Special Section General Guidelines

IEEE SMC Magazine publishes special sections on emerging topics guest edited by distinguished researchers in areas of interest to SMC members. These guidelines are designed to encourage and help potential Guest Editors (GEs) to plan and complete editing of a special Section (SS) of the IEEE SMC Magazine who are asked to review the scope of the Magazine to ensure the suitability of the proposed topic for the Magazine. The Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief (EiC), associate editors (AEs), and the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society (SMCS) Vice President for Publications, Systems, Cybernetics, and Human-Machine Systems (HMS) are very helpful for potential GEs with evaluating topic suitability.

Once the GEs have decided to propose a special section, they are invited to submit to the Editor-in-Chief the following:

  • The theme and a brief description (scope) of the special section, its relevance/importance and need in the present context, a list of specific topics focusing the special section, and a provisional list of potential authors to get an idea that there are sufficient researchers to support such a special section. While special sections based on papers from a conference maybe considered, the special section would be organized based on an open call for papers.
  • A brief description of the state-of-the-art in the proposed area and justification for why the proposed SS could be of interest to the SMC Magazine readers (including knowledge gaps there are in the published literature.) Keep in mind that the GE is expected to write an editorial that leads the rest of the articles in the SS. This description should be written as a prelude to that editorial.
  • A brief biography for each GE emphasizing research experience and previous editorial experience. Please note that the SMC Society strives for geographic diversity in the set of SS GEs.
  • The Editor-in-Chief makes a decision as to the acceptance of the proposal after consultation with current Associate Editors whose areas of expertise coincide or significantly overlap with the main subject of the Special Section. Additional material could be requested as part of this process.
  • Following acceptance, the GE is asked to prepare a call for papers (CFP) formatted to one Magazine page so that it can be published in our Newsletter and Magazine The CFP should include all relevant information such as the theme, topic, pertinent deadlines (with suggested dates for initial submissions, notification of first review, revised submissions, notification of final review, final manuscript, expected publication), and submission guidelines. The CFP must include an instruction to authors suggesting them to mention something like “This paper is for the special section on XXXX” as a note to the Editor at the time of submission through Manuscript-Central. The CFP is usually announced in the Society’s web site. The GE will be encouraged to promote the SS using additional appropriate communication means.
  • Names of possible contributors (if available at the time of submission.) The papers submitted are assigned to the Guest Editor for handling the review process. The review process is exactly the same as that for regular Magazine papers. If the Guest Editor is an author of a paper submitted for the special section, then reviewing of that manuscript is handled by a different associate editor chosen by the EIC.
  • Please note that once the Guest Editors make a final recommendation to accept manuscripts as part of the SS, the EiC will coordinate with the GE(s) as the final decision is made by Editor-in-Chief and communicated to the authors.
  • Once the special section is complete, the Editor requests the GE to write a preface to the special section (usually not more than 2 formatted magazine pages) for inclusion in the special section which is then published as soon as possible.
  • The Magazine does not encourage GEs to submit papers in the special section and under no circumstances the GE should submit more than one manuscript for the special section. Although multiple guest editors for a special section are allowed, it is better to keep the number of guest editors as low as possible, preferably to one or two. In case of multiple guest editors, only one guest editor is given access to Manuscript-Central for handling the review process. This is just a broad guideline and there may be other important points not listed here. For further information the EiC may be contacted at: [email protected].