Prospective Guest Editors (GEs) are required to complete the special section (SS) proposal form provided by the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics (J-BHI) Editorial Office, and to submit to J-BHI via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The proposal will be first reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) Professor Dimitrios I. Fotiadis to assess the scope suitability, followed by quality evaluation led by the Senior Editor Professor May Dongmei Wang in monthly Editorial Office meetings with EiC, Managing Editors Dr. Themis Exarchos and Dr. Jessilyn Dunn, and Assistant Editors Dr. Vassiliki Potsika and Mrs. Maria Pikou.
The SS proposal evaluation criteria include: the innovation and significance of the SS topics, the potential impact of the SS in growing the J-BHI strategic directions, the prior experience and scholarly accomplishment of the GEs, and the J-BHI editorial capacity. Upon SS proposal evaluation, the Assistant Editor Dr. Vassiliki Potsika will act on behalf of the J-BHI EiC and Senior Editor to send the approval/revision/rejection decision to the proposers, and to address administrative issues accordingly.
For approved SS proposals, the Editorial Office will communicate with GEs on the following issues to ensure a successful and effective organization, dissemination, and review process.
IEEE J-BHI is an international journal with a balanced contribution from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Thus, it is critical for GEs to promote their special section worldwide with the following actions:
- To prepare a call-for-papers (CFP) with format suggested by J-BHI Editorial Office. This file will be also announced on the conference website to inform potential authors about the organization and objectives of the SS;
- To distribute the call-for-papers (CFP) at appropriate conferences, workshops, symposiums, newsletters, and professional networks;
- To send the CFP and invitation to prospective authors to encourage them to contribute either as authors or reviewers;
- To solicit potential authors and reviewers through colleagues and peers;
- To actively promote the SS and solicit submissions to ensure that the SS will have significant number of high quality papers.
The Editorial Office will disseminate the SS on J-BHI website and through bimonthly newsletter IEEE professional networks.
Copy Right Requirement for SS Papers:
When a SS is related to a conference, new submissions will need to be extended from the conference proceedings to contain original material and will have to be at least
75% different from any other publications. The extension includes
new methodologies, new results, etc.
It is important for GEs to follow the planned deadlines in approved SS. Under special circumstance, if an extension is needed, GEs must consult with the J-BHI Editorial Office to get approval before announcement.
All invited and regular submissions must be peer-reviewed by at least three (3) independent reviewers. To shorten the time of the review process, GEs should identify as many qualified reviewers from the international community as possible before the submission deadline, and should confirm with the potential reviewers about their willingness to review the manuscripts within the assigned timeframe.
The J-BHI paper acceptance rate is around 20%. GEs of a SS with open calls are advised to target similar acceptance ratio, or at most eight papers if there are more than 30 submissions. However, for certain SS with only invited submissions (e.g. invited position papers or those selected top papers from a major conference endorsed by J-BHI), the ratio may vary because pre-selection has already been made. Please note that in all cases, independent peer-review must be performed (if the papers are selected from a J-BHI endorsed conference, additional reviews must be gathered from reviewers beyond the original conference paper reviewers), and the acceptance is not guaranteed.
The J-BHI Editorial Office will set up an account for the GEs in the ScholarOne Manuscript system so that the GEs will be able to access the manuscripts submitted to their SS, assign reviewers, and assess the review status. Before inviting reviewers, it is important for GEs to conduct an initial review to filter out poorly written or conceived papers, or papers that are not in scope of the SS. After this initial review, if a GE thinks a manuscript should be rejected for the SS, the editorial office should be notified.
The GE should assign multiple independent reviewers to obtain at least three good quality and independent reviews for each manuscript, and will receive a notification if a reviewer declines the email invitation. The GEs need to check the status of each manuscript regularly to ensure that sufficient reviewers have agreed to review the papers and the reviews are submitted within the agreed time. The GEs will be informed when the review process for a manuscript has been completed (i.e. received sufficient number of reviews). Then the GEs should make their recommendation to the EIC based on the reviews received and their personal judgment.
Before making recommendations to the EIC, the paper must have at least three (3) quality reviews. The recommendations to the EIC will be one of the following:
- Accept without changes: The manuscript is an outstanding paper that fits well with the objective of SS and J-BHI and can be published in its current form, or a revised paper
that has successfully addressed all concerns raised during previous reviews.
- Accept pending minor revision: The manuscript is of high quality and standard to be published in the J-BHI, and it largely fits with the objective of the special issue/section and J-BHI. Only minor improvement on methodology, clarification and improvement on presentation details are required, which could be realistically addressed in three weeks.
- Reject/ Resubmit (major revision and new external review required): The manuscript partially fits the objective of the SS and J-BHI, but the quality of the manuscript has not reached a satisfactory standard for publication, and the authors have to make substantial changes before it can be reconsidered. Authors will be given a fixed deadline (determined by the publication schedule) to amend the manuscript according to the GEs’ recommendation and the reviewers’ comments. According to the J-BHI editorial policy, only one round of major revision is permitted for each paper, GEs shall recommend rejection if after one round of major revision, the paper still requires major revision.
- Reject: It is a poor quality manuscript or the paper largely does not match the theme of the SS or J-BHI. In addition, the GEs should recommend rejection if the manuscript will require substantial revision and does not fit the minimal standard of J-BHI.
The recommendation from the GEs will be sent to the EIC for final decision. A decision letter will be sent to the authors with the comments of the GE and the reviewers. Authors of accepted submissions will be further advised on our IEEE staff editing process.
Attention is required on the following matters:
- The GEs need to maintain the suggested J-BHI acceptance ratio or the maximum number of manuscripts for the SS before recommending a paper for acceptance.
- J-BHI discourages submissions from the GEs to the SS that they are editing to avoid perceived Conflict-of-Interest (COI), which is especially important if the SS is related to a conference.
- Under specific circumstance, if GE submits a paper to the SS, it must be handled by J-BHI Editorial Office directly to avoid COI.
- GEs should inform the authors that mandatory over length page charges will apply for papers exceeding the nominal limits in the final IEEE print format: (7 pages for regular papers). GEs should strongly advise authors to keep the length of their manuscripts within page limits with the two-column IEEE transactions paper style.
- GEs need to prepare a SS editorial that is up to 2 pages using the IEEE two-column transactions style.