Special Issue Guidelines
Special Issues are an important component of Hindawi journals. They deal with more focused topics with high current interest falling within the scope of the journal in which they are published. They should be organized by recognized experts in the area and attract articles of the highest quality. Special Issue proposals are welcome at any time during the year, and should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In recognition of the important role of Guest Editors and the invaluable service they provide to their scientific communities, Hindawi established the “Awards for Excellence in Editorship” which will be given every year to the Guest Editor teams whose distinguished editorial work leads to the publication of highly successful Special Issues.
Proposals for Special Issues should be submitted by the Guest Editors (at least 2 and at most 5 Guest Editors) and should include the following:
- The journal for which the Special Issue is intended
- A suggested title for the Special Issue (should not exceed 10 words)
- Proposed Aims and Scope, giving an overview of the Special Issue's intended focus and a list of the topics to be covered
- A list of the Guest Editors including their names, emails, affiliations, and a short biography (one paragraph) of each of the Guest Editors
- A proposed timeline and schedule which includes:
- Deadline for submission (3-6 months from the initial Call-for-Papers)
- First round of review (3 months after submission deadline)
- Tentative publication date (3 months after the first round of review)
All proposals are subject to approval by the journal following a discussion of the proposed Special Issue among the journal's Editorial Board. If approved, a Call-for-Papers for the Special Issue will be issued and posted online. Special Issue Guidelines with full details of the editorial workflow are available on individual journal web sites.
Special Issues are made freely available online to all interested readers leading to the maximum possible dissemination and recognition within the scientific community. Special Issues can be viewed and downloaded on the individual article level, but are also available in an edited volume format as a single PDF published with a custom cover. They are also made available in print on Amazon.com to all readers interested in a print edition.
The Guest Editors' main editorial task is to manage the peer review of submitted manuscripts. Guest Editors should recommend papers for publication only on the basis of academic merit and subject appropriateness. To ensure the success of the Special Issue, we generally aim to have over 20 submissions, which allows for a higher rejection rate and thus produces a stronger collection of accepted manuscripts. If the Special Issue receives less than 10 submissions, we will unfortunately have to move the papers to the regular section of the journal.
Once an article is submitted to a Special Issue, the Guest Editors will need to read over the article as an initial screening process, and the manuscript will need to be assigned to one of the Guest Editors. If the Guest Editor decides that the manuscript is of reasonable quality, he/she will assign it to external referees for peer review. The Guest Editor should assign a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 independent external referees to each paper, and this should be done within a maximum of two weeks from the time he/she has received the manuscript. Reviewers are then expected to submit their reports within a maximum of 6 weeks. Once the review reports have been received, the Guest Editor will need to make an editorial recommendation of either:
- Publish Unaltered
- Review Again after Minor Changes
- Review Again after Major Changes
If the Guest Editor recommends “Publish Unaltered,” the Editor-in-Chief is notified so he/she can inspect the manuscript and the review reports. The Editor-in-Chief can either override the Guest Editor's recommendation, in which case the manuscript is rejected, or approve the Guest Editor's recommendation, in which case the manuscript is accepted for publication.
If the Guest Editor recommends “Review Again after Minor Changes,” the Editor-in-Chief is notified of the recommendation so he/she can inspect the manuscript and the review reports. If the Editor-in-Chief overrides the Guest Editor's recommendation, the manuscript is rejected. If the Editor-in-Chief approves the Guest Editor's recommendation, the authors are notified to prepare and submit a final copy of their manuscript with the required minor changes suggested by the reviewers. Only the Guest Editor, and not the external reviewers, reviews the revised manuscript after the minor changes have been made by the authors. Once the Guest Editor is satisfied with the final manuscript, the manuscript can be accepted.
If the Guest Editor recommends “Review Again after Major Changes,” the recommendation is communicated to the authors. The authors are expected to revise their manuscripts in accordance with the changes recommended by the reviewers and to submit their revised manuscript in a timely manner. Once the revised manuscript is submitted, the original reviewers are contacted with a request to review the revised version of the manuscript. Along with their review reports on the revised manuscript, the reviewers make a recommendation which can be “Publish Unaltered” or “Publish after Minor Changes” or “Reject.” The Guest Editor can then make an editorial recommendation which can be “Publish Unaltered” or “Review Again after Minor Changes” or “Reject.”
The Guest Editor handling a manuscript cannot assign himself/herself as a reviewer of the manuscript. This is to ensure a high-quality, fair, and unbiased peer-review process of every manuscript submitted to the journal, since any manuscript must be recommended by one or more (usually two or more) external reviewers, the Guest Editor, and the Editor-in-Chief before acceptance for publication. The name of the Guest Editor recommending the manuscript for publication is published with the manuscript to indicate and acknowledge their invaluable contribution to the peer-review process and the indispensability of their contributions to the running of the journals.
The peer-review process is single blinded, i.e., the reviewers know who the authors of the manuscript are, but the authors do not have access to the information of who the peer-reviewers are. Every journal published by Hindawi has an acknowledgement page for the researchers who have performed the peer-review process for at least one manuscript in the past year. Without the significant contributions made by these researchers, the publication of the journal would not be possible.