These are the commonly asked questions about Special Issues at ADS@AU. If you have additional comments or questions, please contact us.
How do I choose a topic for my proposal?
You should choose a topic close to your own research interests. The topic of the Special Issue must be of increasing interest within your field and within the scope of your target journal. It should be broad enough to attract a reasonable number of submissions, but narrow enough to provide a cohesive collection of articles.
Special Issues often focus on the interface of two or more traditional disciplines, a recent advance in the field, or an emerging societal challenge. If you have noticed a surge in interest in a particular subject at recent conferences, this is a good sign that a related proposal will generate significant interest.
How do I find co-Guest Editors?
After submitting your proposal, ADS@AU can help you assess potential collaborators.
Guest Editors should be recognized experts in their fields and should be geographically distributed. We prefer that Guest Editors be affiliated with major research institutes and have a reasonable number of well-cited publications related to the topic of the Special Issue. Of course, Guest Editors should have sufficient time to commit to the editorial role, so we ask that no Guest Editor works on more than two Special Issues at the same time.
The full team must have 3–5 Editors, including the Lead Guest Editor.
How do I prepare the Call for Papers?
Review recent Calls for Papers from your intended journal, which can be found in the journal’s Open Special Issues section.
How are Special Issues approved?
Special Issue proposals by Guest Editors must receive approval from the Editorial Board, who will assess the fit of the suggested topic for the target journal. In addition, ADS@AU’s Subject Analytics Team will assess the viability of the Special Issue, by measuring the topic’s potential to attract sufficient numbers of submissions for a successful issue. The team will also ensure that Special Issues on very similar topics are not launched concurrently. ADS@AU may suggest revisions to your Special Issue to improve the proposal. We recommend incorporating these changes to increase your proposal’s chance of approval.
When will the Special Issue be open for submissions?
Formal approval through the Editorial Board typically takes two to three weeks from submission. Upon approval, we will proceed with the launch and promotion of the Call for Papers. Editors are encouraged to promote the Call for Papers to relevant researchers at the time of launch.
The deadline for submissions is typically six months from the launch of the Call for Papers.
When will articles appear in the Special Issue?
Manuscripts may be submitted for review as soon as the Special Issue opens. Accepted articles are immediately published in the Special Issue and become available to readers.
We typically allow six months from the initial Call for Papers to the final submission deadline. After the deadline, the Special Issue will no longer accept new submissions, but new articles will continue to appear in the Special Issue as manuscripts make their way through the review process.
The last articles in a Special Issue will typically appear three to five months from the submission deadline, depending on the speed of reviews. The Special Issue is considered complete once the Guest Editors publish their introductory editorial.
Can Guest Editors submit manuscripts to their Special Issue?
Yes, the Guest Editorial team as a whole is allowed to contribute a maximum of four papers to their Special Issue. Of these four, one introductory editorial and one long review article are exempt from the journal’s Article Processing Charges, while the other two articles are subject to standard charges.
To ensure an impartial review process, submissions to the Special Issue by the Guest Editors will be handled by members of the journal’s Editorial Board.
What are the benefits of being a Guest Editor?
The Guest Editorial team as a whole can contribute a maximum of four papers to their Special Issue. Of these four, an introductory short editorial and a long review article are exempt from the journal’s regular Article Processing Charges (where applicable).
Being a Guest Editor of a Special Issue is an excellent way to improve your academic profile. It provides the chance to interact with peers and marks you out as influential within your discipline. The relationships you develop will last beyond the publication of your Special Issue, establishing a network for future collaboration.
All ADS@AU’s journals are Open Access, providing immediate, worldwide, barrier-free access to every published article. This increases the visibility and impact of work published in the Special Issue and improves the academic profiles of the Guest Editors.
Previous Guest Editors have highlighted the following as being among the most rewarding aspects of assisting in the development of a Special Issue:
- Being at the forefront of scientific communication
- Exerting creativity in the inception and development of a topic
- Assembling and working with a strong team of Editors
- Handling manuscripts close to their professional interests
- Gaining a better understanding of editorial processes
- Networking with like-minded colleagues around the world
- Forging new contacts with field leaders
- Contribution to, and recognition from, the research community
- Seeing articles from their Special Issue referenced and cited in future articles
- Feeling they have contributed to the development of the journal
In recognition of the Guest Editors’ efforts, and to provide full transparency about the journal’s review process, the name of the Guest Editor who accepts a manuscript will be included in the published version of the article.
How are submitted manuscripts handled?
Special Issue articles follow the same peer review process as other articles in ADS@AU’s journals. Guest Editors serve the same function as Academic Editors for submissions to the Special Issue. If ADS@AU identifies that a conflict of interest exists for the Guest Editors with a particular submission, that submission will be handled by one of the journal’s Academic Editors instead.
Our editorial staff provide Guest Editors with any administrative assistance they may need. Members of ADS@AU’s staff are responsible for contacting late reviewers, sending reminder emails to authors and reviewers, notifying authors of a Guest Editor’s decision, and tracking down missing material, among various other administrative tasks.
Guest Editors are responsible only for the tasks that require their subject-specific expertise, such as selecting appropriate reviewers for submitted papers and making the final decision of accepting or rejecting a paper based on the review reports.
The entire editorial process of the journal is handled using ADS@AU’s Manuscript Tracking System (MTS).
Can I fund the APCs for all articles in my Special Issue myself?
Typically, Article Processing Charges (APCs) are paid by the authors of each published paper. If you wish to provide financial support for contributing authors to cover the APCs, either yourself or via a third party, this must be raised with ADS@AU’s staff at the point of proposing the Special Issue, or as soon as the possibility arises if the Call for Papers has already been issued. If approved, this may necessitate mention in the articles’ Conflicts of Interest statements and must be declared in the editorial that accompanies the Special Issue.
How does an ‘Editorial Board Special Issue’ differ from a ‘Special Issue’?
Instead of being led by a Guest Editor, an ‘Editorial Board Special Issue’ is led by an existing member of the journal’s Editorial Board. In other respects, these issues are identical to regular Special Issues.