A message from John Baillieul, Vice President IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB), and Anthony Durniak, IEEE Staff Executive Publications:
The IEEE Publications Newsletter has been created to help the publications department better serve our editors of IEEE periodicals, society officers, and staff. Each issue will communicate timely information related to the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) initiatives and general business to help you stay abreast of progress being made. It will also let you know in which areas your attention, assistance, and support may be helpful.
IEEE PSPB reports to the IEEE Board of Directors and is responsible for developing and recommending information related to published services and products policies. The IEEE PSPB is also responsible for setting and maintaining standards and procedures for IEEE information propagated through all forms of media.
IEEE’s position on open access (OA) is represented through nine core values and principles of operation. They are noted in their entirety in a report prepared by volunteers and staff entitled “IEEE’s Principles of Scholarly Publishing: Putting Open Access into Context.” IEEE’s current position on OA is that it is one of the many possible business models for scholarly publishing. However, for it to be successful, it needs to conform to all of IEEE’s publishing principles.
The report provides historical background on the four factors that have driven the OA movement and details OA-related definitions and business models. It reviews the core values and principles, and find answers to frequently asked questions regarding OA.
In late February 2008, IEEE announced that it will work with the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) in an effort to evaluate new publishing models. SCOAP3 represents a global effort to develop an open access (OA) publishing model that will make peer-reviewed research articles in the high energy physics field available to online users at no cost. As the IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science includes particle physics as a topic within its broader base of content, IEEE was able to participate in this working group.
Through this collaboration, IEEE will evaluate an OA publishing model. John Baillieul, Vice President, IEEE PSPB said, “In November, we adopted principles to provide a framework for us to explore new publishing models. SCOAP3 also endorses principles such as the value of peer review to validate scientific research, and the need for self-sustaining business models. IEEE is keenly interested in exploring approaches that benefit the creators and consumers of technical literature.”
IEEE Publications is proud to introduce a brochure, "IEEE Publishing: Connecting Brilliant Minds" (PDF, 342 KB). The purpose is to promote the advantages of publishing with IEEE to potential authors, editors and readers.
Copies will be available at 2008 exhibits that IEEE is arranging.
“Publication Guidelines” – Section 8.2 of the PSPB Operations Manual was amended 15 February 2008. Section 8.2 contains several new clauses every author and editor should review and follow.
“The Review Process” – Section 8.2.2 has been amended to include Section 8.2.2.A.2, which deals with the handling of manuscripts authored by publications volunteers. Primarily, it states that there is a conflict of interest for an author/editor to maintain editorial responsibilities on material the same individual has authored. In these cases, the manuscript should be delegated to some other qualified person for editorial review. Two new clauses have been added to address problems that might occur during the review process.
The first clause stresses that editors and volunteers involved in IEEE periodicals cannot abuse access privileges in order to obtain confidential information. It also classifies unauthorized access by any volunteer as misconduct and specifies that the PSPB Chair is responsible for overseeing an investigation and adjudication. The second clause requires IEEE organizational units to establish procedures that minimize the potential for unauthorized access to review information for their own periodicals.
“Allegations of Misconduct” – Section 8.2.4 has been amended to include Section 8.2.4.D which provides details on what the guidelines are for adjudicating different levels of plagiarism. Under this clause, five defined levels (or degrees) of plagiarism are outlined, along with a description of corrective actions to be taken by editors of IEEE publications. Section 8.2.9 provides guidelines for how to reference the work of others. The guidelines provided apply to all manuscripts at any point in the publication process.
As IEEE recognizes the importance of delivering technical information in a timely manner, it is presently focusing its efforts on establishing metrics to improve timeliness of publications. “Research has shown that authors are more satisfied when their articles are published rapidly,” John Baillieul, Vice President, IEEE Publication Services and Products said. “Timeliness of publications is important for keeping society publications competitive in today’s fast moving world,” adds J. Roberto de Marca, Vice President, IEEE Technical Activities.
TAB and its committees, primarily the TAB Periodicals Committee, have been working on developing a draft plan to address publication timeliness. These metrics as well as a draft implementation plan were discussed during the April 2008 Panel of Editors meeting. Concerns raised by the Editors-in-Chief in attendance proposed a dialogue begin for any journal about to be identified as a watch list candidate and that the focus on timeliness should not supersede the need for quality peer review. Overall, feedback from the Editors-in-Chief was positive emphasizing the opportunity to compare their journal’s performance to other journals in the field.