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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 special.issues@hindawi.com.

Proposals for Special Issues should be submitted by the Lead Guest Editor of the Special Issue 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 Guest Editors who will join the Lead Guest Editor in managing the Special Issue, 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 (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 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 for 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 a manuscript is submitted to a Special Issue, it will be checked by the journal’s editorial office to ensure that it is suitable to go through the normal peer review process. Once this is done, the manuscript will be sent to the Lead Guest Editor provided that there is no potential conflict of interest with the submitting authors. If there is a conflict of interest such that the Guest Editors cannot handle any of the submissions to the special issue, the manuscript will be sent to an Editorial Board Member based on the subject of the manuscript, the availability of the Editors, and the lack of any potential conflict of interest with the submitting authors.

In case there is no conflict of interest, the Lead Guest Editor will need to read over the article and if it is of reasonable quality, he/she will need to assign it either to himself/herself or to one of the Guest Editors. The Guest Editor handling the manuscript will then need to 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 1 week from the time he/she has received the manuscript. Reviewers are then expected to submit their reports within a maximum of 3 weeks. Once the review reports have been received, the Guest Editor will need to make an editorial decision of either:

  • Publish Unaltered
  • Consider after Minor Changes
  • Consider after Major Changes
  • Reject

If the Guest Editor recommends “Publish Unaltered,” the manuscript is accepted for publication, and the authors are notified of this decision.

If the Guest Editor recommends “Consider after Minor Changes,” the authors are asked to prepare and submit a final copy of their manuscript with the required minor changes suggested by the reviewers. The Guest Editor 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 “Consider after Major Changes,” the authors are expected to revise their manuscript in accordance with that recommendation and to submit their revised manuscript in a timely manner. Once the revised manuscript is submitted, the original reviewers are asked to review it. Along with their review reports on the revised manuscript, the reviewers make a recommendation which can be “Publish Unaltered,” “Consider after Minor Changes,” “Consider after Major Changes,” or “Reject.” Then, the Guest Editor can make an editorial recommendation which can be “Publish Unaltered,” “Consider after Minor Changes,” or “Reject.”

If the Guest Editor recommends rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate. Also, if the majority of the reviewers recommend rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate.

The Guest Editors cannot act as reviewers for the Special Issue’s manuscripts. 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 and the Guest Editor 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; that is, 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 acknowledgment 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.