INFORMATION FOR REVIEWERS
How to Become a Reviewer for TIM:
If you are interested to review for TIM, please register yourself in the submission system here, and make sure that in your profile information you correctly set your classifications, as many as you are comfortable being a reviewer for. Make sure you also choose "Reviewer" for the "Reviewer Role" option. When an Associate Editor wants to assign a paper to reviewers, s/he can search the reviewer database by expertise, and might select you as a reviewer. Please note that you are not officially a TIM reviewer for a given calendar year if you haven't submitted any reviews any in that calendar year.
Before you start, we urge you to watch the video "Reviewing an Article", found at the bottom of this page.
When you receive a review request, please first check to make sure you have no conflict of interest. If you do have conflict of interest, please inform the requesting Associate Editor and decline the review. For example, decline the review if the paper is from your own institute, or from an author with whom you work or have worked before (former or current student, supervisor, collaborator, etc.) or an author with whom you have co-published before.
When you review a paper, you can submit two sets of comments:
- Remarks for the Associate Editor/Editor (optional, invisible to authors). This section is optional. Please use this to report exceptional situations, such as plagiarism, double submission, conflict of interest, private comments to the editor, etc. Remember that authors will not be able to see these comments.
- Remarks for the Author (mandatory, visible to authors). This section is mandatory. Here, please write your review and evaluation about the paper. Please also remember two very important notes:
- Never disclose your identity to the authors! Remember that authors can read this section, so don't leave any clues about who you are. Reviews must be blind.
- Do not ask authors to cite/compare with your own paper! Not only this might reveal your identity (see above), but it might also give the perception that you want to increase your citation count. It is also implicitly not allowed by IEEE, as per IEEE PSPB Manual section 8.2.2.A.4.
- Please pay extra attention to the novelty of the paper. Is the contribution novel? This is key for a journal paper. Also, note that the contribution does not necessarily need to be a new I&M method or technique, but can also be a novel I&M system or application. Please make sure to carefully read our I&M scope requirements.
- A review should critique the work, not the authors! Reviews should NOT address the authors as "you", but simply as "the authors". In addition, reviews must be very objective and mindful, and must avoid emotional, condescending, joking, accusing, attacking, or aggressive language. As per IEEE PSPB Manual section 2.6, "... reviewers should avoid the use of ad hominem and deprecating comments in their review and judgment statements for communications with authors."
- Reviews should give detailed constructive comments that authors can use to improve their work. For example, if a review states only that "This work is not novel", there is not enough information for the authors to understand why. Instead, the review should state something like "This work is not novel, because it has already been done in [a]" where [a] is a reference that the authors can check to see why their work is not novel.
- From a scientific perspective, both authors and reviewers must support their statements. As such, a review should not make statements like “it is a fact that…” or “everyone knows that …” without proof. Instead, it should include citations for those claims.
- A review should not make statements like “important references are missing…” or “literature search is incomplete …” or "authors should compare their work to the state of the art..." without mentioning what those are. Please cite specific papers and existing literature that the authors should have compared against, and why.
- IEEE TIM policy on papers appearing in preprint repositories, such as in arXiv:
- If a paper under review is already in a preprint repository, but has not been published anywhere else, it is an acceptable submission to IEEE TIM, since such preprint papers are neither peer reviewed nor published in any publication.
- Please do not ask authors to cite or compare against a paper that appears only in a preprint repository, because such papers are not peer-reviewed publications. If you know of an interesting preprint paper that authors need to look at, you are welcome to tell the authors about it, for their perusal, but make sure you don’t ask for its inclusion in the paper.
Reviewers List in TIM
Up until 2020, TIM published in its December Issue a list with the names of all reviewers for the past review period. This list is archived in IEEE Xplore, similar to a regular paper, and can be used by reviewers as official proof of their review activities for IEEE TIM. As an example, see the December 2019 list on IEEE Xplore.
From 2021, this list is published in the following year. For example, reviewers who did one or more reviews in 2021 will be listed in the reviewer list published in 2022.
This list is archived in IEEE Xplore, similar to a regular paper, and can be used by reviewers as official proof of their review activities for IEEE TIM.
Please note that TIM does not issue individual certificates to reviewers.