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IEEE statement on correct use of bibliometrics

An increasing number of voices in the scientific community have recently expressed concerns on the inappropriate use of journal bibliometric indicators — mainly the well-known Impact Factor (IF). More specifically, they are being used as a proxy:

  • to judge the impact of a single paper published in a journal;
  • to evaluate the scientific impact of a scientist for hiring, tenure, promotion, salary increase and even project evaluations.

As is well documented in the bibliometric literature, journal bibliometric indicators are simply not designed for these purposes. Such unintended uses can have a negative impact on the careers and lives of IEEE members and authors. Furthermore, the practical use of a single bibliometric indicator (the IF) for such inappropriate objectives has made it the target and not the measure, promoting unethical behavior among editorial board members of journals in several disciplines with the sole aim of manipulating the indicator.

As the world’s largest professional technical organization, the IEEE has committed itself to addressing this situation by:

  1. taking actions to educate the community on the proper use of bibliometrics;
  2. promoting the use of more than one journal bibliometric indicator to offer a more comprehensive evaluation of the journal impact: in addition to bibliometric "popularity" measures (such as IF), at least complementary "prestige" measures should also be used (such as the Eigenfactor™ or the Article Influence™);
  3. establishing an IEEE ethical position on the appropriate use of bibliometrics.

More specifically, the IEEE Board of Directors on 9 September 2013 approved an IEEE Position Statement on “Appropriate Use of Bibliometric Indicators for the Assessment of Journals, Research Proposals, and Individuals”, which, in short, affirms that:

  1. The use of multiple complementary bibliometric indicators is fundamentally important to offer an appropriate, comprehensive and balanced view of each journal in the space of scholarly publications;
  2. Any journal-based metric is not designed to capture qualities of individual papers and must therefore not be used as a proxy for single-article quality or to evaluate individual scientists;
  3. While bibliometrics may be employed as a source of additional information for quality assessment within a specific area of research, the primary manner for assessment of either the scientific quality of a research project or of an individual scientist should be peer review;
  4. The IEEE also recognizes the increasing importance of bibliometric indicators as independent measures of quality or impact of any scientific publication and therefore explicitly and firmly condemns any practice aimed at influencing the number of citations to a specific journal with the sole purpose of artificially influencing the corresponding indicators.

If you would like more information about the statement you may contact the PSPB chair Gianluca Setti.


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Over one million electronic IEEE copyright forms received by IEEE

The IEEE Intellectual Property Rights Office is pleased to announce it has reached a milestone of one million copyright transfers received through its electronic IEEE Copyright Form (eCF) system. Since its inception in 2004, the eCF has effectively accomplished the goal of digitally transferring ownership rights of the intellectual property to IEEE, and has also saved significant amounts of time and effort on the part of IEEE authors, volunteers and staff.

The IPR Office is especially grateful to the many IEEE publication volunteers who have embraced the eCF, and have made the tool such a success by integrating it within their manuscript submission systems. Although most journal editors and conference organizers have opted to use the eCF rather than the paper IEEE Copyright Form, there are still many conferences that have yet to take advantage of this important tool. The IPR Office encourages all publication volunteers to help celebrate this milestone by spreading the word of the many benefits of the eCF to colleagues and other volunteers who organize IEEE conferences.

If you would like more information about the eCF, please contact the IEEE IPR Office at, or +1 732 562 3966, or visit the IPR Office web site at or


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CrossCheck use expected to surpass 200,000 manuscripts

As of September 2013, the CrossCheck plagiarism detection tool was being used in 148 IEEE periodicals.  Early in 2013, the tool was integrated into the workflow of all IEEE periodicals using the ScholarOne manuscript submission system, and editors of these publications are automatically notified about manuscripts that show a high similarity to previously published work. Editors investigate these papers and prevent publication of any that are found to violate IEEE’s standards.

In addition, CrossCheck has been adopted by two full-service conference vendors (EDAS and PaperPlaza), accounting for the use of CrossCheck in over 200 conferences and workshops this year.


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IEEE Press expands its e-book

IEEE Press grew its e-book presence in IEEE Xplore in 2013, to 650+ titles offered in the IEEE-Wiley eBooks Library, the flagship IEEE Press e-book collection launched in 2010 as an add-on subscription product. The product is forecast to generate $1.1 million in 2013 sales to libraries.

IEEE eBook Classics, the IEEE member benefit that provides free use of IEEE Press books older than three years, also continued to grow in 2013. Fourteen titles were introduced to Classics – the most added in a single year — for a current total of 263.


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The Institute receives APEX grand award

The Institute has received a rare Apex Grand Award in Electronic Media for its blog post “Are Engineers Really in Demand?

Apex Awards are bestowed for publication excellence by Communications Concepts. Out of thousands of entries, only 100 receive Grand Awards, the highest recognition the Apex judges can present. The blog was posted in February 2012 and to this day, continues to be viewed. It received 318 views during the week of July 28 2013.

Furthermore, The Institute won a second APEX award for “Most Improved Websites” for The Institute Website Redesign.


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IEEE Magazines earn five 2013 APEX awards

Four IEEE magazines have earned a total of five 2013 APEX Awards for publication excellence. The IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine won a Grand Award, and IEEE Women in Engineering, IEEE Potentials, and IEEE Robotics and Automation magazines have won Awards of Excellence.

APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. APEX Grand Awards honor the outstanding works in each main category, while APEX Awards of Excellence recognize exceptional entries in each of the individual categories.

With approximately 2400 entries, competition was exceptionally intense.

The IEEE magazines winners are as follows.

Consumer Electronics Cover January 2013

Writing: Nonprofit Small Office
IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1, January 2013
 Feature “Repairability Smackdown,” by Kyle Wiens, CEO iFixit and Peter Corcoran, Editor-in-Chief
Craig Causer, IEEE Magazines Staff Managing Editor

Magazines & Journals: Print (entire issue; over 32 pages plus cover)
IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine,Vol. 6, No. 2, December 2012
Karen Panetta, Editor-in-Chief
Craig Causer, IEEE Magazines Staff Managing Editor
Keyana Tennant, Associate Editor
Janet Dudar, Sr. Art Director
Gail Schnitzer, Asst. Art Director

Writing: Feature Writing
IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 2, December 2012
Feature “The Rock of Raytheon,” by Heather Wax.
Karen Panetta, Editor-in-Chief
Craig Causer, IEEE Magazines Staff Managing Editor
Keyana Tennant, Associate Editor

Design & Illustration: Illustration & Typography
IEEE Potentials, September/October 2012, cover 1
Elizabeth T. B. Johnston, Editor-in-Chief
Janet Dudar, Sr. Art Director
Craig Causer, IEEE Magazines Staff Managing Editor

IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2012, cover 1 (Photograph of Japanese bunraku puppet: Anthony Giblin/Lonely Planet).
Peter Corke, Editor-in-Chief
Erico Guizzo, IEEE Spectrum, Sr. Editor
Janet Dudar, Sr. Art Director
Debby Nowicki, IEEE Magazines Staff Managing Editor


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IEEE Spectrum wins Azbee award

The IEEE Spectrum “Robots for iPad” app and the podcast “Techwise Conversations” have won top honors at the 2013 AZBEE Awards. The March 2012 Feature Article — “A Shocking Truth” was also a national finalist in the competition.

ASBPE’s Azbee Awards of Excellence program is one of the most competitive there is for business-to-business, trade, association, and professional publications. The national awards recognize outstanding work by magazines, newsletters, and digital media–Web sites, e-newsletters, digital magazines, and blogs. The competition is open to all U.S.–based publications.

This is the second award this year for each of these digital gems. It also tops off IEEE Spectrum's editorial awards this year to 13.


IEEE eXpress conference publishing introduces new products

IEEE’s eXpress Conference Publishing unit introduces four new products to fit the needs of conference organizers with limited budgets or time restrictions:

  • The PDF eBook — A single PDF in a book layout is created from concatenation of all articles. This product can be imported to a CD-ROM or USB, or can be uploaded to the conference web site and viewed online during the conference, avoiding customs delays and costs of manufacturing, shipping, and value-added tax;
  • ePub eBook — an ePub e-book in the ePub format, enabling the reflow of content for mobile devices;
  • PDF eXpress Plus Support Services — Optimizes the use of the free PDF eXpress Plus conversion tool and still includes many benefits of eCP's premium service;
  • Xplore Submission-Only — Developed for conferences that only need assistance with their Xplore submission, this service assures that the conference papers are compliant with requirements of both the Letter of Agreement and IEEE Xplore.

Details are available at eXpress Conference Publishing’s web site, which was redesigned in 2013.


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