Technical Paper Submission Reviewer's Guidelines

© Copyright 1999-2002, ITherm and JM Technology Solutions, Inc.

It is the intent of ITherm to publish technical papers of high quality and relevance on a wide range of topics associated with thermal and thermomechanical issues in electronic applications. ITherm prides itself on the quality of its technical papers which is only attainable through a peer review process which necessitates a thorough and critical assessment of draft manuscripts by competent and knowledgeable experts in particular fields of interest. I am requesting your assistance in evaluating a draft manuscript. Your opinions will be held in confidence and your efforts will contribute greatly toward maintaining the high quality expected of an ITherm conference. As selected papers are archived in the IEEE/CPMT Journal, these reviewer guidelines are a subset of IEEE/CPMT's guidelines.

Review Process

Prior to publication and presentation at Itherm, all papers must be reviewed by competent specialists. The purpose of review is to determine whether a paper is acceptable for publication, needs revision, or should be rejected. Recommendations must be supported by specific and critical comments. Reviewing is a confidential process involving only the reviewer and the editorial staff. In addition, the technical material in the manuscript must be held in confidence by the reviewer; until it is published, this material is not in the public domain, and it is sent to you for review purposes only.

Papers recommended for presentation at Itherm must be of high quality and have permanent interest value, as appropriate to the purpose of publication in a conference proceeding.

If a rejection is recommended, keep in mind that you should set forth reasons in a manner which you would want them documented had you written the manuscript and rejection was contemplated.

Review Forms

A combined transmittal and paper evaluation form is available for download in PDF or Microsoft Word formats. Please use this form to track and document comments during the paper review process.

Reviewing Technical Papers

Reviewing technical manuscripts is an intellectual process that includes both subjective and objective elements. The reviewer must be objective in the sense of eliminating any personal bias s/he may have toward the author or the subject matter. At the same time, the reviewer must evaluate the paper in terms of his/her own experience in and knowledge of the specialized technical field. This involves more than checking a list of possible impressions, for the reviewer will almost always have some reactions that cannot be anticipated in a formal review form.

The ITherm Paper Review form has been designed so that the reviewer can evaluate the merits of the paper and fit the evaluation into recommendations conforming with IEEE standards for technical paper publication.

Definitions Relating to Publication

Prior publication refers to reproduction and distribution of a paper in a manner such that it has been made available to the engineering profession and can be obtained in the normal process of a literature search.

An acceptable technical paper is one that is technically sound, free from personalities and bias (especially of a commercial nature), one in which the author supplies information never before published in a form readily available to the public or adds a new concept or development to existing technical knowledge. The definition should be construed to include comprehensive reviews to past and present engineering practice.

Unacceptable technical papers are those having an obvious sales approach to technical problems, those based upon fallacious or dubious engineering analysis, and those whose approach is superficially descriptive of widely accepted engineering practice.

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 a 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 should conform with Draft and Final Manuscript Style Instructions presented in the Author's Kit. It is extremely important that these guidelines are followed closely to ensure that ideas are communicated in a carefully planned and logical structure.

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 ITherm proceedings, you may wish to assist the author for whom English is a second language by suggesting rewording and alternate sentence structure.

Definitions of Quality Ratings

The quality rating scale encompasses a range of evaluations from "poor" to"prize paper" quality. There are very few technical papers whose characteristics will merit the rating of "prize paper" quality. Even fewer papers will warrant such a rating over their entire profile. They will be recognized on the basis of outstanding writing quality, a high degree or originality, and their unusual contribution to the science of engineering.

The rating of "good" indicates very acceptable levels of accomplishment. A paper with profile components rated at this level would be presentable at ITherm conferences and meets the requirements for publication in an IEEE journal.

"Acceptable" and "marginal" quality will be considered from a subjective viewpoint since each reviewer will have his/her own concept as to what constitutes acceptability. Reviewers should, however, be able to evaluate a paper or its profile in a realistic way in terms of generally accepted standards. The basis of the evaluation must be the reviewer's own professional experience and knowledge of the technical literature. A rating of "marginal" is below the ITherm standards of acceptability and appropriate comments should be made to assist the author in revising the manuscript.

Papers with ratings of "poor" encompass defects previously mentioned in the definition of unacceptable technical papers. Such papers will include excessive commercialism, fallacious analysis, or repetitive description of conventional engineering practice.