Information for Authors

IEEE System, Man, and Cybernetics Magazine is published quarterly. Each paper submitted is subject to a thorough review process, and the publication decision is based on the comments and recommendations of the reviewers. Review management is generally under the direction of an associate editor. Often, reviews take 6 weeks but can take up to three to four months, occasionally longer. An additional several months is required for the publication process.

Process for Submission of a Technical Article

  1. All articles should be submitted electronically in Portable Document Format (PDF). The paper should print correctly on 8.5 by 11 inch paper. For UNIX and Windows systems there are postscript to PDF converters, notably ps2pdf which is a part of Ghostscript. A text version of your abstract is required.
  2. Please utilize our manuscript submission system. The site has instructions and help buttons on each page.
  3. If the manuscript or a considerable part of it has been presented, published, or submitted for publication elsewhere, you must inform the Editor. Failure to do so may result in the immediate rejection of your manuscript. Our primary objective is to publish technical material not otherwise available elsewhere.

Posting Preprints to Non-IEEE Servers

Authors should disclose postings on approved preprint services when submitting papers to SMCS Journals. 

Consult relevant sections posted here.

The following statement must be included on the initial screen of the preprint site:

  • “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.”

Upon acceptance of the article by IEEE, the preprint article must be replaced with the accepted version, as described in the section “Accepted article.”

Style for Manuscript

  1. Manuscripts should use the IEEE transactions format (two-column) for both original and final articles. Please have your text fit in 8.5x11in. (21.6×27.9 cm) sheets.
  2. Regular articles are normally about 6 Magazine pages in length, or shorter. Technical correspondences are generally no more than 4 Transactions pages in length. Please see the discussion on excess page charges for charges that are imposed when manuscripts exceed the maximum number of pages.
  3. Since Magazine publishes only in English, contributors for whom English is not a native language should consult a colleague who is familiar with the English language prior to submitting the paper for editing the original manuscript.
  4. Provide an informative 100 to 250 word abstract at the head of the manuscript; provide an abstract of not more than 100 words for Correspondences.
  5. Provide a separate double‐spaced sheet listing all footnotes, beginning with “Manuscript received…” (date to be filled in by Editor) and affiliation of the author(s), and continuing with numeric citation. Acknowledgement of financial support is placed at the end of the first footnote.
  6. References should appear in a separate section at the end of the paper, double‐spaced with items referred to by numerals in square brackets. References must be complete and in IEEE style:
    Style for articles: Author, first initials followed by last name, title in quotations, periodical, volume, page numbers, month, year.
    Style for books: Author, title. Location: publisher, year, chapter, and page numbers (if desired).
    See any issue of the Transactions for examples.
  7. Provide a separate sheet listing all figure captions.
  8. Authors of accepted articles will be asked to supply a head and shoulders photograph of themselves and a technical biography. The biography should be in the form used in IEEE Transactions, consisting of three paragraphs of information: name, where and when born, degrees earned, field(s) of study, school, city, state; chief employment dates, organizations, positions held, type of work, responsibilities, present position; and professional society membership, offices, and awards.
  9. Accepted articles will rapidly appear on the Web in the IEEE Xplore system approximately three weeks after corrected page proofs are received from an author. This will typically be before the paper appears in the print version of the journal. Hence, articles will be disseminated to the research community faster utilizing electronic submission.
  10. Additional information for authors and other information may be obtained at
  11. In order for an abstract to be effective when displayed in IEEE Xplore as well as through indexing services such as Compendex, INSPEC, Medline, ProQuest, and Web of Science, it must be an accurate, stand‐alone reflection of the contents of the article.

The abstract must be a concise yet comprehensive reflection of what is in your article. In particular:

  • The abstract must be self‐contained, without abbreviations, footnotes, or references. It should be a microcosm of the full article.
  • The abstract must be between 150‐250 words. Be sure that you adhere to these limits; otherwise, you will need to edit your abstract accordingly.
  • The abstract must be written as one paragraph, and should not contain displayed mathematical equations or tabular material.
  • The abstract should include three or four different keywords or phrases, as this will help readers to find it. It is important to avoid over‐repetition of such phrases as this can result in a page being rejected by search engines.
  • Ensure that your abstract reads well and is grammatically correct.

Please note that it is the author’s, not the Magazine’s, responsibility to proofread articles.

Style for Illustrations

  1. Originals for illustrations (including tables) should be sharp, noise‐free, and of good contrast as they will be photographed or electronically scanned. We regret that we cannot provide drafting or art services.
  2. On graphs, show only the coordinate axes, or at most the major grid lines to avoid a dense, hard‐to‐read result.
  3. All lettering should be large enough to permit legible reduction of the figure to column width, sometimes as much as 4 to 1. There should only be one illustration per page and only illustrations should be included in the set of illustrations. Please be very sure that your lettering is sufficiently large, such that it will be readable after photo‐reduction.
  4. If an illustration is to be reproduced in color, the author is responsible for the incremental cost of color printing.

Required Image Resolution

IEEE magazines require that all images submitted for production possess a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) at an acceptable size required for publication (see “Minimum pixel dimensions required” section for details on size requirements). In addition to resolution, pixel dimensions should also be taken into account, with images containing a minimum dimension of 1200 pixels x 1800 pixels. This resolution and the proper pixel dimensions ensure that the files (and any text contained within) will be reproduced as sharp, high-quality images in the print version of the magazine. Images can include file types such as .jpg, .gif, .tif, or .eps.

Download the guide on image resolution, including examples and instructions.

Submitting Associated Code

One way to improve the reproducibility of an article is to include associated code, software simulations, algorithms, methods, data, and analyses to understand what produced the results in the article. Enhance your article by uploading its associated code to Code Ocean, a cloud-based computational reproducibility platform.

SMC Magazine authors will be asked if they have code associated with their research during the submission process. At the end of the article submission process, they will be prompted to visit Code Ocean to submit their code.

Authors can upload their code, specifying the appropriate languages and dependencies within the computational environment, to create an executable “compute capsule” that can reproduce the article’s results. After an author submits the code, the Code Ocean team will verify that the code functions and runs properly. This is an operational check only and the integrity of the code is not changed.

After article publication on IEEE Xplore®, readers can run the code on the article’s Code & Datasets tab to view and verify the article’s results without having to download or install anything. Code Ocean capsules can be freely edited, modified, or downloaded by readers for extension and reuse without impacting the published code. Please see this [live example].

Articles that refer to code hosted by an external website should cite that code and the name of the repository in the text of the article or figure caption. All Code Ocean’s published code is fully citable and receives a DOI.

Open Access

This publication is a hybrid journal, allowing either Traditional manuscript submission or Open Access (author‐pays OA) manuscript submission. Upon submission, if you choose to have your manuscript be an Open Access article, you commit to pay the discounted $1,750 OA fee if your manuscript is accepted for publication in order to enable unrestricted public access. Any other application charges (such as overlength page charge and/or charge for the use of color in the print format) will be billed separately once the manuscript formatting is complete but prior to the publication. If you would like your manuscript to be a Traditional submission, your article will be available to qualified subscribers and purchasers via IEEE Xplore. No OA payment is required for Traditional submission.

Voluntary Page and Excess Page Charges

After a manuscript has been accepted for publication, the author’s company or institution will be requested to pay a voluntary charge of $110 per printed page to cover part of the cost of publication. These page charges, like those for journals of other professional societies, are not obligatory nor are their payment a prerequisite for publication. The author will receive 100 free reprints without covers if this charge is honored.

Please also be aware of our page length policy with a cap of 6 pages plus one additional page with a charge of $175/page, for a regular paper, provided that you promise to pay the bill after the publication. If the manuscript is overlength, we suggest you to put some less important parts of the results as supplementary materials, which may appear in IEEE Xplore instead of printed version.

Please also be aware of our page length policy with a cap of 2 pages for a technical correspondence plus one additional page with a charge of $175/page, provided that you promise to pay the bill after its publication.

Electronic Publishing

IEEE is now able to set galley proofs directly from a Windows or Macintosh file. Most word processing formats are supported to some extent, but TeX, LaTeX, or Troff are preferred. Further details are contained within the information for authors accompanying final acceptance letters.


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 sign an IEEE Copyright Form before publication. This form returns to authors and their employers full rights to reuse their material for their own purposes.

Duplicate Submissions

It is the policy of Transactions on SMC: Systems to review articles which were originally submitted as conference articles only if there is over 75% original material. Articles with less than 75% will be rejected. When submitting conference articles please clearly state how this paper differs from the conference paper. You may also contact the Editor in Chief to discuss your submission.