The Microwave magazine includes, from time to time, a collection of articles that have a single theme or focus. This has proven to be quite popular with authors and readers alike. These guidelines are designed to help the guest editor of the focus section manage the editing and reviewing process, and to ensure the timely delivery of publication-ready manuscripts. The guest editor will work closely with the editorial office of the Microwave Magazine in the production of the focus section. The editorial office has procedures already in place to manage the manuscript submission and review process.
This section usually contains 3-5 papers written by acknowledged experts in the focus topic area.
Each paper in the focus section should be no more than 10 magazine pages in length, including figures and references; this is about 6,000 words for a well-balanced manuscript. Authors (and guest editors!) are expected to read the “Guidelines for Authors of Feature Articles” for further details about how to prepare and submit a feature article for the Microwave magazine.
The magazine devotes around 55 pages in each issue to technical articles. We usually like to include additional feature articles or application notes in this space, as well as the focus section.
The guest editor is a recognized expert in the focus section topic area. The guest editor’s main task is to determine what the content will be for the focus issue section. The major responsibilities of the guest editor include:
- Inviting authors for the focus section articles, providing them with the “Guidelines for Authors” (noted above), and the schedule for delivery of manuscripts and review corrections
- Alerting authors to upcoming deadlines in advance: one month and one week reminders are recommended
- Copying the Microwave Magazine editorial office on e-mail communications with authors, when in reference to the progress of the IMS issue
- Expediting the process by responding in a timely manner to questions and requests for information
- Providing the Microwave magazine editorial office with the names and contact information for the authors
- Providing the names and contact information of 3-4 referees for each of the articles
- Ensuring the authors produce their manuscripts and deliver them (electronically) to the Microwave Magazine editorial office by the dates specified in the production timetable
- Reviewing the technical reviews for each manuscript and, with the Microwave Magazine editor, corresponding with the authors about the reviewers’ comments and recommendations
- Reviewing author corrections to manuscripts
- With the authors, reviewing the page proofs during the production process – this requires a quick turn-around
- Writing a guest editorial describing the focus section topic and outlining the papers, in an engaging and informative manner as is typically found in the magazine
- At the end of the year, choosing a paper from your issue for consideration for “Best Paper” award
The guest editor will be provided at an early date with a publication schedule for that issue of the Microwave Magazine, indicating due dates and deliverables.
The editor-in-chief, and associate and assistant editors are here to help the guest editor in producing publication-ready manuscripts. We have several procedures already in place to ensure the smooth running of these activities. The guest editor is encouraged to work closely with the editorial office, as it makes all our lives easier. The tasks undertaken by the editorial office include:
- Contacting the authors directly and reminding them of upcoming deliverables and dates
- Organizing the technical reviews: contacting reviewers; sending manuscripts for review; collating reviews and forwarding these to the guest editor and magazine editor for review; sending reviewers’ comments to the authors; receiving the corrected manuscripts
- Obtaining copyright release from the authors
- Obtaining figure permissions from the authors
- Obtaining suitable resolution figures from the authors (details can be found in the “Guidelines for Authors of Feature Articles”)
One might expect authors to need about three months to produce a suitable draft of an article that can be sent out for technical review. The review process itself usually takes about six to seven weeks and is built into our publication schedule. Once the final drafts of the manuscripts are sent to the IEEE Publications editor, it takes a further twelve weeks to get that issue of the Microwave magazine into print. This means that the author invitations need to be sent out well in advance of the nominal publication date of the magazine: about six to eight months!
The production schedule is set by the IEEE Publications Office and the dates are immutable: the deadline is final and without flexibility. The Editor-in-Chief’s responsibility is to ensure the timely publication of the Microwave magazine and the EIC is not prepared to delay the publication of the magazine because of late delivery of manuscripts. EIC’s decision is final.
Things that can cause delays, sometimes to the point of missing the submission deadline, include:
- Failing to get permission to use images, particularly if these images have been downloaded form the internet – the IEEE is extremely strict about reprinting images and will delete the image if permission is not obtained before the publication deadline
- Not having enough technical reviews – we need three reviews at least for each manuscript
- Missing the submission deadlines at any point in the process – of course, we are here to help you avoid this one
We are looking forward to working with you to produce a first-class focus section for the Microwave magazine.
Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Microwave Magazine
Assistant Editor, IEEE Microwave Magazine