Information for Authors

Manuscript Preparation

Authors are required to prepare and submit their manuscripts electronically. This facilitates both a quicker editorial review process as well as facilitating electronic publication of accepted papers.

While ACM admits a wide variety of formats for the electronic submission of accepted papers, the emerging technologies which support electronic publishing currently force us to impose some restrictions on submission for both review and final acceptance of manuscripts. Therefore for purposes of editorial review, TOSN permits electronic submissions only in PDF format.

TOSN authors should prepare manuscripts according to the ACM accepted manuscript preparation guidelines. We will not accept submissions that do not use this format. Since these guidelines are in a state of transition with regard to electronic publication, the guidelines here take precedence whenever there is a conflict. We will soon have our own style guides which addresses more of the specific needs for electronic publishing.

Please see Formatting Documents For Electronic Publication below.

To ensure proper indexing, classification, retrieval and dissemination, authors must include the following in the manuscript.

  • Descriptive title
  • Author names and affiliations
  • Abstract
  • Content indicators
  • Citations to relevant literature
The following serve as guidelines for the preparation of this material.

New ACM Author Representation Policy

Prior Publication Policy

TOSN accepts submissions of original technical contributions that neither have been published in archival publications nor are under consideration by another archival journal at the time of submission. In the case where a contribution has already been published by a refereed conference, publication in TOSN is permitted only if the editor judges that the revision contains significant amplification or clarification of the original material, or there is a significant additional benefit to be gained from the journal publication. In either case, any prior publication should be noted on the title page of the submission, and a summary of the differences with the conference version should be provided (as a cover letter) with the submission. Submissions that do not meet these requirements will be rejected without review.

Descriptive Title

Select a title that accurately and clearly tells what the paper is about. Choose title terms as highly specific as content and emphasis of the paper permit. Avoid special symbols and formulas in titles unless essential to indicate content. Avoid cute or clever titles.

Author Names and Affiliations

Authors' names should be given without titles or degrees along with the name and address of the organization for which the work was carried out. A footnote on the first page should acknowledge funding sources and presentations, if any, of the material at technical meetings (give dates and sponsoring societies). The author's current address should be given in a footnote on the first page.


ORCID is a community-based effort to create a global registry of unique researcher identifiers for the purpose of ensuring proper attribution of works to their creators. When new users create an account in Manuscript Central, they are now asked to add their ORCID unique researcher identifier to their record.  They can obtain their number via a direct link to the ORCID registration site. The ORCID ID then becomes part of the manuscript's metadata and will be passed back into ACM's Digital Library if the manuscript is accepted for publication. ACM has not yet made ORCID registration a requirement of submission. We intend to do so in the near feature.


The abstract should be from 150 to 200 words long and consist of short, direct, and complete sentences. It should be informative enough to serve in some cases as a substitute for reading the paper itself. It should state the objectives of the work, summarize the results, and give the principal conclusions. The title need not be repeated. Work planned but not done should not be described in the abstract. Because abstracts are extracted and used separately, do not use the first person, do not display mathematics, and do not use citation reference numbers. Try to avoid starting with the words "This paper ..."

Content Indicators

Two types of content indicators must be assigned: (1) categories and subject descriptors and (2) keywords and phrases. The first item is selected from the Computing Reviews Classification Scheme published in the January 1991 issue ofComputing Reviews. Select as many of these as may be applicable.

The keywords and phrases are additional English language words that indicate the content of the submission. They should not be synonymous with those already in the classification system : they can be more specific in relation to the paper than the subject descriptors, or they may not be covered by the existing system at all. The following guidelines may be helpful.

  • Use phases (up to five) from the topic areas listed in  the TOSN Editorial Charter if possible.
  • Use important terms from the title; include their synonyms, related words and words of higher or lower generic rank.
  • Use English nouns, or noun-noun and noun-adjective combinations; do not use hyphens except if the hyphenated parts are always treated as a single unit.
  • Use specific terms whose meanings are generally accepted; do not use broad catchall terms (such as "computer", "automatic", "machine", "system", "discussion", "description"); do not use private terms or acronyms that may not be generally known.
  • Do not use negative terms stressing what your paper does not do.


  1. References to items in periodicals: These should take the form: author, title, journal, volume, number, date, pages. The title has only the first word and proper names (or their derivatives) starting with capital letters, and it ends with a period. The date is given in parentheses. 
  2. References to reports or proceedings: Author(s) name(s) and title (same style as above), report number, source including date and pages.
  3. References to books: Author(s) -- same style as in periodicals. Title -- all principal words start with a capital letter, and is set in italics. Include publisher, city, and year. Page or chapter references follow the year.
  4. Sequence: In the reference list, entries must be arranged alphabetically according to authors' or editors' names, or publishing organizations for items to which no names can be attached. References are to be numbered in the list, and the numbers are then cited in the text.
  5. Accuracy: Authors are responsible for checking that all information in the references is correct.
  6. Completeness: Include any and all information necessary for finding the work referenced. It is better to include more than enough information than too little information.

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 page:

Submission for Editorial Review

How to Submit

In order to ensure timely review and facilitate electronic publication, manuscripts must be submitted as PDF files on the web at
Please note, if you don't have an account at ACM Manuscript Central for TOSN you will need to create an account before you can log in and submit to TOSN.

Each submission must include a PDF file for the complete manuscript and an ASCII file containing title, abstract, authors, and contact information for the corresponding author of the manuscript.

Each submission should indicate whether it is intended as a regular paper (approximately 30-40 printed pages each) or tutorial/survey paper (approximately 30-50 printed pages each). In the case where the work has already been published by a refereed conference, the submission should note the prior publication on the title page. Please refer to Editorial Charter for the prior publication policy.

Review Process

In general, the process follows the same guidelines as the other ACM Journal publications:

Submitted papers are evaluated by anonymous referees for originality, relevance, and presentation. The author will be notified of the name of an associate editor who will be responsible for the processing of the manuscript, upon request to the journal assistant. Revisions requested by the associate editor should be submitted through which will be forwarded directly to that editor. After the refereeing process is complete, the associate editor makes a decision for acceptance or rejection. There are two types of revisions: major or minor. For a major revision, original referees will be invited to review the paper again, and make a recommendation. For a minor revision, no reviews are required, the editor makes the final decision of acceptance if both the content and format are acceptable. Note that it is recommended that all papers go through minor revisions before acceptance.

Timeline of the review processexpected time: first decision < 15 weeks, second decision < 35 weeks

Authors may contact the journal assistant for the status of the paper.



Assistant inform EIC of submission 1 week
EIC select AE 2 weeks
AE invite referees 2 weeks
Referees confirm 2 weeks
Referees submit review 6 weeks
AE make decision 2 weeks

Author   major revise

                minor revise

12 weeks

8 weeks


Desk Reject Policy

A submission may be rejected by the Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor without review if it is clearly below the standard in quality/impact or is out of the scope of TOSN as the flagship journal on sensor networks. The AE must notify Editor-in-Chief with a proper justification for a Desk Reject and receive approval before committing the decision. Desk Rejects will be used only in cases when the submissions are clearly below the threshold or are clearly out of the scope of TOSN. 

Procedures for "Accepted with Minor Revision" Papers

Authors whose paper are accepted with minor revisions shall prepare the final version using ACM Transaction Format. For latex users, a sample style file can be found here. Authors should submit ALL source files (tex and figures), in addition to final PDF. It is recommended that all files are put in a zip or tar file and submitted as "not for review". Please note that after acceptance of a paper, authors are no longer able to submit any files to the manuscript center for that paper.

Procedures for Accepted Papers

Formatting Documents For Submission & Electronic Publication

Please read and observe the official ACM Copyright Policy.

Guidelines for preparing your paper for publication can be found at ACM accepted manuscript preparation guidelines. For latex users, a sample style file (with TOSN specific information) can be found here. Note that  it is essential that the ACM copyright be included on the first page of your final document.

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 no longer collects voluntary page charges.

ACM Author-Izer Service

ACM has just launched a new service called ACM Author-Izer. In essence, it extends ACM’s support for self-archiving by enabling authors to generate and post links in their own bibliographies that they maintain on either their personal home page or institutional repository. These links will let any visitors to your personal bibliography pages download the definitive version of the articles for free from the ACM DL. These downloads will be recorded as part of your DL usage statistics. A Summary Description of the Service and instructions for its use may be found here: