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A message from John Rokne

The IEEE PSPB Quarterly Newsletter was created last year to help you stay abreast of progress being made in IEEE’s Publishing program. As an incoming Vice President of PSPB it is my intention to continue the newsletter and, in this first issue of 2009, to establish the aims and priorities for PSPB for the coming year.

Overall the intent is to manage the continued transition from print based publishing of technical material to publishing electronically. Major issues to consider when publishing electronically include open access, persistence of information, quality of information and delivery of information. 


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Authentication system upgrade via Xplore 2.6 release offers faster service and e-commerce capabilities

A major upgrade to the authentication system in Xplore was launched via Version 2.6 earlier this week. The authentication software, Right Access, also known as “eRights” was upgraded to version 4.3 and gives us several advantages:

  1. Improved availability since it runs in a clustered environment;
  2. New e-commerce capabilities that we expect to use in the future;
  3. Faster operation: Our monitoring system says that average time for Xplore to respond to a user dropped from 6 seconds to 2.3 seconds.

Thanks to the improvements in system availability made last year this upgrade was deployed with no interruption in service to our members and customers. Previously, Xplore had to be taken off line for several hours while the software updates were loaded.

Congratulations to Gerry Grenier and the Publishing Technology team, Bob Harrison of Transition Partners, and our colleagues in IT operations for this successful deployment. 


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Two millionth article loaded in Xplore

The two millionth IEEE Xplore article appears in the March issue of IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, one of IEEE’s 142 journals and magazines. The article, “Intelligent Packet Dropping for Optimal Energy-Delay Tradeoffs in Wireless Downlinks,” is written by IEEE Senior Member Michael J. Neely, assistant professor at the Communication Sciences Institute, part of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

The database in IEEE Xplore has grown from 450,000 articles in 1998 when we first started selling our IEL package on the Internet.  That growth has come from not only the growing number of new articles (we published over 171,000 articles in 2008) but the loading of the legacy material (the digital archive now contains some journals and magazines as far as back as 1913 and some conferences as far back as 1953). We will celebrate this milestone at several upcoming meetings, including the Panel of Technical Editors meeting, The Panel of Conference Organizers, and The June Board Series. Lew Terman, IEEE 2008 President, and Jon Rokne, IEEE 2009 Vice President for Publication Services and Products will host a celebration on 8 April 2009 for staff.

Congratulations to all our authors, editors, conference program chairs, and the IEEE Societies, Councils, and other organizational units that sponsor publications for their contributions that have helped make IEEE Xplore one of the biggest single technology libraries on the Internet today.


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Magazine award competitions place Spectrum as a finalist

Several Spectrum articles have been named as finalists in various annual competitions that honor the best special-interest business journalism in the United States like the Neal Award and the National Magazine Awards. IEEE Spectrum executive editor Glenn Zorpette’s two part report, “Countering IEDs” published in the September and October 2008 editions of IEEE Spectrum was named a finalist for the Neal Award.

The Singularity: A Special Report” published in June 2008 is a finalist in the National Magazine Awards, in the single-topic issue category. In this competition, IEEE is competing against Atlanta Magazine’s “King: 40 Years Later,” New York Magazine’s “The Birth of the Modern City,” Newsweek’s “How He Did It,” and Saveur’s “A World of Breakfast.” The awards presentation will take place in New York City on 30 April 2009.


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IEEE Press reaches out to authors

IEEE Press, the IEEE’s premier book-publishing unit, is launching an author communications campaign to promote its new co-publishing agreement with partners John Wiley & Sons. Since 2001, IEEE Press and Wiley have combined select titles in a joint imprint that provides comprehensive coverage in key technology areas, and enables a global marketing reach for IEEE Press authors. Wiley also assumed production and marketing responsibilities for all titles.

Under the expanded agreement, in 2009 Wiley will acquire new book projects on behalf of IEEE Press. IEEE Press has updated author information on two locations at the introductory Books page and the author FAQ.

The changes describe the IEEE Press transition to the expanded relationship with Wiley. The updated FAQ tells both current and prospective IEEE Press authors how they may work with Wiley in the future. Current IEEE Press authors have been alerted to the updates via e-mail. Prospective and current authors may continue to use IEEE Press web resources, and may submit book proposals to Wiley acquisitions editors through the Press e-mail alias at

IEEE Press volunteers will continue to review and approve projects for publication. Wiley will also work with IEEE series editors, the IEEE Press Editorial Board expert reviewers in technical review of author manuscripts. The new IEEE Press business plan, approved by the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board last November, also provides for development of new e-book products which will be described in successive updates to the web site through 2009.

Contact Ken Moore, Director, Book and Information Services at +1 732 562 3954 or via email for more information.


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PSPB Operations Manual updates to note

  • New Periodicals Approval Clarification (Section 8.4.1.B)
  • How to Make a Major Change to a Publications Service or Product (Section 8.4.2)

Sections 8.4.1.B and 8.4.2 of the PSPB Operations Manual (PDF, 1 MB) were updated this past February. The approval of new periodicals is addressed in Section 8.4.1 which was modified to align the operations manual text with the current practices and ensure that it is consistent with the TAB Operations Manual. Specifically, the changes clarify that the Section requirements do not apply to the IEEE Standards Association. It also clarifies the procedures for the appointment of the Editor-in-Chief and other staff when creating a new publication.

Section 8.4.2 titled Major Changes to an Existing Publication Product or Service makes a strong recommendation that Organizational Units should perform strategic reviews of all of their existing publication products and programs at least every five years and outlines what should be considered in the assessment. If the Organizational Unit determines that a product or program requires a major change, Section 8.4.2.B details the process that must be followed to implement the change.


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Reminder: Procedure documentation in response to new section 8.2.2.A.2 in the operations manual due to IPR Office in April

Over the past few months, the Intellectual Property Rights Office corresponded with Society Presidents and Publication VPs, reminding them of the need to develop and submit a set of new procedures for the proper handling of their periodicals so that no one can acquire unauthorized access to privileged information. This request was a response to a call for action found in Section 8.2.2.A.2 of the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual.

Section 8.2.2.A.2, “Handling of Manuscripts Authored by Publications Volunteers” states that the editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by an editor and submitted to the editor’s publication must be delegated to another qualified person to avoid a conflict-of-interest scenario. Societies are asked to email the procedures to the IPR Office before 3 April 2009. The IPR Office will collate and submit a complete set of the Society procedures to the PSPB VP along with a final report by 15 May 2009. IPR Office staff is available to provide you with additional information or advice if you have not already submitted your documentation.

Contact Bill Hagen, for more information.


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