PE&RS Instructions for Guest Editors

Anyone serving as a Guest Editor for Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS) should adhere to the following guidelines. Please refer questions to the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Alper Yilmaz (


Special Issues of Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing are published approximately 2 times in a 12-month period. In such issues, all peer reviewed articles will address a specific theme. The theme may be proposed by a Guest Editor or may be suggested by others. It typically takes 12-14 months to bring a Special Issue of PE&RS to publication.

In most cases, peer-reviewed issues will be limited to 42 printed pages (6 papers x 7 pages per paper). Published papers are generally limited to 7 journal pages. A 27-page manuscript (including tables and figures), prepared according to PE&RS Instructions for Authors, equals about 7 journal pages. Authors of published papers will be charged $125/page for each page exceeding 7 journal pages. These page charges must be paid before publication; without exception.


Initial Approval
Persons wishing to propose a theme for a Special Issue, and/or who wish to serve as Guest Editor for such Special Issues, must contact PE&RS Editor-in-Chief Alper Yilmaz for approval before proceeding. To facilitate consideration of such requests, a short written proposal should be prepared and emailed to Alper Yilmaz. This proposal must include your contact information, the specific subject of the Special Issue, a short justification of why this should be a Special Issue, and any other pertinent information. Note that commitments for Special Issues are often made 18-24 months or more ahead of the publication date. Therefore, advanced planning is strongly encouraged.


General Timetable
The Guest Editor must adhere strictly to the following timetable. If deadlines are not met, publication of an issue may be delayed.

Call-for-papers 14 months before publication
Manuscripts due 10 months before publication
Decision to Authors due 7 months before publication
Author revisions due 6 months before publication
Accepted papers to Editor-in-Chief 5 months before publication
Page proofs to authors 2-3 months before publication
Returned page proofs 2 months before publication


Special Issues of PE&RS are occasionally comprised entirely of invited papers, but more often manuscripts are solicited through an open call-for-papers. Sample calls-for-papers can often be found on the ASPRS web site ( or can be found in past issues of PE&RS. A draft call-for-papers should be sent, via e-mail, to the Editor-in-Chief.  At a minimum, the call-for-papers must include:

  • the theme of the Special Issue and identification of topics of special interest;
  • the name and contact information (including e-mail, fax and telephone number) of the Guest Editor;
  • The important dates: Manuscripts due, Decision to Authors, Final papers due, Publication date; and,
  • a statement that all manuscripts are to follow the PE&RS Instructions for Authors that are published in each issue of the Journal and are available on the ASPRS website.

After the call-for-papers is approved, it will be published in the appropriate issue of PE&RS and on the ASPRS web site.


Receipt of Manuscripts
As manuscripts are received, the Guest Editor will notify authors that their manuscript has been received, and, subsequently, will keep authors informed on the status of the review process. The Guest Editor will do an initial review of each paper to determine if it is appropriate for the Special Issue. If it is not suitable for the Special Issue, yet the paper is worthy of publication, the Guest Editor will inform the author that they may submit the paper to the Editor-in-Chief for regular submission.

Manuscripts suitable for the Special Issue must have a cover letter that is modified from the Sample Cover letter on the ASPRS website. The Guest Editor will make sure the cover letter:

  • has the name (title, full first name and last) affiliation and email address for not only the corresponding author, but for all the non-corresponding authors.
  • indicates that the paper reports on original work, that the paper has not been submitted for publication elsewhere.
  • indicates that the authors agree to pay for any pages over the 7 pages limit.
  • indicates that the authors are willing and able to pay for any color figures.

Finally, if the Guest Editor feels a figure should or should not be color, this should be discussed with the author before the paper goes out for review.   Once a paper is accepted, any color figures must be printed in color and any black and white figures must be printed as black and white.
The Guest Editor will use the Guest Editor Spreadsheets provided by the Manuscript Coordinator to keep track of all submitted papers and associated information.


Peer Review Process
The peer review process should generally follow PE&RS guidelines. However, the Guest Editor is free to select a review process that best fits his/her situation and the theme of the Special Issue. In all cases, the Guest Editor is encouraged to consult with the PE&RS Editor-in-Chief for advice and questions.

The most usual approach for peer review is for the Guest Editor to seek three independent reviews from individuals who are well-acquainted with the subject matter and technology dealt with in an article. The Guest Editor may wish to contact the PE&RS Editor-in-Chief for assistance in finding reviewers. In some cases, especially where all papers are invited, another approach to review has been used. This involves having each author review the others contributions to eliminate duplication and identify shortcomings.

Guest Editors are asked to use the PE&RS Guest Editor Review form which will be provided by the Manuscript Coordinator. In addition, the Guest Editor will be provided an Author Spreadsheet and a Reviewer Spreadsheet to document all papers submitted for review – manuscript titles, authors’ names, reviewers’ names, and decisions. This spreadsheet should be sent to two weeks after:

  • The call to papers is over
  • All of the reviewers have been invited
  • All of the reviews have been completed
  • All of the decisions have been made
  • All final papers have been received

Reviewers are usually asked to make one of the following recommendations:

  • Accept the paper without modification.
  • Accept the paper subject to minor revision.
  • Reject the paper because it requires significant/mandatory changes. (The author may revise the paper and submit it as a new paper to the PE&RS Editor-in-Chief.)
  • Reject the paper. The paper will not be reconsidered.

After all reviews are received, the Guest Editor will judge the acceptability of the manuscript and forward the consensus recommendation and reviews to the corresponding author. The decision will be either to:

  • Accept the paper without modification (or with minor, non-mandatory modification).
  • Accept the paper conditionally (subject to mandatory revision and subsequent review by the Guest Editor).
  • Reject the paper – The author may choose to revise the paper and submit it as a new paper to the PE&RS Editor-in-Chief.
  • Reject the paper – the paper will not be reconsidered.

Guest Editors must accept only papers that will fit within the page limits outlined above (they can only accept a total of 8 papers). Papers that are reviewed favorably, but will not fit within the Special Issue, can be revised and submitted as a new paper to the PE&RS Editor-in-Chief for consideration for possible publication in a future regular issue of PE&RS. However, papers that are reviewed unfavorably, or require significant changes and major revision, should be rejected.  It is important that all authors of papers rejected from the special issue understand that no paper is automatically considered for regular submission.  An author can chose to submit their revised paper to the Editor-in-Chief and it will be treated as a new submission.


Accepted Papers to Editor-in-Chief
Papers accepted for publication must be prepared according to the PE&RSInstructions for Authors of Accepted Papers. The Guest Editor must supply these instructions, the Final Paper Checklist and copies of the Color Costs form to each author of an accepted paper.

As final papers are received, it will be the Guest Editors responsibility to make sure that all accepted manuscripts are prepared according to the PE&RS Instructions for Authors of Accepted Papers. Since the final instructions are considerably different than the instructions for just submitting the original paper, the Guest Editor will be provided with a Final Paper Checklist which is designed to identify the most common mistakes in preparing the final manuscript.  The Guest Editor will need to verify that authors that have color plates in their papers remember that they must use the Color Order Form to pay for these plates. Once the Guest Editor feels the manuscripts are in the proper format, Editor Alper Yilmaz will need to review them before releasing them to Technical Editor Mike Renslow. The Editor-in-chief will not look at the papers until the Manuscript Coordinator has received the completely filled out Guest Editor Spreadsheets.
It is common for Guest Editors to set up an FTP site for transfer of the final papers to Editor Alper Yilmaz. On the FTP site, there should be a folder for each paper with the paper number assigned to it on the Guest Editor Spreadsheet.(For example,HI-001) The folder should contain the pdf, the word document, and a sub-folder with all the figures and color plates.  No individual file should be zipped at this point.  Each figure and plate should have been reviewed by the Guest Editor to make sure they all look fine.
The Guest Editor should let the authors know that Technical Editor Mike Renslow will prepare their paper for printing and will contact them when the printer proofs are ready for their review. (This will be 2 or 3 months before the Special Issue is published.) If there are any page charges for papers longer than 7 pages, they will be notified at that time.  The Technical Editor will send the authors the OffPrint Order Form.
It is required that the Guest Editor prepare a Foreword or Introduction to the Special Issue. This usually comprises no more than two journal pages (not counted against the 56-page limit). The Foreword should be typed double-spaced and submitted to the PE&RS Editor-in-Chief, at least 5 months prior to publication.
Accepted Papers to Technical Editor
Once the Editor-in-Chief has approved the papers, they will be transferred to Technical Editor Mike Renslow.  For all papers accepted for publication in the Special Issue, the Guest Editor will provide to the Technical Editor, Mike Renslow, a list of accepted papers authors’ names, and authors’ contact information. Mike Renslow, will work with the Guest Editor and the authors to finalize the publication of the Special Issue.

The Guest Editor must ensure that all color costs are paid before the Special Issue goes to press.


Journal Cover
The Guest Editor is not responsible for providing, or paying, for the cover of the Special Issue. However, many Guest Editors choose to solicit a cover that is especially well-related to the theme of the issue. Guest Editors who wish to provide a cover should contact the Assistant Director of Publications, Rae Kelley, ( for details, with a copy to the Manuscript Coordinator as soon as possible.

For additional information, contact:

Alper Yilmaz, PhD
Editor-in-Chief, Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing
470 Hitchcock Hall
2070 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

Dr. Russell G. Congalton, Editor-in-Chief, selects reviewers for manuscripts submitted to Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS) for peer review. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for insuring that there are no conflicts-of-interest between reviewers and authors of submitted manuscripts. The names of individuals serving as reviewers in a calendar year will be published at least once per year in PE&RS.   The manuscript review process is double-blind. That is, reviewers are not informed of the names or affiliations of authors, and authors are not provided with the identities of reviewers. It is our objective to insure that all reviews are conducted strictly on the merits of the manuscript. The reviewer, as an informed, qualified “peer”, is responsible for evaluating the technical quality of the manuscript and assessing its worthiness for publication in PE&RS. All manuscripts submitted for review are considered confidential.   Submitting Your Review   The Manuscript Coordinator, Ms. Jeanie Congalton, will email the review form as well as the full manuscript to the reviewer. The review form is a PDF that should be opened by Adobe Reader version 7.0 or higher. If the reviewer uses an incompatible viewer such as Foxit, or an older version of either Acrobat or Adobe, the form may appear to work properly but will be unusable when returned. The reviewer should complete the entire review form, save it to the computer, print a copy of the completed review, and then return the completed form to   Guidelines   If you do not understand the message or the presentation, the manuscript probably needs a re-write. Offer suggestions or point out paragraphs that are not clear, but do not assume responsibility for re-writing the manuscript.    Engage in constructive criticism — avoid sarcasm in your review comments. Always treat the author(s) with respect even if you do not agree with their arguments or conclusions.    Read through the manuscript once for content, flow, and message; then re-read it for comments, suggestions, and obvious errors.    Compare citations to references. They should be mutual and complementary. References without citations and citations without references should be noted.   Spend quality time, but not excessive time, on minutiae unless that is your desire.   Suggested amount of time for a review is 2-3 hours. One hour to read the manuscript, 1-2 hours for comments, suggestions, and filling in the manuscript review form. Frequently Asked Questions   1. What if I am not qualified to comment on some sections of the manuscript?   In the majority of cases, reviewers are selected who are expert in the subject(s) addressed in a manuscript. Occasionally, a manuscript will involve several “categories” of knowledge, or merge several technologies. Since several qualified reviewers are needed for each manuscript, the editorial staff tries to select individuals who represent the breadth of topics presented in a given manuscript. You need not be expert in all of them.   2. How much editing should I do as a reviewer?   Not much, if any, according to your own desires. Remember that your job is to evaluate the worthiness of the manuscript for publication. It should be technically sound (but it is not your job to make it that way), readable (not too mathematical, or if so, at least the mathematics are necessary to understand the arguments), concise and appropriately illustrated. If there are errors of omission and commission, your evaluation should indicate where improvements could be made. Ultimately, the author(s) is(are) responsible for the technical quality of their work. With your assistance, our only goal is to publish the best manuscripts to enhance the value of PE&RS for our membership and enhance the careers of the contributors to our journal. In the end, the author(s) are responsible for making their contributions error free and technically accurate.   3. Should I correct the grammar and syntax on a manuscript where it is evident that English is not the author’s first language?   No, unless you have the time and a compelling need to fix the English language. As editor, I try to return manuscripts to these authors requesting they find an English language expert to edit and revise the text. However, this judgment is based only on a quick reading of the paper. A few manuscripts might slip through. The editorial staff appreciates that reviewers are volunteering their time and do not want to frustrate them by sending manuscripts that are in “unacceptable” condition.   4. For what am I not responsible?   You are not responsible for writing or re-writing the manuscript. If it is in bad condition by any of the criteria given above, your review should indicate where the manuscript needs improvement. It is not your job to educate the author(s), edit English grammar, correct mathematical notation nor prove your expertise on every matter related to the manuscript.   Last revised March 2016