# 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.

## 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. Inclusion of multimedia material – videos, data repositories, code sources etc. – are welcome.

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 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.

### Letters with Conference Option:

Authors of manuscripts submitted to RA-L who also wish to present the same results at one of selected conferences will be offered this option during a definite time window.

Manuscripts submitted to RA-L with Conference option will undergo a regular RA-L review. Results of the first review round by the LEB will also be used by the Conference Senior Program Committee (SPC), which will decide the program of the Conference. The final decision on publication on RA-L and presentation at the Conference are completely independent.

A manuscript accepted for RA-L and included in the Conference program will appear on IEEE Xplore as a Letter in RA-L, while only an abstract (non-citable) will be included in the Conference Proceedings on Xplore.

A manuscript submitted to RA-L with Conference option, accepted for presentation at the Conference but rejected for RA-L, will appear in the Conference Proceedings on IEEE Xplore (for IEEE conferences) or in that Conference's publication venue (for non-IEEE conferences).

A manuscript submitted to RA-L with Conference option, not accepted for presentation at Conference, but accepted in RA-L, will be published in RA-L on Xplore.

All manuscripts presented at the Conference will be available to attendants through the USB thumb-drive in the Conference kit.

The review timeline for RA-L submissions to major RAS Conferences is outlined below. Note that these are the latest possible dates; usually the reviewing timeline is faster than what is shown below. The time in days from the original submission can also be used to calculate the expected actions for papers submitted to RA-L only.

### RA-L Editorial Timeline for Annual Conference Options:

 Time (days) ICRA 2021 RoboSoft 2021 Humanoids 2021 IROS 2021 CASE 2021 Action Day 0 Oct 15 Oct 23 Dec 18 Feb 24 Feb 15 Submission Deadline Day 86 Jan 9 Jan 17 Mar 14 May 21 May 12 Authors receive RA-L reviews and recommendation Day 100 Jan 23 Jan 31 Mar 28 Jun 4 May 26 Authors of accepted MS submit final RA-L version Day 116 Feb 8 Feb 16 Apr 13 Jun 20 Jun 11 Authors of R&R MS resubmit revised MS Day 151 Mar 15 Mar 23 May 18 Jul 25 Jul 16 Authors receive final RA-L decision Day 165 Mar 29 Apr 6 Jun 1 Aug 8 Jul 30 Authors submit final RA-L files Day 170 Apr 3 Apr 11 Jun 6 Aug 13 Aug 4 Camera ready version appears in RA-L on Xplore Day 180 Apr 13 Apr 21 Jun 16 Aug 23 Aug 14 Final Publication

### 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 e.g. when we recognize that ideas proposed are good, but the 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.

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

• Indicate the submission number of the rejected version in the paperplaza submission process
• Prepare and include an Authors' Response file providing details on how each comment received from the Editors and Reviewers have been resolved in the new version.
• Immediately after the new paper is submitted, forward the submission confirmation email with a pdf of the Author's response file attached 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.

Independently from the RA-L Award, and subject to Conference Program Committee decisions, RA-L submissions with Conference option may be considered for Conference awards.

Some Conference awards, such as Best Student Paper Award, require RA-L to gather information that is not normally provided in the journal submission process. For the RA-L papers with ICRA 2019 option, authors are asked (after paper submission) to fill out the following Best Student Paper Award Eligibility Form:

## 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 a Statement of Changes letter indicating how comments by the Editor and by reviewers have been addressed. The revised version should highlight the parts of the text that have been added or modified with yellow, so as to make it easier for reviewers to see how their comments were addressed. The revision must be resubmitted within one month from reception of the first review. 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. 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 case this is not achieved by authors within 180 days from submission, which is the time limit for publication of Letters, the paper could be withdrawn from publication.

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 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).
4. Once you authorize the ORCID to be linked to your PIN you will be returned to the PaperCept subdomain from where you accessed ORCID.