Tips for Scientific Publishing

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Learn the latest news and tips with the Authors@IEEE Newsletter, produced monthly by IEEE.  Sign up to receive the newsletter in your email each month by entering your email address in the Subscribe field of the Author Tools panel or by emailing authors@ieee.org.  Previous newsletters are archived below.

July 2017

IEEE Journals Continue to Excel in Citation Rankings
Each year, the Journal Citation Reports® (JCR) from Clarivate Analytics examines the influence and impact of scholarly research journals. The JCR reveals the relationship between citing and cited journals, offering a systematic, objective means to evaluate the world’s leading journals. The 2016 JCR, released in June 2017, indicates that IEEE journals continue to maintain rankings
at the top of their fields in the Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, and Article Influence metrics. Check out top journal rankings in IEEE’s technical areas.

Simplify How You Format Your Article with IEEE Article Templates
IEEE makes submission easy with article templates that are available in Word and LaTeX formats. Most publications use the Transactions template, but a few have their own unique versions. Save time and effort by using an article template for your next IEEE submission.

Increase Research Exposure: Share Your Article’s Code
IEEE and Code Ocean have partnered to provide a way to increase exposure—and reproducibility—of articles in IEEE Xplore®. Upload your article’s associated code to Code Ocean so IEEE Xplore users can discover, view, edit, and execute the code using any Web browser. Listen to this short webinar or view an example in IEEE Xplore.

June 2017

Free Webinars from IEEE
You might be interested in the following webinars being offered by IEEE:

  • Bibliometrics on 27 June 2017, 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT. This one-hour online course explores the appropriate and ethical use of bibliometric indicators such as the Impact Factor, the Eigenfactor, the Article Influence Score, the Scimago Journal Rank, and the Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP). Presented by Dr. Gianluca Setti, professor of engineering at the University of Ferrara, Italy, and member, IEEE Publications, Services, and Products Board.
  • Enhance Your Article: Share Your Code via Code Ocean on 28 June 2017, 10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT. This one-hour online training provides IEEE authors with an overview of the partnership IEEE has in place with Code Ocean—a cloud-based executable research platform that allows authors to upload, share and run their code. This partnership allows readers of IEEE Xplore articles that contain associated code linked to the article the ability to execute the code in the cloud without any special hardware or setup. Spend an hour with us to learn more about how you can enhance your article. Presented by Simon Adar, Code Ocean.
  • Publishing Your Article in a Journal on 18 July 2017, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. This one-hour course covers why publishing is important, the article structure, ethical issues in publishing, peer review, and how IEEE can help. Presented by John Vig, VP, Publications, IEEE UFFC Society.

Coming soon:

  • Reviewing an Article
  • Producing and Promoting Your Article
  • Unleashing the Power of IEEE Collabratec & the AuthorLab

IEEE Launches New Website for Authors
IEEE Publishing Operations is happy to announce the release of a brand new website for authors. The IEEE Author Center is a comprehensive source of up-to-date guidance for journal authors. The new site provides streamlined web resources for authors and is easily viewed on a mobile device. It is designed to be user-friendly, intuitive, and transparent. Visit and bookmark http://ieeeauthorcenter.ieee.org/ today.

10% Off English Language Editing at American Journal Experts
IEEE authors are eligible for a 10% discount at American Journal Experts, an English language editing service that can help you refine the language of your article and reduce the risk of rejection without review. Visit AJE today to learn more.

Create Compelling Images for Your Article
A good graphical representation of your data is an eye-catching and effective way to communicate with the reader. Keep these tips in mind when creating images:

  • Determine what message you want to convey with your image and then how you can best convey that message.
  • Provide all information necessary for the reader to understand the image, including a title, caption, and properly labeled axes. Any abbreviations used in the image should be spelled out in the caption.
  • Avoid any formatting or axis manipulation that could lead the reader to misinterpret the data. For example, not starting the y-axis at zero may give a false impression of the plotted data.
  • If you have a series of charts, try to make comparisons easy by using the same formatting and scale, if appropriate.
  • Try to avoid relying solely on color to convey meaning, as this can be difficult for colorblind readers to understand. Shading or fill marks can accomplish the same task on a graph; an arrow or circle to highlight a particular area may be appropriate for a photo.
  • Keep the image as simple and uncluttered as possible, without unnecessary formatting.

May 2017

Free Webinars from IEEE
You might be interested in the following webinars being offered by IEEE:

  • From the Proceedings of the IEEE team: Advanced Technologies for Brain Research on 6 June 2017, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EDT (GMT-04:00). Speakers: Metin Akay (University of Houston), Paul Sajda (Columbia University), Silvestro Misera (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne), and Jose M. Carmena (University of California Berkeley). This webinar provides an opportunity to hear from leading experts about the current challenges and future opportunities in these exciting interdisciplinary fields. Participants will also have a chance to interact with the presenters during the Q&A session. The webinar complements a special issue published by the Proceedings. You can find more information about the issue and the webinars on the journal’s website at http://proceedingsoftheieee.ieee.org.
  • From IEEE Author Engagement: Publishing Your Article in a Journal on 18 July 2017, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT (GMT-04:00). This course covers why publishing is important, the article structure, ethical issues in publishing, peer review, and how IEEE can help. Presented by John Vig, VP, Publications, UFFC Society.

Coming soon:

  • Reviewing an Article
  • Producing and Promoting Your Article
  • Bibliometrics
  • Unleashing the Power of IEEE Collabratec & the AuthorLab
  • Enhance Your Article: Share Your Code via Code Ocean

Ensure the Quality of Your Images: Use the IEEE Graphics Analyzer
Check the quality of your images before you submit your article by using the IEEE Graphics Analyzer, a free online tool available to you.

The tool features a “drag and drop” or “browse” option that allows you to select files to be checked against the latest IEEE Graphics Guidelines. The analysis is run and a detailed report lets you know if any of the files you analyzed do not meet IEEE guidelines. Links are provided to the IEEE Support Center where you will find information about how to fix common problems with image files. For further assistance, authors may also contact IEEE Graphics Staff at graphics@ieee.org.

Help Readers Find Your Article
Most readers find articles by using a search engine. Facilitate the discoverability of your work by using some search engine optimization (SEO) techniques when writing your article.

  • Think of some industry-standard keywords and phrases that you would use in a search engine to find your topic. Sprinkle those keywords throughout your article’s title, abstract, and main text, but make sure the language flows naturally. Be careful not to repeat the keyword too often.
  • Keep your title short but specific. Avoid extra or unnecessary words such as “novel method.”
  • Concisely state the results of your research in the abstract.
  • Ensure your reference list is accurate and includes the cited articles’ DOIs when possible.
  • Once your article is published, link to it from social media, networking sites, and your institution’s site.

April 2017

Share Your Algorithms in IEEE Xplore® through Code Ocean
IEEE and Code Ocean have partnered to enable authors to upload, share, and run their algorithms on the Code Ocean platform, accessible through IEEE Xplore. Upload your code today for any new or previously published IEEE articles for free. Learn more about IEEE’s algorithm sharing via Code Ocean and view an example in IEEE Xplore.

Submission Cover Letter Tips
Don’t miss the opportunity to speak directly to the journal’s Editor with a tailored submission cover letter.  A good cover letter can pique the Editor’s interest and help him or her find the best reviewers for your article.

Here are some tips on writing an effective cover letter:

  • Include the article’s title and list of authors but don’t copy and paste other text directly from your article.
  • Provide a short summary in 3-5 sentences of your research question and key results of your article without going into too much technical detail.  
  • Briefly describe why your research results are important to the wider community and why your article is a good fit for this journal.
  • If this article is an expanded version of a previously published conference article, be sure to indicate that in the cover letter.  Include the full citation to the published conference article and explain how the present submission differs from the conference article.
  • If your article was previously rejected from another journal, indicate this in the cover letter and explain what changes you made between the rejection and the new submission.  

IEEE is a Wellcome-Compliant Publisher
Wellcome Trust, a biomedical research funder, requires its grantees to publish their research open access with a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).  As a Wellcome-compliant publisher, IEEE supports Wellcome Trust authors by providing a variety of open access options and offering a CC BY licensing option.  IEEE will also deposit the final version of the article in PubMed Central immediately upon issue publication without any embargo period.  Learn more about Wellcome Trust at https://wellcome.ac.uk.

Updated Graphics Guidelines
Check out our newly updated guidelines on creating and submitting graphics to accompany your article. The guidelines address file formats and compression, image quality, color printing, and more.

March 2017

Select the Right Publication for Your Article
Some articles are rejected before peer review because they do not fit within the publication’s scope. Select the right publication the first time by using the IEEE Publication Recommender to get customized recommendations for your article. Other suggestions for identifying your target publication include:

  • Conduct a keyword search on IEEE Xplore® for a list of publications with similar content.
  • Look at the publications cited in your references.
  • Talk to colleagues and co-authors.
  • Read the Aims & Scope of your potential target to ensure your article is a good fit; Aims & Scope can be found in the About tab of the publication’s home page on IEEE Xplore.

Enhance Your Article with a Graphical Abstract
Capture a reader’s attention with a graphical abstract for your article.  A graphical abstract is a concise, illustrative reflection of the content of your article that can be in image, video, or audio format.  Graphical abstracts are peer reviewed along with the article and, if accepted, are published in IEEE Xplore.  View an example and then see our guidelines on how to create a graphical abstract for your next article.

Have You Visited the AuthorLab Lately?
The AuthorLab community in IEEE Collabratec is a free and fast-growing forum on publishing with IEEE. In the AuthorLab you can connect with fellow authors and IEEE staff, share ideas, or join in discussions such as:

February 2017

Code Ocean is Live! Upload Your Algorithm
Authors can now use the Code Ocean platform to upload their algorithms (and associated data files) to the cloud. Other users will be able to run the algorithms, modify them, and test the modifications. (The published algorithms will remain unchanged.) This additional interactivity allows users an efficient way to play with the code and understand it better.

Preparing Graphics for Your Article
Graphics such as diagrams, line graphs, or flowcharts can help readers make sense of your article’s data. Learn more about preparing high-quality graphics for publication in an IEEE journal from our newly updated list of Frequently Asked Questions, and then check your graphic files for compliance with the IEEE Graphics Analyzer. Further questions about graphics can be directed to the IEEE Graphics Help Desk at graphics@ieee.org.

Responding to Reviewers
Most authors are asked to revise their submitted article at least once before publication. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Appreciate the opportunity to improve
It’s very easy to feel defensive or discouraged when you receive a long list of suggested edits from reviewers. View the suggestions in a positive light as opportunities to improve your article before publication. The reviewers and the editor have invested significant time in your article in order to help you improve it for the scientific community at large.

Respond to every comment
Copy all of the reviewers’ suggestions from the decision letter into a new file and separate them into individual suggestions. This is the basis for your response to reviewers, which will be submitted with your revised article. Read each suggestion carefully, implement the appropriate change in your article, and then explain your changes in the response to reviewers document just below the original suggestion. This will help the reviewers and the editor determine what changes you have made. Keep your responses professional, factual, and concise.

If you disagree with a reviewer’s suggestion, in the response to reviewers document, state that you have not implemented the suggestion and provide your reasons for not doing so. The editor may accept your explanation.

Read it again before resubmitting
Set aside the revised article and the response to reviewers and then return and fully read them both again. You may find additional edits when reading through the documents with fresh eyes. Resubmit to the journal once you are satisfied with the revised article and the response to reviewers.

IEEE Collabratec Goes Mobile with a New App
Download the free app through the Apple App Store or Google Play to take advantage of key features that will help you stay connected to your network. The IEEE Collabratec app helps you:

  • Create, upload, and view documents in your library
  • Connect, network, and collaborate with others
  • View and participate in private groups and communities like the AuthorLab

“The messaging features allow me to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in my private groups as they work to develop white papers and blogs,” said Jared Bielby, an IEEE member and IEEE Collabratec user.

January 2017

Writing a Good Abstract
Researchers and readers often consult an article’s abstract to determine whether the article fits their interests and merits further reading. Consequently, your abstract is a key component of your article that requires careful writing and editing. It should be a microcosm of your entire article.

Your abstract should:

  • Provide a concise summary of the research conducted, the conclusions reached, and the potential implications of those conclusions
  • Be self-contained, without abbreviations, footnotes, references, or mathematical equations
  • Include 3-5 keywords or phrases that describe the research to help readers find your article
  • Consist of a single paragraph of 250 words or less
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, with correct grammar and unambiguous terminology

Although the abstract is at the beginning of a published article, most authors write the abstract last and edit it multiple times before article publication to ensure that the abstract captures the entire article.

Peer Review at IEEE
Did you know that 91% of journal authors think that the peer review process improved the quality of their article? Learn more about what peer review is, why it’s important, and how it works on the Peer Review at IEEE page.

Spotting a Predatory Conference
Predatory conferences—fabricated meetings without established society sponsorship that seek to make money rather than foster intellectual conversations—are becoming more common and harder to distinguish from legitimate conferences. Spam emails from predatory conferences often include:

  • Incorrect or non-standard spelling and grammar
  • Exaggerated and grandiose descriptions of attendance and scope
  • Unfamiliar sponsoring society
  • Urgent request for a reply

Avoid becoming a victim of predatory conferences by thoroughly investigating any unfamiliar conference or society sponsor before registering. Learn more and contribute your own thoughts to the discussion on predatory conferences in the IEEE Collabratec AuthorLab.

December 2016

Introducing IEEE DataPort™
IEEE has launched its own data repository called IEEE DataPort. Currently available for use at no cost, authors and researchers can take advantage of several benefits.

IEEE DataPort:

  • Accepts datasets up to 2TB in size and can accept multiple file uploads
  • Is fully integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to facilitate data analysis
  • Provides a persistent Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for each uploaded dataset

Easy-to-use built-in instructions are available online at ieee-dataport.org. Log in with your IEEE Account to load your datasets. IEEE Accounts are free. To access other datasets, you will be asked to become an IEEE DataPort subscriber. Use coupon code Dataport1 for access to a free IEEE DataPort subscription. In addition to IEEE DataPort, there are three other data repositories IEEE recommends:

Authors can work directly with one of them for obtaining a DOI and/or URL for linking their data. Fees are solely the responsibility of the author and submission requirements are per that data repository provider’s guidelines.

Coming Soon: View and Run Algorithms in the IEEE Xplore® Digital Library
Beginning in 2017, IEEE authors will have the option to upload their algorithms to a new service called Code Ocean. IEEE Xplore users will be able to view and run these algorithms. Read more about this upcoming feature in this Code Ocean announcement (PDF, 383 KB).

Refresh Your LaTeX Skills
Improve your LaTeX skills with a free and interactive course from Overleaf, an online LaTeX and Rich Text collaborative writing tool with an easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface, real-time collaboration, and automatic compilation of the final typeset article, right in your browser. The course is divided into three parts:

Use your IEEE account when logging in to Overleaf and get a free Overleaf Pro account. You can also use Overleaf with an IEEE Collabratec Private Group.

Open Access License Options
Are you thinking about publishing Open Access with IEEE? Learn more about IEEE’s Open Access license options, the Open Access Publishing Agreement (OAPA) and the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), with the guide on Open Access License Options for IEEE Authors (PDF, 303 KB).

Manuscript Submission Tips
Check out IEEE’s manuscript submission tips to speed your manuscript through submission and peer review, including guidance on picking the right target publication, structuring your argument clearly, and answering reviewers promptly and thoroughly.

November 2016

Defining authorship
What exactly is an author? In terms of scholarly publishing, which is what IEEE specializes in, the definition of authorship in a technical publication is as follows. An author is an individual who meets ALL of the following criteria:

  • Made a significant intellectual contribution to the work described in the article (e.g., theoretical development, system or experimental design, analysis and interpretation of data, etc.)
  • Contributed to writing the article or revising it for intellectual content
  • Approved the final version of the article as accepted for publication

Anyone who does not meet all three criteria can be recognized and thanked in the Acknowledgments section. To learn more about authorship, join in on an ongoing conversation taking place in the IEEE Collabratec™ AuthorLab or review the IEEE Publishing Policy and Ethics page.

Incorrect corresponding author listing in Web of Science™
Does Web of Science (provided by Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters) show incorrect corresponding author information for your paper published with IEEE? Request a change in author designation by contacting the IEEE Author Engagement team at authors@ieee.org. Include the article title, publication name, article DOI, and the full name of the correct corresponding author to ensure accuracy. Once IEEE submits the correction request to Web of Science, it can take 4 to 6 weeks for Web of Science to reflect the change.

Publishing Your Scientific Article: an IEEE Publishing Operations Training Course
Did you miss the live course held online last month that taught authors about manuscript preparation, peer review, and publishing ethics? Watch the one-hour video on demand. Use the case-sensitive password ieee2016 when prompted.

Open access article processing charge
Effective 1 January 2017, IEEE’s open access article processing charge (APC) for all hybrid journals will increase from US$1,750 to US$1,950. This will affect all articles that are accepted on or after 1 January 2017; articles accepted 31 December 2016 or earlier will retain the $1,750 rate.

October 2016

Publishing Your Scientific Article: An IEEE Publishing Operations training course
Gain insight into what goes into publishing your article in a technical journal. There’s still time to register for two time slots scheduled for 26 October 2016. Topics covered include:

  • How to select a publication
  • What editors look for
  • Manuscript structure
  • Author tools
  • Peer review and ethics

This quick overview is for anyone interested in adding “author” to their résumé or just looking for a refresher on the technical publishing editorial process. Registration is free for the one-hour course. Register for the session at 10:00 a.m. ET (14:00 UTC-04) or 2:00 p.m. ET (18:00 UTC-04).

Celebrate the first year of IEEE Collabratec™ with new features
One year ago IEEE introduced a unique platform where technology professionals could come together to network, create, and collaborate. As IEEE Collabratec begins its second year, they announce new features driven by your suggestions.

New activities tab showcases contributions
The Activities tab, found in the Profiles area, provides a virtual space where you can see your or another user’s collective contributions made within IEEE Collabratec. Simply navigate to a Profile page and select the Activities tab. Here you will find posts made in a community, private group, or network. Private group and community activities are only visible to those who are also in those groups or communities. You can control who can see your activities by setting your preferences in the Profile area.

Dropbox integration now available
Dropbox has now been integrated into IEEE Collabratec, allowing you to create, edit, or share files in your Library or Private Group, making it even more efficient to write research articles, develop proposals, or collaborate on projects. Go to Settings to attach your Dropbox account.

Answering your questions about Abstracting & Indexing (A&I)
Abstracting & Indexing (A&I) services such as Web of Science, Compendex, Scopus, and PubMed are valuable discovery tools for researchers. Check out the new FAQ (PDF, 220 KB) on A&I services to learn more about their role and what you can do if you spot an error in your article’s listing.

One IEEE author support
IEEE offers a one-stop shop for answering questions across a wide swath of publishing activities including Conference Publishing, Journal Publishing, PDF eXpress, Copyright, Open Access, CrossCheck, Reference Preparation Assistant, and ScholarOne Manuscripts. The IEEE Support Center offers self-service browsing and searching of over 1,200 FAQs plus the ability to submit a question to the Support Center.

September 2016

Publishing Your Scientific Article: An IEEE Publishing Operations training course
Sign up for this free 26 October 2016 webinar to gain insight into what goes into publishing your article in a technical journal. Topics addressed include:

  • How to select a publication
  • What editors look for
  • Manuscript structure
  • Author tools
  • Peer review and ethics

This quick overview is for anyone interested in adding “author” to their résumé or just looking for a refresher on the technical publishing editorial process. Registration is free for the one-hour course; select from the 10:00 a.m. ET (14:00 UTC-04) or the 2:00 p.m. ET (18:00 UTC-04) session.

Build Your Co-Author or Project Team: Use the Power of IEEE Collabratec™
There are many ways to go about connecting with co-authors and collaborators. Daunting as it may seem to list them all, there is one way right at your fingertips that should be considered (and acted upon).

IEEE Collabratec Communities provide both technical and geographically based groups. Are you looking for someone to collaborate with face-to-face in a lab in Africa? Think about joining the Africa Technology Network. Do you need someone to help on a specific technical issue? Collabratec houses several technical communities focused on topics such as IEEE 5G, Big Data, or Smart Cities.

Another way to build your co-author or project team is to post a call for collaboration in the IEEE AuthorLab. There are over 5,500 authors and researchers you can interact with there—if you aren’t already.

Need help deciding where to publish?
The IEEE Publication Recommender tool will help you find the journal or conference that will best suit your research. Learn more from the IEEE.tv video and then try out the IEEE Publication Recommender for yourself.

Have questions about publishing open access with IEEE?
IEEE provides multiple outlets for authors who wish to publish open access, including fully open access journals and over 100 established hybrid journals. Learn more about IEEE’s open access program.

Got questions?
Have a question about publishing in an IEEE journal? IEEE’s extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions available as a downloadable PDF (160 KB) details answers for common general questions pertaining to subscriptions, permissions, or change of address in addition to topics such as:

  • Article preparation and submission
  • Preparing your graphics and multimedia materials (don’t forget about the Graphic Analyzer tool)
  • Post-acceptance proof procedure
  • Post-publication and reprint information

Questions are also answered online in the IEEE AuthorLab—another place online where you may have seen the FAQs referenced.

August 2016

Visit the AuthorLab
The AuthorLab is an online community where you can meet other authors to collaborate, network, and ask questions related to publishing with IEEE. Author Lab members, IEEE members, volunteers, and staff from around the world and across all IEEE technical areas of interest reside in this space. If you aren’t already a member of the Author Lab, join today to make your experience with IEEE more robust.

What’s your ORCID?
Have you signed up for your ORCID? IEEE requires an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for authors of all articles published in IEEE journals. ORCID is a persistent unique identifier for researchers that will help you ensure your work is discoverable and connected to you throughout your career, including institutional moves or name changes. If you don’t have an ORCID yet then sign up today at orcid.org; it’s free and only takes a minute.

IEEE quality makes an impact
The newly released Impact Factors show that IEEE publications are once again some of the best journals in technology. IEEE publishes 17 of the top 20 journals in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering category and publishes the #1 journal in eight different technology fields. Learn more about the results released in June 2016.

Coming up: Author Education Events
Would you like to learn more about publishing your research? Visit the IEEE Author Education page to see a list of in-person education events and access on-demand webinars.

Refining language services: AJE
English language editing services such as American Journal Experts (AJE) can help refine the language of your manuscript and reduce the risk of rejection without review. Visit AJE today to learn more.

Altmetric integration with the IEEE Xplore® Digital Library
Altmetric badge visualizations and related data are now integrated into the IEEE Xplore Digital Library, which is home to over 3.9 million scholarly documents. Learn more in this Introduction to Altmetric.

Got questions: Author FAQ
Have a question about publishing in an IEEE journal? You’ll find the answer on IEEE’s extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions.