Instructions for Reviewers

Thank you for the exceptional service you provide to the medical imaging community by volunteering your time to review the submitted manuscripts. IEEE TMI is a highly ranked and consequently highly selective journal. This makes your role as a reviewer an extremely important one.

Criteria required for acceptance

Four criteria are necessary for a recommendation of acceptance for publication.

  • NOVELTY, is it new science or a new approach to established science?
  • QUALITY, is the technical content accurate and well written?
  • APPROPRIATENESS, is the manuscript complete in and of itself, and within the scope of TMI?
  • IMPACT, will the work reported have a significant impact on the field or does it describe an incremental step?

The number of submissions to TMI is increasing as is the quality of the submissions. While the number of printed pages available to IEEE TMI is also growing, it is not growing as fast as the number required to accommodate all "acceptable" papers. As a result, the acceptance of the papers to TMI is becoming increasingly competitive. This situation makes your assessments critical to the decision to accept.

Rating the manuscript

Rating the manuscript
  • ACCEPT WITH MAJOR REVISION (use sparingly)
    1. When assessing the paper, please consider whether the paper is "exceptional", "excellent", or just "good" and make your recommendation accordingly. Please keep in mind that we are a selective journal and that there are many "good" papers that we simply cannot accept due to space limitations — so please recommend acceptance or revision for those that are truly exceptional or excellent, and recommend reject/no further consideration for the other ones.
    2. Please note also that it is the policy of TMI to only allow one major revision for a paper that was returned with "Reject/Resubmit: major revisions needed and new external review required". In other words, if you receive such a revised manuscript for review, you should make either a recommendation to accept (possibly with a minor revision) or reject with no further consideration. The "Reject/Resubmit" should not be your recommendation unless there is some truly strong reason for allowing a 2nd revision — which you would need to justify in your review. This is motivated by our desire to concentrate on the best papers and not increase the demand on reviewer's time for papers that do not have a high promise to deserve publication in TMI. This should also increase the level of polish of the original and revised manuscripts.
    3. Dealing specifically with your possible recommendation of Reject/Resubmission — I want to encourage you to ask the following questions before you decide that a paper should be rejected with a resubmission encouragement:
      • Will the revision turn this paper into a first-ranked manuscript (not just a manuscript with major problems fixed)?
      • Is the contribution novel and revolutionary enough to warrant publication in TMI?
      • Is the impact of the paper going to be significant enough to warrant publication in TMI?
      • If you can answer "yes" to all these questions, by all means please give the authors a chance to revise and resubmit.
      • If, however, you have doubts about the outcome of a revision, please consider recommending that the paper be rejected with no further consideration. It may actually free up the authors to submit to another journal faster than by going through one more round of TMI reviews — and it will let all of us (Associate Editors and reviewers) concentrate on the best of the best manuscripts and consequently continue increase the quality of TMI and the entire field.
    This option should be used for manuscripts that are out of scope. We expect all TMI papers for make a contribution to imaging methods (interpreted broadly). However, we receive manuscripts describing instrumentation or clinical results without a broad discussion of the methodology associated with the advance. These papers are out of scope. However, if the issue prompting a decision to reject is about the quality of the contribution, the recommendation should be to REJECT outright.
    For this decision, we are not encouraging authors to resubmit a revision.

Please do not put your overall recommendation in your comments to authors. Place these in the comments to the Associate Editor. As you know, your comments are sent to the authors anonymously but unedited. In cases when the Associate Editor's recommendation or the final decision does not agree with the reviewer's recommendation, such statements are confusing to some authors. The EIC reserves the right to delete those from your recommendations when present.

The usual review process

  • The administrator checks to see if the manuscript is legible and complete, and runs iThenticate software to check for possible plagiarism.
  • The Editor in Chief assigns an Associate Editor to manage the manuscript and an automatic email is sent to the Associate Editor.
  • The Associate Editor assigns 3 reviewers within 3 days of being assigned a manuscript.
  • Assigned Reviewers have 3 weeks to submit their review. After 3 weeks, an automatic reminder is sent to the reviewer. Please be prompt with your review. The ranking of TMI is partly dependent on turn-around time.
  • You will need to complete the electronic review form in Manuscript Central: You may always communicate concerns to the EIC office at any time via your usual email system, but all official business regarding a manuscript review must be conducted within the ScholarOne website to preserve a record. By logging onto the site, you will find the instructions to create an account, access manuscripts and electronically submit your reviews. A quick PDF version of the Manuscripts Review Guide is available to help you to start.
  • Please be sure to keep your keywords and your contact information current in the ScholarOne system.

Reviewing an extended published conference paper

TMI's policy only allows submitting manuscripts to TMI describing work previously presented at a conference when the paper is a substantially extended version of the original conference paper. Such a submission is subject to the following requirements:

  • The conference paper must be properly referenced.
  • The new extensions must be described in some detail in a cover letter accompanying the TMI submission.
    Even if the paper is sufficiently different from the conference version, copyright issues may arise. If the conference is an IEEE conference, no copyright issues shall arise. If the conference paper was not published by IEEE, the authors have to obtain permission from the publisher of their conference paper to use copyrighted material for submission to TMI.
  • The conference paper must be uploaded as a supporting document when submitting the manuscript.

Manuscript submissions that are substantially extended versions of previous conference papers will have the original conference paper attached in the Supplementary Files tab for comparison.

Duplicate reviewer accounts

If you discover you have duplicate accounts in the ScholarOne system, please be sure to report the issue to the administrator at so the duplicate accounts can be merged.