Special Issues Guidelines

Special issues are a valuable component of academic journals, providing opportunities to explore specific topics in-depth and showcase cutting-edge research. Below are guidelines for creating and managing special issues in academic journals:

  1. Editorial Board Approval:Special issues should be proposed to and approved by the journal’s editorial board or editorial team. The proposal should include the rationale, significance, and scope of the special issue.
  2. Guest Editors Selection:Appoint guest editors responsible for overseeing the special issue. Guest editors should have expertise in the chosen topic and be familiar with the journal’s guidelines and standards.
  3. Call for Papers (CFP):Prepare a comprehensive Call for Papers (CFP) that clearly outlines the special issue’s theme, objectives, submission deadlines, and submission guidelines.
    Disseminate the CFP widely through the journal’s website, academic networks, and relevant academic platforms.
  4. Submission and Peer Review:Manuscripts submitted for the special issue should go through the same rigorous peer-review process as regular submissions to ensure quality and academic rigor.
    Special issue manuscripts should be submitted through the journal’s regular submission system, specifying that they are intended for the special issue.
  5. Peer Reviewers:Involve subject matter experts as peer reviewers for special issue submissions. These reviewers should be impartial and free from conflicts of interest.
    Guest editors can suggest potential reviewers, but final decisions should be made by the journal’s editorial team.
  6. Decision Making:The guest editors, in collaboration with the journal’s editorial team, make the final decision on manuscript acceptance, revisions, or rejection based on the peer reviewers’ recommendations.
  7. Timeline:Establish a clear timeline for the special issue, including manuscript submission deadlines, peer review, revisions, and final acceptance. Communicate this timeline to authors and reviewers.
  8. Author Guidelines:Provide authors with clear guidelines on manuscript preparation, formatting, and citation styles, ensuring consistency with the journal’s standards.
  9. Ethical Considerations:Emphasize the importance of ethical research and publishing practices to all authors submitting to the special issue.
    Ensure that the special issue complies with the journal’s ethical guidelines, including plagiarism detection and conflicts of interest disclosure.
  10. Copyediting and Production:Once accepted, manuscripts should go through the journal’s copyediting and proofreading process to maintain consistency and clarity.
    Collaborate with authors to address any revisions and formatting issues as necessary.
  11. Publication and Promotion:Upon completion, the special issue should be published as a standalone issue within the journal or as a collection of articles.
    Promote the special issue through various channels, including the journal’s website, social media, newsletters, and academic conferences.
  12. Archiving and Indexing:Ensure that the special issue is archived and indexed properly to enhance its discoverability and accessibility in academic databases and libraries.
  13. Post-publication Maintenance:Maintain ongoing access to the special issue and ensure that any necessary updates or corrections are made promptly.
  14. Feedback and Evaluation:Collect feedback from guest editors, authors, and readers to assess the success of the special issue and identify areas for improvement in future special issues.
  15. Closure:Conclude the special issue with a closing editorial or summary that highlights the contributions and significance of the published research.