A warm welcome to our guest editors
Dear Guest Editor,
Welcome to Elsevier! As a guest editor, you are operating at the forefront of your field, helping to advance the state of knowledge with a special collection of articles. Whether this is your first experience of editing, or you are a seasoned veteran, our Elsevier team is on hand to support you in every way possible to make your guest editing experience a positive one. Here on our Editor Hub, you will find a wide range of resources which will answer many of your questions about the editorial process and you will gain insights into the wealth of tools and services which will assist you in your role. Should you have any questions or need any assistance, please reach out to your publishing contact or visit our support center(opens in new tab/window). Let me take the opportunity to finish by thanking you again for your dedication and wishing you and your authors on the issue every success.
Laura Hassink MD, Elsevier Journals
Guest editors play a vital role in curating high-quality contributions on a particular topic and driving the editorial review process for special issue publications. You can become a guest editor in two ways:
The journal may invite you as an expert in your specific field of research. If you are an acknowledged expert on a particular theme with a wide network of potential authors and reviewers, don't be surprised if an editor approaches you to suggest your leading a new special issue on their journal.
Proposal to the journal
You can submit a proposal for a special issue to a journal following the instructions below – the senior editor will approve or reject it after consulting with the Editorial Board. If accepted, you (and any co-guest editors) will be responsible for developing the issue and leading the editorial review process.
A special issue focuses on a specific area of research that has a broad appeal and falls within the aims and scope of the journal. A special issue also provides an excellent opportunity to review a particular theme, examine previously unaddressed aspects, propose and develop new approaches, exchange perspectives and encourage new lines of research. Special issues might also be commissioned or proposed to recognize a particular individual's or group's contribution to the field or to commemorate a specific date or occasion.
There are many benefits to commissioning, guest editing and authoring in a special issue:
Publish with peers
Harness your network and benefit from multiple expert perspectives on the same issues, leading to synergies and powerful cross-examination of the theme(s) under consideration.
Unparalleled visibility via ScienceDirect
All articles from the special issue will be published on ScienceDirect – the world's leading research platform, with 2.6 million unique visitors a day and 38 article downloads per second. Special content articles are downloaded on ScienceDirect twice as often within the first 24 months than articles published in regular issues (1).
Positive citation impact
Articles published in special issues are often cited more frequently than articles published in regular issues. Special content articles attract 20% more citations in the first 24 months than articles published in regular issues (1).
Editorial office support
Elsevier offers guest editors support via our dedicated support teams. A dedicated Content Acquisition Specialist will support you during the editorial process on the vast majority of our titles
Articles in special issues are often promoted through Elsevier's social media channels for the relevant subject areas to increase the issue's visibility and readership.
Elsevier journals employ sophisticated technology to optimize published content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ensuring your issue and its content is easily found via search engines like Google.
Publish open access
Why not consider open access for your special issue? Whatever your discipline, there’s an open access home for your research at Elsevier. With over 2,600 journals that offer gold open access publishing options we’ve got you covered. Special content articles published in gold open access journals register 74% more downloads on ScienceDirect within the first 24 months than regular articles published in the same journal. What's more, Special content articles published in gold open access journals attract twice as many citations within the first 24 months than regular articles published in the same journal (1).
Rigorous peer review
Elsevier and its journals are fully committed to rigorous, independent peer review. Special issue articles should be reviewed by no fewer than two independent experts to ensure the quality, originality and novelty of the work published.
World-class editorial teams
Your special issue will benefit from the world-class expertise of its regular editors who will support you to make sure you’re publishing your best work possible.
You can publish more in-depth research on a given topic than is typically possible in a regular journal issue.
Faster publication times
Special issue articles are often published more quickly than regular articles.
Longer-term impact for your work
SIs offer longer-term impact as your article collection means readers will easily find your work.
Working on a special issue as a guest editor is a great opportunity to connect further with a journal’s network and is often a pathway to becoming a member of the journal Editorial Board or team.
Making a proposal
Though a journal's editorial team will extend an invitation directly to a guest editor (group) in some cases, we also welcome proposals made directly to a journal for a special issue on a particular topic. It is usually the case that each journal has its own procedures and guidelines for prospective guest editors. You are therefore advised to research the journal in question before finalizing your proposal and take note of the advice and suggestions in our guest editor guide. Any proposal will be reviewed by the editorial team of the journal, potentially in concert with the Editorial Board and the decision as to whether to accept the proposal (and any of the articles ultimately submitted) rests solely with the journal's chief editor(s).
Support for guest editors
Elsevier is pleased to provide guest editors with a comprehensive range of support. You can read more about the team which will be looking after your interactions with the journal on this page and in addition to this there are a number of other resources which are designed to make your experience of guest editing as smooth and positive as possible. These include:
Training on the editorial submission and review system
Support via our editorial office for the vast majority of titles. A dedicated Content Acquisition Specialist will support you during the editorial process to interact with authors and provide status updates.
Regular promotion of our special issues to potential authors, helping to make sure you have a strong flow of high-quality articles to consider for publication.
Comprehensive support for editors and guest editors in identifying potential SI authors and reviewers
Reporting on the overview and status of special issues for editors plus regular status updates for guest editors during the submission and review process
Assistance with invitations to potential SI authors on behalf of the (guest) editor(s)
Guest editor guide
In addition to training on the editorial submission system and the resources mentioned above, there is also a comprehensive guide to the role and responsibilities of a guest editor.
(1) Data sourced from Scopus and ScienceDirect comparing the performance (citations and downloads) of special content compared with that of regular articles.