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Reviewer Guidelines

 

The Role of Reviewers in TiiS

The editors of TiiS greatly appreciate the crucial role that expert and conscientious reviewers play, as members of the journal’s editorial team, in enabling the journal to function effectively and in maintaining its quality. TiiS aims to do justice to this role, both in terms of the quality of communication between reviewers and the journal’s editors and in terms of acknowledgment of reviewers’ contributions:

Communication Between Reviewers and Editors

  1. Each person who is invited to prepare a review for TiiS is selected for invitation by one of the journal’s associate editors (in the case of a special issue, by one of the special issue associate editors) on the basis of the invitee’s known interests and expertise.
  2. If the reviews of a submission reveal significant disagreements among the reviewers, the associate editor can choose to moderate a discussion among the reviewers before recommending a decision.
  3. Reviewers have access to the decision letter, which includes all of the reviews as well as the comments of the associate editor, via the ScholarOne Manuscripts system.
  4. If at any time a reviewer has questions, suggestions, or concerns, he or she can communicate directly with the responsible associate editor and/or the editors-in-chief.

Acknowledgment of Reviewing Service

On request, the editors-in-chief will gladly write for an individual reviewer a formal letter of acknowledgment of reviewing service that describes the contributions that the reviewer has made (in a way consistent with the policy of reviewer anonymity).

Instructions and Hints for Reviewers

To enter the manuscript management site, visit the following page:

Instructions about the practical aspects of reviewing and suggestions about the content of a review will be found in the TiiS-specific guidance pages that are accessible from within manuscript management site.

If you would like to get an overview even before entering the system (or before accepting a reviewing invitation), you can access the most important page directly:

Reviewing Procedure

This page describes the TiiS reviewing procedure in a role-independent way. It is recommended reading for authors and reviewers.

To see how this procedure works out in terms of the total time required to process a given submission, see the TiiS Submission Planner.

The goal is to provide the most expert and helpful reviewing procedure possible while avoiding long turnaround times. Achievement of this goal has been made possible by a thorough renovation and customization of the reviewing infrastructure and procedures, with the help of feedback from authors, reviewers, and associate editors.

Steps in the Reviewing Procedure

1. The editors-in-chief check the submission to judge whether it has some chance of ultimately being accepted. If they notice a serious problem, they contact the corresponding author to explain it. The most likely problems are that (a) the manuscript does not fall within the scope of the journal (as explained on the pages on Research Areas and Perspectives); (b) though potentially relevant, it does not include adequate discussion of the implications of the work for the topics of the journal; and (c) the work does not yet approach the high level of maturity that is required for an ACM journal. The authors may be encouraged to submit a revised or rewritten manuscript very soon or at a later time.

2. The editors-in-chief ask one of TiiS’s regular associate editors – or, in the case of a submission to a special issue, the special issue associate editors – to manage the reviewing of the submission. (In general, the identity of the associate editor is made known to the authors by the time the reviews are sent to the authors for clarification, if not earlier.)

3. The associate editor selects and invites 3 reviewers to review the submission.

4. Once all reviews have been received, they are sent to the corresponding associate editor. The associate editor might invite the authors to submit an optional clarification message, if the reviewers need to further discuss and perhaps modify their reviews.

5. The associate editor recommends an editorial decision about the submission, which is checked by the editors-in-chief to ensure consistent application of reviewing standards.

6. Once the associate editor’s decision has been confirmed, the editors-in-chief communicate this decision to the authors, along with the reviews and the comments of the associate editor.

Decision Categories

Each decision on a submission falls into one of the following 5 categories:

  • “Accepted”

    No further revisions or review are required before the article appears in an upcoming issue of ACM TiiS.

  • “Accepted with requirement of minor revisions”

    If the authors complete the set of “minor revisions” that have been listed explicitly as such by the associate editor, the associate editor will check the revisions. If they are judged to be adequate, the revised article will appear in an upcoming issue of TiiS.

    “Minor” revisions are changes to the manuscript (a) which can probably be completed by the authors with a few days of work and (b) whose success can be checked by the responsible associate editor without consultation of the paper’s reviewers.

  • “Accepted conditional upon major revisions”

    If the authors complete the set of “major revisions” that have been listed explicitly as such by the associate editor, one or more of the original reviewers will check the revisions and report their evaluations of them to the associate editor. If the revisions are judged to be adequate, the article will appear in an upcoming issue of TiiS.

    “Major revisions” are changes to the manuscript (a) which the associate editor believes the authors can probably complete but (b) which are too extensive or substantial to fall into the category of “minor revisions”.

  • “Rejected with option to resubmit after rewriting”

    The authors are encouraged to submit a rewritten version of the manuscript, taking into account the critiques and suggestions of the reviewers and the associate editor. No specific conditions for acceptance of the rewritten submission are listed. If such a submission is made, it will be reviewed in its entirety. The set of reviewers will usually include some or all of the original reviewers.

  • “Rejected”

    The associate editor and the editors-in-chief consider it very unlikely that even a thoroughly rewritten manuscript reporting on the same research could be acceptable for TiiS. The notification letter may include a recommendation about other possible publication venues.

Timing of Resubmissions

For each of the 3 decision categories that involve submission of a revised or rewritten manuscript, there is a time limit for the resubmission, whose main purpose is to ensure timely publication of research results:

  • “Accepted with requirement of minor revisions”: 30 days
  • “Accepted conditional upon major revisions”: 90 days
  • “Rejected with option to resubmit after rewriting”: 90 days

Extensions can be granted if the authors have a particular reason for wanting to resubmit at a later date.

Timing of Publication

Once a submission has reached the category “Accepted”, it will be announced on the TiiS website. The article will appear in the ACM Digital Library about 2.5–3 months later, after the source files submitted by the authors have been professionally copy-edited and typeset - regardless of whether the entire journal issue in which the article is scheduled to appear is complete. The printed issue of the journal will appear some time later, the interval depending on how far in advance the article appeared in the Digital Library.

General ACM policies

For more information on specific topics, see the ACM publications policies.

 
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