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New Special Issue publication process

We are changing the way we publish Special Issues, with individual articles published in regular issues as they are ready and grouped together online on ScienceDirect immediately.

What are the benefits?

Faster publication times for authors

The final fully citable article is online faster than with the classic special issue process. Our data show an average reduction in publication times of 13 weeks and author feedback tells us this is valued by them. The statement ‘After the manuscript was accepted, the final article was published online in a reasonable time’ was rated significantly higher by authors using the new process: 95% versus 83% for authors of SIs using the classic process.

Earlier visibility on ScienceDirect where the vast majority of readers access the journal

The Special Issue appears on ScienceDirect with the first article, not after all articles are ready for publication. New articles are added to the Special Issue over time.

Facilitates Special Issue management

It will be easier for Guest Editors to manage the content of the Special Issue. Late submissions no longer delay the publication of the Special Issue, while there is more flexibility to add and remove manuscripts or to change the order.

How does this new process work?

Nothing will change in the editorial process up to acceptance. Manuscripts are submitted through the Special Issue portal of the submission system and go through peer review as usual. Once a manuscript is accepted it goes into production and will be simultaneously published in the current regular issue and pulled into the online Special Issue. Articles from this Special Issue will appear in different regular issues of the journal, though they will be clearly marked and branded as Special Issue articles.

How does it look?

Special Issues will be displayed under a dedicated header on the ScienceDirect journal page, making them visible, accessible, and navigable.

There is space for introductory text, which highlights the theme(s) of the Special Issue and can be updated until the Special Issue is closed. The introductory piece can also act as a temporary placeholder while the editorial is being drafted. Please look at these screenshots to give you an impression.

Publication process screenshot

Within the regular issue, the Special Issue articles will appear in a Special Section:

Publication process screenshot