Information for Authors

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IEEE Transactions on System, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems is published monthly. Each paper submitted is subjected to a thorough review procedure, 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 9 weeks but can take up to four to six months, occasionally longer. An additional several months is required for the publication process.

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.”

Process for Submission of a Technical Paper

  1. All papers should be submitted electronically in Portable Document Format (PDF), Technical Formatting Document (.TXT) or PostScript. 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. We encourage the submission of attachments with the paper. An attachment (video, animations, applets, code, data, etc.) should be referenced in the text of the paper and enhance the presentation. We currently accept avi files (PowerPoint animations), MPEG video files, Java applets, code with specific compilation instructions and execution instructions and machine specific information, and data sets with a description of the data format. More information is available at
  4. In hardship cases, please send us one original copy of the paper for scanning and the reason why it could not be submitted electronically. Please note that this form of submission will significantly extend the review process.
  5. 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.

Style for Manuscript

  1. Use double-spaced, single column and 10pt or larger for initial submissions. Please have your text fit in 8.5x11in. (21.6x27.9 cm) sheets. Manuscripts using the IEEE transaction format (two-columns) are acceptable for final papers.
  2. Regular papers are normally about 10 Transactions pages in length, or shorter. Technical correspondences are generally no more than 5 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 Transactions 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 papers: 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 papers 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 papers 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, papers 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 journal's, responsibility to proofread papers.

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.

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 over- length 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. A mandatory overlength page charge of $175 is required for each page in excess of 10 pages for a regular paper, 5 pages for technical correspondences. Authors who are concerned with these latter charges are encouraged to estimate the length of their manuscripts prior to submission. Detailed instructions on payment of these charges will accompany the page proof.

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, available on, 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 papers which were originally submitted as conference papers only if there is over 75% original material. Papers with less than 75% will be rejected. When submitting conference papers please clearly state how this paper differs from the conference paper. You may also contact Editor in Chief to discuss your submission.

Peer Review

The articles in this journal are peer reviewed in accordance with the requirements set forth in the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual. Each published article was reviewed by a minimum of two independent reviewers using a single-blind peer review process, where the identities of the reviewers are not known to the authors, but the reviewers know the identities of the authors. Articles will be screened for plagiarism before acceptance.

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