Spatial Algorithms and Systems (TSAS)


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Information and Guidelines for Authors


ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems (ACM TSAS) is a new scholarly journal that publishes the highest quality papers on all aspects of spatial algorithms and systems and closely related disciplines. It has a multi-disciplinary perspective in that it spans a large number of areas where spatial data is manipulated or visualized (regardless of how it is specified - i.e., geometrically or textually) such as geography, geographic information systems (GIS), geospatial and spatiotemporal databases, spatial and metric indexing, location-based services, web-based spatial applications, geographic information retrieval (GIR), spatial reasoning and mining, securing and privacy, as well as the related visual computing areas of computer graphics, computer vision, solid modeling, and visualization where the spatial, geospatial, and spatiotemporal data is central.

ACM TSAS is published quarterly (four issues a year).

Submission Types

The journal welcomes articles on any of the above topics or closely related disciplines in the context of various computing architectures including parallel and distributed networks of computers, multiprocessing computers, or new mobile devices and sensors. The journal welcomes innovative, high-impact articles on emerging or deployed technologies with solid evaluation or evidence of success on a variety of data. System architecture papers will be considered provided that they are accompanied by an appropriate evaluation. Focused surveys on topics relevant to TSAS that make a contribution to a deep understanding of an important area or subarea of geospatial data handling are encouraged. Concise papers may be submitted as technical notes. Technical comments on published articles are also welcome. The journal is committed to the timely dissemination of research results in the area of spatial algorithms and systems.

Original Material Policy

All submissions to TSAS must not have been published in any form elsewhere (except as noted in the section titled "Submitting Extended Versions of Conference Proceedings" below) nor can they be under consideration for publication elsewhere during the time that they are under consideration for publication at TSAS. TSAS encourages submissions which may significantly contribute to opening up new and potentially important areas of research and development. TSAS will do this by giving earliest possible publication dates for such submissions once they have been accepted.

Publication Policies

The ACM Publications Policies page addresses issues of plagiarism, copyrights, simultaneous submissions, including the recently added Policy on Author Representations.

Manuscript Workflow

All submissions will be reviewed using a single-blind review policy. The identity of the authors are revealed to the reviewers, but the identity of the reviewers will not be revealed to the authors.

All submissions are examined by the Editor-in-Chief who performs an initial determination if the submission falls into the scope/charter of the Transactions and if so, assigns it to the an appropriate Senior Associate Editor who performs a closer examination of the suitability of the submission for the Transactions and if so forwards the paper to one of the Associate Editors with knowledge of the paper's topic who in turn assigns to a minimum of three and a maximum of five reviewers to performs the review. The Associate Editors will make an initial recommendation to the appropriate Senior Associate Editor based on the recommendations of the reviewers. This recommendation will be a accept, reject, or a return to the author for reviews that seek clarification of some issues in the paper. The Senior Associate Editors will in turn make a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief that takes these issues into account, and who will make the ultimate decision on the disposition of the paper.


TSAS permits electronic submissions for editorial review only in LaTeX, or MS Word format. Use of the ACM Journals/Transactions LaTeX style is encouraged to ensure proper formatting. ACM also admits other formats for electronic submission of papers, including Microsoft Word.  See the Templates section below for a link to the ACM formatting templates.

TSAS will discourage excessively long papers (longer than 50 pages in TSAS format---including figures, references, etc. but not including any appendices), and unnecessary digressions even in shorter papers. This is to motivate the authors to bring out the essence of their papers more clearly, to make it easier for the reviewers and readers, and to allow TSAS to publish more papers in any given issue. Use the least number of pages necessary to adequately describe your idea.

Conflicts of Interest

As an author you have the option to identify preferred or non-preferred reviewers. Please keep the following conflict of interest guidelines in selecting these reviewers. You have a potential conflict of interest if any of the preferred reviewers has one of the following relationships with you:

  • The reviewer works at the same institution as you or one of your co-authors.
  • The reviewers have been directly involved in the work and will be receiving credit in some way. If the reviewer is a member of your or one of your co-author's thesis committee, and the paper is about their thesis work, then the reviewer is involved.
  • You suspect that others might see a conflict of interest in their involvement. For example, even though Microsoft Research in Seattle and Beijing are in some ways more distant than Berkeley and MIT, there is likely to be a perception that they are "both Microsoft", so folks from one branch of the company should not review papers from another branch of the company.
  • The reviewer has collaborated with you or one of your co-authors in the past three years (more or less). Collaboration is usually defined as having written a paper or grant proposal together, although you should use your judgment. For instance, being coauthors in either a course or survey paper generally should not in itself lead to a conflict of interest.
  • The reviewer is your or one of your coauthor’s MS/PhD advisor. Funding agencies typically consider advisees to represent a lifetime conflict of interest.

For Papers (co-)Authored by ACM TSAS Editor-in-Chief

The EiC will submit the paper to a Senior Associate Editor who is specifically designated for this purpose and explicitly identified in the web pages for that journal. The designated Senior Associate Editor must have agreed to accept this responsibility and should not be a collaborator of the EiC or from the same organization as the EiC.

The Senior Associate Editor designated in step 1 (say Alice) will not process the paper herself, but will hand it to another Associate Editor (say Bob) whose identity will not be disclosed to the EiC. Bob will obtain reviews and make all decisions regarding processing of the paper (such as reject, requires major revision and second review, conditional accept, accept, etc.) and will convey these decisions to the EiC by way of Alice. Alice will keep the identity of Bob anonymous from the EiC, and Bob will keep the identity of the reviewers anonymous from Alice.

In case of guest edited special issues, such as based on papers invited from conferences, the guest editor will make the final decision directly but will anonymize all reviewer information in corresponding with the authors, including the EiC.

In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, existing standards of acceptability must be rigorously applied when considering papers (co-)authored by EiCs. Papers which are marginal in any way should be rejected. (This policy is that recommended by the ACM Publications Board; see Conflict of Interest Policy For Papers Authored By ACM Editors-in-Chief.) The EiC has appointed Professor Peter Widmayer as the designated Senior Associate Editor.

For Papers (co-)Authored by ACM TSAS Associate Editors or Senior Associate Editors

The EiC will submit the paper to a Senior Associate Editor to handle, as is the normal procedure. However, the identity of the Senior Associate Editor handling the paper will not be revealed to the authors. Instead, the EiC will serve as an intermediator in all communications between the Senior Associate Editor handling the submission and the authors.

All other aspects of the handling of such submissions will follow normal procedure.

Submitting Extended Versions of Conference Proceedings

TSAS will publish outstanding papers which are "major value-added extensions" of papers previously published in conferences; that is, TSAS will not automatically reject papers that are major extensions to previously published conference papers. These papers will go through the normal review process.

A submitted manuscript that is based on one or more previous publications by one or more of the authors should have at least 30% new material. The new material should be content material: For example, it should not just be straightforward proofs or performance figures that do not offer substantial, new insights. The submitted manuscript affords an opportunity to present additional results, for example by considering new alternatives or by delving into some of the issues listed in the previous publication(s) as future work. At the same time, it is not required that the submitted manuscript contain all of the material from the published paper(s). To the contrary: only enough material need be included from the published paper to set the context and render the new material comprehensible.

For more information, please refer to ACM’s policy on prior publication ( Note that articles should have at least 30% new material instead of 25%.

Review Cycle

The TSAS Editorial Board is committed to providing an editorial decision within five months. This turnaround time is defined to start with the day the paper was submitted electronically and extends to the day the decision was sent to the author. It is expected that the average turnaround time will be even shorter, so prospective authors can expect a fast review of their submission. TSAS editors will also regard a submission to have been withdrawn if its required revision is not submitted within six months of the revision notification.

Publication Policies

The ACM Publications Policies page addresses issues of plagiarism, copyrights, simultaneous submissions, etc.

Author Rights

New options for ACM authors to manage rights and permissions for their work: ACM introduces a new publishing license agreement, an updated copyright transfer agreement, and a new author-pays option which allows for perpetual open access through the ACM Digital Library. For more information, visit the ACM Author Rights webpage at

ACM Computing Classification System (CCS)

An important aspect of preparing your paper for publication by ACM Press is to provide the proper indexing and retrieval information from the ACM Computing Classification System (CCS). This is beneficial to you because accurate categorization provides the reader with quick content reference, facilitating the search for related literature, as well as searches for your work in ACM's Digital Library and on other online resources.

Language Services

ACM has partnered with International Science Editing (ISE) to provide language editing services to ACM authors. ISE offers a comprehensive range of services for authors including standard and premium English language editing, as well as illustration and translation services, and also has significant international outreach, especially in China. Editing is available for both Word and LaTeX files. As an ACM author, you will receive a generous discount on ISE editing services.

To take advantage of this partnership, visit  (Editing services are at author expense and do not guarantee publication of a manuscript.)

Please note that formatting assistance is provided at no charge to authors by Aptara, as specified on the author style guide page:


ACM is transitioning to the new authoring templates found at:  The new TeX template consolidates all eight individual ACM journal and proceedings templates.  The templates are updated to the latest software versions, were developed to enable accessibility features, and they use a new font set. Please note: Separate Word for Windows and Word for Mac consolidated templates are also available.

We will continue to accept manuscripts using the previous template format through Spring 2017.

The new TeX template requires that a call be made within the source document  for “\documentclass” so that an article is formatted according to the specifications to the publication. Detailed instructions can be found in section 2.2 of the ACM User and Implementation Guide.

ACM Author-Izer Service

Once your manuscript is published, we recommend that you use the newly launched ACM Author-Izer service. This service allows you to generate and post a link on your home page or institutional repository to your published article. This link 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 detailed description of the service and instructions for its use may be found at:

See the summary description and instructions.

For further assistance

  • Questions regarding editorial review process should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief.
  • Questions regarding the post-acceptance production process should be addressed to the Publisher, Laura A. Lander.
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