Submission Instructions and Editorial Policies

This page details the process of submission and subsequent review, as well as the pertinent journal publication policies. Note that the instructions for authors have changed substantially as we have just completed the transition to an online system for processing papers. Please see the ACM journal guidelines or contact the EIC if you have any questions.

Submission Guidelines

Each paper's content must be within the journal's scope. See the Subject Coverage page for further information. TOIT will not publish papers that have already appeared in conference proceedings, unless they have been extended or modified to add substantial "value" to previously published versions (see self prior publication policy below). Paper content must be substantially different from any work appearing in this or another journal.

Papers should be submitted via the Manuscript Central website.

Submissions must be in PDF using ACM's template and no longer than 20 pages.

Prior Publication Policy/Self-plagiarism

We assume the content of every submission to be novel work of the authors. However, authors are allowed to base their submission on their own prior writings under the following conditions:

  • If a submission is based on any of the authors' previously published writings (e.g., those appearing in a conference proceedings), the authors should upload each such prior publication, cite it from the submission, and comment on the novelty of the submission with respect to it.
  • If a submission is based on any of the authors' unpublished writings (e.g., those released as a report or on their webpage), the authors should upload each such prior publication, but do not need to cite it from the submission.

In either case, authors should disclose any overlap in their cover letter. We evaluate all submissions for potential plagiarism and we encourage reviewers to judge the novelty of any submission. A failure by authors to disclose their prior work is grounds for rejection.

Our expectation is that any submission makes novel contributions. For submissions that extend prior conference publications, a rule-of-thumb is that at least 25% of the content be previously unpublished. However, reviewers and editors judge novelty based on the contribution, not the amount of text altered.

Please consult the ACM policy for additional guidance.

Submission & Review Process

The following describes the submission and subsequent review process for TOIT.

  1. The author submits his paper to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) via the Manuscript Central website. An initial cursory review by the EIC will validate that the paper content is appropriate both in scope and quality. If the paper is deemed inappropriate, it will be rejected without review. Otherwise, the EIC will decide to process the paper directly or assign it to one of the associate editors (see the TOIT editorial board for a list of potential editors).

  2. The assigned editor performs an initial review of the submission, and may decide to desk reject it or put it through the review process. The grounds for a submission being desk rejected at this stage include, but are not limited to, simultaneous double submission, submission of substantially the same version of a previously published paper, the subject of the paper being outside the coverage scope of TOIT, the paper obviously lacking in breadth, substance, quality or completeness.

  3. If the Editor decides to put the submission through the regular review process, he/she may retain reviewers for expert opinions and detailed useful comments for the authors. The number of reviewers may range between 0 and 5, with the Editor optionally serving as a reviewer. In all but the most unusual cases, 3 external reviewers will be contacted. The editor will work to limit each review cycle to an average of four months.

  4. The Editor makes an editorial decision on the submission, using reviewers' comments and recommendations as input (only as input). If the reviews are not clear or detailed enough, or the reviews diverge substantially, the Editor may communicate with the reviewers and seek additional verbal comments, and use them as additional input. The Editor may send the authors some or all of the reviewers' comments, and may withhold certain comments from the authors at his/her discretion. The editorial decision may be one of reject, request for a minor revision, request for a major revision, conditional accept, and unconditional accept. In all cases of acceptance, the editor will seek input from the Editor-in-Chief.

  5. If the author disagrees with the reject decision, he/she should communicate with the Editor and make his/her case and/or seek clarification. If the author wishes to appeal the decision, he/she should request the Editor to seek arbitration by the EIC. The EIC will review all materials and make a judgement on the merits of the appeal. The decision by the Editor-in-Chief is final.
  6. Note: Note that simple disagreement with the reviewers is not sufficient justification for re-evaluation. Authors must demonstrate that there was substantial proceedural failure by the reviewers or AEs to obtain a EIC review.

Posting Accepted Papers

Authors of accepted papers are encouraged to link to the final versions of the paper using the ACM Author-Izer service. The ACM Author-Izer service that enables ACM authors to generate and post links on either their home page or institutional repository for visitors to download the definitive version of their articles from the ACM Digital Library at no charge. Information about the service can be found at:

Supplemental Online-only Material

Please provide a brief description of your supplementary online-only material (i.e., text and multimedia material) to be published in the Digital Library. A short "readme.txt" file will appear in the DL along with your supplementary material describing its content and whatever requirements there are for using it.

ACM Author Rights

Author Rights New options for ACM authors to manage rights and permissions for their work: ACM introduces a new publishing license agreement, an updated copyright transfer agreement, and a new author-pays option which allows for perpetual open access through the ACM Digital Library. For more information, visit the ACM Author Rights page.

Language Services

ACM has partnered with American Journal Experts (AJE) to provide language editing (and translation) services to ACM authors. AJE has helped thousands of researchers around the world to present their research in polished English suitable for publication in journals such as those published by ACM. Editing is available for both Word and LaTeX files.

To take advantage of this partnership, visit and enter referral code ACM15 for a 15% discount off all AJE services. (Editing services are at author expense and do not guarantee publication of a paper.)

Please note that formatting assistance is provided at no charge to authors by Aptara, as specified on the author style guide pages: and