Instructions for Authors


Revision 9.6. Jan. 23, 2021

Before deciding to submit a manuscript, review TMI’s scopekey acceptance criteria, and review and decision process.

1. Prepare Your Manuscript

1.1. Beware

Your submitted manuscript must be unpublished and is not under consideration elsewhere.

The pre-print version of your manuscript may be posted on third party websites such as arxiv.org. Read IEEE Article Sharing and Posting Policies.

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1.2. Limit the overall length to 10-pages

Any initial submission, including references, that exceeds ten pages will be returned without review. This limit is not applicable to resubmissions because authors need to revise the paper in order to address issues raised by the reviewers. The final, accepted version of a paper is usually a few pages longer than the initial submission, meaning it may be more than ten.

Be aware of the over-length charge: final published papers that exceed eight (8) printed journal pages will incur mandatory over-length charges. All papers exceeding eight published pages, including illustrations and references, incur $250/page for pages nine and ten. For pages eleven and up, a $350/page charge applies. The over-length charge also applies to Open Access manuscripts.

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1.3. Strictly follow the TMI format

All the formatting details are described in the TMI template file (MS Word, LaTex). Below are a few key formatting requirements:

  • Author list should only include each author’s name and IEEE membership rank. There should be no superscript tags next to the author names.
  • Authors’ affiliations, e-mails, and sponsor and financial support acknowledgment should be included in a footnote at the bottom of the first page.
  • Abstract appears at the beginning and is followed by Index Terms (keywords).

For an abstract to be effective when displayed in IEEE Xplore® as well as through indexing services such as Compendex, INSPEC, Medline, ProQuest, and Web of Science, it must be an accurate, stand-alone reflection of the contents of the article. The abstract must be a concise, yet comprehensive reflection of what is in your article. In particular:

    • The abstract must be self-contained without abbreviations, footnotes, or references. It should be a microcosm of the full article.
    • The abstract must not exceed 250 words.
    • The abstract must be written as one paragraph and should not contain mathematical equations or tabular materials.
    • Optional graphical abstract

To enhance the appearance of your article on IEEEXplore®, a graphical abstract can be displayed along with traditional text but it is NOT required for a submission.

      • The graphical abstract should provide a clear, visual summary of your article’s findings by means of an image, animation, video, or audio clip.
      • The graphical abstract is considered a part of the technical content of the article, and must be submitted for peer review during the article submission process. Please upload the graphical abstract as a supporting document in your submission and mention in your cover letter that “the graphical abstract is included in the supporting documents for peer review”.
  • Manuscript contents are on double-columned, single-spaced, and justified alignment indented pages.
  • Figures appear within the main text next to where they are referred.
  • References should 1) use the format of author names exactly as shown in the reference section of the TMI template file; 2) follow the IEEE convention that lists the names of all authors if there are six or fewer co-authors, otherwise list the first author’s name followed by et al.; and 3) have complete information – for example, a reference of a journal article should include the article’s volume, issue, and page numbers.
  • TMI does not publish authors’ biographies.

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1.4. Write with good English

Non-native English speakers should consider using a professional scientific manuscript editing service.

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1.5. Avoid plagiarism

TMI runs every submission through Crossref Similarity Check powered by iTthenticate verifying overlap with all previously published materials. Your paper will be rejected if a high percentage of overlap is found in large, plagiarized chunks even with your own publications.

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1.6. Extended from a conference paper      

If the manuscript is extended from a published conference paper, 1) upload your cover letter as a Supporting Document that describes the specific additions in the manuscript, and 2) upload your conference paper as a Supporting Document. The extension must be substantial, and the conference paper must be properly referenced.

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1.7. Challenge paper  

If the manuscript is a Challenge Paper that describes the organization and results of online and grand challenges, follow the requirements below: 

  • The submitting and corresponding author is the organizer of the challenge.
  • The author list includes at least one person from each of the participating groups.
  • The manuscript must include the following information about the challenge:
    • The link of the challenge website where the readers can find more information and results of the challenge.
    • The objective of the challenge must be described in the same way as stated in the original “call for participation”.
  • Statement of review process used to select participants for the challenge-paper submission.
    • Description of evaluation/validation approach, including how gold standards were established.
    • The web link to the challenge proceeding, where all the challenge papers can be accessed electronically.
    • A short description and correct citation for each of the participating methods.
  • The proper permissions must be obtained: the manuscript must include the following information about the challenge:
    • The manuscript must be verified by a representative of each participating group by providing a signed letter agreeing with the manuscript’s content prior to submission — all these letters must be submitted with the manuscript as supporting documents.
    • The corresponding author must obtain copyright permission for the material (figures, tables, text) used in the manuscript — if applicable.

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1.8. Manuscript PDF file’s size limit

The manuscript must be a PDF file of less than 40 MB.

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2. Submit Your Manuscript 

Login to ScholarOne Manuscripts and follow the streamlined process and the on-screen instructions. The information below are supplemental to the website and proceeds in the same sequence.

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2.1. ORCID

Apply for an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) if you don’t already have one. The submission author requires a registered ORCID in order to upload the submission or review a proof.

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2.2. Manuscript Type

Choose the appropriate Manuscript Type for your submission. Submissions to a Special Issue must abide by the due date stated in the Call-for-Paper announcement. 

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2.3. Manuscript file

Only one PDF file that contains the complete paper (text, tables and figures embedded in the text, and references) as it would appear in published form should be submitted. Other files such as Word, LaTeX source, BibTeX file, and high-resolution images are not necessary.  

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2.4. Supplementary files

A supplementary file should be assigned as “Supporting Document” in “File Designation” for it to be accessible by reviewers.

  • A supplementary document is most useful for the initial submission when there is a 10-page hard-limit on manuscript length. If the submission receives a decision of major- or minor- revision, the contents in the supplementary document may be integrated into a resubmitted manuscript, which is not subject to a hard-limit on length. The contents in a supplementary file are not peer-reviewed and therefore cannot be referred to in the same way as the contents within the manuscript. If these contents are an essential part of the manuscript, they should be included in the manuscript.
  • If the manuscript is accepted, as a courtesy, TMI allows authors to post a supplementary file with figures and texts. This file is subjects to a 3-page length-limit rule established in April 2020. The authors may use the same template for manuscript (MS Word, LaTex) to format the supplementary file, but with society logos in the header-field removed. 

If your manuscript is extended from a published conference paper, upload the conference paper and assign Supporting Document as its File Designation and place it after the manuscript file.

If you believe the quality of a figure in the main manuscript file is inadequate for the review process, upload the corresponding high-resolution figure file and assign it as a Supporting Document. Files assigned as High-Res Image are not accessible to reviewers.

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2.5. Multimedia Content
  • Multimedia content can be any playable file (audio or video), or dataset file (raw data, source code, or application). It is the authors’ responsibility to encode a video file with appropriate format and video codec so that the video can be played by the readers of TMI in most common computer environments.
  • The authors should clearly indicate in the main body of the manuscript that the submission includes multimedia contents and the reviewers can find them under the “Supplementary Files” tab on ScholarOne Manuscripts. The authors should provide enough information about the multimedia content such as a short description, the format, codec, etc. in the figure caption, footnote, or appendix.
  • After the submission is complete, the authors will NOT be able to see the uploaded multimedia contents by clicking the “View Submission” link on ScholarOne Manuscripts. The editorial office will check the existence and correctness of multimedia contents for every submission and will contact the author within 12-48 hours if there is a broken or missing file.
  • Example of including a dataset.
  • Example of including a video clip.

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2.6. Select keywords

Select at least two keywords that are mostly associated with your manuscript from the drop-down list in each of the three keyword categories: Imaging Modalities, Object of Interest, and General Methodologies. These keywords are used to identify the most appropriate Associate Editor and reviewers who will manage and evaluate your manuscript.

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2.7. Contact Author

The submission author is automatically assigned as the ScholarOne Manuscripts Contact (Correspondence) Author. The Contact (Correspondence) Author listed in the manuscript can be different.

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2.8. Number of co-authors

ScholarOne Manuscripts allows entries of up to fifty (50) co-authors, but the full author list in the main manuscript file does not have a number limit. If a submission has more than fifty co-authors, the submission author is responsible for forwarding correspondences from the editorial office to the co-authors not entered on ScholarOne Manuscripts.

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2.9. Email addresses of co-authors

Use your co-authors’ primary emails affiliated to their existing ScholarOne-TMI accounts. Entering a different email for someone who already has an account will create a duplicate account which is an administrative hassle to the account owner and the peer-review system.

Enter all the emails correctly. A submission with wrong email addresses creates multiple bounced messages and will be unsubmitted. 

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2.10. Cover Letter

No need to write a formal cover letter that replicates the Abstract. You may provide key notes, e.g. the manuscript ID of the previous submission, in the Write Cover Letter text-box.

A cover letter in a pdf file is needed when the manuscript is extended from a published conference paper. Upload your cover letter PDF file and assign Cover Letter as the File Designation and place it at the top of the uploaded files.

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3. Monitor Review Progression

Know these:

The average turnaround time for a paper from submission to the first decision is about 7 weeks.

While the progression of each paper’s review is managed through TMI’s established protocols, it can not be strictly controlled. It depends on many factors including the availability and responsiveness of qualified reviewers, who are all volunteers and usually very busy. Sometimes we have to send a few rounds of invitations to secure reviewers required or give extensions to the deadlines for them to complete their reviews. 

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3.1. Monitor the review progression

The Status of your paper in the review process is shown on ScholarOne under Author -> Manuscripts I have Co-authored, it is updated accordingly while your submission moves through the TMI review and decision process. Two status terms that are less intuitive to understand are explained below.

AE assigns reviewers: The Associate Editor has started selecting and inviting reviewers, but the number of agreed-reviewers has not reached 4, the TMI recommended number.

Waiting for Reviewers’ Scores: One or more agreed reviewers have not submitted their scores. TMI allows reviewers three weeks counting from the day they accept the invitation – may be extended by up-to-two-weeks per request – to complete the review.

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3.2. Send an inquiry email 

Contact TMI’s Editorial Office if the review duration is abnormally long, for example, more than 7-weeks. Remember to include your TMI manuscript ID in your email. Due to our limited resources, we would only be able to respond to inquiries about submissions we deem abnormally delayed.

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4. Act According to Review Decision 

A submission will receive one of the four decisions listed below. 

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4.1. Accept
  • Prepare the final files according to the guidelines specified in the decision letter.
  • Upload the final files to ScholarOne by clicking on “Awaiting final files” and then “submit final files”.
  • If you are submitting supplementary materials in the final submission, the materials should not contain official logos of TMI or TMI’s sponsoring societies. The acceptable supplemental material types are described here, in addition, an up-to-3-page document that contains figures and texts is allowed.

Within 24 hours after the final submission, all uploaded final files will be exported to the IEEE transactions department which handles the remaining steps such as typesetting before publication. Once the final files are exported, the IEEE-TMI editorial office cannot help the author making changes to the submission. The author will be contacted by the IEEE-TMI staff editors to review the proof and make any changes if needed.

Once a paper is accepted for publication, there is a backlog of papers awaiting print publication. But upon acceptance a paper will become available in TMI’s Early Access Articles within two weeks and it is citable.

Please note that all submissions will be archived by ScholarOne Manuscripts for a certain period of time. Once archived, the editors cannot access the submitted files except for the review history. The author is recommended to keep a copy of the submitted files for future reference. The IEEE-TMI editorial office may request a copy from the author as a supporting document for the resubmission.

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4.2. Accept Pending Minor Revision: No External Review Required
  • Start your revision-submission on ScholarOne Manuscripts.
  • Choose “Manuscripts with Decisions” and then click on “create a revision”.

If the manuscript ID of the previous submission is TMI-2019-yyyy, the revision ID will be TMI-2019-yyyy.R1. The manuscript ID for revision of TMI-2019-yyyy.R1 will be TMI-2019-yyyy.R2.

  • The revision must be submitted within 4 weeks from the decision date.

The number of days remaining is shown below the “create a revision” link. If the authors cannot meet the revision due date, please contact the IEEE-TMI editorial office.

  • The 10-page limit for original submissions is not applicable here, as extra length is often needed to respond to the reviewers’ comments.
  • Upload the following 3 PDF files.
    • A clean (changes not-highlighted) copy of the revised manuscript file. Start the name of the file with “clean-copy-“. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Main Body”.
    • A document containing point-by-point responses to all concerns raised by the reviewers. Start the name of the file with “response-to-reviewers-“. The document must contain the previous manuscript ID and each of the reviewer comments immediately followed by the authors’ response to it. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Detailed Response for Reviewers”.
    • An annotated copy of the manuscript file. Start the name of file with “marked-up-“. All the changes should be clearly marked using sidebars, different text color, or similar tools. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Optional Source File – Main Document”.
  • Although no external review is required, the AE may still invite reviewers who were more critical to evaluate the submission or just make sure all their concerns are addressed. The reviewers are given 3 weeks to send back their comments. If the revisions performed are not satisfactory, the paper may still be rejected in the next final round.

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4.3. Reject/Resubmit: Major Revisions  Needed and New External Review Required

If you choose to resubmit the paper after making major changes according to the comments of the reviewers, the recommended time period is within the FOUR months from the decision date. This is a reasonable amount of time that the same associate editor who handled your paper, as well as the reviewers, will still be well aware of the contents of the original submission and effectively assess the resubmission. The deadline for your resubmission is EIGHT months from the decision date (this only applies to papers that receive decisions after December 13, 2020). After the deadline, the resubmission link will expire.

  • Start your resubmission on ScholarOne Manuscripts.

  • For papers that received the decision prior to Dec. 13, 2020
    • Choose “Start New Submission”. A new manuscript ID will be assigned.
    • In the Write Cover Lettertextbox at step 6 of the submission process, indicate it is a resubmission of a “Reject/Resubmit” case and provide the manuscript ID of the previous submission.
  • For papers that receive the decision after Dec. 13, 2020
    • Click the “create a resubmission” link next to the original submission ID. 
  • The 10-page limit for original submissions is not applicable here, as extra length is often needed to respond to the reviewers’ comments.
  • Upload the following 3 PDF files.
    • A clean (changes not-highlighted) copy of the revised manuscript file. Start the name of the file with “clean-copy-“. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Main Body”.
    • A document containing point-by-point responses to all concerns raised by the reviewers. Start the name of the file with “response-to-reviewers-“. The document must contain the previous manuscript ID and each of the reviewer comments immediately followed by the authors’ response to it. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Detailed Response for Reviewers”.
    • An annotated copy of the manuscript file. Start the name of file with “marked-up-“. All the changes should be clearly marked using sidebars, different text color, or similar tools. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Optional Source File – Main Document”.
  • TMI typically only allows one resubmission.

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4.4. Reject
  • If the decision is Reject (with recommendation to submit to another journal or with preclusion of resubmission) after a full-review — having comments from AE and reviewers, this decision precludes resubmission of this work to IEEE TMI even if you revise your paper to reflect reviewer comments.

Authors should be aware that a positive critique does not necessarily imply an overall positive judgment from a reviewer. Quite often, reviewers present a more negative judgment and more outspoken arguments to reject the paper in the confidential comments to the editors than in the comments to the authors.

  • If a paper is rejected without going through a full-review, the authors may have one chance to resubmit the paper with a cover-letter detailing that the major concerns in the decision letter have been thoroughly addressed.

Authors who attempt to submit a rejected paper without disclosing the prior review history will receive a warning, each author’s account in the ScholarOne system will be tagged with an orange-colored flag. Two such incidences will turn the flag color to red, which means all future submissions from the author will be immediately rejected without review.  

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