A letter to EiCs about Manuscript Central

Dear Prof. Luo and Prof. Bölcskei —

I have been a reviewer for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory for the last few years, and I wanted to make a few requests regarding the configuration of Manuscript Central. I believe that these would make a small but significant improvement in the experience for reviewers.

  1. It is apparently possible to share login information across publications. Given the overlap between the research communities in SP and IT (and Communications) and the ubiquity of Manuscript Central as the management system, it seems that a common login would be very helpful.
  2. When reviewing, the phrase “For Peer Review Only” is emblazoned diagonally in light blue across each page of the PDF manuscript. Many reviewers I know have switched from printing out papers to reading them on their computer or tablet. The diagonal text interferes with text highlighting and other digital annotation features. I have been told that the “peer review notice” is optional. It would be great if it could appear somewhere less obtrusive — perhaps above the main text of the paper.

I know these seem like minor issues, but it seems that all that would be required to fix these is a request to Manuscript Central. Given the amount of money that the SP and IT societies are paying them, I am sure they would be happy to oblige.

(see this comment for why this should be easy).