment. A Research Letter that is accepted without major revisions is expected to be published on the web within 4-6 weeks of its initial submission. Regular Papers normally are 4 to 8 Transaction pages in length, and take longer to process than Research Letters. Manuscripts of a tutorial or review nature are welcome, and treated as Regular Papers. Potential authors of reviews or tutorials are advised to contact the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) before submission, to ensure that the topic is judged timely and desirable by the TNANO Editorial Board. Correspondence Items are short manuscripts, not exceeding two Transaction pages, which typically comment on previously published papers or present preliminary research results of wide interest. Correspondence Items undergo an expedited review process by the Editorial Board, which may solicit external reviews when appropriate.

Decision Categories.  Decision categories include: Accept, Conditionally Accept, Revise and Resubmit, and Reject.  Accept and Reject are straightforward.  For a paper that was Conditionally Accepted, the revised manuscript has to be submitted within 60 days from the date of decision.  It retains the same paper ID number, and the review clock continues without re-start. The AE and Editor in charge may decide to accept the paper without further review if the revisions are straightforward, or send it to an additional review cycle, which should be short. Revise and Resubmit is an encouraging way to say that a paper is rejected in its current form, but may contain publishable results after a major revision.  The authors are encouraged to revise the manuscript based on reviewers’ comments and specific instructions provided by the AE and the Editor.  A Revised and Resubmitted manuscript is assigned a new paper ID number, is treated as a brand new submission, and has to go through a full review process.  The reference to the old paper ID number is provided to facilitate the new review process, and, if possible and desirable, the same set of reviewers will be used as in the initial submission.

 

4. ETHICAL ISSUES, COPYRIGHT AND PAPER SUBMISSION

Ethical Issues

Manuscripts should be original, previously unpublished work not currently submitted to any other publication.  It is the responsibility of the authors, not the IEEE, to determine whether disclosure of their material requires the prior consent of other parties and, if so, to obtain it.  If authors make use of charts, photographs, or other graphical or textual material from previously published material, the authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to use the material in the manuscript.

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.  Self-plagiarism is also unethical.  If authors have used their own previously published work(s) as a basis for a new submission, they are required to cite the previous work(s) and briefly indicate how the new submission offers substantively novel contributions beyond those of the previously published work(s). Extended versions of preliminary papers that have appeared in conference proceedings are acceptable, provided that they satisfy the conditions mentioned just above (i.e., citation and substantial novelty).

Multiple submissions to different journals are unacceptable.  This applies to the entire period in which a paper is under TNANO review.  It is the responsibility of the authors to clearly spell out the differences of their submitted papers with similar content, and any common part should be clearly indicated.  If in doubt, please contact the EiC.

Copyright

It is the policy of the IEEE to own the copyright to the technical contributions it publishes on behalf of the interests of the IEEE, its authors, and their employers; and to facilitate the appropriate reuse of this material by others. To comply with U.S. copyright law, authors are required to complete an IEEE electronic copyright form (ECF) on Manuscript Central (now known as Scholar One) when they submit their manuscripts (after April 2009) or their final package for publication (for earlier papers)—more on this below. This form returns to authors and their employer’s full rights to reuse their material for their own purposes upon request.

Style of Manuscripts and Paper Submission Procedure

1) Paper submission and review are through Manuscript Central (now known as Scholar One) at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tnano . Instructions for authors are provided on-line at the site.

2) A valuable IEEE link for helping authors in their manuscript preparation is the Author Digital Tool Box, at

http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/authors/authors_journals.html .

3) To facilitate review, manuscripts should be submitted with the main document as a single file, with the figures and captions inserted in the text, and preferably using either Adobe pdf or Microsoft Word doc formats. Adobe Postcript format (ps) is also acceptable. Authors are strongly encouraged to read the section titled Preparation of Final Versions of Manuscripts for Publication below, and to pay special attention to figure requirements. Creating acceptable figures may take non-negligible time and slow down the final submission process if the manuscript is accepted. Note that publication-quality figures are not required for manuscript review.

4) Manuscripts should be submitted in a double column format using an IEEE style file. Templates are available in the Author Digital Tool Box at the address given above. (Please note that the format of the template file is correct, but the instructions in the text of the template are partially obsolete.) Regular papers are limited to eight Transactions pages, with mandatory page charges imposed on extra pages (see Page Charges below). Excessively long papers may be rejected without review. Research Letters are limited to three Transactions pages, and Correspondence Items to two.

5) Uploaded information: A cover letter, an abstract (up to 200 words for Regular Papers and 50 words for Research Letters and Correspondence Items), keywords, the type of paper (Regular Paper, Research Letter, or Correspondence Item), and technical area (see above for a list). Please indicate the area in the cover letter as well, and whether the paper is submitted for a special issue or section.

6) All figures must be numbered and cited in the text. Use consistent font and size in all figures and tables, and choose sizes that will allow the text to be scaled to 8 points at final printed size. Otherwise, an entire figure may be enlarged so that the smallest size is scaled to 8 points for readability.

7) References must be in a separate reference section at the end of the paper in IEEE style, with items referred to by numerals in square brackets. For journal articles: Author initials followed by last names, title in quotation marks, periodical, volume, inclusive page numbers, month and year. For books: Author initials followed by last names, title, location, publisher, year, inclusive pages if appropriate. For conference papers: Author initials followed by last names, title in quotation marks, conference, location, month and year, and inclusive page numbers.

8) For a paper that was previously reviewed by TNANO, the old paper number should be included in the cover letter, and a separate response file should be submitted describing how reviewers’ comments were addressed.  Instructions for submitting a response are provided in the Manuscript Central Author Center.

9) If it is felt that a paper is beyond the scope or capability of TNANO, the corresponding author will be notified, usually within one week of submission, by one of Editors or the EiC.

10) Starting in April 2009, an Electronic Copyright Form (ECF) should be included with the submission. Follow the instructions to sign electronically the ECF as provided in the Manuscript Central Author Center. You will receive by e-mail a copy of the signed form. Please keep it because it may be needed if the paper is accepted.

11) If you have difficulties, please contact the Publication Assistant, Allyson King or the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Fabrizio Lombardi.

 

Preparation of Final Versions of Manuscripts for Publication

Authors of accepted papers should submit the final versions for publication through the Manuscript Central system. Detailed information on final file requirements is available in the IEEE Guidelines for Author Supplied Electronic Text and Graphics, at http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs/pubs/transactions/eic-guide.pdf .

1) To submit the final files, log into the Manuscript Central system and go to your Author’s Center. On the left, under My Manuscripts, you will see a list entry labeled Awaiting Final Files. Click on it and the accepted paper will appear under Manuscripts Accepted for Final Submission. The paper record will have a link to Submit Final Files. Click on this link and follow the instructions to upload the files listed below. Make sure that file names are distinct or they will not successfully export to Manuscript Central.

2) An editable document with the text of the manuscript, preferably in Microsoft Word or LaTeX, and including: abstract, index terms, body of the text, footnotes, figure captions, references, and, for Regular Papers, author biographies.

3) Figures, each on a separate file. Acceptable formats are tiff, ps, eps, pdf, and Microsoft ppt, doc or xls. Note that jpeg is acceptable only for the authors’ photos. Figure files should be named with lower-case figure numbers and the appropriate extensions, e.g., fig1.tif, fig2.doc, fig3.ppt. Please verify that the figures are acceptable by using the IEEE Graphics Checker at http://graphicsqc.ieee.org .

4) A pdf version of the complete manuscript, in lieu of a hardcopy. This should have the figures and captions inserted in the text. Production will use this file to ensure that the printed version corresponds exactly to your pdf. It is essential that all fonts be embedded and subsetted in the pdf document for correct reproduction. Detailed instructions and downloads of Adobe Acrobat settings were available at www.ieee.org/confpubcenter but this link has been changed by the IEEE.

5) The final version you supply must include in the first-page footnote (where the affiliations of the authors are listed) the following sentence (without the quotes and replacing “Year” by the current year, e.g., 2009): Copyright (c) Year IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to use this material for any other other purposes must be obtained from the IEEE by sending a request to pubs-permissions@ieee.org . Without this your paper’s publication as a preprint on the web, through IEEE Xplore, will be significantly delayed.

6) For manuscripts submitted before April 2009, after the final files are submitted, click on the Manuscripts with Decisions list item under My Manuscripts. The manuscript you just submitted will appear and will show a link to Transfer Copyright. Click on it to sign electronically the IEEE Electronic Copyright Form (ECF). You will receive by e-mail a copy of the signed form. Please e-mail this form immediately to m.hellrigel@ieee.org and the EiC at . This is important to avoid delays because production will not process a manuscript without a signed ECF. After April 2009, the ECF is signed at the time the original manuscript is submitted. Please keep a copy of the signed ECF, because it may be needed for publication.

7) Authors of accepted papers are invited to submit with the final version of a paper an image or two for potential use in the journal color cover. The images should be accompanied by a one-sentence caption (for the cover) and a longer explanation, as would normally appear in a paper’s figures.

Color on the Web

As a part of IEEE’s ongoing efforts to create tools to make the publication process easier for authors and to reduce costs, IEEE has developed the ability to accept color figures in journals for web-only publication.  That is, an author may now submit a color figure with instructions to use the color for display in IEEE Xplore while publishing a black and white figure in the print issue.  When a color figure is processed for web-only publication, there is no expense associated with the figure; therefore, the author will not be charged for color.  However, color costs will still apply to figures processed for color print publication. The IEEE Publication Office converts the submitted color images to graytone or black and white for harcopy publication. For detailed instructions on the preparation of color images see the guidelines available on line at http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs/pubs/transactions/eic-guide.pdf .

Submission of Multimedia Material 

TNANO is accepting multimedia materials accompanying the submission of a paper.  Multimedia can be “playable” files (.mpeg, .avi, .wav, .mov, .midi, etc.) or “dataset” files (e.g., raw data with programs such as Excel to manipulate them).  Such material is intended to enhance the contents of a paper, both in clarity and in added value.  Please follow IEEE general guidelines for the preparation and submission of multimedia, including the format, description of content, user requirements, the way this material should be referenced to in the body of the paper, etc.  See the documentation under Multimedia Materials in the Author Digital Tool Box at the address listed above.  In addition, TNANO requires that a paper be self-contained, i.e., fully readable and understandable independently from the multimedia material; and only freely available media players (e.g., QuickTime, RealPlayer, Microsoft Windows Media Player) should be required by users.  Multimedia materials should be submitted with a “ReadMe” file describing the minimum requirements for a user, and should contain a brief description of the multimedia content.  The multimedia material will be reviewed together with the submitted paper.  Once a paper and its associated multimedia material is accepted, the latter will be available on the TNANO page within IEEEXplore at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=7729 , back to back with the pdf file of the paper.

Page Charges

A voluntary page charge form ($110/page) is sent to the authors of accepted papers with proofs, and the author is encouraged, whenever possible, to make a contribution to defray part of the publication cost.  Authors receive 100 free reprints if the charge is honored.  A mandatory overlength page charge is imposed on all regular papers whose length exceeds eight Transactions pages, including illustrations.  This charge is $175 per page of each page over the first eight based on the final typeset length and not on manuscript length, and is a prerequisite for publication.

 

5.    OPERATING PROCEDURES

Paper Handling.  IEEE journals have a highly structured and efficient review process. The publication policies and procedures are available online in the Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual at http://www.ieee.org/ documents/opsmanual.pdf . For TNANO, after a paper of any category is received, it is given a Paper ID.  It is routed to an Editor on the basis of the area indicated by the author. The handling Editor then assigns it to an appropriate Associate Editor, who in turn recruits reviewers.  The Associate Editor is asked to read the paper, assimilate the reviews, and make his/her recommendation to the handling Editor.  The Editor then analyzes the recommendation and the reviews, makes the final decision, and communicates with the Corresponding Authors.  Although most decisions are consistent with the AEs’ recommendations, this is not always the case.  The Editors also serve as trainers for the AEs, and interact with new AEs on quality of the reviews and their interpretation. Research Letters are subject to the same thourough review process as regular papers, but receive prioritary treatment. Correspondence Items are also given Paper IDs, but are normally reviewed internally, although outside reviews may be solicited if that is deemed appropriate.  The target durations for these various steps are as follows.

Regular Papers:

Assignment of a paper to an Editor: automatic, upon paper submission.
Assignment of a paper by the Editor to an AE: one week.
Assignment of a paper by the AE to reviewers: 2 weeks.
Reviewers: 4 weeks.
Recommendation from AE to Editor: 2 weeks.
Decision by Editor: 1 week.
Total: 10 weeks.

Research Letters:

Assignment of a Research Letter to an Editor: automatic, upon paper submission.
Assignment of a Research Letter by the Editor to an AE: 3 days.
Assignment of a Research Letter by the AE to reviewers: 5 days.
Reviewers: 10 days.
Recommendation from AE to Editor: 5 days.
Decision by Editor: 3 days.
Total: 26 days.

Assigning a Paper to an Editor.  The assignment of a paper to an Editor is done automatically based on the area declared by the author at submission time. Papers with no declared area or with “other” selected as area are assigned to one of the Editors. (Hopefully this will happen infrequently.) The revised version of a conditionally accepted or revised and resubmitted paper is assigned to the original Editor, who knows well the amount of changes to the original paper that were needed and therefore can also set locally a deadline for the AE in case his/her intervention is needed.

Editor Assigning a Paper to an AE.  In assigning a paper to an AE, the handling Editor should consider AEs’ primary and secondary areas of expertise and workload.  Although authors normally select the area that best characterizes their papers, the selection may not be perfect and a paper may not lie within an AE’s main areas of expertise, especially for papers on new topics or interdisciplinary papers.  In addition, an Editor does not necessarily read an entire paper before assigning it to an AE and abstracts and index terms may be misleading. A resubmitted paper is usually assigned to the original AE since the authors have revised the paper in compliance with his/her recommendation.

Immediate Rejection. If a paper is out of scope, unreadable, or does not meet our minimum criterion for technical substance, the Editor may reject it immediately, or the AE may recommend immediate rejection to the Editor, without further review. The AE may write a review and send it to the Editor, who then writes a rejection letter to the authors.  By not assigning the paper to reviewers, this would save reviewers’ time for future papers.  The practice, however, should be used judiciously.

Securing Reviewers.  When a paper is assigned to an AE by an Editor, the AE has three workdays to decline in view of heavy workload (e.g., “already handling too many papers”) or if the topic is out of the AE’s primary and secondary areas of expertise. For papers not immediately rejected (see above), the AE should glance over the paper to roughly understand what the paper is about, its potential contributions, who are the leading experts in the topic area, etc.  The AE should secure three reviewers per paper and get their agreement to review the paper by showing them the abstract, and request that the reviews be sent back within a given period of time (4 weeks for Regular Papers and 10 days for Research Letters).  Selecting appropriate reviewers is critical to having a timely review process and high quality.  Candidate reviewers may include leading researchers in the topic area, colleagues who are familiar with the topic, authors of papers on the reference list, and authors of relevant papers that have been previously accepted.  A good mix of senior and junior reviewers is desirable as they provide reviews from different perspectives and at different levels of detail, and a mix of reviewers from different geographical regions is also desirable.  A key idea to secure reviewers is to align the interest of reviewers with ours: the paper is on a topic that they would really like to see or to say something about.  Having reviewers who are interested in going over the manuscript would alleviate the need of repeated sending of reminding messages, and avoid the need for AEs to write detailed comments themselves to supplement shallow and not-to-the-point reviews.  Generally, it is not recommended to ask other AEs to be reviewers unless they are directly involved in the subject matter, and it is not recommended either for the handling AE to serve as a reviewer.  On the contrary, AEs should constantly look for new reviewers whom they may not know personally.  The Web is a powerful tool for doing this, e.g., using IEEEXplore ( http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/DynWel.jsp ) to identify relevant researchers, and then using search engines such as Yahoo or Google to locate their institutions and email addresses. Manuscript Central also has useful facilities for searching for reviewers within the AE Center and AEs should familiarize themselves with such facilities.

Content of a Good Review.  The following are suggested questions requiring reviewers to comment:

  •      Does the introduction state the purpose of the paper?
  •      Is the literature review complete?
  •      Is the paper technically sound?  If not, why not?
  •      Does the author explain the intellectual merit of the method?
  •      Does the author explain the significance of the results?
  •      What is the overall contribution of the paper?
  •      Are the references relevant and complete?  Supply missing references.
  •      Is the paper clearly written and well organized?
  •      If the paper is too long, how can it be shortened?

Also ask reviewers to provide any information to authors that will be useful in revision, in enhancing the appeal of the paper, or in convincing them of the mistakes.  Reviews should be specific.  If the results are already known, references to earlier papers that contain these or similar results should be provided.  If the reasoning is incorrect or vague, where and why should be specifically indicated.  If the paper should be rewritten, specific suggestions should be given regarding which parts to delete, amplify, or modify.  To avoid confusion, the reviewer’s specific acceptance or rejection recommendation should not be included in the comments to the author.  Sometimes papers are passed on to senior graduate students for review.  Some excellent reviews may result from this.  It is important, though, that the quality and professionalism of the review be maintained, and the originally assigned reviewer should check the review personally before submitting.

Double Submissions.  The submission system states clearly that an author that submits a paper to TNANO represents that the paper is original, previously unpublished, and not being considered for publication by any other journal.  TNANO will not consider papers that are under review or have been accepted by another journal.  If a reviewer reported that he/she recently reviewed the same or a similar paper by the same set of authors for a different journal, the AE should report the case to the handling Editor with information as detailed and specific as possible.  The Editor should then verify with the corresponding author and possibly with the EiC of the other journal.  If the paper is indeed under review by the other journal, then the paper shall be rejected, and the authors should be warned that this is an unacceptable practice.  Otherwise, the review process should proceed as normal.

AE Recommendation Letters.  When reviews are due, reviewers will need to be reminded.  This is normally done automatically by Manuscript Central. Depending on the tightness of time, the AE may want to wait for more reviews or act immediately.  In any case, the AE should be able to act after receiving two solid and consistent reviews.  Combining reviewers’ comments and AE’s own reading of the paper, the recommendation should be impartial, to-the-point, and constructive.  In the recommendation, the AE is asked to provide a general summary of the paper, the recommended disposition (accept, conditionally accept, revise and resubmit, or reject), the analysis of reviews, justification of the recommendation, and the specifics that the authors should follow in a revision.  AEs need to be very specific about reviewers’ comments, and clearly indicate which comments must be fully addressed, and which only need to be discussed.  If the paper should be cut short, the indication of which parts to cut, and on how the paper should be re-organized for better reading should be given.  The AE may also want to comment on the relevance of the problem, the adequacy of simulations, numerical testing, or experiments, the clarity in conveying the contributions, etc.  It is important to justify the recommendation since the authors may come back to argue against specific points.  In preparing the recommendation, AEs should be aware that the material will be processed by the Editor before going to the authors.  In doing so, anonymity of the reviewers and of the AE will be preserved.  After the decision is made by the Editor, the Editor’s decision, the AE’s recommendation, and the comments by the anonymous reviewers should be made available to all the reviewers.

Editor Decision Letters.  Based on the reviews, AE’s recommendation, and Editor’s own reading of a paper, the Editor decides the disposition of the paper and communicates with the Corresponding Author.  The Editor needs to justify the decision, gives specific revision instructions, and provides resubmission information as appropriate – the authors should not just submit a revised manuscript, but should also state how the comments were addressed in a separate response file, and the deadline for resubmission for a conditionally accepted paper is 60 days from the date of the decision.  The identity of the reviewers should be kept strictly confidential, and the AE should also remain anonymous until the publication of the paper where a footnote is provided identifying the AE.  Generally the acceptance rate is expected to be around 30%.

Handling Resubmitted Papers.  Conditionally Accepted papers have to be resubmitted within 60 days from the date of decision.  Depending on the decision made during the previous review cycle, a revised paper may be reviewed by the Editor only, by the Editor and the AE only, or also using one or two reviewers of the previous cycle, typically those who have special requests.  The review cycle is generally fast (a few weeks).  The resubmission of a Revise and Resubmit paper is not bounded by the 60 day limit.  The same original Editor and Associate Editor are usually selected, and the paper has to go through a full review cycle preferably using the old reviewers, but possibly with a few new ones.  For both Conditionally Accepted and Revise and Resubmit papers, authors should provide a separate document detailing the list of changes and how the previous comments were addressed.

Monthly Load Report.  A Monthly Load Report is issued at the end of each month by the EiC and the Editorial Assistant on the status of papers currently under review.  The report (in the format of an Excel sheet) is sent to all current members of the Editorial Board, to Guest Editors of Special Issues in process, and to past-term Editorial Board members with assigned papers still in review.  The Excel sheet includes Paper ID, date of manuscript submission, the name of the assigned AE, the name of the handling Editor, and the status of the paper within the Review Cycle.  Included also within the Load Report are the resubmitted papers that were conditionally accepted in the previous review round.  Upon receiving the Monthly Load Report, all Editors, AEs, and Guest Editors should check if there is anything that is not consistent with their own records.  AEs should work with reviewers on papers that were assigned to an Editor more than 90 days ago, and try to wrap them up within the following two weeks.  Editors should prepare their decision letters as soon as possible for papers on which the AE recommendation is already available.  Note that only papers either still in the review process or that have not yet had a final decision by an Editor are listed in the Load Report.  If a paper is authored by a member of the Editorial Board, our privacy policy dictates that the paper be listed under the Editor’s name rather than under the AE’s name.

Special Issues.  TNANO encourages the publication of Special Issues.  A proposal for a Special Issue should be submitted to the EiC, with a well-articulated unifying theme that reflects the best work in a particular area of significant importance.  Typically, the topics of Special Issues are either areas that are just reaching significant maturity, or important emerging areas in which research is likely to be significantly helped by the publication of a collection of excellent papers.  Special Issues also serve to show the community that the Transactions welcomes papers in an area in which it has not previously published significantly, and therefore attract future papers in that area. A Special Issue proposal should indicate why the theme is appropriate, who are the guest editors and their qualifications, how many papers are expected, which papers will be invited, which authors and groups will be encouraged to contribute, and other information that may be judged helpful for the proposal review. The proposals are reviewed and approved by the Senior Editors Panel.  The editorial procedures are generally the same as those for regular issues except that Guest Editors may play the role of AEs. A TNANO Editor will be assigned to carry out the standard Editor’s functionalities, ensuring that the TNANO standards of quality and operating procedures are followed. Some of the TNANO AEs usually participate in a Special Issue processing as well. A proposal for a Special Issue may end up only as a Special Section if the number of accepted papers is not sufficient to warrant an issue.

 

6.    BEST PAPER AWARD

At the beginning of each year, T-NANO selects a paper that appeared in the Transactions during the previous calendar year for its Best Paper Award.  Candidate papers are nominated by members of the Editorial Board, and the nomination process is simple: Just let the Editorial Assistant know the paper title, authors, issue number, and page numbers.  The Editorial Assistant will then compile the reviewers’ comments, AE’s recommendation, and Editors’ decisions from file.  Evaluation is done by members of the Senior Editors Panel, with criteria including technical merit, originality, potential impact on the field, clarity of presentation, and practical significance for applications.  The award includes a certificate for each of the co-authors, and a check of $1000 to be divided among the co-authors.  The award is presented at the Award Ceremony at the annual IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology.

Background

This yearly award will be made starting in 2017 for the best paper published in TNANO in 2016.

Award Procedure

The award will be given in year X+1 for papers published in year X. To select the best TNANO paper published in year X a three step procedure is in place:

1. Candidate Paper Pool Selection

A paper candidate pool will be formed out of:

  •      3 papers selected by the TNANO EiC and AEiC out of the 12 articles-in-focus of year X.
  •      Each senior editor can nominate one paper out of the papers he/she handled over year X.

2. Best Paper Selection Procedure

  •      Each member of the TNANO Editorial Board active in year X can cast a vote.
  •      EiC and AEiC do not vote.
  •      The paper with the absolute majority of casted votes is selected for the award.
  •      If no majority is reached, a second voting round is required as ballot between the top two contenders.

3. Voting Infrastructure

An AE vote should be send to the EiC and AEiC (note that the EIC/AEIC do not vote).

TNANO Best Paper Award

  •      A IEEE plaque.
  •      A check of 1000 US$.
  •      Only one award per year.

Award Ceremony

  •      The year X TNANO Award will be given at year X+1 IEEE Nano Conference.
  •      Complementary IEEE Nano registration will be given to one author (preferably the 1st one) of the awarded paper.
  •      The award is contingent upon at least an author coming to the ceremony; the award will be officially announced to the TNANO readership only following the ceremony and to the in-person attendance of at least one author. Failure to attend the ceremony will automatically revoke the award.

7.    THINGS TO WATCH

Conflict of Interest.  Conflict of interest should be avoided by not asking a person to review a paper who was a student/advisor of one of the authors; who has collaborated with one of the authors within the past four years on a project or co-authored a paper; who works in the same institution as one of the authors; or who has had a public disagreement with one of the authors within the past four years.  Such an issue should be clarified when securing reviewers.  Similarly, when an AE (or an Editor) is assigned a paper with which he/she has a conflict of interest as described above, he/she should let the Editor (respectively, the EiC) know the situation and request that the paper be re-assigned.

Handling of Manuscripts Authored by Publications Volunteers. In handling of manuscript reviews, no one can acquire unauthorized access to privileged information. Manuscripts submitted by editors and other publication volunteers are handled by other members of the editorial board. The identities of reviewers for papers authored by editors or other publication volunteers are unauthorized privileged information for the authors, and cannot be accessed by them. Reports and recommendations for volunteer-authored papers, when submitted to the author, omit the names and other identifying information for reviewers. Authors who are editors or other publication volunteers are not authorized to access in electronic publication management systems any data which contain reviewers’ information related to their submissions. These restrictions are automatically enforced by the Manuscript Central system, or manually by the Editor in charge of a manuscript (or by the EiC when an Editor is an author). See also the Conflict of Interest section just above.

Intellectual Property Rights.  IEEE Policy requires that members of the Editorial Board and reviewers treat the contents of papers under review as privileged information not to be disclosed to others before publication.  It is expected that no one with access to a paper under review will make any inappropriate use of the special knowledge gained by the access to the paper.  If a member of the Editorial Board is very much interested in the work, the correct procedure is to directly communicate with the author (as a researcher, not as a member of the Editorial Board) and check if he/she has recent results on a particular topic, and if he/she is willing to share the results.

Communication Protocol.  Efficient communication among members of the Editorial Board is important.  Upon receiving a request, please respond as soon as possible, even during a trip.  If additional time is needed to provide an answer, the right protocol is to respond immediately with a message informing the inquirer when to expect the answer.  Don’t leave the loop open for too long.

Reporting Difficulties Early.  If difficulties arise in finding appropriate reviewers, in getting a review from a particular reviewer who already agreed to review a paper, having too many papers to handle, or having a family emergency or major professional commitment (e.g., eight months before a major conference for which a major responsibility is involved), Editorial Board members should report the difficulties to Editors and the EiC at an appropriate stage.  It is much better to anticipate and report difficulties and obtain help than to simply stop communication while letting papers pile up for major disasters to occur.  Similarly, if plagiarism is identified, report the case to the handling Editor and the EiC with specific supporting documentation.

 

8.    CONCLUDING REMARKS

Beat the Bushes.  (This is not a political statement) As TNANO is a relatively new journal, and the competition for good papers is intense, we need to beat the bushes to invite top quality papers.  Courses of action may include sending current Calls for Papers to our colleagues via email, bringing printed copies of the CFPs to conferences, posting our full-color flyer at conferences and exhibits, and making personal requests to colleagues for submissions (without guarantee of acceptance).  Authors of good or award-winning papers from relevant conferences, symposia, or workshops should be encouraged to upgrade their papers and submit them to TNANO.  Please also submit your own good papers.

The Roles of the Editorial Board.  With the advance of the Internet, everyone can post his/her papers on the web.  The value of a journal is no longer for dissemination of information only.  Rather, the more important aspect is the Seal of Approval for quality.  Consequently, enhancing the quality of a journal is more important than ever.  Members of the Editorial Board play a key role in this process.  It is, therefore, important for us to have a service mentality for quality and timeliness.  Our responsibilities are not just for the acceptance or rejection of papers, but for improving paper quality by having a constructive and cultivating review process for better papers as the end product.  It is our goal to establish TNANO as the flagship and most cited engineering journal devoted to nanotechnology by publishing original, significant, and visionary papers describing theory, experiments and new applications.  The enthusiasm and dedication of the members of the Editorial Board will be key factors in achieving this goal.

Inquiries

Our home page is at http://tnano.org (http://sites.ieee.org/tnano/)

All technical correspondence relating to manuscripts should be sent to the Editor handling the manuscript or to the EiC:

Professor Fabrizio Lombardi, Editor in Chief

lombardi@ece.neu.edu

For Administrative inquiries, please contact

Allyson King, Publication Assistant:

aking@allenpress.com