Monday, November 28, 2016

7 Reasons to Send Your Best Papers to IJF

Last week, I was surfing the Web of Science to gather some papers to read during the holidays. Yes, some poor professors like myself work 24x7, including holidays. Suddenly I found that FIVE of my papers are listed by the Essential Science Index (ESI) as Highly Cited Papers. (Check them out HERE!) What a good surprise for Thanksgiving :)

What's even more surprising is that all of these five papers were published by the International Journal of Forecasting! As an editorial board member of two very prestigious and highly ranked journals, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid (TSG) and International Joirnal of Forecasting (IJF), I send my best papers to these two journals every year, with an even split. So far, I've had six papers in TSG (not counting two editorials) and six in IJF. How come only my IJF papers were recognized by ESI?

The curiosity ate most of my Thanksgiving time. I was doing some research to answer this question, which eventually led to this blog post. In short,
you should send your best energy forecasting papers to IJF first!
Here is why:
  1. No page limit. IJF does not charge authors for extra pages. You can take as many pages as you like to elaborate your idea. The longest IJF paper I've read is Rafal Weron's 52-page review paper on price forecasting. My IJF review on probabilistic load forecasting is 25 pages long. Both reviews are now ESI Highly Cited Papers. 
  2. Short review time. A manuscript first reaches EIC, editor and then Associate Editor. It may be rejected by any of these three people. In other words, if it is a clear rejection, the decision would be coming to you rather quickly. If the manuscript is assigned to the reviewers, the first decision typically comes back within three to four months. 
  3. Very professional comments. I have seen many IJF review reports by far, as an author, reviewer and editor. Most of them are very professional. Eventually these review comments help the authors improve their work. I haven't seen any nonsense reviewer in the IJF peer-review system, which is quite remarkable! I guess the editors have done their job well by filtering out the nonsense reviewers before passing the comments to the authors. 
  4. High quality copy-editing service free of charge. Once the manuscript is accepted, it will be forwarded to a professional copy editor to polish the English for free, so you don't need to spend too much time with wordsmith. You don't need to worry about formatting either, because there is another copy editor doing that before the publisher sends you the proof. 
  5. Bi-annual awards. Every other year, IJF awards a prize for the best paper published in a two-year period. The prize is $1000 plus an engraved plaque. Details of the most recent one can be found HERE. Making some money and getting recognized for your paper, isn't it nice? 
  6. Publicity. Six years ago when I was pursuing my PhD, I was frustrated about the many useless papers in the literature. I brought my frustration to David Dickey. He made a comment that shocked me for a while. Instead of encouraging me to publish, he said that he had lost interest in publishing papers, because "the excellent papers are often buried by so many bad ones". Having been a professor for about three years, I have to agree with him. I believe in the era of "publish or perish", we have to "publish and publicize" to make our papers highly cited. Publishing your energy forecasting papers with IJF means that you get the opportunity of leveraging various channels, such as Hyndsight, Energy Forecasting, and the social media accounts of Elsevier and those renowned IJF editors. 
  7. "Business and economics" category in ESI. This is probably the most important distinction between IEEE Transactions and IJF. Many IEEE Transactions papers (including the ones in TSG) are grouped into engineering, while IJF papers are in the category of business and economics. The business and economics papers get much fewer citations on average than the engineering ones, which makes the ESI thresholds of business and economics lower than those of engineering. For instance, my TSG2014 paper is not an ESI paper, but it would have been if it were published by IJF. 
Unfortunately, IJF's acceptance rate is very low. To increase the chance to have the paper accepted, you should understand how reviewers evaluate the manuscript.

Look forward to your next submission!

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