How to invite regular papers

There are many ways to increase submissions to a journal - the key is to get the right papers, that meet the objectives of the journal and have a good chance of being accepted and increasing the journal's readership.

Identifying hot topics

It is very important to keep an eye out for good papers and hot topics from other journals by reviewing their table of contents (TOCs), at least once per week. It is very time consuming to do this, but it does reap rewards—scheduling Table-of-Contents scanning into your weekly schedule will help you to avoid missing hot topics that could make a big difference to your journal. RSS readers can easily be utilized to help you to keep track of what is being newly published in your field by presenting TOCs for preselected journals, and it is also useful for letting you know what you have read and what you haven’t. Many editors of well-known journals use RSS readers, such as Feedly, for this purpose.

If you work with other editors, this job can be split between several people and TOC scanning meetings can be a way of discussing and triaging potential topics before inviting papers. Indeed, the role of TOC scanning can be delegated to a junior editor who understands the subject area well enough to identify a selection of potential topics and papers for further discussion. It is standard practice to run potential hot topics by editorial board members who specialize in the area before inviting an author to submit a paper on the topic, and they can often recommend suitable potential authors.

When inviting manuscripts, you can sometimes do this from the suggestions of the other editors or the editorial board. However, if you see a good paper you can always invite a contribution from that same author.

Sources for identifying authors

When inviting manuscripts, you can sometimes do this from the suggestions of the other editors or the editorial board. However, if you see a good paper you can always invite a contribution from that same author.
The use of SpringerLink and AuthorMapper, and other such databases, is good for identifying and targeting authors for invited papers.

Importance of paper flow

It is always important to ensure that a regular supply of high quality manuscripts reaches the publisher. If there is a shortage of submissions then you might need to consider revising the types of articles that you include, such as increasing the number of case studies or short reviews. Furthermore, special editions that focus on conference proceedings or other special events (e.g. to celebrate the birthday or death of an eminent researcher in the field) can sometimes attract new authors to the journal.

Partnering with conferences

Many editors also find conferences to be a good source of new papers. Posters can sometimes be good source for new manuscripts. Smaller meetings and subgroups of conferences can help to develop special issues, which might simply be a record of some of the best papers given at that conference.

Partnering with a conference is a good way of sourcing papers. Through a partnership arrangement, the top papers from the conference can be invited, ensuring a steady stream of contemporary papers. These can sometimes be published in a special edition to reflect the conference proceedings.

Partnership is usually at the discretion of the conference organizers. Large conferences are sometimes partnered with multiple journals and some conference teams like to have a say in which articles are to be published. It is important to adhere to journal ethical standards and arrange peer-review for these articles; however, the peer-review process can sometimes be fast-tracked since the articles can be assumed to have already gone through a round of peer review in that they have been assessed and accepted for publication at the conference.