Recently, a member of the editorial board asked me about the policy on reviewing the articles that have been submitted to the Proceedings of SPIE, for publication here. I was surprised that the policy established since the inauguration of has not been widely known. The inaugural editorial clearly addressed this policy. However, this journal is into its fifth year. Many authors or potential authors, and even some associate editors, may not have read the editorial. Therefore, I am re-emphasizing the policy here.
“We are aware that most people are extremely busy. We hope to publish their good work without burdening them further. This leads to considering proceedings articles for submission to the journal. However, there are several problems with this: (1) lowering of publication standards, (2) double counting of publications, and (3) copyright violations. Let me address these problems one by one.
Lowering of Publication Standards: Generally, proceedings articles are prepared as a snapshot to report one’s work. This may lead to incompleteness, insufficient proof or theoretical basis, lack of thoroughness in citing references, and unpolished writing. However, it is not necessarily so. Many authors take pride in their proceedings articles and prepare them up to the standard of journal articles. We do not want to force these writers to artificially modify their work just for the sake of modification. Therefore, a manuscript will be judged by its worthiness for journal publication instead of its similarity to the proceedings counterpart. However, it is our experience that most authors find room to expand and polish their proceedings articles. We recommend that the authors review their proceedings work themselves objectively and make improvements if needed, before sending it to us.
Double Counting of Publications: Authors are requested to identify the proceedings article counterparts in their journal article and to cease citing their proceedings work as soon as the journal article is accepted for publication. Readers of the journal article are urged to follow the same practice.
Copyright Violation: Authors are required to secure the copyright, if their journal article is based on publication in a conference proceedings. It is best to improve the article substantially so that there is no copyright issue.
In short, will not turn away a manuscript that is identical to a proceedings article but will review the manuscript vigorously just as any nonproceedings manuscript. The authors are always required to avoid double counting and copyright violation. There are cases where a proceedings manuscript has the basic ingredients for archival journal publication. In such cases, I suggest that proceedings authors prepare their manuscripts according to journal standards and submit a journal article to and a proceedings article to the symposium simultaneously. This way, the proceedings publishers get their material on time and in better quality. benefits from printing good work much sooner. The authors save one approval process from their institution.”
In the past five years, authors of proceedings articles have followed the suggestion of the editorial to turn them into archived, peer-reviewed, journal papers. We have not seen a case of the two being identical. The journal counterpart is always better. We are proud for the authors of these papers.