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IEEE Spectrum’s Robots App Wins Neal Award

Spectrum robots app logo

IEEE Spectrum’s critically acclaimed "Robots" app is now an award-winning app as well. "Robots" won the Neal Award for “Best Use of Mobile” presented during ABM’s 59th Annual Jesse H. Neal Awards ceremony in New York City on 12 March. The Neal awards are known as “the Pulitzer Prizes” of the business press.

"Robots," launched last November, is an innovative app that lets users explore the amazing world of robotics. Designed for the iPad, the app features 126 robots from 19 countries, with hundreds of photos and videos, exclusive interviews and articles, and a vast robotics data catalog—a rich store of robot information available in one place for the first time. Interactive animations, created exclusively for the app, let users "play" with robots by spinning or moving them through different actions. Dancing humanoids, lifelike androids, and toy robots come alive under the user's fingertips. As CNET put it in a glowing review, the app is "the next best thing to seeing robots up close."

The app, which also received reviews and mentions in Wired, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Forbes, Mashable, and other publications, expands Spectrum’s robotics coverage beyond print and online, offering its readers an engaging, hands-on experience only possible with a tablet like the iPad. Spectrum plans to release an update for the app, adding even more robots, in late April.

This was one of two Neal Awards won by IEEE Spectrum.

"A Shocking Truth," by Mark Harris (March 2012 issue), earned the Grand Neal from a pool of 640 submissions and also took home the Neal Award for "Best Single Article." The article, about automated external defibrillators, points out the challenges facing manufacturers of AEDs, whose products are expected to work flawlessly even if they have been hanging on the wall of an airport or a gym for years on end without being used.

It is Spectrum’s third Grand Neal in the last six years. IEEE Spectrum is the only publication to win three Grand Neals in the past 20 years of this prestigious competition.


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IEEE Spectrum beta site

IEEE Spectrum’s new Web site is slated to go live in May. Using scrum, an iterative agile programming framework and project management method, the Spectrum team of Josh Romero, Ken Liu, Aranya Das, and Bharath Khambadkone have put out three major releases of its beta site since it launched in late January. This close-knit team combines programming talent with Spectrum's editorial vision to create a site that will delight members, casual visitors, and Spectrum's advertisers.

You can check out the results of this collaboration on the beta site to browse topics; read features, news, and blogs; listen to podcasts; watch videos; peruse the latest issue of the magazine; take a webinar; and comment on stories. The site will responsively scale to your screen size, from TVs down to tablets.

You can send feedback and vote on the feedback of others via the UserVoice widget in the lower-left corner. In the lower-right corner, you'll see a "toggle switch," which lets you view the page you are looking at on the beta site on the current site, and vice versa.


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Article submission rates continue to rise in 2013

Statistics monitored by IEEE staff on a monthly basis show a continued, steady increase in submissions received by IEEE periodicals through ScholarOne Manuscripts. The average number of articles submitted per month in 2007 was 3,205. As of February 2013, average submissions per month are at 6,658, an increase of over 107% since 2007. The chart below summarizes the numbers in a snapshot view:

Article Submission Rates Chart

This steady increase in the average number of article submissions to IEEE periodicals is an indication that IEEE’s high-quality periodicals continue to be well respected among authors publishing in IEEE’s fields of interest.


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CrossCheck implementation plan gears up to cut down plagiarism

In its effort to combat plagiarism issues, the IEEE Board of Directors approved a five-point plan to have all periodical and conference manuscripts screened by CrossCheck prior to being uploaded to IEEE Xplore. The CrossCheck requirement applies only to IEEE-copyrighted technical content. Starting this year, 20% of conferences content is expected to use CrossCheck at submission. Conferences will have until 2016 to deploy CrossCheck at submission. Conferences using CrossCheck at submission can choose simply to reject problem papers from further consideration.

Any remaining conferences not using CrossCheck by 2016 will be submitted to CrossCheck by staff prior to IEEE Xplore upload. Staff will review all Similarity Report Alerts, flag the problem papers accordingly (as Level 1, 2, or 3), and pass the non-problematic proceedings papers on to Indexing and IEEE Xplore. Flagged problem papers will not be uploaded into IEEE Xplore. Staff will provide copies of Similarity Reports to conference organizers and request they review the decision to withhold flagged papers from IEEE Xplore. Flagged papers will remain withheld unless the decision is reversed by the organizer. Organizers must notify authors of withheld papers. All non-problematic content will proceed without delay.


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Review process for conference publications updated in IEEE PSPB Operations Manual

During the February 2013 IEEE Board Meeting Series, the PSPB and the IEEE Board of Directors approved the addition of Section 8.2.2.B Part 2 Prescreening of Conference Submissions. These requirements only apply to conference proceedings where IEEE is the copyright holder, which includes proceedings from all conferences where IEEE is the sole financial sponsor. Organizers of IEEE conferences are now expected to ensure that publications from their conferences that are posted in IEEE Xplore adhere to minimum criteria set forth by IEEE, as well as by the responsible organizational units. The minimum standards for scope and quality include:

  • the subject and contents of each article are within the stated subject matter or the scope of the conference, and are within the IEEE fields of interest;
  • the author(s) has/have not obviously violated IEEE Policies;
  • each article is comprehensible;
  • each article meets a minimum criterion for technical substance established for the conference.

Conference organizers must inform an author if that person’s article has been excluded from IEEE Xplore because it was out of scope or of poor quality. Organizers must also be clear to all potential authors, such as in a "call for papers," that "IEEE reserves the right to exclude a submission from distribution after the conference, including exclusion from IEEE Xplore, if the submission does not meet IEEE standards for scope and/or quality."

Articles excluded from further distribution will be archived by IEEE but will not be indexed or appear on IEEE Xplore. As the publisher of the conference proceedings, IEEE must retain the complete set of proceedings of every conference, and as a result, out-of-scope or poor quality articles distributed onsite to attendees that are excluded from further distribution must still be provided to IEEE publications. The Packing List Generator, a tool used by conference chairs to create a manifest (at the individual file level) of the content that constitutes their conference's proceedings, will be modified to enable the chair to identify out-of-scope or poor-quality papers, so that they can be archived by IEEE but suppressed from display in IEEE Xplore.

A conference must also inform IEEE publications if it decides not to prescreen articles and/or exclude out-of-scope or poor-quality articles from its conference publications. In these, as was as all other cases, IEEE reserves the right to exclude out-of-scope or poor-quality articles from IEEE Xplore.


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IEEE WIE wins two APEX awards

Women in Engineering Cover December 2011

Congratulations to the staff and volunteers working on IEEE Women In Engineering for receiving two APEX awards, Awards for Publication Excellence in 2012 for the following categories:

  • One-of-a-Kind Technology & Science Publications - Reaching for the Stars - December 2011 issue
  • Regular Departments & Columns - She Shoots, She Scores! Breakaway Game Targets an Increase in Respect for Women - June 2011 issue

APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. There were close to 3,400 entries in 2012, with 1,027 Awards of Excellence recognizing exceptional entries in 130 subcategories.


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