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Referee Guide

Information for reviewers of papers submitted to Electronics Letters

All Institution of Engineering and Technology journals require that papers be subject to peer-review prior to acceptance for publication. This ensures that a high standard of publication is maintained by identifying material that is original, significant, and well presented.

Our journals are international in authorship and readership and our referees are selected carefully to reflect this.

We value the work of our referees and recognise that you are very busy and dedicated people. We are always interested to hear from you, especially regarding your views on how we can provide the best possible service for you. To help us do this we encourage you to alert us to the following:

  • changes in your contact details
  • periods of unavailability (e.g. holidays, sabbaticals)
  • changes in your research interests

Electronic Reviewing

On 19 April 2004, the Institution launched a new peer review system for Electronics Letters and IEE Proceedings. This new web-based system, Manuscript Central from Scholar One accepts electronic submissions and reviews only.

For more information regarding Manuscript central, please take a look at the list of FAQ’s.


All submissions are given unbiased consideration regardless of race, gender, ethnic origin, or religion of the authors.

All reviews are single-blind i.e. although you as a referee know who the authors are, your anonymity is strictly preserved. Please do not correspond with or transmit your review directly to the authors.

Electronics Letters differs from IEE Proceedings in its criteria for reviewing; these are given in detail later. Although for this journal referee comments are not normally forwarded to the authors, your review should be objective so please do not make comments about the paper or authors that could cause offence.


Please treat the paper as confidential. Upon completion of your review, the paper may not be retained, used or cited prior to publication.

Conflict of Interest

Please contact us immediately if:

  • you are in direct competition with the authors
  • you are a co-worker or collaborator with any of the authors


Papers submitted to Electronics Letters must record original work not previously published in the open literature or under consideration by another publisher. Please inform the Editors if you believe either of these to be true.

The Editors are particularly grateful when referees draw their attention to papers to which proper reference has not been made and to papers that are closely related.


The Editors encourage the publication of papers that describe work of high calibre engineering and science. Where a paper has a high theoretical or mathematical content, it is essential that its application is specified rather than given in general terms.


Referees are asked to consider whether the author presents the material logically, in clear and direct English, and in as concise a manner as possible. Papers submitted to Electronics Letters have been length and quality checked before they are sent to referees. Accepted papers will be copyedited to ensure clarity and consistency, to correct minor errors (e.g. typographical or language), to standardise various formatting details and to conform to Electronics Letters house style. However, if the English is such that it obscures the meaning of the paper and could not be easily corrected by a copyeditor, then the paper is not suitable for Electronics Letters.

SI units, and ISO and IEC recommended unit symbols, letter symbols and nomenclature should be used throughout. Referees should indicate where other units have been used.

Graphs and other illustrations should be clearly drawn and labelled. Graphs are an effective method of displaying results although too much information in one graph can cause confusion, and may not be easily reproducible in production. Tabular information should not duplicate graphical information.

Special criteria for Electronics Letters

When reviewing for Electronics Letters, referees should ask themselves ‘Is this paper suitable for rapid publication?’ This is a different requirement from most other journals. We are interested in work that is novel, original and where rapid publication would be of benefit to the engineering community.

To maintain the speed of publication, papers are accepted as they stand or rejected outright with no opportunity for revision. Referees are therefore asked to make a binary decision and should not make suggestions for substantial changes. If a paper requires major revision, then it is not suitable for Electronics Letters. However, we value brief comments, such as reasons for your decision or that highlight minor errors that can be dealt with by the Editorial Office.

On the referee report form, we ask referees to consider if the work is original, novel, suitable for the journal, technically sound, well-written and well-organised. We also ask referees to indicate how close the paper is to their particular field of expertise; this enables us to judge the efficiency of our referee selection.

We ask referees to grade the paper from the following list:

  • Outstanding work of great significance
  • Good and useful advance in the field
  • Of sufficient interest to merit rapid publication; if the work should be published but it is not necessarily urgent, then ‘otherwise unsuitable’ would be more appropriate (see below)
  • Insufficient engineering application; in theoretical or mathematical work, the application should be clear and specific
  • Not a significant advance; a new submission must contain work which represents a sufficient advance over previously published work to justify rapid publication. Incremental work is not suitable for Electronics Letters
  • Trivial
  • Erroneous in concept; this grade should be selected if the concepts and/or methods used in the paper are wrong. Minor errors that can be corrected by a copyeditor should not be a bar to publication (see Presentation)
  • Otherwise unsuitable: further possible reasons for unsuitability are given below. This is not meant to a comprehensive list
    • not suitable for rapid publication: Many papers submitted to the journal are of reasonable technical quality and would probably be accepted (usually in longer form) in another journal. However if the referee can see no need for the paper to be available in the public domain with any urgency, then the paper is not suitable for Electronics Letters.
    • splitting one paper into multiple papers or variations on a theme: as the pressure to publish is intensifying, some authors are resorting to splitting work which could easily be detailed in one paper into two or more papers or submitting multiple papers on essentially the same topic with only minor differences.
    • insufficient detail and or lack of comparison with existing techniques: one of the main problems with the strict length limit is that there is a limited amount of space for the authors to adequately explain their work or to give details of comparisons. If this is the case then the paper is not suitable for Electronics Letters.