Definitions of Characteristics to be Evaluated

Originality is a measure of the creativity or inventiveness of the author. That which has never before been accomplished is obviously original. In the review process, however, originality must be interpreted not only in the sense of a new physical creation, but must include such items as new concepts, techniques, methods, or applications. It describes the work of one whose creativity has given rise to a new concept; it is applicable to the analyst who, through the generation of new analytical techniques or through an unusual application of classical techniques, obtain solutions to engineering problems; it describes the inventiveness of an experimentalist in the design, construction, and use of novel and unique equipment to obtain data not previously available. Originality then is an attribute of the author's work that is earned by specific contributions to the field. Originality is a standard by which the author's work will be known. The measure of originality of the reported work will be determined by the reviewers and will be based upon what is known of past and current developments in this specific field.

The significance of the reported work may be difficult to appraise. What is considered to be of little significance today may be very significant in future years. As we read a manuscript, however, either consciously or unconsciously we do measure the significance of the material. This evaluation, either subtle or planned, is made in the light of what we know about the subject matter. It is normal to ask the questions, "Why was this work done?" and "What is the significance of the work as it relates to a particular technical field?" The reviewer is held to be an expert in this field and it is his/her responsibility to make a subjective evaluation of the importance or worth of the reported work. You must judge, to the best of your ability, the merit or value of another's contribution.

The completeness of the reported work refers to the oneness or wholeness of the work. In this usage, the reported work should be marked by a unity and continuity of parts and should show an interdependence between these parts. As an example, an experimental program would be marked by a concept or phenomenon that was to be investigated, the formulation of an experiment, the design, build-up and check-out of experimental equipment, the running the test, the gathering and interpretation of data, and the establishment of conclusions. Each of these parts has a completeness of its own and yet there is an interdependence between them and no part can be missing without destroying to a certain extent the integrity of the entire work. The reported work should exhibit a level of accomplishment that comes from thoughtful and scholarly ability to formulate and pursue a technical program at a professional level.

Acknowledgment of the work of others by references is to be expected in a well-prepared technical paper. Such recognition is not merely a courtesy, it is a valued content showing how the current work is related to work already accomplished. The references should be both adequate in number and accurate in content. Such a documentation shows the author's familiarity with the work of others and also serves as an aid to the reader who may desire to learn more of the subject the author is discussing. It is obviously not necessary or appropriate to reference all known work, but a judicious choice of pertinent papers should be given.

The organization of the manuscript is extremely important if the reader is to understand the work of the author. Ideas are most effectively communicated when there is a carefully planned and logical structure in the manuscript. Some of the specific criteria on the organization of a paper are outlined briefly below:

  • Title - Brief, descriptive.
  • Abstract - Clear indication of object, scope and results.
  • Index Terms - A short set of keywords that can be used to access the information.
  • Body of Paper - Logical organization; purpose, description of problem, means of solution, results, and conclusions.
  • Symbols - Use of recommended symbols; unusual symbols adequately defined.
  • Bibliography - Listed at end of paper, in IEEE format; sufficiently complete.
  • Illustrations - Clear black and white glossy prints of all line drawings, graphs and photographs. Graphs should be free of all lines and lettering that are not essential and coordinate rulings should be limited in number for the sake of clarity.
  • Length - Should not exceed about 6000 words (20 pages of double-spaced typing); conciseness is a goal.
  • Style - The paper should be well written, conform to recognized standards of literary style, and be readily understandable to engineers in the field of interest of the paper. Nationalism should be avoided.

Clarity in writing, tables, graphs and illustrations cannot be overemphasized. A technical article is written to convey ideas to the reader and this end will only be achieved when the author uses the right choice of words, effective sentence structure, correct spelling and punctuation, and paragraphing. The author must also show accuracy and skill in the use of formulae, graphs, and diagrams since these exist to complement the written text. Since English is the publication language of this Transactions, you may wish to assist the author for whom English is a second language by suggesting rewording and alternate sentence structure.