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Guidelines for Special Issue
Guest Editors

Please follow the guidelines below for Signal Processing Magazine submissions

Published: March 2012
  1. Focus

    SPM publishes timely tutorial-style articles focusing on comprehensive reviews of important, broad, and established fields within the scope of signal processing. We strive to achieve the highest level of publication quality, scholarly impact, and reader benefit.

  2. Proposal Criteria

    Before proposing a specific topic, we encourage prospective guest editors to discuss the appropriateness of the topic with the Area Editor (Special Issues), Fulvio Gini ( or the Editor-in-Chief (EiC), Abdelhak Zoubir (

    The proposal should include sufficient information and clear evidence addressing the following.

    • Motivation, timeliness, and importance of the topic (e.g., recent activities in conferences, research projects, and funding programs)
    • Qualification, track records, and broad representation of the proposed Guest Editors (GEs). Include short bios and related publications of each proposing GE.
    • A tentative list of topics covered in the special issue.
    • A tentative schedule for paper submission and review.
    • Relation to any recent special issues published or planned for publication in SPM or other journals/transactions/magazines.

    Proposers are encouraged to include a team of GEs with a broad representation from different organizations and countries. It is suggested that a proposal for a special issue should have at least 3 and at most 5 GEs. The GEs should be from different institutions. The same guidelines for selecting Associate Editors for the Society Transactions should generally apply when selecting GEs, e.g., seniority and tenure (for proposers from academic institutions). At least one of the GEs must be an active member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society.

    Proposals overlapping with any topic covered recently or in the near future in SPM or other publications are discouraged. A list of recent topics covered by SPM can be found (under Information for Authors) at Sample proposals for special issues are available upon request.

  3. Proposal Review

    The Editorial Board of SPM will review proposals for special issues. The decision to approve or reject a proposal is made by the Area Editor (Special Issues) and the EiC, based on the reviews from the Editorial Board members.

  4. Open Call and Review Process

    After the special issue proposal is approved, an open call will be issued and a two-stage review process is required (white paper and full paper). Such a process is used to ensure broad participation and publication quality. The contents required in a white paper and a full paper can be found (under Information for Authors) at

    GEs should make their best effort to disseminate the call for papers widely through announcements in conferences, newsletters, and online advertisement.

    The submitted white papers will be reviewed by GEs with the exception of papers submitted with one of the GEs as a co-author (see section 7). Authors of selected proposals will be invited to prepare full-length manuscripts. Note that such invitations should not be considered to imply acceptance or any hint of acceptance. Each full paper will be assigned to a GE who will manage a thorough peer review process, similar to that used for papers in journals of high standing. Each full paper should be reviewed by at least three experts in the field, with the exceptions that two reviews may be considered sufficient when the reviews are consistent and thorough.

    In rare and exceptional cases, full-length submissions may be solicited without going through the white paper review process. However, to ensure quality, every invited submission needs to be pre-approved by the Area Editor and the submitted manuscript is subject to the second stage of review. The acceptance/rejection decision will be made based upon the same criteria as for other full-paper submissions.

    The paper submission and review process will be conducted using the online system hosted (under Submissions) at

  5. Acceptance Rate and Page Count

    The Area Editor and the EiC will determine a target acceptance rate and a target page count for each approved issue based on the number of white paper submissions. After the second stage review, GEs make recommendations on accepted papers and the page allocation for each paper to the Area Editor, who will review and approve the recommendations. The Area Editor and EiC, following the policies and operation guidelines of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, have the right to disapprove recommendations from GEs. It is important to note that GEs may notify authors about the final decisions and page allocations, only after the Area Editor approves the recommendations.

  6. Submission of Final Materials

    Please contact Area Editor (Fulvio Gini, for the required documents and procedure for submitting final manuscripts of accepted papers.

  7. Other Guidelines

    The following text is adopted from the SPS Transactions Special Issues Guidelines. SPM applies the same rules to management of special issues, except for some changes due to the difference between magazines and transactions.

    1. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
      1. A GE cannot appear as author or co-author on more than one submission to the Special Issue and no more than 3 papers in total in the Special Issue may have a GE as author or co-author.

      2. The GEs should write an editorial of moderate length (1 to 2 printed pages) setting the scope of the special issue, motivation and importance of the topic. The Lead GE should coordinate the writing of the editorial in consultation with the other GEs. It is encouraged that they acknowledge the service of the reviewers as part of the editorial. The editorial should be submitted to the Signal Processing Society Office strictly within one month from the date of acceptance of the last paper for the Special Issue or 12 weeks before the publication date of the issue, whichever is sooner.

      3. The Area Editor (Special Issues) of SPM is responsible for handling any paper submitted by a GE. He or she will be responsible for either handling the paper directly or appointing an Editorial Board Member to handle the paper. The Area Editor will also be responsible for ensuring that the paper goes through the same rigorous review procedure. If the Area Editor or EiC submits a paper to the SI, the VP Publications or his/her designee will handle that paper.

      4. To ensure a high-quality special issue and to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, the GEs are reminded that the following people are excluded from taking part in the review process of a particular paper:

        1. any person in the same organization as any of the authors.
        2. any research collaborators of any of the authors.
        3. present or former students, advisors or any people closely connected to any of the authors.

        If a GE is in any of the above categories, the GE cannot handle the paper. Another GE should be selected. If all the GEs fall into the above categories for a particular paper, the EiC should oversee the review of the paper.

      5. The list of papers, with authors' names and affiliations, should be forwarded to the EiC with a statement that Rule 4 was followed.

    2. Responsibilities of Guest Editors
      1. Once a special issue has been approved, in consultation with the Area Editor, with the EiC, and with the Signal Processing Office, the GEs should prepare a call for papers (CfP). The CfP should indicate that manuscripts are to be submitted according to the Information for Authors as published in any recent issue of SPM and as available on the Signal Processing Society website. GEs need to create, refine, and submit the finalized CfP within three weeks of approval. The announcement has to mention also the schedule with specific dates, namely
        • Submission deadline.
        • Notification of acceptance.
        • Final manuscript due.
        • Tentative publication date.

        In addition to the dates, the CfP should refer to the submission procedure and paper requirements listed on the above web site.

      2. The IEEE logo and the logo of the IEEE Signal Processing Society should be included on the CfP. Refer to the IEEE Identity Standards website for specifications in using the IEEE logo and the logo of the SPS:

      3. GEs are expected to announce the CfP in all relevant IEEE journals (in addition to the Signal Processing Magazine), as well as electronically. GEs may request the help of the Society who will distribute it through electronic lists to which the Society has access. The more people know about a special issue, the higher the quality of the papers will be. The EiC takes care of the announcement in the Transactions, and the Signal Processing Office can help with other journals. GEs may also contact EiCs of other journals directly. It should be noted that the Transactions require a 3-month advance notice before publication, in addition to at least another 3 months for the CfP to stay open. It is recommended that the time from first printed announcement to submission deadline be 6 months.

      4. GEs should handle all aspects of the reviewing of the manuscripts. This is to make sure that the stringent deadlines are followed closely under the full responsibility of the GEs. The Lead Guest Editor should indicate to the Publications Office the list of manuscripts assigned to each of the GEs. The Publications Office will then give each of the GEs permission on S1M to assign reviewers for their corresponding papers. Submission and review of special issue papers are handled via the online system S1M.

      5. The EiC will inform GEs of the maximum number of pages for the special issue as soon as the IEEE office gives the EiC the relevant information. SPM does not publish special issue papers in subsequent issues as feature articles. Acceptance or rejection of each paper is decided for the publication in the corresponding special issue only. The rule about page count previously mentioned needs to be enforced strictly.