A Special Issue proposal begins with the Guest Editors writing and submitting a Call for Papers describing the topic of the issue. If the proposal is approved, the Call for Papers will help researchers find the Special Issue and submit manuscripts.
Get started by download our Call for Papers template.
Describing the Scope
The Call for Papers should state the intended focus of the Special Issue. It should emphasize the current relevance of the subject and indicate why new research on the subject is warranted.
Striking a balance between length and detail is key. Too little detail could result in a Call for Papers that lacks focus or scientific merit. Too much detail can be overly prescriptive and limit interest in the Special Issue. ADS@AU recommends approximately 400 words for the focus statement.
Researchers face many demands on their time. Concise proposals are more likely to catch and hold the attention of qualified researchers, leading to higher quality submissions.
In addition to the statement of focus, a Call for Papers should include a number of suggested topics for authors. These topics are ‘signposts’ for the direction of the Special Issue, providing authors with guidance on areas in which they may wish to submit. Suggested topics are another opportunity to focus the Special Issue, but Editors should be wary of excessively narrowing the scope.
Recruiting an Editorial Team
All Special Issues are led by a single lead editor and a team of 2-4 supporting editors. The proposal should state the name and affiliation of all editors of the proposed issue. This team ensures the Special Issue team will have sufficient capacity and expertise to handle all incoming submissions.
ADS@AU will review these editors to ensure they meet the journal’s editorial requirements. ADS@AU encourage teams to include editors from multiple institutions and locations. This diversity reduces conflicts of interest and helps the issue reach a wider audience. Once a proposal is approved, our editorial team can help find qualified editors.
Setting a Deadline
The Call for Papers should include a proposed submission deadline. ADS@AU staff will assist editors with choosing an appropriate date, which is typically 6 months from the date the Call for Papers appears online.
Refining the Proposal
ADS@AU’s editorial team will help refine each proposal. Guest Editors should carefully consider the feedback we provide—we want to help make each Special Issue as successful as possible. The final approval of any proposal will be decided by the ADS@AU’s editorial team and the journal’s Academic Editors.
Publishing the Proposal
Once finalized, ADS@AU will post the Call for Papers on the journal’s page. The Call for Papers page will link directly to ADS@AU’s Manuscript Tracking System (MTS), where authors can submit manuscripts to the issue.
Our marketing team will issue the Call for Papers via email to researchers working in the field. We will also promote your Call for Papers to readers on our website. In some cases, we may also share it using our social media channels, ensuring the widest possible visibility.
Finally, We will prepare a promotional PDF version of the Call for Papers that editors can distribute to their contacts using email, social media, and other channels. See our Promoting a Call for Papers page for more assistance with this.