Instructions for Authors

Revision 9.14. April 19, 2022

Before deciding to submit a manuscript, review TMI’s scope, key acceptance criteria, and review and decision process. Note that TMI does not publish papers that describe applications based on medically adopted and/or established methods and lack significant innovation in methodology.

1. Prepare Your Manuscript

1.1 Beware

Your submitted manuscript must be unpublished and is not under consideration elsewhere.

The pre-print version of your manuscript may be posted on third party websites such as Read IEEE Article Sharing and Posting Policies.

1.2 Limit the overall length to 10-pages

An initial submission of a regular or special-issue paper, including references, that exceeds ten pages will be returned without review. This limit is not applicable to resubmissions (the submission of the original manuscript received a Reject/Resubmit decision), because authors need to revise the paper in order to address issues raised by the reviewers. The final, accepted version of a paper is usually a few pages longer than the initial submission, meaning it may be more than ten.

Be aware of the over-length charge: final published papers that exceed eight (8) printed journal pages will incur mandatory over-length charges. All papers exceeding eight published pages, including illustrations and references, incur $250/page for pages nine and ten. For pages eleven and up, a $350/page charge applies. The over-length charge also applies to Open Access manuscripts.

1.3 Strictly follow the TMI format

All the formatting details are described in the TMI template file (IEEE Template Selector). Below are a few key formatting requirements:

  • The author list should only include each author’s name and IEEE membership rank. There should be no superscript tags next to the author names.

  • Authors’ affiliations, e-mails, and sponsor and financial support acknowledgment should be included in a footnote at the bottom of the first page.

  • Abstract appears at the beginning and is followed by Index Terms (keywords).

For an abstract to be effective when displayed in IEEE Xplore® as well as through indexing services such as Compendex, INSPEC, Medline, ProQuest, and Web of Science, it must be an accurate, stand-alone reflection of the contents of the article. The abstract must be a concise, yet comprehensive reflection of what is in your article. In particular:

  • The abstract must be self-contained without abbreviations, footnotes, or references. It should be a microcosm of the full article.

  • The abstract must not exceed 250 words.

  • The abstract must be written as one paragraph and should not contain mathematical equations or tabular materials.

  • Optional graphical abstract

To enhance the appearance of your article on IEEE Xplore®, a graphical abstract can be displayed along with traditional text but it is NOT required for submission.

  • The graphical abstract should provide a clear, visual summary of your article’s findings by means of an image, animation, video, or audio clip.

  • The graphical abstract is considered a part of the technical content of the article, and must be submitted for peer review during the article submission process. Please upload the graphical abstract as a supporting document in your submission and mention in your cover letter that “the graphical abstract is included in the supporting documents for peer review”.

  • Manuscript contents are on double-columned, single-spaced, and justified alignment indented pages.

  • Figures appear within the main text next to where they are referred.

  • References should 1) use the format of author names exactly as shown in the reference section of the TMI template file; 2) follow the IEEE convention that lists the names of all authors if there are six or fewer co-authors, otherwise list the first author’s name followed by et al.; and 3) have complete information – for example, a reference of a journal article should include the article’s volume, issue, and page numbers.

  • TMI does not publish authors’ biographies.

1.4 Write with good English

Non-native English speakers should consider using a professional scientific manuscript editing service.

1.5 Avoid plagiarism

TMI runs every submission through Crossref Similarity Check powered by iTthenticate verifying overlap with all previously published materials. Your paper will be rejected if a high percentage of overlap is found in large, plagiarized chunks even with your own publications.

1.6 Extended from a conference paper

If the manuscript is extended from a published conference paper, 1) upload your cover letter as a Supporting Document that describes the specific additions in the manuscript, and 2) upload your conference paper as a Supporting Document. The extension must be substantial in terms of rigor and thoroughness, but not necessarily in novelty. The conference paper must be properly referenced.

1.7 Challenge paper

If the manuscript is a Challenge Paper that describes the organization and results of online and grand challenges, the initial submission page-limit is fourteen (14) to accommodate the typical comprehensive and pedagogical content. The submission must fulfill the requirements below. Complete the checklist and submit it as a Supporting Document.

  • The submitting and corresponding author is the organizer of the challenge.

  • The author list includes at least one person from each of the participating groups.

  • The manuscript must include the following information about the challenge:

    • The link to the challenge website where the readers can find more information and results of the challenge.

    • The objective of the challenge must be described in the same way as stated in the original “call for participation”.

  • Statement of review process used to select participants for the challenge-paper submission.

  • Description of evaluation/validation approach, including how gold standards were established.

  • The web link to the challenge proceeding, where all the challenge papers can be accessed electronically.

  • A short description and correct citation for each of the participating methods.

  • The proper permissions must be obtained: the manuscript must include the following information about the challenge:

    • The manuscript must be verified by a representative of each participating group by providing a signed letter agreeing with the manuscript’s content prior to submission — all these letters must be submitted with the manuscript as supporting documents.

    • The corresponding author must obtain copyright permission for the material (figures, tables, text) used in the manuscript — if applicable.

1.8 Review paper

Submissions are invited by the Editor-in-Chief. Authors will first submit a paper proposal that requires the review (criteria) and approval of TMI's Scientific Advisory Committee.

1.9 Prior review

Authors of a manuscript that has been rejected from another journal are required to disclose this information at the time of submission to TMI. Specifically, authors must include in their Cover Letters an executive summary that summarizes the manuscript's significance warranting review by TMI and the modifications to address the concerns from any previous reviews. Failure to disclose such information will be treated as a breach of ethical standards.

1.10 Manuscript PDF file’s size limit

The manuscript must be a PDF file of less than 40 MB.

1.11 Open source code

Upon publication, TMI considers it best practice to share custom computer code and test data in a way that allows readers to reproduce the published results. Such a practice has proven to enhance the visibility and impact of the associated research. TMI authors mostly use a web server such as GitHub that has version control and license or Code Ocean that is linked to the published article in IEEEXplore to share their code and provide a detailed instruction document. The option to upload your code to Code Ocean is provided when you submit your final version of the accepted manuscript and the published code has an assigned DOI.

2. Upload Your Manuscript


Apply for an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) if you don’t already have one. The submission author requires a registered ORCID in order to upload the submission or review a proof.

2.2 Submission Type

Choose the appropriate Manuscript Type for your submission. Submissions to a Special Issue must abide by the due date stated in the Call-for-Paper announcement.

2.3 Manuscript file

Only one PDF file that contains the complete paper (text, tables and figures embedded in the text, and references) as it would appear in published form should be submitted. Other files such as Word, LaTeX source, BibTeX file, and high-resolution images are not necessary.

2.4 Supporting document

The allowed Supporting Document types are 1) graphical abstract, 2) video, 3) media, 4) dataset, 5) code, and 6) published conference paper from which your manuscript is extended.

Starting on January 1, 2022, TMI no longer allows submissions of supplemental documents that resemble an extension of the manuscript that includes texts and figures. This policy applies to all new and revision submissions. This change is to abide by IEEE’s guidelines that all materials posted on IEEE Xplorer must be peer-reviewed and has been approved by the TMI Steering Committee.

If you believe the quality of a figure in the main manuscript file is inadequate for the review process, upload the corresponding high-resolution figure file and assign it as a Supporting Document. Files assigned as High-Res Image are not accessible to reviewers.

2.5 Multimedia Content
  • Multimedia content can be any playable file (audio or video), or dataset file (raw data, source code, or application). It is the authors’ responsibility to encode a video file with the appropriate format and video codec so that the video can be played by the readers of TMI in most common computer environments.

  • The authors should clearly indicate in the main body of the manuscript that the submission includes multimedia contents and the reviewers can find them under the “Supplementary Files” tab on ScholarOne Manuscripts. The authors should provide enough information about the multimedia content such as a short description, the format, codec, etc. in the figure caption or footnote.

  • After the submission is complete, the authors will NOT be able to see the uploaded multimedia contents by clicking the “View Submission” link on ScholarOne Manuscripts. The editorial office will check the existence and correctness of multimedia contents for every submission and will contact the author within 12-48 hours if there is a broken or missing file.

  • Example of including a dataset.

  • Example of including a video clip.

2.6 Select keywords

Select at least two keywords that are mostly associated with your manuscript from the drop-down list in each of the three keyword categories: Imaging Modalities, Object of Interest, and General Methodologies. These keywords are used to identify the most appropriate Associate Editor and reviewers who will manage and evaluate your manuscript.

2.7 Contact Author

The submission author is automatically assigned as the ScholarOne Manuscripts Contact (Correspondence) Author. The Contact (Correspondence) Author listed in the manuscript can be different.

2.8 Number of co-authors

ScholarOne Manuscripts allows entries of up to fifty (50) co-authors, but the full author list in the main manuscript file does not have a number limit. If a submission has more than fifty co-authors, the submitting author is responsible for forwarding correspondences from the editorial office to the co-authors not entered on ScholarOne Manuscripts.

2.9 Email addresses of co-authors

Use your co-authors’ primary emails affiliated with their existing ScholarOne-TMI accounts. Entering a different email for someone who already has an account will create a duplicate account which is an administrative hassle to the account owner and the peer-review system.

Enter all the emails correctly. A submission with the wrong email addresses creates multiple bounced messages and will be unsubmitted.

2.10 Cover Letter

No need to write a formal cover letter that replicates the Abstract. You may provide key notes, e.g. the manuscript ID of the previous submission, in the Write Cover Letter text-box.

A cover letter in a pdf file is needed when the manuscript is extended from a published conference paper. Upload your cover letter PDF file and assign Cover Letter as the File Designation and place it at the top of the uploaded files.

3. Monitor Review Progression

Know these:

The average turnaround time for a paper from submission to the first decision is about 7 weeks.

While the progression of each paper’s review is managed through TMI’s established protocols, it can not be strictly controlled. It depends on many factors including the availability and responsiveness of qualified reviewers, who are all volunteers and usually very busy. Sometimes we have to send a few rounds of invitations to secure reviewers required or give extensions to the deadlines for them to complete their reviews.

3.1 Submission Status

The Status of your paper in the review process is shown on ScholarOne under Author -> Manuscripts I have Co-authored, it is updated accordingly while your submission moves through the TMI review and decision process. Two status terms that are less intuitive to understand are explained below.

AE assigns reviewers: The Associate Editor has started selecting and inviting reviewers, but the number of agreed-reviewers has not reached 4, the TMI recommended number. Note that as long as there are less than 4 agreed reviewers, this status will remain unchanged even though the Associate Editor has been actively recruiting new reviewers.

Waiting for Reviewers’ Scores: One or more agreed reviewers have not submitted their scores. TMI allows reviewers three weeks counting from the day they accept the invitation – may be extended by up to two weeks per request – to complete the review.

3.2 Send an inquiry email to TMI Editorial Office

Contact TMI’s Editorial Office if the review duration is abnormally long, for example, more than 7-weeks. Remember to include your TMI manuscript ID in your email. Due to our limited resources, we would only be able to respond to inquiries about submissions we deem abnormally delayed.

4. Act According to Review Decision

The four possible decisions that a submission may receive and the corresponding actions are described below.

4.1 Accept
  • Prepare the final files according to the guidelines specified in the decision letter.

  • Upload the final files to ScholarOne by clicking on “Awaiting final files” and then “submit final files”.

  • If you are submitting Supporting Document, follow these instructions. Within 24 hours after the final submission, all uploaded final files will be exported to the IEEE transactions department which handles the remaining steps such as typesetting before publication. Once the final files are exported, the IEEE-TMI editorial office cannot help the author making changes to the submission. The author will be contacted by the IEEE-TMI staff editors to review the proof and make any changes if needed.

  • Announcing your paper on TMI’s Facebook and Twitter platforms
    If you are interested in announcing your paper on TMI’s Facebook and Twitter platforms, email the following 3 items to TMI’s Social Media posting mailbox ( A description of the essential contribution of the Paper. It may consist of a few sentences but must be 40 words or less. Please write the description from the perspective of a third party. Note the section title of the posting is “Early Access Papers Just Posted”. Example: A multi-modal MRI reconstruction method that compensates for subtle spatial misalignment between different modalities simultaneously. The target MRI modality which is under-sampled in the k-space can be efficiently reconstructed with help of the fully-sampled reference MRI modality. In our Twitter posting, this description will be replaced by the title of your paper due to Twitter’s number of character limit.(2) A line that starts with “Read the paper:” followed by the link to the Early Access version of the paper. Example: Read the paper: To find the XploreID (the 9745968 in the example): Within two weeks after the submission of your final version, you will receive an e-mail with a DOI number informing your article has been posted to Xplore as early access, you may go to IEEE Xplore and search for the DOI number to get the XploreID.(3) The file of a figure or image in your paper or you create that is most informative or representative of introducing your paper’s contribution.

  • Formal publication
    Upon acceptance, a paper will become available in “Early Access Articles” on the IEEE-Xplore website within a few weeks and it is citable. But the formal publication of the paper with volume, issue and page numbers usually happens about two months after because of backlog of papers awaiting publication.

  • Archive
    Please note that all submissions will be archived by ScholarOne Manuscripts for a certain period of time. Once archived, the editors cannot access the submitted files except for the review history. The author is recommended to keep a copy of the submitted files for future reference. The IEEE-TMI editorial office may request a copy from the author as a supporting document for the resubmission.

4.2 Accept with Minor Revision
  • Start your revision-submission on ScholarOne Manuscripts.

  • Choose “Manuscripts with Decisions” and then click on “create a revision”.

If the manuscript ID of the previous submission is TMI-2019-yyyy, the revision ID will be TMI-2019-yyyy.R1. The manuscript ID for revision of TMI-2019-yyyy.R1 will be TMI-2019-yyyy.R2.

  • The revision must be submitted within 4 weeks from the decision date.

The number of days remaining is shown below the “create a revision” link. If the authors cannot meet the revision due date, please contact the IEEE-TMI editorial office.

  • The 10-page limit for original submissions is not applicable here, as extra length is often needed to respond to the reviewers’ comments.

  • Upload the following 3 PDF files.

    1. A document containing point-by-point responses to all concerns raised by the reviewers. Start the name of the file with “response-to-reviewers.”

    2. A clean (changes not-highlighted) copy of the revised manuscript file. Start the name of the file with “clean-copy-.” The file must be uploaded and designated as “Main Body.”

    3. A marked-up copy of the manuscript file. Start the name of the file with “marked-up-.” All the changes should be clearly marked using sidebars, different text colors, or similar tools. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Optional Source File – Main Document.”

  • Although no external review is required, the AE may still invite reviewers who were more critical to evaluate the submission or just make sure all their concerns are addressed. The reviewers are given 3 weeks to send back their comments. If the revisions performed are not satisfactory, the paper may still be rejected in the next final round.

4.3 Reject with Invitation to Resubmit

If the decision letter states that your manuscript is rejected, but you are encouraged to resubmit the substantially revised manuscript to TMI, follow the procedures below.

  • Log in to ScholarOne Manuscripts.

  • Under Manuscripts with Decisions, click the “create a resubmission” link next to your previous submission. Follow the on-screen instructions.

  • The 10-page limit for original submissions is not applicable here, as extra length is often needed to respond to the reviewers’ comments.

  • Upload the following 3 PDF files:

    1. A document containing point-by-point responses to all concerns raised by the reviewers. Start the name of the file with “response-to-reviewers-“. The document must contain the previous manuscript ID and each of the reviewer comments immediately followed by the authors’ response to it.

    2. A clean (changes not-highlighted) copy of the revised manuscript file. Start the name of the file with “clean-copy-“. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Main Body”.

    3. A marked-up copy of the manuscript file. Start the name of file with “marked-up”. All the changes should be clearly marked using sidebars, different text color, or similar tools. The file must be uploaded and designated as “Optional Source File – Main Document”.

  • TMI typically only allows one resubmission.

4.4 Reject
  • If the decision is Reject (with recommendation to submit to another journal or with preclusion of resubmission) after a full review — having comments from AE and reviewers, this decision precludes resubmission of this work to IEEE TMI even if you revise your paper to reflect reviewer comments.

    Authors should be aware that a positive critique does not necessarily imply an overall positive judgment from a reviewer. Quite often, reviewers present a more negative judgment and more outspoken arguments to reject the paper in the confidential comments to the editors than in the comments to the authors.

  • If a paper is rejected without going through a full review, the authors may have one chance to resubmit the paper with a cover letter detailing that the major concerns in the decision letter have been thoroughly addressed.

    Authors who attempt to submit a rejected paper without disclosing the prior review history will receive a warning, each author’s account in the ScholarOne system will be tagged with an orange-colored flag. Two such incidences will turn the flag color to red, which means all future submissions from the author will be immediately rejected without review.