# RA-L Information for Authors

## Scope

The scope of RA-L is to publish peer-reviewed articles that provide a timely and concise account of innovative research ideas and application results, reporting significant theoretical findings and application case studies in areas of robotics and automation.

## Keywords

Specifically involved are the topical areas and keywords listed here. All keywords should be interpreted as requiring relevance to robotics and/or automation. For example, "Deep Learning Methods" represents "Deep Learning Methods in/for Robotics and Automation".

## Submission site

Papers for RA-L and RA-L with conference option are submitted through the Paperplaza system: ras.papercept.net/journals/ral. Make sure to read this webpage in its entirety before submitting.

## Types of Submission

### Letters:

RA-L will publish manuscripts reporting on innovative ideas and results that need to be rapidly published in a concise form.

Letters are six pages long in two-column IEEE format (see below for details), including figures and references, with up to two extra pages with extra page charges, for a maximum of eight pages. Inclusion of multimedia material – videos, data repositories, code sources, etc. – are welcome. Other supplementary material, such as appendices, cannot be included beyond the allowed eight pages.

RA-L is an electronic-only, hybrid open-access journal. The final version provided by the authors will be rapidly posted on IEEE XPlore, and will be replaced by an edited, XML tagged version soon after. Submission of Letters to RA-L is open throughout the year.

Submitted manuscripts will be either published within six months from reception or rejected. RA-L papers are published online very soon after acceptance, so authors should complete any intellectual property/patent steps before submission.

RA-L uses single-blind review: The articles in this journal are peer reviewed in accordance with the requirements set forth in the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual (https://pspb.ieee.org/images/files/files/opsmanual.pdf). Each published article was reviewed by a minimum of two independent reviewers using a single-blind peer review process, where the identities of the reviewers are not known to the authors, but the reviewers know the identities of the authors.

### Submitting a previously published Conference paper and the “evolutionary paradigm”:

The RA-Letters will not consider submissions that are currently under review for a conference (except under the Conference Option scheme).

In principle, RA-L may consider submissions that have been published in the Proceedings of an IEEE conference, provided that the manuscript follow the “evolutionary paradigm” of IEEE, i.e., if it incorporates substantial improvements and it openly discloses the source(s) and discusses the changes. However, because the length of a Letter is comparable to that of most Conference papers and RA-L are intended to publish novel results rapidly and concisely, application of such “evolutionary paradigm” to Letters is difficult. Submission to Transactions of an evolved version of a previous conference paper is instead considered natural. Notice that the “evolutionary paradigm” does not apply between Letters and Transactions, because they are both archival Journal publications.

### Submitting a previously rejected paper:

In some cases, RA-L Editors encourage authors of a rejected paper to consider rewriting it and resubmitting it as a new submission. This may happen when we recognize that ideas proposed are good, but the signficant changes needed to make the paper publishable are too substantial to fit in the tight RA-L schedule for publication. Note that if you have submitted to  RA-L with a Conference option, you cannot resubmit a rejected paper to RA-L while the conference is still considering the paper. Papers that have received a decision of "Rejected" or "Unsuitable" are both considered rejected papers.

When submitting a new version of a previously rejected paper, authors MUST

• Indicate the submission number of the previously rejected version in the paperplaza submission process
• Prepare and include with your submission a single pdf file that includes: (1) an authors' response providing details on how each comment received from the Editors and Reviewers have been resolved in the new version, followed by (2) a version of the paper with changes from the previous version highlighted (e.g., with modified text in a different color). Failure to do so may result in automatic rejection of the resubmission.
• Immediately after the new paper is submitted, forward the submission confirmation email to EiC.RA.Letters@ieee.org.

## Best Paper Awards

Every year, the Editorial Board selects papers appeared in the previous year for an IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters Best Paper Awards.

## Review Procedure

After the first submission of their manuscript, authors will be notified of reception and of the Editor of RA-L who will supervise the review. Authors will receive the first decision, along with review comments, within three months from submission.

The first decision can be one of three types: Accept for Publication, Reject, or Revise and Resubmit.

If the first decision is Accept for Publication, authors are required to submit the camera-ready version of their paper within two weeks.

If the first decision is Revise and Resubmit, authors can resubmit a revised version along with an Author Response and Diff File indicating how comments by the Editor and by reviewers have been addressed. This is a single pdf file that includes: (1) A detailed response to the review that explains how each comment received from the Editors and Reviewers have been resolved in the new version, followed by (2) A version of the paper with changes from the previous version highlighted (e.g., with text in a different color). Failure to do so may result in automatic rejection of the resubmission. The revision must be resubmitted within 30 days from receipt of the first decision. Failure to meet this deadline means the paper will be automatically moved to the Reject category: unfortunately, the tight timeline of the Letters will allow no extensions or exceptions to this rule.

Authors will receive a second and final decision within 5 months from initial submissions. Final decisions are only of two types, Accept for Publication or Reject.

If the final decision is Accept for Publication, authors are required to submit the camera-ready version of their paper within two weeks. This final version must also be acommpanied by an Author Response and Diff File as described above. The Editor verifies that the final version of an Accepted paper satisfies all conditions indicated in the Acceptance letter. The Editor can withhold publication until all required changes are satisfactorily made. In addition, the Editorial Assistant will check that the paper formatting is correct. Formatting revisions must be made immediately and also accompanied by a very brief Author Response and Diff File explaining only how the formatting was corrected. In case a published version of the paper is not achieved by authors within 180 days from submission, which is the time limit for publication of Letters, the paper could be rejected and not published.

Upon receipt of the final version of the paper from the authors, and provided that all formatting and style requirements are met, the camera-ready PDF file will appear as a Rapid Posting preprint on Xplore. Rapid Posting preprints are citable papers and have a DOI.

Any paper submitted to RA-L will be published on IEEE Xplore in six months, or be rejected.

Shortly after Rapid Posting preprint appearance, a moderately edited and XML tagged version will be prepared by IEEE, submitted as galley proofs to the Authors, and eventually published in replacement of the preprint.

## IEEE Policy Regarding Intellectual Property Protection

IEEE takes the protection of intellectual property seriously. Accordingly, all submissions will be screened for plagiarism using iThenticate CrossCheck software. By submitting your work you agree to allow IEEE to screen your work. For more information please visit: http://www.crossref.org/crosscheck/index.html.

## ORCID

All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors.  ORCIDs enable accurate attribution and improved discoverability of an author’s published work. The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.Follow these steps to link a PaperCept account to a registered ORCID. Note that PINs from different sub-domains can be linked to a single ORCID.

1. Go to the start page of the PaperCept subdomain where you have an existing PIN (if you do not have one, please create one by following the PIN link from the PaperCept subdomain of interest).