T-RO Information for Authors


All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors. ORCIDs enable accurate attribution and improved discoverability of an author’s published work. The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.

Follow these steps to link a PaperCept account to a registered ORCID. Note that PINs from different sub-domains can be linked to a single ORCID.

  • 1. Go to the start page of the PaperCept subdomain where you have an existing PIN (if you do not have one, please create one by following the PIN link from the PaperCept subdomain of interest).
  • 2. If you do not already have an ORCID, follow the link “Register an ORCID,” create an ORCID and return to the PaperCept login page.
  • 3. Follow the link “Register your ORCID with any of your PaperCept PINs,” enter your registered email or the ORCID and password and then click on Authorize.
  • 4. Once you authorize the ORCID to be linked to your PIN you will be returned to the PaperCept subdomain from where you accessed ORCID.
  • 5. Follow “Log in to any account associated with this ORCID” to complete associating your PIN to the ORCID.
  • 6. If you have inadvertently created multiple PINs in the same subdomain, you can associate all PINs with the same ORCID.

First-Time Authors

If you have not previously submitted a paper to T-RO, you are strongly encouraged to peruse recent issues to familiarize yourself with the style and technical level of typical T-RO articles. You are also strongly encouraged to read Surviving the Review Process by former EiC Seth Hutchinson.


The IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO) publishes fundamental papers on all aspects of Robotics, featuring interdisciplinary approaches from computer science, control systems, electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, and other fields. Robots and intelligent machines and systems are critical in areas such as industrial applications; service and personal assistants; surgical operations; space, underwater, and remote exploration; entertainment; safety, search, and rescue; military applications; agriculture applications; and intelligent vehicles. Special emphasis is placed on intelligent machines and systems for unstructured environments, where a significant portion of the environment is unknown and cannot be directly sensed or controlled. Specific topics and areas that fall under the scope of T-RO include:

  • Design: mechanisms and actuation; robots with flexible elements; limbed structures; parallel and hybrid mechanisms; robot hands; snake-like and continuum robots; soft robots; modular robots; biomimetic and bioinspired robots; wheeled robots; underwater robots; flying robots; micro/nano robots; performance evaluation and optimization; modeling, identification, calibration;
  • Sensing and Perception: foundations of sensing and estimation; force and tactile sensing; range, sonar, and inertial Sensing; GPS and odometry; 3-D vision; object recognition; visual servoing; multisensor data fusion
  • Manipulation, Interfaces, and Programming: motion and force planning and control for manipulation tasks; contact modeling and manipulation; grasping; cooperative manipulation; mobility and manipulation; haptics; active manipulation for perception; telerobotics; networked robots; robotic systems architectures and programming;
  • Moving in the Environment: world modelling; simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM); motion planning and obstacle avoidance; modelling and control of legged robots, wheeled mobile robots, robots on rough terrain, underwater robots, aerial robots, and multiple mobile robot systems
  • Robots at Work: industrial robotics; space robotics; robotics in agriculture and forestry; robotics in construction; robotics in hazardous applications; robotics in mining; search and rescue robotics; robot surveillance and security; intelligent vehicles; medical robotics and computer-integrated surgery; rehabilitation and healthcare robotics; domestic robotics;
  • Robots and Humans: humanoids; physical and cognitive human-robot interaction; human-robot augmentation; social and socially assistive robotics; learning from humans; behavior-based systems; AI reasoning methods for robotics; biologically-inspired robotics; evolutionary robotics; neurorobotics; perceptual robotics; roboethics

Types of Submissions

The IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS publishes regular papers, short papers, communications items, survey papers, and book reviews.

    • Regular papers describe a significant result or set of results that are original, of high impact and significance, and extend the state-of-the-art in robotics.
    • Short papers usually describe a single result, experiment, or technique of general interest for which a short treatment is appropriate.
    • Communications items are a separate class of short manuscripts that are subject to an expedited review process. Appropriate items include (but are not limited to) rebuttals and/or counterexamples of previously published papers. Normally the editors will review these submissions internally, a will request outside review when appropriate.
    • Survey papers should cover emerging research topics in Robotics or have a tutorial or review nature of sufficiently large interest to the Transactions audience. Authors of survey papers must submit a proposal to the the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission. This proposal should address the need for the survey article (including the potential audience and T-RO relevance), give a summary of the authors' qualifications to write the survey (a survey article should be written by leading experts in the field), and provide a proposed bibliography. The EiC in conjunction with the Senior Editors Panel will then determine whether the proposed article may be submitted for review. The standard length of published survey papers is up to fourteen Transactions pages.
    • Book reviews of special interest to Robotics are also considered and reviewed by members of the Editorial Board. Interested authors or publishers should contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Papers describing specific current (industrial and beyond) applications are encouraged, provided that the designs represent the best current practice, detailed characteristics and performance are included, and they are of general interest.

Multipart papers will only be published if there is compelling rationale for a multipart treatment. All parts of such submissions must be accepted for any part to be published.

Papers submitted to a special issue are handled similarly to normal contributions.

Open Access

T-RO policies on Open-Access publishing are the same as general IEEE policies. The majority of all IEEE transactions, journals, and letters offer a hybrid option, which permits both traditional subscription-based content as well as open access, author-pays content. For all hybrid journals, the quality of the review process for OA and traditional articles is the same. Any open access papers published within a hybrid journal will be included in all media types offered by that title.

Authors using government research funding or university consortium funding may be required to publish in OA journals. In addition, authors may choose to pay to publish to gain the largest possible audience for their innovative practical, applied and theoretical research.

T-RO will allow open-access for those authors who require it and who support publishing costs directly. Any communication regarding the Open Access choice will only be entertained after the final decision about publication, which is totally unaffected. The peer-review process is indifferent to articles being Open-Access or not. Reviewers will not know if an article is OA or not. Authors’ commitment to OA is only made after acceptance.

The open access article processing charge (APC) for this publication is USD $1950 for all articles accepted on or after 1 January 2017. Other applicable fees (e.g. over-length paper charges) remain unchanged.


Submitting a Previously Published Conference Paper

The TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS will consider submissions for which earlier versions of the work may have appeared in an IEEE-sponsored conference proceedings. However, for such submissions, the paper must not be just a mere extension of the conference proceedings paper filling in, e.g., details of proofs or additional corollaries, additional experiments, or more detailed background and narrative. Rather, the journal submission must contain new results of substantive research significance and impact beyond the conference version. The authors must make clear in the text of the paper the importance and research significance of these additional results, including any changes and additions to the original material presented in the conference version. Sources must be indicated during the submission procedure and explicitly cited in the manuscript. If the copyright holder of the conference paper is not IEEE, authors should also be aware of potential infringement in case of major overlap in material with the paper submitted to the TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS.

This modified policy is in place to comply with IEEE guidelines on reducing as much as possible the overlap between conference and journal publications archived in IEEEE Xplore, and also to reduce the phenomenon of split citations between the conference and journal versions of the paper. Moreover, authors now have the option of presenting their work recently accepted by T-RO at an upcoming ICRA (for further information, see the news item "Presenting your Acceped Transactions Paper at ICRA 2018" on this webpage), similar to the option offered by the Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L). When considering whether or not to submit a paper to a conference and to evolve it later into a journal submission, authors are strongly encouraged to consider both this alternative option and the one offered by RA-L.

The Transactions will NOT consider submissions that are currently under review for a conference; such submissions will be returned immediately without review.

Submitting Revisions

If the submission is an evolved version of a paper that was previously submitted and reviewed by the Transactions (this includes papers that receive both revise-resubmit and reject decisions), then the authors are required to indicate the previous paper number in the appropriate field ("Previous Submission") on the submissions page. The revised manuscript should be formatted so that any changes can be easily identified by the reviewers, by using, e.g., colored or bold text to indicate revised passages.

Suggesting Potential Reviewers

Authors have the option of suggesting potential reviewers for their submissions. Please note that whether the suggested reviewers are in fact asked to review the submission will be left entirely to the discretion of the handling associate editor and editor. Suggested reviewers should not have any conflict of interest with any of the authors, or have any past or current relationship with the authors that in any way hinders their ability to provide an objective and unbiased review. Also, if the authors feel that a particular person will not be able to provide an unbiased review of their manuscript and wish to exclude this person as a reviewer, they should provide a detailed explanation of the reasons, e.g., any publications or common work that creates a conflict of interest between the authors and the potential reviewer.

IEEE Policy Regarding Prescreening of Articles by Editors

Editors may prescreen articles immediately after they are submitted and before they are transmitted to referees for evaluation. The purpose of such prescreening is to verify that the article adheres to minimum criteria set forth by IEEE, as well as by the organizational unit responsible for the specific publication. Typical prescreening measures include the following:

  • a. The author(s) have followed the IEEE guidelines for style.
  • b. The author(s) have not obviously violated IEEE Policies.
  • c. The article is comprehensible (in other words, not so poorly written that it is unreadable).
  • d. The subject and contents of the article meet the scope of the periodical or a specific issue.
  • e. The article meets a minimum criterion for technical substance established for the periodical.

If the Editor assesses that a submission has met prescreening criteria 3.a through 3.d but has not met criterion 3.e, the Editor shall consult with at least two members of the editorial board for concurrence. Rejection on the basis of criterion 3.e shall require the general agreement of the Editor and those consulted. An article is considered in review if it passes the prescreening process and is forwarded to referees. An “administrative reject” refers to an article that does not meet the prescreening measures and is, therefore, returned to the author(s) with explanation.

Manuscript Preparation

Page Length - To avoid page charges, regular papers are limited to 12 Transactions pages, short papers to 6 Transactions pages, communication items to 3 Transactions pages, and survey papers to 14 Transactions pages. These page limits include everything needed for publication, e.g., figures and tables. For regular and survey papers only, authors are requested to include also current biographies (no more than 100 words) and recent photographs. For all categories, mandatory page charges are imposed on extra pages (see Page Charges below). The maximum acceptable length (with extra page charges) of the submitted PDF file in Transactions format is: 20 Transactions pages for regular papers, 8 Transactions pages for short papers, 4 Transactions pages for communication items, and 20 Transactions pages for survey papers. A mandatory page charge is imposed on all regular papers whose length exceeds 12 TRANSACTIONS pages (and up to 20 pages), including illustrations and authors' biographies. This charge is $175 per page for each page over the first twelve based on the final typeset length, and is a prerequisite for publication. The same policy applies to short papers exceeding 6 TRANSACTIONS pages (and up to 8 pages), to communication items exceeding 3 TRANSACTIONS pages (and up to 4 pages), and to survey papers exceeding 14 TRANSACTIONS pages (and up to 20 pages).

Paper Format - All manuscripts should be submitted in the double column format of the Transactions using an IEEE style file. Instructions and templates (LaTeX or Word) are downloadable from the IEEE "Article Preparation and Submission" section of the IEEE Author Digital Toolbox, together with other useful tools for authors. If you use LaTeX for preparing a short paper or a communication item, download the style files (IEEEtran.zip) and then typeset your manuscript in the "technote paper" format, i.e., put the command "\documentclass[9pt,technote]{IEEEtran}" in your LaTeX file.

When using the IEEE style format, the first (title) page will contain the paper title and each author's name, affiliation, and full address (mailing address, email address, and fax number), with the corresponding author clearly indicated, the abstract (no more than 200 words for regular or survey papers, and 50 words for short papers or communications items), the keywords (index terms), and the beginning of the main text of the paper. Do not use a cover page (the appearance should be just as published articles in the Transactions). Also, T-RO does not use double blind review and thus the authors' names should be indicated in the PDF of the paper. The type of submission (regular paper, short paper, communication item, or survey paper) may be indicated in the page header. Note that the PDF will be stamped by the system upon submission, so it is better not to interfere with this by overloading footer and header.

To enhance the appearance of your article on IEEEXplore®, a graphical abstract can be displayed along with traditional text. The graphical abstract should provide a clear, visual summary of your article’s findings by means of an image, animation, video, or audio clip. Please note that the graphical abstract is considered a part of the technical content of the article, and must be submitted together with your article for peer review. For more information about graphical abstracts and their specifications, please visit http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/graphical_abstract.pdf

Figures, Tables, and References - All figures and tables must be numbered and cited in the text. References must be in a separate reference section at the end of the paper, with items referred to by numerals in square brackets. References must be completed in IEEE style as follows:

  • Author(s), first initials followed by last name, title in quotation marks, periodical, volume, inclusive page numbers, month and year.
  • Books: Author(s), first initials followed by last name, title, location, publisher, year, chapter, page numbers.

    To guard against citation manipulation, IEEE discourages the citation of articles that do not report original research and may not have been peer reviewed, e.g., editorials, summaries, book reviews, interviews, columns, perspectives, in memoria, etc.

Keywords Selection - A list of significant keywords (also named index terms) should be included in the first page of each submitted paper. Select a minimum of 2 up to a maximum of 5 (recommended) keywords during one of the submission steps at the T-RO Papercept site ras.papercept.net/journals/tro. Keywords can be chosen from those predefined within the RAS subject areas (the ones used for ICRA conferences) or typed in freely (for at most 2 keywords). The current list of predefined T-RO keywords can be downloaded from here.

PDF File Testing - Sometimes, PDF files generated with software or operative systems of Far East countries may have a font embedding problem with Chinese/Japanese/Korean fonts. This prevents the paper to be shown on screen or printed correctly with standard Western system configurations. We cannot expect that all reviewers are equipped with software extensions to work properly with such PDF files, slowing down the review process. Therefore, authors should carefully generate their PDF files and are urged to check them before submission by using the web facility accessible at the T-RO PaperCept site ras.papercept.net/journals/tro. The minimum version of acceptable PDF is currently 1.4.

Copyright and E-Copyright Form - It is the policy of the IEEE to own the copyright to the technical contributions it publishes on behalf of the interests of the IEEE, its authors, and their employers, and to facilitate the appropriate reuse of this material by others. To comply with U.S. copyright law, authors are required to sign an IEEE copyright transfer form with the final manuscript. For your information, this form is available here. It returns to authors and their employers full rights to reuse their material for their own purposes. Authors of papers accepted for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS should fill the electronic copyright transfer form (E-Copyright) at the time of final submission of the material for publication.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) Author Names - IEEE supports the publication of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) author names in the native language alongside the English versions of the names in the author list of an article. For more information, please visit the IEEE Author Digital Tool Box.

Inquiries - All pertinent correspondence relating to publications should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief. For routing inquiries, please contact the Editorial Assistant.

Multimedia Materials

The IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS considers also multimedia attachments for material (typically, videos) accompanying the submission of a paper.

Multimedia can be "playable" files (.mpeg, .avi, .wav, .mov, .midi, etc.) or "dataset" files (e.g., raw data with programs to manipulate them). Such material is intended to enhance the contents of a paper, both in clarity and in added value. IEEE has set up general guidelines for the submission of multimedia, ranging from the format, to the description of content and of user requirements, and to the way this material should be referenced to in the body of the paper. This information is available in the "Multimedia Materials" section of the IEEE "Author Digital Tool Box" through this link.

In preparing this material, it is recommended to follow the general IEEE guidelines right from the initial submission. In addition, specific guidelines hold for the TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS:

  • The paper should be self-contained, i.e., fully readable and understandable independently from the multimedia material.
  • Videos should be prepared without using special codecs (coders/decoders) plug-ins and allowing portability under various platforms. Accordingly, the most common media formats are strongly recommended rather than their latest versions.
  • Only freely available media players (e.g., QuickTime, RealPlayer, Microsoft Windows Media Player) should be required by users.
  • A "ReadMe.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should accompany the multimedia, describing:
    • Minimum requirements for the user. In particular, provide the version of the software that is required to play/run the submitted files. Include the name of the software, the version number, and any special requirements for the player.
    • Contact Information. The author should provide contact information in case users have questions regarding the multimedia material (IEEE will not provide any technical support for this).
  • A "Summary.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should also be prepared, describing in 5 sentences or less the contents or value of the multimedia object.

Authors can submit their multimedia material (say, a video, the ReadMe file, and the Summary file) as a single zipped archive file (max 50 MB) during one of the submission steps at the T-RO Papercept site ras.papercept.net/journals/tro.

The multimedia material will be reviewed together with the submitted paper. Once a paper and its associated multimedia material is accepted, the latter will be available in the T-RO page within IEEE Xplore (ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?puNumber=8860), side-by-side to the PDF of the paper.

Proposals for Special Issues and Survey Papers

Special Issues

Proposals for special issues should be submitted to the EiC, with a well-articulated, unifying theme that attempts to gather the best work in a particular area of research. Topics can either be areas that are reaching the initial stages of research maturity, or important emerging areas in which research is likely to be advanced by the publication of a collection of high-quality, peer-reviewed papers. Proposals are selected by the EiC in consultation with the senior editors panel and editorial board.

Once a special issue has been selected, guest editors are selected, with one of the current Transactions editors supervising the review and selection process. Guest editors serve as members of the editorial board until the publication of the special issue, and are expected to attend at least one editorial board meeting during that period. Review procedures for special issue submissions are similar to those for regular issues, with the guest editors fulfilling the duties of the associate editors. The supervising editor will carry out the standard editorial functions (e.g., sending decision letters to authors, etc.). If the number of accepted papers is not sufficient to warrant an entire issue, then the accepted papers may be organized into a special section of a regular issue. Further details on submitting a special issue proposal can be obtained by contacting the EiC.

Survey Papers

Survey papers should cover emerging research topics in robotics or have a tutorial or review nature of sufficiently large interest to the Transactions audience. Authors of survey papers must submit a proposal to the editor-in-chief prior to submission. This proposal should address the need for the survey article (including the potential audience and T-RO relevance), give a summary of the authors' qualifications to write the survey (a survey article should be written by leading experts in the field), and provide a proposed bibliography. The EiC, possibly in conjunction with the senior editors panel, will then determine whether the proposed article may be submitted for review. The standard length of published survey papers is up to fourteen Transactions pages.

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