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 author by email with an invitation to submit an optional clarification message (normally within 1 week) if the authors perceive any significant misunderstanding in the reviews or have other potentially useful feedback to offer.
5. The associate editor may choose to send the reviews – including any author clarification – to all of the reviewers, so that they can discuss and perhaps modify their reviews.
6. 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.
Each decision on a submission falls into one of the following 5 categories:
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.
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
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.