IEEE Transactions on Reliability Review Policy

Review Policy

  1. TRel requires each paper to be reviewed by THREE (3) independent reviewers. When inviting reviewers, please be sure to check if the author has any suggested/non-preferred reviewers. If you invite a reviewer recommended by the author, you must also invite another reviewer not recommended by the author.

    Special cases: Contact Professor Winston Shieh, Editor-in-Chief

    Every paper needs to be reviewed by at least TWO (2) reviewers not recommended by the author.

    Once you have selected the reviewers, you will need to click the blue invite button to send the invitation to the reviewers. Otherwise, the invitation email will not be sent.

    It is a good strategy to invite more than three reviewers, as some may not accept the invitations or submit their reviews in time.

  2. IEEE requires that each accepted paper have at least two ACCEPT recommendations from independent peer reviewers, and an AE cannot be a peer reviewer.

    This requirement can be waived if the previous version of a paper has an ACCEPT recommendation and a Minor Revision recommendation. Under this condition, the AE can serve as a reviewer to carefully examine the revised submission and to make sure all the comments have been satisfactorily addressed. If so, the AE can recommend to accept this paper. However, the AE must also complete a review report in the section “Comments to the Author” like a regular reviewer to justify why he/she gives an ACCEPT recommendation.

  3. If a paper receives at least one Major Revision and one Reject recommendation (no matter what the other recommendations are), it should be rejected unless the AE can provide a strong justification to explain why the paper should not be rejected.

    Under no circumstances can a paper be accepted without revision if it receives at least one REJECT recommendation from any reviewer.

  4. A paper is allowed to go through at most THREE (3) iterations (initial submission, R1, and R2). After the second revision, except for very minor editorial changes, if the paper still cannot be accepted, any additional revision must be submitted as a new submission.

    Please inform authors that when they submit a revised version, in addition to the manuscript, they must also include a separate list at the beginning of the pdf file detailing how each reviewer’s comment is addressed in their paper.

  5. Please examine whether a paper is within the main scope of TRel.

    We will not publish papers:

    • with only a few pages and many mathematical formulas based on assumptions and approximations and do not provide clear examples of the practical use of these formulas
    • with incremental works, that is, work depicting minor variations on other publications
    • based on simplified simulations and yet-to-be-proved theories

    TRel requires all papers to include a substantial discussion of previous and related works, including and especially previous work from the same author (group).

    TRel gives higher priority to papers with results from case studies on real-life applications and discussions of possible impacts in the field.

    Papers published in TRel should deal with real issues in reliability. We are not interested in publishing a paper with only a few pages, unless it is exceptionally well-written with solid real-life applications. Those that mainly consist of models and/or mathematical formulas based on simplified/artificial assumptions and approximations and do not provide clear examples of the practical use of these models/formulas are unlikely to be accepted.

    Since we have a large number of high quality submissions, we only accept papers that have solid endorsement from the reviewers. A paper in which there are any major concerns that have not been addressed cannot be accepted.

  6. TRel has a long tradition on being strict about overlapping/plagiarism between submissions and previously published papers. The current threshold is 30%. Any submission that is over this limit will be rejected without further evaluation. Please advise authors that the best way to avoid this problem is not to copy and paste paragraphs from other papers, including their own publications.

  7. When you submit your preliminary decision, you need to justify it. Please do not leave the section “Associate Editor’s Summary” blank. Also, the justification cannot be over-simplified. For example, it is inappropriate to say that a paper should be rejected (or accepted) because the reviewers have suggested so. You should read all the comments and determine whether there are any contradictions between a reviewer’s recommendation and his/her detailed comments. Any recommendation without appropriate justification should be excluded.

    We have noticed that some reviewers (especially those recommended by the authors) simply want to accept a paper without providing any comments or only giving very shallow comments. Such biased reviews cannot be used to support the acceptance of a paper.

    To improve the review quality, it is critical that you write your own concluding comments based on reviewers’ feedback and perhaps your evaluation of the paper as well. In short, your preliminary decision should not only be based on reviewers’ recommendations without examining their detailed comments. If you observe some suspicious and/or inconsistent comments, please use your best judgment to determine whether they should be discarded. If you still want to include them, you may consider lowering their weight while making your decision.

  8. In some cases, the detailed comments submitted by a reviewer as an attachment are either not properly uploaded to the system or are in the system but not included along with an AE’s preliminary decision. If this happens, the AE needs to manually upload these files and send an email to the Editor-in-Chief so that he can ask IEEE to check with ScholarOne Manuscripts to find out what goes wrong.

  9. A reviewer may mistakenly enter his/her comments into the filed marked “Confidential Comments to the Editor” even though they are really meant for the authors. As a result, only the editors can see these comments. If this is the case, you need to manually copy and paste these comments into your decision letter so that such information can be shared with the authors to not only help them understand how you make your acceptance/revision/rejection decision, but also provide them with useful guidance to further improve their papers.

  10. To make sure all the submissions are in the same format and to better estimate the length of each manuscript, authors will be required to use a style similar to that in the printed version of TRel. More precisely, it should be in the standard double-column and single-space format. The font size should be 11-point. We will include this information as part of the submission process so that authors will have to read these instructions and check the corresponding box before uploading their manuscripts. Any submissions that do not comply with the required format will be returned to the authors for reformatting.

  11. IEEE will send us a biweekly report that shows which papers are suffering from late reviews and the names of the corresponding AEs who are in charge of the evaluation. This information can help TRel keep a close eye on every submission and make sure its reviews are completed in a timely manner.

    We will contact you via email if you are on the list. If you receive such a reminder, please complete your assignment(s) as soon as possible. It is very important that we speed up the review process. We need to reduce submission-decision time.

  12. Journal First Submission

    If authors indicate their papers are Journal First Submission, they must provide appropriate justification as part of the submission.

Reduce the Submission-to-Epublication Time

The IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) has asked its staff to develop a process (which is fairly complex) to measure the time from submission to online publication of every article in a journal.

The report is designed to provide information on how long it takes to publish journal articles from the original submission to the journal for review to the first date of publication in IEEE Xplore. Included in the report are four key metrics for each journal:

  • Average weeks from date of submission for review to first decision
  • Average weeks from date of submission for review to publication in IEEE Xplore
  • Median weeks from date of submission for review to first decision
  • Median weeks from date of submission for review to publication in IEEE Xplore

In response, we have taken the following steps:

  • Reduced the time for an AE to select/invite reviewers from 10 days to 7 days
  • Reduced the time for a reviewer to review a paper from 30 days to 21 days, which is the same as many other journals
  • Reminders sent to reviewers for late reviews are also copied to the corresponding AE (which was not the case previously) so that the AE can take appropriate actions to avoid any further delay
  • Four (4) reminders to reviewers for submitting their reviews will be sent in three weeks: 7 days before due, due date, 7 days past due, and 14 days past due
  • Four (4) reminders to AEs for making preliminary decisions will be sent in two and a half weeks: 3 days before due, due date, 7 days past due, and 14 days past due

Special Guidelines for Authors

(This is posted at the beginning of the submission page in ScholarOne Manuscript system so that every author must read them and click the associated check box to show his/her understanding before proceeding with the submission. The same information also appears on the website of Reliability Society under Publications.)

  • We welcome high quality submissions that are original work, not published, and not currently submitted elsewhere. We also welcome extensions of conference papers, unless prohibited by copyright, if there is a significant difference in the technical content. Improvements such as adding a new case study or including a description of additional related studies do not satisfy this requirement.
  • If you claim that your paper is a Journal First Submission, you must provide appropriate justification in the cover letter as part of the submission. You also need to answer some specific questions during the submission to further explain the merits of your paper.
  • Each submission must conform to the double column and single-spaced format of printed articles in the IEEE Transactions on Reliability, with all figures and tables embedded in the paper rather than listed at the end or in the appendix.
  • An abstract must be included at the beginning of each submission, as well as copied and pasted into the corresponding Abstract box at Step 1 of the submission. If it is uploaded as an attachment, a message such as “See the attached abstract” must be entered into the corresponding box.
  • If you are submitting a revised version, the main file should have a list detailing how each reviewer’s comment has been addressed in the beginning, followed by a revised version of the paper. More precisely, include everything in one single pdf file. Do not submit your responses to comments as part of the cover letter as reviewers may have trouble finding them.
  • The overlap between a submission and other articles, including the authors’ own papers/reports and dissertations, should be less than 30%. All materials accessible by the public will be included for plagiarism check. You should not copy and paste any paragraphs from other papers, even if they are your own publications.
  • Papers not complying with these guidelines may be rejected without further evaluation.

Additional Information for Authors

  • Any paper shorter than five pages is likely to be rejected without evaluation unless it is well-written with solid contributions to advance reliability and related areas.
  • Papers with many formulas based on assumptions and approximations that are yet to be justified and do not provide clear examples of the practical use of these formulas are unlikely to be accepted.
  • Papers with only incremental improvements that are minor variations of other publications are likely to be rejected without evaluation.
  • Papers based on simplified simulations and yet-to-be-proven theories without appropriate justifications are unlikely to be accepted.
  • All submissions must include a substantial discussion of previous and related works, including and especially, previous publications from the same author (group).
  • Papers reporting results from case studies on real-life applications and discussions of possible impacts in the field will receive high priority for hardcopy publication after they are accepted.
  • Once a paper is accepted, authors cannot make changes to the technical contents beyond those noted in the reviews and the AE's decision letter. Otherwise, the paper will be returned to the corresponding AE for further evaluation. It is also not allowed to add additional authors or remove those listed on the accepted version.
  • After a paper is accepted, authors are encouraged to submit the required files to IEEE following the instructions provided in the decision letter and to address all editorial inquiries from IEEE in a timely manner to avoid possible delay of the online publication of their paper.
  • Send inquiries to Professor Winston Shieh, Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Reliability.

Suggested Format for Your Decision Letter

Please add a separator (“=========”) between the comments from each reviewer to increase the readability. See the following example:

Dear XXX:

Thank you for submitting the following manuscript

TR-201x-xxx entitled “xxxxxxxxx”

to the IEEE Transactions on Reliability.


Your Name
Associate Editor
IEEE Transactions on Reliability
================================================== (Please add this line manually)
Associate Editor’s Summary

(Please do not leave this section blank.)
================================================== (Please add this line manually)
Reviewers’ Comments to Author:

Reviewer: 1

Comments to the Author
================================================== (Please add this line manually)

Reviewer: 2

Comments to the Author
================================================== (Please add this line manually)

Reviewer: 3

Comments to the Author
================================================== (Please add this line manually)