Yuguang "Michael" Fang

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The Publication Decision


Once sufficient reviews are received, an important editorial function begins. This is the point at which your own technical expertise and judgment is of the utmost importance. It should first be pointed out that for a paper to be published in the Transactions, the following requirements must be met.

The paper should contain a technical contribution that is judged to be of interest (by the referees and by yourself) to a reasonably large segment of the Transactions readership and/or the larger technical community. It is important to note that novelty and technical correctness alone are not sufficient conditions for paper acceptance; the relevance and importance of the topic addressed as well as the nature and extent of the contribution must also be considered.

The paper should be well written and well organized. The paper must make its points clearly, crisply, and concisely. The paper can be rejected if the presentation is NOT up to the standard of this Transactions!

The absence of these ingredients is cause for not accepting the paper (i.e. either rejecting the paper or requiring a resubmission).

Arriving at a publication decision is often the most difficult task of an Editor. It should be stressed that the final editorial judgment belongs to the Editor and Editor-in-Chief, not to the referees. The job of the Editor requires more than simply determining the majority vote among the referee reports received. You must be familiar enough with the paper to carefully consider the points raised by each of the referees and weigh each of these with your assessment of the credibility of the review and your own technical judgment of the paper. The Editor should write his/her decision rationale in the main body of decision letter to articulate how the decision is reached!

Given the above, one approach is as follows:

If all reviewers unanimously recommend accepting or rejecting the paper, you will usually follow the recommendations of the reviewers, after quickly reading the paper yourself and agreeing with the detailed comments.

If the reviews are mixed (most papers will fall into this category), it becomes necessary to more carefully read the paper yourself and to analyze each review in light of your own reading and understanding of the paper, your own assessment of the overall credibility of each review, as well as the relative importance of the points raised in each review. The process usually leads to a decision that is consistent with at least one of the reviewers.

Once you have made the decision, a draft decision letter (email) is automatically generated. This letter will clearly state the decision and will include the comments for the authors from the reviewers. You may also add comments to the main body of the letter (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!). It is also the editorial policy that the names of reviewers not be divulged to the authors and all care must be taken to avoid inadvertently divulging referee-related information to the authors. You are encouraged to remove identity identifying information and inflammatory words from reviewers' comments.

Your decision, referred to as a preliminary decision in the tool, is then passed to the Editor-in-Chief for final approval. As part of this process, you have the opportunity to give comments to the Editor-in-Chief. It is helpful to provide a sentence or two indicating what the referees recommended and your rationale for the decision.

Note that just before making the preliminary decision, those reviewers that did not provide a review should be told that you no longer need their help. This is done by clicking the "can" icon next to those reviewers' names.

Finally, if you are having difficulties making a publication decision or would like additional editorial input before making a decision, please feel free to contact the Editor-in-Chief.


Possible Decisions
Decision to Reconsider, Major Revisions (Revise and Resubmit)
Accept vs Accept with Minor Revisions
Decision to Reject
Classifying Papers and Paper Lengths

The Transactions on Vehicular Technology are published by the IEEE and sponsored by VTS

To contact the editorial office, email System Administrator or Editor-in-Chief
or send correspondence to:
Professor Michael Fang, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Florida, 435 New Engineering Building, P.O.Box 116130, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.

Modified:  April 2013