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Most manuscripts considered for publication by TAES are “contributed” rather than “invited”: they are submitted at the authors’ discretion. TAES does not publish Special Issues due to the bi-monthly publication cycle. However, occasionally Special Sections on a particular topic share an issue with the regular papers. An example of this is the Special Section on Spectrum Sharing in the June 2019 issue. The standards for a Special Section are high. This document gives the policy for Special Sections and offers advice on making an effective proposal.
Special Section Life Cycle
- A group interested in organizing a Special Section begins by submitting a proposal to the Editor-in-Chief. Detailed submission instructions are listed below. The Editor-in-Chief along with other editors and the AESS Vice-President for Publications evaluate the proposal and accept or reject the proposal.
- In the event of acceptance of the proposal, a call-for-papers is created and distributed by AESS and by the organizers.
- Authors submitting manuscripts in response to the Special Section Call for Papers must do so using Scholar One’s Manuscripts (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/taes). A special topical area for the Special Section is created for these submissions.
- The Senior Editor in whose area the Special Section belongs, coordinates the assignment of Associate Editors to manage the reviews of the submission. In most cases, the organizers serve as guest editors at the Associate Editor level to help with the increased editorial workload.
- Manuscripts must meet the same standards as other regular TAES submissions. It is expected that most submissions are regular papers (as opposed to correspondence items or letters). The reviews follow the normal TAES routine, and several rounds of reviews are to be expected. A Special Section submission is not exempt from IEEE’s plagiarism rules and is held to the same standards for original, unpublished work that is not under consideration elsewhere as regular contributions. Submissions based on conference articles must meet the requirements published in Section 8.1.7.F of the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual.
- Special Section submissions accepted for publications are published together in the same TAES issue. Consequently, a Special Section is not published until a final decision is reached on all Special Section submissions. All manuscripts published in a Special Section must be approved for publication within one year of the submission date. Submissions that do not have a final decision by the one-year deadline are subject to cancellation. It is not uncommon to drop manuscripts from the Special Section to meet this deadline. Special Sections submissions that are dropped from the Special Section but are later accepted for publication are published as regular submissions to TAES.
- The Special Section organizers may write an accompanying Guest Editorial describing and introducing the Special Section. The Guest Editorial appears just before the papers accepted for the Special Section.
Procedure for Submitting a Special Section Proposal
- A group interested in organizing a Special Section begins by submitting a proposal to the Editor-in-Chief. The Special Section proposal must contain the following information:
a. Proposed title of the Special Section.
b. Name, contact information, and short biography of all organizers. The biography should emphasize the organizers’ expertise in relation to the special section topic.
c. A paragraph explaining the subject of the proposed Special Section and the technical area that is the best match for the Special Section. A list of the TAES technical areas and their descriptions is available at https://ieee-aess.org/node/88 A second paragraph should be included to provide the motivation for publication of the proposed Special Section at this time.
d. A realistic timeline for submission, review, and publication. The schedule must include at least two review cycles.
e. A Call for Papers. A TAES Special Section is open to all and not restricted only to those invited by the organizer.
- The proposal is evaluated by a committee formed from the AESS Editorial Board. This committee includes the Editor-in-Chief, the Associate Editors-in-Chief, the Senior Editor in whose area the Special Section belongs, and the AESS Vice President for Publications. The evaluation criteria include
a. The appropriateness of the proposed topic with respect to the TAES scope.
b. Timeliness of the topic.
c. The standing and reputation of the organizers in the AESS community.
d. Justification for the Special Section based on current trends in the topic.
- Committee evaluation may result in recommendations for improving the Special Section Proposal. Organizers should be prepared to incorporate such feedback in preparing a revised proposal for consideration.
IEEE policy defining the relationship between previously published conference articles and journal article submissions removes from consideration Special Sections comprising republication of the “best” papers from a recent conference. Even if the concept for the Special Section originates from the top papers from a conference related to the TAES scope, the articles appearing in the Special Section cannot be restricted solely to expanded versions of the conference articles. The Call for Papers must be completely open.
The justification for the Special Section must include convincing evidence that the subject of the proposed Special Section is a “hot topic” and would be of interest to current TAES readership. The simple fact a conference has just concluded or published its proceedings is not sufficient.
The organizing committee does not have to include a current TAES editor. Including a TAES editor helps strengthen the proposal in two ways: (1) Logistics–a TAES editor is familiar with the submission, review, and decision process; (2) Scope–a TAES editor could help better describe the position of the Special Section proposal within the larger TAES scope. Again, inclusion of a TAES editor is not mandatory, but helpful. The organizing committee should also include those who have published regularly in TAES.