IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

Information for Authors

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine is a unique technology publication which is peer-reviewed, readable and substantive. Published continuously since 1994 it is consistently ranked amongst the top of four robotics publications in terms of impact factor.

The Magazine is a forum for articles which fall between the academic and theoretical orientation of scholarly journals and vendor sponsored trade publications. The IEEE Transactions on Robotics and the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering publish the advances in theory and experiment that underpin the science of robotics and automation. The Magazine complements these publications and seeks to present new scientific results to the practicing engineer through a focus on working systems.

The Magazine publishes the following types of articles:

  • Regular technical articles that undergo a peer review process overseen by the Magazine's associate editors. Such articles can be submitted at any time by following the instructions below and are published on a first-in, first-out basis.
  • Special issues on current topics such as space robots, underwater robots and ethics. These issues are managed by guest editors and a call for papers is published. All articles are fully reviewed as for regular technical articles.
  • Tutorial articles written by leading experts in their field.
  • Regular columns on topics such as education, industry news, IEEE RAS news, IFRR news, regional activity and irregular opinion pieces.

Instructions for Authors

The Process: Initial Submission to Publication

Preparing Your Manuscript
Submitting Your Manuscript
Decision
Submitting Final Camera-Ready Manuscripts
Publication
Frequently Asked Questions

These instructions apply to regular technical articles and contributions to an announced special issue.

1. Preparing Your Manuscript

Submitted papers must be written in good understandable English. It is not the job of reviewers, associate editors or editor-in-chief to correct English spelling and grammar, and poorly written papers stand a much lower chance of being accepted. Authors wishing for assistance in this regard may consider using the IEEE proof editing service (fee based).

The submitted paper is submitted as a PDF file for review. There is no format or template requirement and you may use any tool at all (LaTeX, Word etc.) to prepare the PDF file. You might like to use the IEEE PDF checker to ensure that your file is compliant, and some hints on creating compliant PDF files using LaTeX. The IEEE Author Digital Tool Box has many helpful links including tools for correct reference formats.

A technical feature (regular or special issue) should meet the following requirements:

  • No more than 8 magazine pages, so aim for no more than 4000 words of text
  • No more than 10 equations
  • No more than 20 references, unless it is a survey article
  • No more than 10 figures
  • Include at least one high quality color photograph of the robotic system
  • Figures, tables, schematics, plots are very welcome
  • PLEASE NOTE: figures need to be submitted in high-resolution, high-quality format such as JPEG, TIFF, EPS, etc. PDF files are not supported.

Be aware that mandatory page charges of USD 250 apply for every published page beyond 8 pages. If your paper has multimedia material then this should be prepared according to the guidelines and submitted at the same time as your PDF file.

If you have not previously submitted a paper to the magazine, you are strongly encouraged to peruse recent issues to familiarize yourself with the style and technical level of typical articles.

Word Count

Most authors are accustomed to writing to a page limit rather than a word limit. Since all magazine articles are retype set it is better to aim for a word limit, however unusual or odd this might feel. If you're working in Word then life is easy, use the word count option from the Tools menu. If you're using LaTeX then your options are:

  • detex paper.tex | wc -w
  • pdf2ascii paper.pdf | wc -w

The former won't pick up references, both will count equations, but you shouldn't be having too many of these anyway.

2. Submitting Your Manuscript

Prepare your paper in the form of a self-contained pdf file (with the extension .pdf). The maximum file size is 2 MB.

  • Follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password. See the section PIN and Login Alias if you do not have a PIN and password.
  • On your Access page, use the link Test your PDF manuscript file before submission to check that your file is compliant.
  • On your Access page, follow the link Submit a new paper to IEEE-RAM.
  • Choose the kind of submission and follow the menus. For a special issue, choose the appropriate Guest editor in the submission page. In all other cases submit to the Editor in Chief.
  • Complete the required steps.
  • If you have coauthors then you will be asked to enter their PINs. You may look up these PINs on the spot, or create new PINs for them if necessary. Nevertheless it might be a good idea to check ahead of time with your coauthors if they already have PINs, and to ask them to register their PINs themselves if they do not.
  • You must submit a copyright release before the paper can be sent out for review.
  • After successfully submitting the paper you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • You may expect to see the status of your paper change over time from "Received" to "Under review" and eventually to "Decision pending." You may also update your contact information whenever necessary.

3. Decision

In due course the editor-in-chief, on behalf of the associate editor who handles your paper will notify you about the publication decision. The magazine aims to get first decisions back within 90 days. The decision will be one of:

  • Accept. The paper is suitable for publication. See Submitting Final Camera-Ready Manuscripts.
  • Conditionally accept. The paper has significant promise but is not yet suitable for publication. It will need to be revised. See Revising a Manuscript.
  • Reject and resubmit. The paper is not suitable for publication but has some potential. You can choose to revise the article based on reviewer comments and resubmit it as a new article.
  • Reject. The paper, in its current form, is not suitable for publication in the magazine.
  • Return. The paper is not deemed to be within the scope of the magazine.

Revising an article

If the associate editor who handles your paper requests you to revise and resubmit your paper, please do the following:

  • Prepare a response to the comments of the reviewers, Associate Editor and Editor in the form of a text file (with the extension .txt) or pdf file (with the extension .pdf). Without this response you cannot upload the resubmission
  • Follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password. See the section PIN and Login Alias if you do not have a PIN and password.
  • On the Access page use the link Pdf test to check that your pdf files are compliant.
  • On your Access page, enter your Author workspace.
  • Locate your paper on your Author workspace page and click on the link Resubmit.
  • Follow the required steps.
  • After resubmitting the paper you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • Again you may expect to see the status of your paper change from "Received" to "Under review" and eventually to "Decision pending" until you hear from the Editor who handles your paper.

4. Submitting Final Camera-Ready Manuscripts

If the editor-in-chief invites you to prepare and submit your paper in final form then it must be prepared for transmission to the IEEE publications department. All articles for the Magazine are typeset by the IEEE to ensure they are formatted correctly. Please follow the guidelines below.

  • Prepare a revised version of the paper in PDF format in accordance with the instructions of the Editor. This file is for cross-checking only and will not be used for the final publication.
  • Respect the page limits for the magazine.
  • Prepare the source files of the paper for submission. IEEE can accept manuscripts in a variety of formats including For best Word (.doc format), ASCII, Rich Text Format (.rtf format) or LaTeX style files and instructions may be found here. Pack the file or files in a single compressed file with the extension .zip.
  • Include the original graphics files as separate high resolution files and NOT included in a Word file. The minimum resolution should be 300 dpi for the desired final print size. Ensure that you have permission to use any picture you may be using: it is not legal to just get a picture from the WWW from other authors, for example. Clearly state in your letter to the editor that all used graphics have been cleared from any copyright issues which may be involved.
  • On the PaperCept website, follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password.
  • On your Access page, enter your Author workspace.
  • If the previous version of your paper was submitted under the old system (before October 31, 2008) then you may not find your paper in your Author workspace. In this case you will need to use the Legacy login link on the Access page. The e-mail message that you received from the Editor has full instructions.
  • Locate your paper on your Author workspace page and click on the link Submit final version.
  • Complete the required steps.
  • After submitting the final version you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • After the paper has been forwarded to the publishers you will be contacted by e-mail about the copyright form and the proofs.

5. Publication

A regular paper joins the publication queue and will be scheduled to an issue as space become available, and this can be up to 12 months after submission of camera ready manuscript. You will be contacted by IEEE with a galley proof of your article about 6 weeks before the cover date and you have 5 days to respond.

A paper accepted for a special issue has a known publication date, but the final manuscript must be submitted by the date advised by the editor-in-chief. Failing to meet this deadline means your paper will miss the special issue and go to the end of the regular paper queue.

You can post a copy of your submitted paper (not the final formatted version) on your own web server as discussed below.

Rapid Posting

Papers are now rapid posted prior to appearance in the print/digital issue. These papers are on IEEE Xplore, have a DOI and can be found by Xplore or Google search. They don't have a volume/issue/page number but are otherwise fully citeable. You can find such papers via the "Early Access" button on the magazine's Xplore page.

Frequently Asked Questions

PIN and Login Alias

To log in to the IEEE RAM and review system authors, reviewers and editorial staff need a PIN (Personal Identification Number) and a password. IEEE RAM uses the people database of the RAS Conference system so if you have a PIN in this database then you may use this to log in to IEEE RAM. If you already have a PIN and password then follow the link Log in. If you do not remember your PIN or password, or you are not sure if you have a PIN, then follow the link PIN.

  1. Use the PIN Wizard to check very carefully if you already have a PIN.
  2. If you do have a PIN but you do not have your password, then request that the password be sent to you.
  3. If your e-mail address for the PIN is out of date and you cannot receive the password, then do not register a new PIN but request that your e-mail address is updated and your password be sent to you at the updated e-mail address.
  4. Only register a new PIN if you are completely sure that you do not already have one.

Generally only authors who are new to the system will need to register a new PIN. We strongly recommend against registering multiple PINs. If you use the update function of the PIN wizard you may set up a Login alias. You may use this to log in instead of your PIN. You may also change your password as you like. However, when you submit a paper you will still need the PIN.

Color

Authors are encouraged to submit high quality, high resolution color photographs and illustrations when appropriate. The magazine is printed in full color and there is no additional cost to authors for the use of color. Copyright information and photo credit information must be provided for all photographs used in any IEEE publications.

Page Charges

A mandatory page charge is imposed on all Regular Papers whose length exceeds 8 Magazine pages, and this is difficult to estimate since the articles are typeset by the IEEE.

This charge is $250 per page for each page over the first eight based and is a prerequisite for publication. Note that the editor-in-chief can exercise some limited discretion in this regard. Aim for 6000 words of text and a short bibliography of less than 20 references. Do not skimp on images, they are key to the magazine style.

Abstract

Articles in the magazine, unlike the transactions, do not have an abstract. However we do need an abstract as part of the metadata on IEEE Xplore, so we will use the abstract you provide or the first paragraph of the article. This is what you see on the summary page for your article in Xplore.

Posting Papers on Your Own Website

IEEE policy retains substantial rights for authors to post on their personal sites and their institutions' servers, but only the accepted versions of their papers, not the published versions as might be downloaded from IEEE Xplore. Click here for details on the policy. See also the details of IEEE policy on the SHERPA RoMEO site where you can compare IEEE's policy with that of many other publishers.

Multimedia Extensions in IEEE Xplore

The Magazine allows multimedia attachments to the paper which are available, along with the PDF article, on IEEE Xplore. Multimedia can be "playable" files (.mpeg, .avi, .wav, .mov, .midi, etc.) or "dataset" files (e.g., raw data with programs to manipulate them). Such material is intended to enhance the contents of a paper, both in clarity and in added value.

IEEE provides guidelines for the submission of multimedia, ranging from the format to the description of content and of use requirements, and the way this material should be referenced in the body of the paper. General guidelines include:

  • The paper should be self-contained, i.e., fully readable and understandable independently from the multimedia material.
  • Videos should be prepared without using special codecs (coders/decoders) plug-ins and allowing portability under various platforms. Accordingly, the most common media formats are strongly recommended rather than their latest versions.
  • Only freely available media players (e.g., QuickTime, RealPlayer, Microsoft Windows Media Player) should be required by users.
  • A "ReadMe.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should accompany the multimedia, describing:
    • Minimum requirements for the user. In particular, provide the version of the software that is required to play/run the submitted files. Include the name of the software, the version number, and any special requirements for the player.
    • Contact Information. The author should provide contact information in case users have questions regarding the multimedia material (IEEE will not provide any technical support for this).
  • A "Summary.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should also be prepared, describing in 5 sentences or less the contents or value of the multimedia object.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) Author Names

IEEE supports the publication of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) author names in the native language alongside the English versions of the names in the author list of an article. For more information, please visit the IEEE Author Digital Tool Box.