Official ASME Group

Journal of Mechanical Design

The ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (JMD) serves the broad design community as a venue for scholarly, archival research in all aspects of the design activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between research papers, technical briefs, and innovation papers?

All paper categories undergo full peer review.

  • A research paper is a full-length, technically original research document that reports results of major and archival value to the specific community of engineers that comprise the journal audience (recommended length of 9000 words).
  • A technical brief reports results that are of significant and archival value to the engineering community, but with more limited scope and length than a research paper; it may contain a preliminary report of a result not yet fully developed or interpreted, or a commentary on a previous result (recommended length of 2500 words).
  • A design innovation paper presents scholarly innovation in design that has technological implications; the archival value of such papers is in the innovation part of a design and not necessarily in the theory (recommended length 6000 words). This type of paper is intended for outstanding work in mechanical design that is concept oriented and does not necessarily require detailed theoretical or experimental development and analysis. Actual impact on design practice and a working device are important considerations for acceptance. See the April 2008 Editorial and the March 2009 Guest Editorial for some discussion.

What is the paper acceptance rate for the journal?

Since 2002 the overall paper acceptance rate (number of papers accepted or published to number of papers submitted) is about 30%

How long shall I wait for a decision on my paper?

You should first look at its status in the Journal Tool. Depending on what stage it is in, you can look at the estimated time periods in the review process, and if the upper bounds are exceeded you may contact the associate editor or the technical editor.

Is English language quality in the text a consideration for publication?

It is a critical consideration. Poor language text will not be sent for review. Tentatively accepted papers must adhere to high quality language text standards prior to final acceptance. Professional editorial help may be necessary for final publication, as the JMD editorial staff cannot provide such a service.

Does a US-based author have a better chance of publishing in JMD?

Not directly. In fact a plurality of JMD papers comes from the international community. Indirectly, however, authors familiar and competent in the prevailing scholarly standards will have a much higher chance of publishing at JMD. Studying and referencing previous articles from JMD is very helpful in this respect. For more discussion on this topic see the JMD September 2008 Editorial: Globalization and Internationalism.

How do JMD (Journal of Mechanical Design) papers differ from papers in JMR (Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics)?

The Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics (JMR) evolved in part from the JMD community, see the JMD January 2008 Editorial: A New Year, a New Editor, and a New Journal. In general, research work in mechanisms and robotics aimed at design synthesis would belong to JMD, while theoretical analysis work would fit better in JMR. The respective Technical Editors are re-routing submissions using this main criterion. For a commentary on analysis vs. synthesis, see the JMD March 2008 Editorial: Design analysis and synthesis.

Are design education papers acceptable for JMD?

Yes. There was a special issue published in July 2007 with an accompanying editorial explaining its rationale, see JMD July 2007 Editorial: Design engineering education. As of January 2009 there is a JMD Associate Editor appointed specifically for design education papers.

Should I suggest reviewers for my submission?

Yes. The Lead author is notified when the Technical Editor has assigned the paper to an Associate Editor (AE) to conduct the review. At that time the authors are encouraged to send to the AE a list of 2-5 names of suggested reviewers, who may or may not be asked to serve at the AE’s discretion.

When are experimental results important for design studies?

Building a device that demonstrates a theory is the essence of engineering. While this is often not practical for many design studies published in JMD, it is frequently a requirement for design innovation submissions or submissions detailing a device. In such cases, a “paper design study” without experimental data and testing to back it up is unlikely to be reviewed favorably.

How long after my paper is approved by the editor for production do I receive the proofs?

Proofs from Isabel Castillo are sent to the corresponding author 4-6 weeks after editor approval.

What happens if my paper exceeds the page limits?

ASME imposes a 9-page limit and mandatory page charges are assessed for longer papers. If this limit is exceeded, authors should consult with the editors about shortening the paper. If accepted for publication, a page charge is assessed for each page over 9 typeset pages (approx. 9000 words including figures). An invoice will be sent when the paper is typeset. Upon request, the Editor of the journal may waive this charge on a case-by-case basis for up to twelve pages.

Can I submit a book or technology review?

Yes. JMD publishes reviews for recent books or software within the JMD topics of interest. The ASME official guidelines for these reviews are: “A book review is a brief, critical and unbiased evaluation of a current book determined to be of interest to the journal audience. A technology review is a brief, critical and unbiased evaluation of a current technology, application, or product determined to be of interest to the journal audience. Publication of a submitted book or technology review is at the discretion of the Editor. The suggested length for this type of submittal is 1 to 4 pages.” (reference) Clearly, authors of such reviews must have no conflict of interest (e.g., financial or other vested interest in the book or product), to ascertain unbiased evaluation. The Editor will make a decision within 3-4 weeks, possibly after seeking advice from topical associate editors or other subject matter experts.

Can I request conduct of a book or technology review for JMD?

Not directly from the Editor. Publishers and vendors often request the JMD Editor to conduct or obtain reviews of their books or software products. They typically provide a free copy of the product. This is NOT an effective way to have such reviews conducted. Instead, if authors or their representatives wish a review to appear in JMD, they should directly locate members of the JMD community who are subject matter experts and request that they undertake and submit the review (without compensation).