Special Issues – FAQs
Special Issues are an important component of Hindawi journals. They focus on topics of contemporary relevance, or provide detailed analysis of a niche issue. See our guide ‘Special Issues: An Overview’ for a step-by-step breakdown of how a Special Issue is compiled.
These are some commonly asked questions about Special Issues. If you have additional comments or questions, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- How do I choose a topic for my proposal?
You should choose a topic which lies close to your own research interests. The topic of the Special Issue must currently be of increasing interest within your field. It should be broad enough to attract a reasonable number of submissions but at the same time narrow enough to provide a focused and cohesive collection of articles.
You might like to browse our recently published and recently opened Special Issues for ideas of suitable topics, and to ensure your proposal differs from any existing Calls for Papers. You might choose an area at the interface of traditional disciplines, or a theme which has recently come to prominence in light of an advance in the field, or a particular societal challenge. Perhaps you’ve noticed a surge in interest in a particular subject at a recent conference, this is good sign that a related proposal will generate significant interest.
- Do you have any suggestions for how to choose my co-Guest Editors?
The Guest Editors should be recognized experts in their fields and 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 total Guest Editor team must contain 2 to 4 members.
- Do you have any guidance on how to prepare the Call for Papers?
Yes. See our guide ‘Writing a Call for Papers’.
You might also like to review recent Calls for Papers from your intended journal.
- What is the approval process for a Special Issue?
Special Issue proposals must receive approval from the Editorial Board, who will assess the fit of the suggested topic for the target journal. In addition, Hindawi’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.
See our guide ‘Special Issues: An Overview’.
Editorial Board Special Issues are instead approved by the relevant Editorial Community Manager.
See our guide ‘Editorial Board Special Issues: An Overview’.
- When will you launch the Special Issue?
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. You are also encouraged to conduct your own promotion at the time of launch. See our guide ‘Promoting your Call for Papers’ for more details.
The deadline for submissions is typically set six months from the launch of the Call for Papers.
- Do the Guest Editors have to submit manuscripts to their Special Issue?
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 regular Article Processing Charges (see our guide ‘What are Article Processing Charges?’), while the other two articles are subject to standard charges (where applicable).
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.
- How are timelines set for the Special Issue?
We typically allow six months from the initial Call for Papers to the submission deadline, followed by another three months to the first round of reviews. Final publication of the Special Issue normally requires another two months.
If you have any comments or concerns on this process, you should discuss them with your editorial contact at Hindawi.
- Are there any additional benefits to being a Guest Editor?
All Hindawi journals are Open Access publications, providing immediate, worldwide, barrier-free access to the full text of every published article. This increases the visibility and impact of work published in the Special Issue and improves the academic profile of the Guest Editors who contribute to it.
Being a Guest Editor of a Special Issue is an excellent way to improve your academic profile. As well being a chance to interact with your peers, it marks you out as influential within your discipline. The relationships you develop are likely to last beyond the publication of your Special Issue, establishing a broader network for future discussion and collaboration.
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 theme
- Assembling and working with a strong team of Editors
- Handling manuscripts close to their personal interests
- Gaining a better understanding of editorial processes
- Networking with like-minded colleagues around the world
- Forging new contacts and future collaborations 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’ve contributed to development of the journal
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).
In recognition of the Guest Editors’ efforts, and to provide full transparency about the journal’s review process, the name of each Guest Editor who accepts a manuscript will be mentioned in the published version of the final article.
- How are submitted manuscripts handled?
The entire editorial process of the journal is handled using our Manuscript Tracking System (MTS), which minimizes the time required from the Guest Editors. Our in-house editorial staff provide Guest Editors with any administrative assistance they may need. Members of Hindawi staff are responsible for contacting late reviewers, sending reminder emails to authors and reviewers, notifying authors of a Guest Editor’s decision, tracking down missing material, and 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.
You can find the full details of the Special Issue process in our guide ‘Special Issues: An Overview’.
- How does an ‘Editorial Board Special Issue’ differ from a ‘Special Issue’?