Guidelines for Guest Editors in Acta Informatica


Editorial Manager Journal Editorial Office
Roseline Periyanayagam (

Journal Publishing Editor
Rachel Moriarty

Production Editor
Priya Verma (


Guest Editors of a SI will receive an individual login in the Editorial Manager online system. The Lead Guest Editor will be responsible for assigning manuscripts to other Guest Editors.

All Guest Editors will be expected to handle and distribute manuscript assignments among reviewers who will be selected by the Guest Editors.

It is the Guest Editors' role to identify and invite authors to submit papers for the Special Issue, and submissions are expected to be of the highest quality in terms of science and presentation. They should also ensure that all papers submitted conform to the editorial and publication policies of the journal.

Submissions to SI must be done through the Springer Editorial Manager online reviewing system on: Instructions for Authors can be found at  

Each manuscript submitted must be original, not published formally elsewhere, and must be peer reviewed by at least two specialists in the field. Guest Editors are expected to handle all aspects of the papers’ review and editorial decisions in an efficient and timely manner. GEs can seek for in the database of potential reviewers or register new reviewers – these should be done using official institutional emails. Regular monitoring of Special Issues is undertaken by the Editorial Team to ensure the integrity of the peer review process is maintained.

Conference Papers

If a Special Issue is to be offered as a follow-up to a conference or a workshop, GEs are responsible for ensuring that the contents of the manuscripts submitted to the Special Issue differ from the conference papers. As a rule of thumb, we expect roughly 30% new content, which could be new results or details (proofs, explanations, examples, ...) that have been omitted in the conference paper due to length restrictions. Any potential copyright issues have to be avoided in advance. Extended papers to be published on the SI should contain a specific note referencing the conference paper and providing information about the extended content.

Archived/Preprint Versions of Papers

Springer journals encourage posting of preprints of primary research manuscripts on preprint servers, authors’ or institutional websites, and open communications between researchers whether on community preprint servers or preprint commenting platforms. Preprints are defined as an author’s version of a research manuscript prior to formal peer review at a journal, which is deposited on a public server (as described in Preprints for the life sciences. Science 352, 899–901; 2016); preprints may be posted at any time during the peer review process. Posting of preprints is not considered prior publication and will not jeopardize consideration at Springer journals. More information can be found here:

Authorship Change Request Form

It is not uncommon for the authorship to change during the revisions of a paper, however we require that all authors submit an Authorship Change Request Form when making changes to the authorship. Whenever a change is made after a revision, the Editorial Team 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 Rachel for advice, especially if there are considerable changes e.g. several authors are removed or added. We do not permit any changes to authorship after acceptance, and this will include to papers that have received a “accept with amends” decision or similar.

Submissions by Guest Editors

We occasionally permit Guests Editors to publish a paper in their own SI, but this must be agreed with the Editor-in-Chief in advance. Upon submission, the Journal Editorial Office will assign the paper to the Editor-in-Chief or relevant Associate Editor who will handle the peer review and make the final decision on the paper. If submissions are made by Guest Editors to their SI, without agreement of the Editor-in-Chief, these will be rejected by the Editorial Team.


Assigning a Reviewer

Criteria for a suitable reviewer:

  • Active in a relevant field and/or methodology as judged by their publication record.
  • Conflicts of interest arise with an author in case the reviewer
    • has been a collaborator and/or co-author within the past two years;
    • has been a co-worker in the same department or lab within the past two years;
    • is a relative or closed personal friend;
    • is or was the author's primary advisor, no matter how long ago;
    • or the author is or was the reviewer's primary advisor, no matter how long ago.

Reviewer Citation Recommendations

We welcome reviewers guiding authors on expanding their literature review, however if a reviewer asks authors to cite their own papers, this should be investigated for citation manipulation – reach out to the Publishing Editor for support in this.

Problems Finding Reviewers or Making a Decision?

If you still struggle to find sufficient reviewers, you may be able to provide a brief report on a manuscript yourself or make a considered decision/recommendation based on one detailed report from a senior peer reviewer, although this should be a last resort. We would advise that you assess the experience and expertise of the reviewer, as well as the level of detail and thoroughness of their report before you reach a decision/recommendation. We would also encourage you to provide your own comments to the authors; you can also act as a second reviewer and provide a report yourself.

For cases where the report is not sufficiently detailed, or you do not share the reviewer's opinion or you are not familiar with the topic, then you should seek further reviewers or the opinion of the Editor-in-Chief.  



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.

There are two reject decision terms for the journal:

  • Reject – do not transfer
    • This should be used for any papers where you have ethical concerns about the paper
    • The decision term under this category is “Reject, do not Transfer”
  • Reject (and transfer)
    • This should be used for any out of scope papers, or those that do not meet the high novelty requirements of the journal
    • The decision terms under this category are “Decline and *Transfer*” (preferred), “Reject”, “Admin Reject”


Accept recommendations should be made on the basis of at least one round of review, 2 robust and independent reviewer reports and your own reading of the manuscript. 


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

Once the papers have been accepted, they are then transmitted to the publisher’s production department. Proofs will be available online for the Guest Editors to review and approve before Online publication.

Please note that colour figures and images are reproduced free of charge in electronic form. There is a page charge for colour 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.

N.B. These Guidelines can be downloaded in PDF format here.