Common Problems or Situations and Getting Help

When problems occur, there are a variety of ways to get help. If there is a problem that involves the online tool, there is online support. Click on the "Get Help Now" icon and use "Ask a Question" to email a question. This question goes to either the developer of the tool or to a dedicated support person at IEEE.

If there is a problem in the editorial process, contact the Editor-in-Chief. Assistance with user accounts and manuscripts is provided by the System Administrator.

The following are common problems or situations that occur. In general, if there is a concern, do not hesitate to contact the Editor-in-Chief.

  • The reviewer can't find the paper to review. This is usually the result of the reviewer having two accounts, which causes problems with the tool. Contact the System Administrator or Editor-in-Chief to check this and merge any duplicate accounts.
  • The reviewer is having trouble logging into the tool. This is usually due to the fact that the account is new and was created when the Editor requested the review. Ask the reviewer to check for an existing account using the online tool. If this fails, the System Administrator or Editor-in-Chief can have the tool send the reviewer an "Account Created" email with account information.
  • The reviewer submitted a review then needs to add/change something. In this case, the Editor should use the online support function to have the paper moved back into the reviewer's account.
  • The electronic file for the paper has problems. This usually happens with revised papers, which are not initially screened by the System Administrator. In this case, let the authors know and ask the System Administrator for help. The System Administrator can replace a problem file with a new one supplied by the author.
  • The reviewer has placed comments in the wrong box. In this case, verify that with the reviewer then ask online support to move the paper back to the reviewer, so the review can be re-entered.
  • The reviewer has put his/her name in the review. The preferred way to handle this is to point this out to the reviewer and have online support move the paper back to the reviewer so that it can be redone. In extreme situations, if the name is clearly separate from the rest of the review, online support can be contacted to remove that part of the review.
  • The author has put the comments to reviewers in the same file as the revised paper. While this is not the preferred way of handling the comments, this is fine. An early version of the online tool provides a way for the author to write formatted equations in the comments.
  • The author or reviewer has changed email addresses or contact information. When this occurs, encourage the author to make these changes by logging into their account and editing their profile. Otherwise, the System Administrator can update the account information.
  • Glitches with the online tool. In the past, there have been situations in which the online tool doesn't behave correctly. For example, suddenly the reviewer recommendations are missing from the reviews. If you notice a problem of this sort, contact the Editor-in-Chief. This is usually due to an upgrade of the software.
  • A paper has been reassigned from another Editor. Occasionally, a paper is transferred or reassigned from one AE to another. Usually this is because the original AE is unable to complete the review process. When this occurs, you will be asked to expedite the process as best you can. One way is to use reviewers that historically have provided a quick turnaround. You can also tell the reviewer that this is an unusual situation that needs minimal delay.