Guest editor guide

Elsevier uses an online submission and review system. The submission and peer review of special issue papers must be managed using this system. In addition to reading the material contained below, you should also familiarize yourself with any journal-specific guidelines which will be available on the journal’s homepage.

Read about the ethical responsibilities of guest editors

The peer-review process

Selection of papers

The guest editor is responsible for ensuring that the peer review process is fair and timely. This selection of papers should be based on the scientific quality of the content and the topic should clearly fall within the scope of the special issue and the journal hosting it.

Selection of reviewers

The guest editor should select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the field and must review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest made by reviewers in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias.

Research articles must typically be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers, and where necessary the guest editor should seek additional opinion. The guest editor must follow best practice guidance provided by the Publisher on avoiding the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers. You might find the information available on the Elsevier Reviewer Hub useful in this regard.

Journal metrics

The guest editor shall not attempt to influence the journal’s ranking by artificially increasing any journal metric.

Transparency and process

The guest editor shall use the electronic submission system for all journal communications and make appropriate use of the Elsevier’s systems for the detection of plagiarism.


The guest editor should protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers. Unless the journal is operating an open peer review system or reviewers have agreed to disclose their names, the guest editor must not disclose reviewers’ identities.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

The guest editor should follow the journal’s policy relating to the disclosure of conflicts of interest by authors and reviewers.

The special issue may publish submissions from the guest editor but the number should be kept to the minimum necessary (based on journal policy). The guest editor must not be involved in decisions about papers in which s/he has written him/herself. Peer review of any such submission should be handled independently of the relevant guest editor/co-editor and their research groups, and there should be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.

You will receive support and guidance from the Publisher, Publishing Content Specialist and the Journal Manager throughout the process.