IEEE Software Theme Issue Solicitation and Review Process
Guidelines for prospective theme issue guest editors.

IEEE Software Theme Issue Solicitation and Review Process

IEEE Software solicits theme issue proposals from members of the software engineering community as guest editors (GEs). Proposals should adhere to the content and formatting rules described in the “Theme Issue Proposal Template.” This template is structured as follows:

Section 1 introduces IEEE Software’s mission. Section 2 reports on the solicitation process. Section 3 discusses the submission and review process. Section 4 provides instructions for guest editors.

Contact information:

Editor in Chief (EiC): Ipek Ozkaya,

Theme Issue Associate Editor in Chief (TiE): Henry Muccini,

1. IEEE Software’s Mission

IEEE Software is a peer-reviewed professional magazine with a broad coverage of topics pertaining to software engineering and development. Its mission is building the community of leading software practitioners. It delivers reliable, useful, leading-edge software development information to keep engineers and managers abreast of rapid technology change.

Publishing in IEEE Software is a unique way to reach a practitioner audience. Google Scholar’s h5-index positions the magazine 10th among all software engineering venues (including conferences) and fourth among journals (

The magazine positions itself between pure research and pure practice, transferring ideas, methods, and experiences among researchers and engineers. Peer-reviewed articles and columns by real-world experts illuminate all aspects of software development, including software requirements, software architecture and design, process improvement, project management, development tools, software maintenance, web applications and opportunities, professional practices, testing, and usability.

2. Submission and Review

IEEE Software theme issue topics and proposals are collected in three ways:

  • Anyone can submit a proposal at any time.
  • Calls for proposals are also posted to the major software engineering lists twice a year (April and October). Anyone can submit a proposal in response to this call as well.

All proposals regardless of their submission method go through peer evaluation and receive feedback.

Proposals should be submitted to the IEEE Software EasyChair account. The EasyChair account URL will be made available (and disseminated in the major mailing lists) by October and April. Feel free to contact the TiE to request the submission URL.

The TiE will perform the initial check on the proposal. If a proposal has potential, it will be forwarded to the IEEE Software editorial and advisory board members for evaluation.

The board members’ evaluation will be based on technical accuracy, objectivity, balance, GE capability, proposal quality, and relationship to other planned and recent themes (including those of other publications). The evaluation criteria will be based on:

  • the importance and relevance of the theme;
  • the theme issue timeliness;
  • the theme issue ability to attract a proper number of submissions;
  • the guest editors’ qualification with respect to the proposed theme.

Although theme issue proposals can be submitted at any time, they’ll be evaluated twice a year: in November and May.

On the basis of the board members’ comments, the TiE will decide whether the proposal is to be accepted, conditionally accepted, resubmitted, or rejected. The TiE will inform the EiC, the lead editor, and the boards regarding any decisions.

The TiE will then notify the proposal submitters, and the lead editor will set up the schedule for the accepted theme issues.

3. Instructions for Guest Editors

We expect at least one GE from industry and one from academia. When submitting your proposal, please explicitly mention one corresponding GE. We very strongly encourage building a GE team not exceeding four members and considering diversity of the GEs including geographic as well as a balance between research and industry. The GE team must be composed of members who are experts in the proposed theme. 

We expect the theme issue to target practitioners as well as researchers in the field of the IEEE Software’s mission. When preparing your theme issue proposal, be aware that we do not expect purely scientific articles and themes, but rather contributions that are able to effectively bridge software engineering foundations with practice. Accordingly, we expect at least 25% of the reviewers to have an industrial background.

Each theme issue may account for about five to eight papers. In case you receive many more good submissions, please contact us immediately.

Accepted articles must be submitted in through ScholarOne Manuscripts. We have collected recommendations for authors on how to write for IEEE Software at: These can further help theme issue proposers understand the IEEE Software audience.

The recommended number of reviewers is three. Two is the absolute minimum.

GEs may not submit an article to the theme issue they edit. However, GEs write an introduction to their issue.