Publishing Innovation

Looking to speed up the publication of your special issues? Here’s how we can help

Speeding up special issue publications with article-based publishing

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After a successful pilot last year, we are now offering an exciting new initiative on ScienceDirect called Virtual Special Issues (VSI). VSI is a new approach to publishing special issues that allows us to address one of the most common complaints by authors regarding special issues: Slow publication speed.

Nobody likes waiting, least of all authors whose papers have already been accepted for publication. With VSI, accepted special issue articles are published in a journal’s first available regular issue, ensuring the final, citable article is online faster than with the traditional special issue publication route. Simultaneously, articles appear in a new section on ScienceDirect, set up specifically for a journal and dedicated to VSIs. As more articles are accepted, this special issue grows. VSIs allow us to provide the benefits of speedy publication (in 2014 publication times for special issue content were 4 times slower on average than for regular content), while still offering the thematic and topical grouping of content for readers.

Damià Barceló Cullerès"VSI is an excellent initiative. Besides providing a comprehensive and state-of-the art coverage on a given topic, it is faster as compared to regular special issues.”

Professor Damià Barceló Cullerès,
Co-Editor in Chief, Science of the Total Environment

How they look on ScienceDirect

ScienceDirectWhat better way to show you how these new Virtual Special Issues look than with real examples on those journals that are already taking part:

Key advantages of this approach

  • Faster publication times
  • The article is assigned to the VSI from the moment it first appears online
  • Opportunity to highlight topics that have growth potential
  • Simplified special issue management for Guest Editors in meeting submission and acceptance deadlines
  • More flexibility in composing issues in an article-based publishing (ABP) workflow

Interested in enrolling your journal?

You are welcome to enroll your journal for this initiative via your publisher.

On joining the Virtual Special Issue initiative, Guest Editors will be contacted regarding the migration of their special issues in progress to the new workflow. Once confirmed, content already accepted for those issues will be assigned to the first available regular issue and will simultaneously appear in the Virtual Special Issue.

Questions? Please leave them in the comments below, or contact your publisher.

Author biography

Angelique JanssenAfter the successful pilot of the Virtual Special Issue project under leadership of Project Manager Bonni Hildebrand, the project moved to Angelique Janssen. She is Project Manager Implementation in the Projects, Processes & Systems Office of STM Journals in Amsterdam. Angelique is responsible for the roll-out of projects that deliver tools and services to both internal and external Elsevier audiences. Since joining Elsevier in 2002, Angelique has worked in various positions, such as Associate Publishing Editor. She has a Master’s degree in Language Didactics from Utrecht University and is certified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner.

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