Guidelines for Proposals to the IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence
The IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence (TAI) is a multidisciplinary journal publishing papers on theories and methodologies of Artificial Intelligence. Applications of Artificial Intelligence are also considered.
Topics covered by IEEE TAI include, but not limited to, Agent-based Systems, Augmented Intelligence, Autonomic Computing, Constraint Systems, Explainable AI, Knowledge-Based Systems, Learning Theories, Planning, Reasoning, Search, Natural Language Processing, and Applications. Technical papers addressing contemporary topics in AI such as Ethics and Social Implications are welcomed.
Aims for Special Issues
A special issue needs to have a theme, and is normally addressing either a topic of significant impact (a hot topic), or a topic that has seen sparse publications and there is a value in overcoming the scattered nature of that literature by having a focus and concentrated special issue.
A special issue brings together the state-of-the-art in a particular niche area in artificial intelligence under the roof of one issue in the journal. The thematic nature of a special issue aims to serve as a collection of papers in a single issue for researchers to read and consult.
A special issue that is focusing on a topic, including applications, need to establish the case that this topic is of high significance to the AI community, of high demand, or both. A special issue on a contemporary topic needs to demonstrate the wide range of research in the area to attract a large number of submissions.
How to propose a special issue?
Commence your planning for a special issue by identifying a topic with an appropriate scope. A special issue on Artificial Intelligence will not be accepted as it is too general. A special issue on A* for 3-SAT is likely to be rejected as it is too specific. A special issue on Approximation Algorithms for Satisfiability, Explainable Neural Networks, or Learning Algorithms for Autonomous Vehicles, strikes the right balance. IEEE TAI is a technical journal. A special issue on the ethical and/or social implications of a branch of AI would need to approach the topic with a technical lens.
Once the guest editors have been identified, you will need to develop a proposal with the following contents:
- Title: be specific in the title and reflect the theme of the special issue. The title is the starting point for people to understand the scope of the special issue
- Description: Explain the motivation for the special issue, the state of the art, and the scope.
- List of topics: List an example of the sub-topics that fall under the scope described above. Avoid being too prescriptive.
- Identify 2-3 leading scientists in this area of research who could write an invited position paper in the area of the special issue. Invitations for invited papers can only be issued by the Editor-in-Chief, and these papers will go through the normal review process of IEEE TAI.
- Timeline: present a reasonable timeline for publication. This is normally 3-4 months to advertise for the special issue, 6-8 weeks to complete first round of review, 4 weeks to allow for authors revision (notice IEEE TAI allows 2 weeks for Minor Revision and 4 weeks for Major Revision. Papers expected to take longer to be revised, a reject and resubmit decision or a final reject decision will be recommended.), 6-8 weeks for a second round of review, and two weeks for authors to submit the final file. From this example, a reasonable time line between the acceptance of a special issue and the acceptance of papers for the special issue is expected to be around 40 weeks. In very special circumstances, this timeframe may become much shorter for topics with significant interest to the community.
- List of Guest Editors: Names, Affiliations, Email Addresses, Websites, Scholar.Google Web Address, Short Bio, and the top 5 papers for each guest editor in the area of the special issue. It is a requirement that one of the Associate Editors for IEEE TAI is one of the guest co-editor. The Associate Editor from TAI will be the associate editor handling the submissions for the special issue. At least one of the remaining guest editors should be an internationally recognised leader in the theme of the special issue. A minimum of two guest editors is needed to propose a special issue to mitigate the risk that one of them becomes unavailable. It also distributes the load on guest editors, while bringing their collective experience to promote and manage a high quality special issue.The total number of guest editors should not exceed four including the Associate Editor from TAI.
- List of potential authors, their affiliation, and Scholar.Google link
- A Conflict of Interest Statement: guest editors should declare any conflict of interest arising from proposing a special issue such as the organizations funding any of the guest editors on research on the topic, organizations collaborating with the guest editors on the specific topic, or individuals in close collaboration with any of the guest editors and intend to submit to the special issue. If the special issue is accepted, the Editor-in-Chief will discuss risk mitigation strategies with the guest editors to avoid conflict of interest.
Things to avoid when proposing a special issue
- Avoid proposing a topic outside the scope of IEEE TAI
- Avoid proposing a special issue based on a conference or a special session in a conference. Special issues in IEEE TAI needs to be advertised using an open call to allow anyone working in the area to submit a relevant paper
- Guest editors should avoid submitting papers to their special issue. If they do, their papers will be handled as normal submission to TAI and will only appear in the special issue if they get accepted on time for the special issue.
Submission of a Proposal for a Special Issue
Please forward your proposal to the Editor-in-Chief at email@example.com.
Approval Decision on Special Issues
IEEE TAI has six issues per year. As such, the bar is very high for accepting a special issue. Once a proposal is submitted for a special issue, the EiC will consult with the Editorial Board. The criteria for acceptance of a special issue revolve around the relevance of the topic to IEEE TAI, the suitability of the topic to attract interest from a wider range of readership in the journal, the technical merit of the proposal, and the alignment of the proposal with the aims of a special issue as being outlined in the aims section above.
Based on comments from the Editorial Board, one of three decisions will be communicated to the proposers of the special issue: (1) the proposal is declined (2) The editorial board suggested changes that need to be considered before re-evaluation of the proposal (3) the proposal is accepted.
Post-Approval of a Special Issue Proposal
If the proposal for a special issue is accepted, the guest editors will need to convert the contents of the proposal to an appropriate call for papers. The call for papers need to be consistent with the proposal. Changes would entail that the decision on the special issue is retracted by the journal. Once the Editor-in-Chief approves the Call for Papers, it will be placed on the journal website under the Special Issue section. Only then the proposers are allowed to advertise for the special issue. It is the responsibility of proposers to advertise for a special issue. It is advisable that the call for papers is sent to all newsletters for the five sponsoring societies, and at minimum to IEEE CIS Newsletter.
Review of Papers in the Special Issue
The review process for papers submitted to a special issue will follow the same standards as a normal submission to the journal. A guest editor could be assigned as a reviewer, except the Associate Editor handling the papers. If a guest editor acts as a reviewer, a minimum of two extra reviewers need to be completed for each paper. The guest editor review could be used to provide a uniform feedback on paper alignment with the theme of the special issue and editorial comments.
The final decision on acceptance of manuscripts in a special issue is made by the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE TAI.
Preparation of the publication of the Special Issue
Once a decision is made on which papers to accept in a special issue, the guest editors should prepare a preface for the special issue. The preface should not exceed two pages using the same template for normal papers in the transactions. The preface should be proof read by a professional proof reader before it gets submitted to the Editor-in-Chief for processing. The Editor-in-Chief will either accept, suggestion modifications to, or reject the preface. While the latter decision is not expected, a preface should only focus on the scientific essence of the special issue, be evidence-based and avoid sitting private agendas or non-scientific speculations. The Editor-in-Chief will communicate with the guest editors to ensure the appropriateness of the preface. However, in situations where this discussion is taking a longer time than the production schedule of the special issue or when an agreement can’t be reached, the preface will not proceed to production.