In an IEEE paper template, it has been mentioned that "Keywords should be taken from the taxonomy" and they gave a list of keywords, they have also mentioned elsewhere that these keywords can make an article more easily and reliably discoverable. However, I'm not quite sure whether they are mandatory or not.

  • Are you asking whether you must use some of them, or if you are permitted to use others?
    – Buffy
    May 25, 2020 at 22:10
  • I'm asking if I'm permitted to use others. May 25, 2020 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


If you log into the target journal in IEEE, go to your author center, and click on "start a new submission". On the next page, click the button "Begin Submission". Click on "Step 3: Attributes". This will show you what keywords are required, and how many (look for the "required : X. Max Y") to the right of the Keyword entry. IEEE seems to require between 1 and 3 keywords, and the list could be different per journal. Some also let you enter your own.

You can either keep that draft and use it for your submission, or just delete it when you are done.

If you want to identify the journal, I could give you specifics.

  • I see, thank you. I'm trying to figure out whether they would allow me to enter my own keywords. I'll be submitting to the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS). May 25, 2020 at 23:52
  • 1
    tpds-cs requires you to enter 2 keywords at a minimum, and up to 15. They have a list to select from, and also allow you to enter your own. Good Luck! May 26, 2020 at 0:06
  • Thank you, much appreciated! May 26, 2020 at 5:02
  • 1
    To add to that, standardised keywords are helpful for finding reviewers that match the article that is why you are asked to choose from a list
    – o4tlulz
    May 26, 2020 at 23:26

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