Topical Collections – Guidelines for Guest Editors

Preparing a Proposal

Guest Editors (GE) should contact the Publishing Editor, Amin Fatemi ( with their proposal idea to ensure it is relevant and there is space in the Publication Schedule for the Topical Collection (TC).

The proposal form which must be completed can be found here.

Please note: the journal is moving to a new Publication Model in 2020 of having “Topical Collections” which are replacing the more traditional term of “Special Issue”. You can find example of how your Topical Collection will appear here:

If there are several Guest Editors involved in a Topical Collection, one Guest Editor should act as Lead Guest Editor.

We require our Guest Editors to familiarise themselves with the editorial and publication policies of the journal and our Springer Nature Code of Conduct before they undertake their SI. You can find links to these below:

Submission Guidelines: Code of Conduct:

Peer Review Procedure

Guest Editors of a TC will receive an individual login in the Editorial Manager online system. A “Lead” Guest Editor must be nominated, and they 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 select authors and invite them to submit papers for the Topical Collection which are 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. If this is an open TC, please ensure a Call for Papers is provided to the Editorial Team.

Submissions to a TC must be done through the Springer Editorial Manager online reviewing system on:

Plagiarism Checking
All new submissions are checked by our Manuscript Screening Service (MSS) to ensure they conform to our ethical standards and are also checked for plagiarism using iThenticate. Guest Editors must check the Manuscript Screening Service Report and the iThenticate score for all submissions to the SI before sending out for review.

Conference Papers
If a Topical Collection 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 Topical Collection differ from the conference papers (we expect roughly 30% new content). Any potential copyright and self-plagiarism issues have to be avoided in advance. Extended papers to be published on the TC can contain a specific note referencing the conference paper and providing information about the extended content.

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. The final decision on acceptance is up to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

PLEASE NOTE: No more than 12-14 papers should be accepted for any one Topical Collection, and new fewer than 6. This is a strict limit, and exceptions must be agreed with the Editor-in-Chief before any papers are accepted.


Guest Editors will be required to submit a preface/editorial for the Topical Collection after all papers are published online, and will liaise with the Editor-in-Chief regarding the requirements for this. Please note that it is not possible to decide which order papers will appear in a Topical Collection, but this can be set in the online and print issue.

Once the papers have been accepted by the Editor, 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: please contact the Editor for further information.

If the number of pages of a Topical Collection does not reach the number of pages of the journal print version, the EIC reserves the right to merge the Topical Collection with other Topical Collections or regular papers in one print issue.

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

After Publication - SI Analysis

As part of agreeing to publish your Topical Collection, we ask that you provide an analysis of the Topical Collection one year after publication. This analysis should include the number of submitted papers, the number of accepted papers, the number of citations to the articles published in your TC and any other statistics or data that you wish to include. Please send this analysis to the Editor-in-Chief for his review.

For authors

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