Special Issues - Information for Guest Editors

Submitting a special issue proposal 

When making a proposal for a special issue (or theme) of the CSCW Journal, the Guest Editor(s) should send the following information to the Editors-in-Chief, Kjeld Schmidt and Myriam Lewkowicz (for contact information, see the last section). 

  • The full addresses (incl. email addresses) of the Guest Editor(s). In the case of more than one Guest Editor will be involved, one of the Guest Editors should act as the lead Guest Editor. 
  • The schedule, i.e., date for the call for manuscripts (if any), submission deadline, deadline for decisions, deadline for revised versions, and, most importantly, the deadline for handing over the complete revised manuscript for production.
    • NB: In devising the schedule, one should expect that refereeing takes about two months and may require repeated and sometimes strong reminders.... And when asking authors to revise manuscripts, tell them to do it in no more than 4 weeks. 

The Editors-in-Chief will inform the Guest Editor(s) of whether or not the proposal is accepted. From this point, the deadline for handing over the complete revised manuscript for production is a professional commitment, as delays may upset the journal's production schedule. 

For configuring the CSCW Journal’s editorial workflow system (Editorial Manager or EM) to support the special issue, we will need to know a short title for the special issue. This way, we will be able to create a special “Article Type Name” in the system, so that authors, when submitting, will be able to identify their manuscripts as contributions to that special issue.  If a special issue is to be offered as a follow-up to a conference or a workshop, Guest Editors are responsible for ensuring that the contents of the manuscripts submitted to the Special Issue differ significantly from the conference manuscripts (we expect roughly 30% new content). Any potential copyright and self-plagiarism issues have to be avoided in advance. Extended manuscripts to be published on the special issue can contain a specific note referencing the conference manuscript and providing information about the extended content.  

Issuing a call for manuscripts 

If a Call for Manuscripts (CfM) is to be issued, please make sure it gives the names, affiliations, and email addresses of the board of Guest Editors, preferable just after the title. 

In the CfM, indicate that the Editorial Management system (EM) will be used for the whole submission, reviewing, and decision process, and indicate which is the Article Type that the authors will have to select when submitting a manuscript to 
the special issue you are editing. Provide a link to the submission page: https://www.editorialmanager.com/cosu/default.aspx.  

When submitting manuscripts, authors will have to register on-line and will then be guided through the submission procedure by on-line instructions. In case of problems on-line or related questions, they are welcome to contact the Journal Editorial Office of the CSCW Journal (for contact information, see the last section). 

In the CfM, do not commit yourself to a fixed number of articles. If the number of high-quality articles exceeds 4-5, or if you do not meet the target of 4-5 article, we will find a solution. The aimed-for size of the special issue is to be agreed upon between the Editors-in-Chief and the Guest Editor(s). 

In the CfM, please point to the Journal’s Instruction for Authors and emphasize that all submissions must adhere to the journal standard format for citations, references, etc. (https://www.springer.com/journal/10606). If you include a list of references in the CfM (which may be very helpful), please make sure it is formatted in accordance with the Journal's standard.

Editing the special issue

General principles

Guest Editors appoint reviewers, correspond with authors and reviewers, and make the decision about acceptance/rejection of manuscripts. Note that Guest Editors must use the CSCW Journal’s Editorial Manager (EM) for all communication with authors and referees concerning submissions for the special issue in question (see detailed procedure below).  

Submitted manuscripts will be subjected to Springer’s standard quality assurance control before being assigned to editors. This process checks all manuscripts for possible technical deficiencies (author names, etc.), possible overlap with other publications (e.g., plagiarism), and so on. This may take up to a week but is a useful resource for editors. 

The EM has a Discussion function by means of which Guest Editors can discuss individual submissions and reviews while at the same time maintaining the manuscript trail and thus keeping the process transparent. Using this feature is highly recommended. 

The CSCW Journal’s norm is to have (at least) three reviewers. You should invite authors of submitted manuscripts to also act as reviewers. Since there is no a priori limit to the number of manuscripts that can be accepted for a special issue, authors would not have a conflict. Guest editors may also want to step in as reviewers.  

When inviting reviewers, it is advisable to aim to have the different relevant paradigms or research approaches represented.

Do not process the review and revise process in batch mode. That is, when a manuscript has been reviewed and revised and can be accepted for publication, 
please do not postpone the decision until the other manuscripts in the pipeline have been processed. Instead, make the decisions as manuscripts mature. This way, congestion in the production workflow is avoided (and articles can be published on Springer Online First and be read).

If a Guest Editor is also a (co-)author of a submitted manuscript, the policy is that such manuscripts are assigned to the Editors-in-Chief who then either handles the review process or asks an associate editor to do it. The Guest Editor(s) will of course be blinded to the process. When (or if) the manuscript in question has been accepted for publication, the Guest Editors will have to decide, as a collective, if the manuscript is relevant for the special issue. The rationale is straightforward: The CSCW Journal does not want to be accused of allowing special issues to be an easy way for Guest Editors to score journal articles.

Using the Editorial Management System 

Guest editors must use the journal's Editorial Manager system for the review process (reminders and all). The Journal Editorial Office (see contact at the end of the document) is the contact point for any help regarding the system. 

Every Guest Editor will receive an individual login in the Editorial Manager online system. The Lead Guest Editor will be responsible for assigning manuscripts to the other Guest Editors. All Guest Editors will be expected to handle and distribute manuscript assignments among the reviewers that they will select.

Main Menu 

Once logged in, you access the ‘Editor Main Menu’ page. You can navigate back to this page at any time by clicking ‘Main Menu’ in the Navigation bar at the top of the page. The menu page is broken into the following panels: 

  • Submissions With: This panel shows how many submissions have 1, 2, 3, or 4+ referee reports complete. By clicking on any of the hyperlinks listed, you access a list of submissions based on the number of reviews that have been submitted. 
  • Search: The Search panel is split into two main areas – Search Submissions and Search People. 
  • Editor ‘To-Do’ List: This panel is where most of your attention will be focused as it outlines which editorial actions are required for manuscripts assigned to yourself. Please note that the same manuscript might be available in one or more folders based on its status.  

     My Pending Assignments:  

  • New Invitations contains a list of all active invitations to handle new manuscript submissions.
  • New Assignments contains a list of new manuscripts you have agreed to handle and require your attention, as well as manuscripts that have returned from revisions.
  • Submissions with Required Reviews Complete contains a list of manuscripts where the required number of referee reports has been submitted and, therefore, an editorial decision is now required.
  • Submissions Requiring Additional Reviewers contains a list of manuscripts without the noted required number of reviewers secured.
  • Submissions with One or More Late Reviewers contains manuscripts with reviewers assigned to them that have accepted their invitation, but have not yet submitted their review.
  • Submissions with Active Discussions only appears in your ‘to-do’ list if you have opened a Discussion or another Editor invited you to join a Discussion regarding a manuscript under consideration at the journal.

     Reviews in Progress:

  • Reviewers Invited – No Response contains a list of submissions that are waiting for reviewer action. These submissions need to have reviewers agree/decline invitation.
  • Submissions Under Review contains a list of all manuscripts with assigned Reviewers. 

Manuscript Actions 

Each manuscript file appears as a database entry that provides a quick overview of the file (manuscript title, author name, date of submission, status etc.). If a Manuscript Number ends with an R1 or R2, this denotes that it is a revision. If you click on one manuscript, a table is depicted that contains the list of Actions you can do. This is where you find most of the information you may need when handling a manuscript. To reveal the full list of options available within this column, click the plus sign [+] next to the word Action. Alternatively, you can hold your mouse over the Action links button to reveal the list of Actions you can take for this manuscript. 

  • View Submission allows you to view the original and subsequent versions (revisions) of the manuscript. Each version can be downloaded as a PDF.
  • Similarity check: All new submissions are checked by the Manuscript Screening Service (MSS) to ensure they conform to Springer’s ethical standards and are also checked for possible plagiarism using iThenticate. Guest Editors must check the Manuscript Screening Service Report and the iThenticate score for all submissions before sending out for review. The MSS and iThenticate are not perfect, and it is therefore essential that GEs check the report and score and use their own discretion with regards to any concerns raised. We ask Guest Editors to always check the report and score, but advice can be discounted when that makes sense. If needed, advice can be sought from Lester, the Journal Editorial Office Assistant.
  • Details includes details about the authors, attachments, the cover letter, and other meta data related to the manuscript submission. Towards the bottom of this page, you will be able to view the author responses to submission questions (inc. ethics, competing interests and copyright licensing) and any assigned submission flags.
  • Initiate Discussion: If you want to discuss the manuscript you are handling with another Editorial Board Member. See below for further information on initiating a discussion. 
  • History includes the status history of the manuscript including timelines, as well as any email correspondence that has been sent and received for that manuscript.
  • File Inventory stores the manuscript source file and any other accompanying documentation submitted by the authors.
  • Invite Reviewers takes you to the page used to invite reviewers and records the details of everyone that has been invited to review the manuscript. 
  • View Reviews and Comments: When a review has been completed for a manuscript, the ‘View Reviews and Comments’ link will be added to the Actions list. This will allow you to assess any reviewer reports received, any editorial decision letters sent to the author, and the authors’ subsequent point-by-point response letters. 
  • Submit Editor’s Decision and Comments: When you are ready to submit your decision to the authors. 
  • Send E-mail:  This function stores all of our email templates and allows you to choose from a drop down list of ad hoc emails for authors, the editorial office, or reviewers. 

N.B.: The Lead Guest Editor of a Special Issue will be assigned all the submissions, and will assign (some of) them to the other Guest Editors. For so doing, another Action is provided to the Lead Guest Editor: “Assign Editor”. Once the invitation has been sent, the Handling Editor receives an email notification. This notification includes links to accept or decline the invitation to handle a manuscript. Invitations can also be viewed and accessed via the New Invitations folder in the Main Menu before deciding whether to handle a manuscript or not. The Editor must Agree or Decline to take an assignment.

Inviting reviewers 

We recommend inviting three reviewers immediately and then setting up a further three as alternate reviewers. Reviewers selected as alternate reviewers will not be invited immediately. If an invited reviewer declines, or is automatically uninvited by the system due to no response the alternate reviewer will automatically be promoted and invited. 

If your chosen reviewer is not already registered within the journal database, you can add a new reviewer and invite them to review. You will find the link Register and Invite New Reviewer on all reviewer search pages and on the Main Menu page. Before an email is sent to your reviewer, you have the options to:

  • Change the letter template.
  • Edit the invitation letter by selecting Customize. This is useful if you want to ask the referee to answer a specific question about the manuscript you are inviting them to review.
  • You can also alter the number of Days to Review. 
  • Once ready, click Confirm Selections and Proceed to send the invitation letters.

We recommend you to add the text of the CfM for you Special Issue (or at least the scope of it) in your invitation, so that the reviewers are aware of the topic of the special issue while writing their reviews. 

Discussion Forum 

Editorial Manager includes a facility that allows Guest Editors to discuss manuscripts in an interactive discussion forum. It is possible to initiate a discussion from the manuscript action links through the editorial process.  

  • To open a Discussion forum, select the Initiate Discussion link from the manuscript action links. 
  • The Discussion page is separated into two sections.  
    • The upper section allows the initiating Editor to enter a Topic and their Initial Comments to begin the Discussion. 
    • The bottom section displays the names of all Editors on the Board. The initiating Editor should select the other Guest Editors to participate in the discussion by checking the boxes in the Select column (think of checking all the boxes so that all the Guest Editors can access the manuscript AND the reviews) (if there is no conflict of interest of course!).
    • After entering your comments, and selecting your recipients to participate, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Proceed to Customize Letters button to initiate the discussion. 
  • On the next page, click Confirm Selections and Send Letters to send an invitation to all discussion participants.

Any Editor who is invited to participate in a Discussion receives an Invitation email that includes the initiating Editor’s comments, and a link, which will direct the recipient Editor to the manuscript file and Discussion forum.  All participants (the initiating Editor and all invited Editors) will also see a Submissions with Active Discussions folder displayed on the Editor To-Do List on the Editorial Main Menu. This folder displays all submissions for which the Editor is involved in an open Discussion. 

To open the discussion:  

  • Select Discussions from the manuscript action links.  
  • Click View on the open discussion to access the discussion page. 
    • You can view all view all correspondence linked to the Discussion on the right hand side. 
    • On the left hand side, there is a Comments box, where you can enter your comments and click Post to respond to the discussion. Once posted, a notification email is sent out to all participants. 
    • At the bottom of the page, you can view the list of discussion participants. 
  • Once the discussion is over, any of the participants can change the status from active to closed by clicking Conclude Discussion at the bottom of the Discussion post page.

Authorship Change Request Form 

It is not uncommon for the authorship to change during the revisions of a manuscript, however we require that all authors submit a Authorship Change Request Form when making changes to the authorship. Whenever a change is made after a revision, the Journal Editorial Office will reach out to the authors and ensure they fill out the form and this will then be sent to you for approval. We ask you to check the authorship changes, making sure the additions/removals are justified and the signatures look valid. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact the Editors-in-Chief for advice, especially if there are considerable changes, e.g., if 
several authors are removed or added. We do not permit any changes to authorship after acceptance, and this includes manuscripts that have received an “accept but incomplete” decision or similar. 

Making a Decision

Reaching an agreement among Guest Editors 

We strongly encourage you to use the Discussion forums attached to each submission (see above) to make decisions, as all the exchanges will be traced in the system.  

Reject Decisions

When rejecting a manuscript, whether before or after peer-review, it is important to provide authors with reasons for rejection and feedback that they can work on in future.  We therefore ask you always to provide comments for the authors when rejecting manuscripts explaining your reasoning.  

For manuscripts that are scientifically sound, but do not fall within the scope of the journal, there are two reject decision terms for the journal: 

  • Reject (and transfer). This should be used for any out of scope manuscripts, or those that do not meet the high novelty requirements of the journal
  • Reject – do not transfer. This should be used for any manuscripts where you have ethical concerns about the manuscript or for manuscripts that obviously do fit meet the requirements of archival publication.

Accept Decisions

Accept recommendations should be made on the basis of at least one round of review, three robust and independent reviewer reports, and your own reading of the manuscript. These recommendations will be passed back to the Editors-in-Chief, for their ultimate decision. They will send the final decision to the authors vis the Journal Editorial Office. 

A manuscript is only to be Accepted when it can be handed over to production without further revisions or amendments; that is, only when the Guest Editors are satisfied that all requests, recommendations, and suggestions made by the reviewers have been addressed to the Guest Editors satisfaction. 

A manuscript is furthermore only to be Accepted when the manuscript is in accordance with the journal’s formatting standard as defined in the Instructions for Authors.  

However, when no changes to the content of the manuscript are requested, and only issues of formatting, spelling, etc. remain to be done, this may be indicated by using the decision Accept But Incomplete.

You should be aware that a reviewer might flag an issue not raised by the other reviewer(s) because they have more expertise in a particular aspect. If there are any issues you would like the authors to focus on, that have not been raised by the reviewers, you can add your comments on top of the ones from the reviewers. If you want to communicate particular comments to the Editors-in-chief, you can enter the comments in the ‘Confidential Comments to Editor’ box when submitting your recommendation, above any confidential comments made by reviewers and label them as your own.


Guest Editors are welcome to submit a preface/editorial for the Special Issue once all manuscripts are accepted, and can liaise with the Editors-in-Chief and Publishing Editor regarding the requirements for this.  

Once the Editors-in-Chief have accepted the manuscripts, they are transmitted to the publisher’s production department.

Please note that color figures and images are reproduced free of charge in electronic form. There is a page charge for color in print and for Open Access, please visit the journal homepage for more information. 

When the Special Issue appears in print, the title and names of the Guest Editors will appear on the cover and the contents page. 

Key Contacts

Editor-in-Chief: Kjeld Schmidt (schmidt@cscw.dk) 

Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Myriam Lewkowicz (myriam.lewkowicz@utt.fr) 

Editorial Manager, Journal Editorial Office: Adrian Pagaduan (adrian.pagaduan@springernature.com)  

Publishing Editors: Rachel Moriarty (rachel.moriarty@springer.com) and Annette Hinze (annette.hinze@springer.com) 

These guidelines can also be downloaded in PDF format here