Information for ICRA Editors
CEB Editor Timeline for ICRA 2024
|8 September 2023||Deadline to recruit/confirm AEs|
|15 September 2023||Submission deadline|
|25 September 2023||Workshop/Tutorial proposal submission deadline|
|22 September 2023||EIC assigns papers to Editors (load balanced)|
|25 September 2023||Deadline for Editors to report COI to Editor-in-Chief|
|25 September 2023||All papers assigned to AEs (load balanced); AEs begin to assign papers to reviewers|
|29 September 2023||Deadline for AEs to report COI to Editors|
|6 October 2023||Deadline for Editors and AEs to recommend papers for summary rejection|
|6 October 2023||Deadline for AEs to assign papers to reviewers and confirm|
|6 November 2023||Deadline for reviewers to submit reviews|
|1 December 2023||Deadline for AE final reports (AEs may request reviewers to revise reviews before this deadline)|
|8 December 2023||Deadline for Editor reports|
|15 December 2023||Deadline for AEs and Editors to nominate AEs for the Best AE Award and Reviewers for Best Reviewer Award|
|21 December 2023||Notification of acceptance of workshop and tutorial proposals|
|TBD January 2024||Senior PC Meeting (Editors do not attend unless separately invited by PC chair)|
|31 January 2024||Paper acceptance notification|
|6 March 2024||Final paper submission deadline|
In certain special cases, an AE may recommend that a paper be rejected without sending the paper for review. In such cases, the AE writes a summary review giving the rationale for this decision, and gives the paper an unsatisfactory rating. This is done via the usual AE Review Summary Report mechanism (described above). The Editor assigned to the paper makes the final determination as to whether the paper should be rejected without further review, or should go through the formal review process.
A paper should be rejected without review in any of the following cases:
- The paper violates the 6+N page length rule (any paper content beyond page six is limited to references only).
- It clearly makes no novel contribution to the state of the art. The AE report must justify this with examples of prior published work or other comparable justification for this assessment.
- It contains significant technical errors.
- The paper has been published previously (i.e., the paper is identical to, or nearly identical to previously published work by the same authors).
A paper should not be rejected without review merely because it makes only an incremental contribution, because it fails to report real-world experiments or because of poor writing quality. Further, a paper should not be summarily rejected because the AE feels its subject lies outside the scope of ICRA (this judgment is left for the Program Committee). The paper should not be rejected without review if the AE suspects plagiarism (see procedure below in this case). If there is any doubt as to the decision, the paper should be sent for review.
No more than a maximum of 10-15% of submitted papers will be rejected without review.
IEEE defines plagiarism as the reuse of someone else's prior ideas, processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source. It is important for all IEEE authors to recognize that plagiarism in any form, at any level, is unacceptable and is considered a serious breach of professional conduct, with potentially severe ethical and legal consequences (source: Section "8.2 Publication Guidelines" of the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual, "Guidelines for Adjudicating Different Levels of Plagiarism.")
Plagiarism cases involve serious accusations, which should be dealt with carefully. IEEE has clear policies to follow.
The iThenticate tool is used to detect overlaps between the submitted paper and other published documents. The outcome of this tool (available under "CrossCheck") should be used to evaluate whether possible plagiarism issues are present. One should ignore bibliographic overlaps, small matches, etc. If concerns are found, then the paper should be flagged as a possible case of plagiarism (following the link associated with the paper).
For submissions that have overlaps with previously published papers by the same authors (or with papers simultaneously submitted elsewhere), the IEEE rules are that the submission should cite the prior work, and clearly state how the submitted work is different from the previous publication or simultaneous submission. We don't have hard and fast rules for how much overlap with prior publications is too much. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% or more (of previously-published material) is a rough limit, although each submission has to be judged on its own merit. Note that overlaps with prior workshop papers (by the same authors) are usually not considered problematic, since IEEE supports the evolutionary publication paradigm of workshop papers being improved to conference papers, which are then improved to journal papers.
When a plagiarism case is suspected or detected by a CEB reviewer, he/she should inform the Associate Editor who assigned the review, the Editor, and the CEB Editor in Chief. While informing the editorial chain and ultimately the CEB Editor in Chief is mandatory, confidentiality in this process is strongly recommended by IEEE. A suspicion or detection of plagiarism is not sufficient justification for an AE to recommend summary rejection of the paper. The AE should ensure that the reviewer and AE comments to authors do NOT speculate on plagiarism. It is acceptable to include a link or citation to work that is found that is not cited in the paper, and to ask the author to include the citation. It is acceptable to say that the contribution of the paper under review is not significantly greater than prior published work. The evaluation of the paper should be based on the paper’s scientific contribution compared to work available in the literature. If you suspect plagiarism, flag the paper, and then include information related to the plagiarism situation in the flag details. The AE should then notify the Editor and CEB EIC to determine next steps.
When a plagiarism case is detected, and if the AE, Editor, and Editor-in-Chief concur on its relevance, the CEB EIC can stop the review process, and mark the paper for summary rejection. The Conference will send a summary rejection message with a stern comment, referring authors to IEEE policies, and warning of possibly impending further actions (in serious cases of plagiarism, IEEE Central will contact the authors directly). The EiC submits the case, with all evidence available, to an ad-hoc Committee for follow-up actions at IEEE level - as plagiarism cases usually involve more than one publication, and are of big concern to the Society.
Multiple submission (in which authors submit the same work to multiple venues, either simultaneously or serially) is related to, but not the same as, plagiarism. (Sometimes "multiple submission" is referred to as "self-plagiarism", but according to IEEE guidelines, this is a misnomer.) For submissions that have overlaps with previously published papers by the same authors (or with papers simultaneously submitted elsewhere), the IEEE rules are that the submission should cite the prior work, and clearly state how the submitted work is different from the previous publication or simultaneous submission. For serious multiple submission cases (where the AE, Editor, and Editor-in-chief agree the overlap is too much), the remedy is to reject their paper with a stern note in the Summary Report that the overlap of their paper with their own previously published papers is too much. Or, the authors might only be chastised for not citing their own work which the submission builds upon. These cases will not be forwarded to IEEE for follow-up.
Associate Editors are asked to identify which papers in their assignments they would consider as potential candidates for an award. To do so, they will use the "Confidential comments to the Program Committee" textbox in their AE Report form. It is not necessary to identify which award would a paper be a suitable candidate for.
Editors will consider the candidatures from the AEs, and will filter them in the light of their technical expertise, broader scope and editorial experience. Roughly speaking, ten candidates should be nominated in each profile.
Editors will communicate their candidates to the EiC, who will pass the info to the Senior Program Committee for the actual selection of finalists for each award.
Editor Endorsement of AE reports
The AE's recommendation and score, expressed in the Review Summary Report, will be overviewed by the supervising Editor, who will be responsible for checking that the quality standards of the review process (including number and depth of reviews, quality of AE's report, etc.) have been met. The Editor will update the score and report as needed, based on their calibration across multiple papers. Any confidential comments regarding the report/reviews should be noted in the confidential comments. The authors will see the finalized Review Summary Report prepared by the AE and Editor (but not the score); thus, the report should be carefully written to convey the main issues raised during the review process.
Conflicts of Interest
A CEB Editor is deemed to have a conflict of interest in a submitted paper if he or she is a (co-) author of the paper. Editor COIs should be reported to the Editor-in-Chief, who will assign the paper to another Editor.