Beginning in October 2002, the Transactions on Plasma Science began using a new system for submission and review of all its manuscripts. This system is IEEE’s Manuscript Central system. It is accessible through the World Wide Web at the following address:
The system is maintained for IEEE’s use by a commercial vendor – Scholar One. The vendor hosts the web site, guarantees security of the information, provides regular backups and system upgrades, and offers responsive customer support.
I want to take this opportunity to formally announce and launch the web site, now that the first six months of use and debugging is complete. For authors, the web site offers the possibility to submit their manuscripts for review and to enter much information about the manuscripts. For reviewers, manuscripts may be downloaded for review, and anonymous reviews may be entered directly into the web site. For Guest Editors, the system offers a way for efficiently manage all the details of the review process for Special Issue papers.
Once the author has registered on Manuscript Central, and obtained his or her User Name and Password, the manuscript submission process may proceed. Once signed onto the web site, the steps include submission of: manuscript title, author list, author affiliations, corresponding author contact information, manuscript abstract, index terms/keyword list, lists of reviewers preferred and those not preferred. The author can then upload his or her manuscript in a variety of electronic formats. These formats include: PDF, EPS, PS, MS Word, Tex, LaTex, etc. The manuscript’s figures are also uploadable in a variety of formats including PDF, TIFF, JPG, EPS, PS, etc. Supplementary information about the manuscript can also be uploaded. This material can include cover letters, previous reviews and replies (in the case of a revised manuscript), previous publications, etc. Helpful instructions for authors and IEEE copyright forms are also available through the web site.
For reviewers, the process is also rather straightforward. A unique User Name and Password is automatically provided to a reviewer who agrees to assist with a review of a particular manuscript. The reviewer may then access the manuscript for review, download it to his or her own computer, and print out the manuscript if desired. Once the reviewer is ready to enter his or her opinion about the manuscript, the web site provides the reviewer with an on-line scoring sheet, and unlimited space for entering comments. Reviewers also have the possibility to attach an electronic review, and supplementary materials for the authors, as well as private information for the responsible Editor or Guest Editor.
Special Issues of the Transactions on Plasma Science will also be using the Manuscript Central system. Guest Editors of the various Special Issues will be able to handle the review process details entirely through the Manuscript Central website. As Editor, I will arrange for the training of the Guest Editors in the use of the system.
Throughout this process, authors, reviewers, and Guest Editors can seek further information about the various steps and submit questions to the system help desk. I also stand ready to provide assistance to all submitting authors, all reviewers, and Guest Editors via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (+1-505-667-4352) or FAX (+1-505-667-0966).
I wish you all an easy time with using the Manuscript Central system and offer the hope that the system will improve your ease of submission, and ease and timeliness of reviewing. It is my expectation that the time taken to process manuscripts from submission to eventual publication will noticeably decrease by using the Manuscript Central system.
Steven J. Gitomer, Editor