Information for Authors

General information

JAIR invites submissions in all areas of AI. Articles published in JAIR must meet the highest quality standards as measured by originality and significance of the contribution. The journal publishes full-length original articles, research notes, survey articles, and special tracks. Research notes are very brief papers that extend or evaluate previous work. Survey articles are tutorials or literature reviews that contribute an analysis or perspective that advances our understanding of the subject matter. Special tracks are collections of articles on a specific subject edited by guest editors. All articles must conform to the standards outlined in JAIR's editorial charter.

Contents

Submission requirements

We strongly encourage authors to be concise.

Because of JAIR’s quick turnaround time, authors may be tempted to "test the waters" with papers that are less than they might be. Authors should submit only papers that have been carefully proofread and polished. Papers that are clearly unacceptable will be returned by the editor without being reviewed.

All claims should be clearly articulated and supported either by empirical experiments or theoretical analyses. When appropriate, authors are encouraged to implement their work and to demonstrate its utility on significant problems; any experiments reported should be reproducible. Papers describing systems should clearly describe the contributions or the principles underlying the system. Papers describing theoretical results should also discuss their practical utility. In general, it should be clear how the work advances the current state of understanding and why the advance matters. Papers should report on what was learned in doing the work, rather than merely on what was done.

Authors must clearly acknowledge the contributions of their predecessors. If a paper introduces new terminology or techniques, it should also explain why current terminology or techniques are insufficient.

Submissions must be original. The work cannot have been published previously or be pending publication in another journal, nor can it be under review or be sent for review in any other forum. Violation of this policy will result in rejection of the submission and a six-month ban on further submissions to JAIR. Submissions to JAIR can, however, contain material published in one or more conference papers. Submissions should contain at least 20 percent by length of material that is unpublished. This new material should make substantial new contributions. This would typically be additional theoretical or experimental results, or both. Authors must notify the editor about previous or pending conference publication at the time of submission to JAIR.

Articles may be accompanied by online appendices containing data, demonstrations, instructions for obtaining source code, or the source code itself (if appropriate). We strongly encourage authors to include such appendices along with their papers. (Note: if an online appendix contains source code, we will require you to sign a release form prior to publication freeing us from liability.)

Submissions that use color are welcome, but all figures should be understandable by readers viewing or printing via monochrome devices. We cannot guarantee that referees will review the color version of your work, and the bound volumes published by AAAI Press include black and white only.

Submission procedure

To submit a paper to JAIR, authors should fill out our online form,which asks for the basic information about the paper (title, authors, contact information, abstract, etc.). The form also explains how to transfer the PostScript (or PDF) file to us (either by email or by providing a URL). We request that submissions be made using the online form.

Although we have no strict threshold requirement, we recommend that authors attempt to minimize the size of submitted files. Very large files (more than a few megabytes) still present a problem for some mailers and printers.

JAIR seeks to acknowledge receipt of submissions within three business days. If you do not receive such a confirmation message, please let the editorial office know by sending a message to jair-ed@isi.edu.

The Reviewing Process

To promote rapid publication of research results, articles sent to JAIR will be reviewed and a decision returned to the authors in approximately 8-12 weeks. If an article is longer than usual, or is submitted during the reviewing period or occurrence of a major conference, we may require more time for the review.

Reviewers are instructed to make recommendations to accept, accept with minor revisions, reject with resubmission encouraged, or reject. If a paper requires substantial revisions, it will not be accepted. In this case, the editor may recommend that the author submit a revised version, but there is no guarantee it will be reviewed by the same referees, or that it will eventually be published. A paper may be revised and resubmitted at most once. To avoid misunderstandings about interpretation of reviewer and editor recommendations, we encourage authors to contact the editor prior to resubmission with any salient questions.

If a paper is accepted, the editor and reviewers may require minor revisions. The author should return the revised paper as soon as possible. Normally, authors will have up to three months to accomplish their revisions. Upon receiving a revised paper, the editor may ask the reviewers to re-review the revised paper. Electronic publication will occur immediately upon receipt of the final version of an accepted article.

After a paper is accepted, authors must transfer copyright of the article to the publishers. The article cannot be reprinted in another publication without the publisher’s permission. Authors are encouraged to add links to the article and the JAIR site to their personal web pages.

Reviewer Anonymity and Confidentiality

All persons involved in the reviewing process are requested to treat submissions in strict confidence. Maintaining the confidentiality of submissions and the anonymity of reviewers is crucial to JAIR's peer review process. The best quality reviews are obtained when the reviewers can comment candidly, knowing that their comments will only be disclosed to those directly involved in the decision-making process. It is the policy of JAIR therefore that reviewers, editors, and administrators keep the identities of all reviewers hidden from authors, other reviewers, and other editors who are not handling the paper. As a courtesy to reviewers, once all the reviews have been received, the editor handling the paper generally sends all the anonymous reviews to all the reviewers. This is done after all identifying information is removed. If further discussion between the editor and the reviewers ensues, reviewers must be identified by their IDs rather than their names. Under some circumstances, it may be necessary or beneficial to divulge the identities of the reviewers to the other reviewers of the same manuscript. This will only be done after consent is obtained from all affected reviewers.

Resubmissions

As explained earlier, if a paper requires substantial revisions, the editor may reject the paper and recommend that the author submit a revised version. However, JAIR papers may only be resubmitted once.

When sending JAIR a resubmission, authors should NOT send the paper directly back to the editor; instead, they should use JAIR’s regular online procedure for sending us a submission. This enables JAIR’s administrative staff to track the paper. The online form provides a mechanism whereby the author can identify the paper as a resubmission. The paper will be forwarded to an appropriate editor (normally the original editor) by JAIR’s staff.

Formatting

Formatting for submission

As stated in the above procedure for submitting articles, authors should submit a PostScript (or PDF) file, along with an ASCII text file containing the abstract. The submitted article may be formatted in any convenient style. Authors may find it convenient to use the publication format for submission, but this is not necessary.

Formatting for publication

Authors are responsible for formatting their papers for publication, in PostScript and PDF, according to the JAIR guidelnes. JAIR’s editorial staff will provide guidance in the final preparation, but the primary responsibility for proper formatting lies with the author. The editorial staff can recommend professionals who will provide this service for a fee.

The JAIR Authors Guide contains instructions that the authors should follow when preparing their paper for publication, as well as a checklist. Please pay close attention to these instructions. The guide describes how to obtain detailed formatting instructions. The guide also describes how to access sample formats, and macros for several typesetting systems (e.g., LaTeX).

After publication

Authors may publish "forward pointers" to subsequent articles on the same topic by contacting the executive editor.