IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

T-RO Information for Authors

First-Time Authors


If you have not previously submitted a paper to T-RO, you are strongly encouraged to peruse recent issues to familiarize yourself with the style and technical level of typical T-RO articles. You are also strongly encouraged to read Surviving the Review Process by former EiC Seth Hutchinson.

Scope


The IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS publishes, bi-monthly, fundamental scientific papers covering all aspects of robotics. Specifically involved are the following areas as they relate to the field.

  • Kinematics, dynamics, control, modeling and simulation of robots and intelligent machines and systems;
  • Manipulation, grasping, and dexterous hands;
  • Design and mechatronics of robotic mechanisms;
  • Mathematical and computational issues in robotics. Intelligent robotic instrumentation and measurement; vision and other non-contact sensors;
  • Tactile and other contact sensing systems;
  • Sensor integration, fusion, and perception;
  • Assembly and task planning;
  • Teleoperation and telerobotics; haptics;
  • Robot motion planning, path and trajectory planning, localization and navigation;
  • Mobile and autonomous robotics;
  • Legged locomotion and humanoid robots;
  • Micro- and nano-robotics; and
  • Cellular, distributed, and cooperating robotics.
  • Robotics in industry, manufacturing, and flexible automation;
  • Linkages to computer-aided design, engineering, and information systems.
  • Robotics in unstructured environments, including service and household systems, medical systems, construction systems, space and unmanned air systems, underwater systems, and intelligent vehicle and highway systems.
  • Robotics application methodologies such as control, learning, hybrid systems, mathematical optimization, and artificial intelligence.
  • Robotics and intelligent system-related computer hardware, software, and architectures;
  • Advanced programming languages and software development environments; virtual reality; and
  • Human-robot interface and integration.

Types of Submissions


The IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS publishes regular papers, short papers, communications items, survey papers, and book reviews.

  • Regular papers describe a significant result or set of results that are original, of high impact and significance, and extend the state-of-the-art in robotics.
  • Short papers usually describe a single result, experiment, or technique of general interest for which a short treatment is appropriate.
  • Communications items are a separate class of short manuscripts that are subject to an expedited review process. Appropriate items include (but are not limited to) rebuttals and/or counterexamples of previously published papers. Normally the editors will review these submissions internally, a will request outside review when appropriate.
  • Survey papers should cover emerging research topics in Robotics or have a tutorial or review nature of sufficiently large interest to the Transactions audience. Authors of survey papers must submit a proposal to the the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission. This proposal should address the need for the survey article (including the potential audience and T-RO relevance), give a summary of the authors' qualifications to write the survey (a survey article should be written by leading experts in the field), and provide a proposed bibliography. The EiC in conjunction with the Senior Editors Panel will then determine whether the proposed article may be submitted for review. The standard length of published survey papers is up to fourteen Transactions pages.
  • Book reviews of special interest to Robotics are also considered and reviewed by members of the Editorial Board. Interested authors or publishers should contact the Editor-in-Chief.
  • Papers describing specific current (industrial and beyond) applications are encouraged, provided that the designs represent the best current practice, detailed characteristics and performance are included, and they are of general interest.

    Papers describing specific current (industrial and beyond) applications are encouraged, provided that the designs represent the best current practice, detailed characteristics and performance are included, and they are of general interest.

    Multipart papers will only be published if there is compelling rationale for a multipart treatment. All parts of such submissions must be accepted for any part to be published.

    Papers submitted to a special issue are handled similarly to normal contributions.

Submitting a Previously Published Conference Paper


The IEEE and the TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS support the evolutionary publication paradigm, in which early versions of a work may have appeared in a conference proceedings. The Transactions will not consider submissions that are currently under review for a conference. Sources must be indicated during the submission procedure, explicitly cited in the manuscript, and any differences/changes/additions discussed in the text of the paper. If the copyright holder of the conference paper is not IEEE, authors should also be aware of potential copyright infringement in case of major overlapping with the paper submitted to the TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS.

Manuscript Preparation


Page Length - Regular papers are limited to 10 Transactions pages, short papers to 5 Transactions pages, communication items to 3 Transactions pages, and survey papers to 14 Transactions pages. These page limits include everything needed for publication, e.g., figures and tables. For regular and survey papers only, authors are requested to include also current biographies (no more than 100 words) and recent photographs. For all categories, mandatory page charges are imposed on extra pages (see Page Charges below). The maximum acceptable length (with extra page charges) of the submitted PDF file in Transactions format is: 17 Transactions pages for regular papers, 9 Transactions pages for short papers, 4 Transactions pages for communication items, and 20 Transactions pages for survey papers. A mandatory page charge is imposed on all regular papers whose length exceeds 10 Transactions pages (and up to 17 pages), including illustrations and authors' biographies. This charge is $175 per page for each page over the first ten based on the final typeset length, and is a prerequisite for publication. The same policy applies to short papers exceeding 5 TRANSACTIONS pages (and up to 9 pages), to communication items exceeding 3 TRANSACTIONS pages (and up to 4 pages), and to survey papers exceeding 14 TRANSACTIONS pages (and up to 20 pages).

Paper Format - All manuscripts should be submitted in the double column format of the Transactions using an IEEE style file. Instructions and templates (LaTeX or Word) are downloadable from the IEEE "Article Preparation and Submission" section of the IEEE Author Digital Toolbox, together with other useful tools for authors. If you use LaTeX for preparing a short paper or a communication item, download the style files (IEEEtran.zip) and then typeset your manuscript in the "technote paper" format, i.e., put the command "\documentclass[9pt,technote]{IEEEtran}" in your LaTeX file.

When using the IEEE style format, the first (title) page will contain the paper title and each author's name, affiliation, and full address (mailing address, email address, and fax number), with the corresponding author clearly indicated, the abstract (no more than 200 words for regular or survey papers, and 50 words for short papers or communications items), the keywords (index terms), and the beginning of the main text of the paper. Do not use a cover page (the appearance should be just as published articles in the Transactions). Also, T-RO does not use double blind review and thus the authors' names should be indicated in the PDF of the paper. The type of submission (regular paper, short paper, communication item, or survey paper) may be indicated in the page header. Note that the PDF will be stamped by the system upon submission, so it is better not to interfere with this by overloading footer and header.

Figures, Tables, and References - All figures and tables must be numbered and cited in the text. References must be in a separate reference section at the end of the paper, with items referred to by numerals in square brackets. References must be completed in IEEE style as follows:

  • Author(s), first initials followed by last name, title in quotation marks, periodical, volume, inclusive page numbers, month and year.
  • Books: Author(s), first initials followed by last name, title, location, publisher, year, chapter, page numbers.

Keywords Selection - A list of significant keywords (also named index terms) should be included in the first page of each submitted paper. Select a minimum of 2 up to a maximum of 5 (recommended) keywords during one of the submission steps at the T-RO Papercept site ras.papercept.net/journals/tro. Keywords can be chosen from those predefined within the RAS subject areas (the ones used for ICRA conferences) or typed in freely (for at most 2 keywords). The current list of predefined T-RO keywords can be downloaded from here.

PDF File Testing - Sometimes, PDF files generated with software or operative systems of Far East countries may have a font embedding problem with Chinese/Japanese/Korean fonts. This prevents the paper to be shown on screen or printed correctly with standard Western system configurations. We cannot expect that all reviewers are equipped with software extensions to work properly with such PDF files, slowing down the review process. Therefore, authors should carefully generate their PDF files and are urged to check them before submission by using the web facility accessible at the T-RO PaperCept site ras.papercept.net/journals/tro. The minimum version of acceptable PDF is currently 1.4.

Copyright and E-Copyright Form - It is the policy of the IEEE to own the copyright to the technical contributions it publishes on behalf of the interests of the IEEE, its authors, and their employers, and to facilitate the appropriate reuse of this material by others. To comply with U.S. copyright law, authors are required to sign an IEEE copyright transfer form with the final manuscript. For your information, this form is available here. It returns to authors and their employers full rights to reuse their material for their own purposes. Authors of papers accepted for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS should fill the electronic copyright transfer form (E-Copyright) at the time of final submission of the material for publication.

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.

Inquiries - All pertinent correspondence relating to publications should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief. For routing inquiries, please contact the Editorial Assistant.

Multimedia Materials


The IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS considers also multimedia attachments for material (typically, videos) accompanying the submission of a paper.

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 has set up general guidelines for the submission of multimedia, ranging from the format, to the description of content and of user requirements, and to the way this material should be referenced to in the body of the paper. This information is available in the "Multimedia Materials" section of the IEEE "Author Digital Tool Box" through this link.

In preparing this material, it is recommended to follow the general IEEE guidelines right from the initial submission. In addition, specific guidelines hold for the TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS:

  • 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.

Authors can submit their multimedia material (say, a video, the ReadMe file, and the Summary file) as a single zipped archive file (max 50 MB) during one of the submission steps at the T-RO Papercept site ras.papercept.net/journals/tro.

The multimedia material will be reviewed together with the submitted paper. Once a paper and its associated multimedia material is accepted, the latter will be available in the T-RO page within IEEE Xplore (ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?puNumber=8860), side-by-side to the PDF of the paper.

Proposals for Special Issues and Survey Papers


Special Issues

Proposals for special issues should be submitted to the EiC, with a well-articulated, unifying theme that attempts to gather the best work in a particular area of research. Topics can either be areas that are reaching the initial stages of research maturity, or important emerging areas in which research is likely to be advanced by the publication of a collection of high-quality, peer-reviewed papers. Proposals are selected by the EiC in consultation with the senior editors panel and editorial board.

Once a special issue has been selected, guest editors are selected, with one of the current Transactions editors supervising the review and selection process. Guest editors serve as members of the editorial board until the publication of the special issue, and are expected to attend at least one editorial board meeting during that period. Review procedures for special issue submissions are similar to those for regular issues, with the guest editors fulfilling the duties of the associate editors. The supervising editor will carry out the standard editorial functions (e.g., sending decision letters to authors, etc.). If the number of accepted papers is not sufficient to warrant an entire issue, then the accepted papers may be organized into a special section of a regular issue. Further details on submitting a special issue proposal can be obtained by contacting the EiC.

Survey Papers

Survey papers should cover emerging research topics in robotics or have a tutorial or review nature of sufficiently large interest to the Transactions audience. Authors of survey papers must submit a proposal to the editor-in-chief prior to submission. This proposal should address the need for the survey article (including the potential audience and T-RO relevance), give a summary of the authors' qualifications to write the survey (a survey article should be written by leading experts in the field), and provide a proposed bibliography. The EiC, possibly in conjunction with the senior editors panel, will then determine whether the proposed article may be submitted for review. The standard length of published survey papers is up to fourteen Transactions pages.