Special issues guidelines
Mechanical Sciences (MS) offers an efficient new way of publishing special issues, which are commonly the result of a session or multiple sessions at conferences, but they can also be from a small group of people that came to the conclusion that a special issue on a given subject or theme would be appropriate. The individual papers are peer-reviewed according to the same quality criteria as regular submissions and published as soon as they are available in regular issues, but they are then labelled as part of the special issue and linked electronically.
The specific advantages are the following:
- Publication date is not delayed by the latest paper that is behind in the peer-review process: every individual contribution to the special issue is published as soon as it is available.
- All contributions are efficiently linked and coherently presented on dedicated special issue web pages (an appropriate logo is welcome as a *.jpg file), easily accessible from the MS Online Library (chronological volumes and issues).
- Print versions are available upon completed publication of all contributions. A minimum order of 20 copies is needed, and the price will depend on the total number of pages in the special issue.
Inter-journal special issues
A special issue can comprise publications in any number of Copernicus’ open-access journals, of which one should be nominated as the lead journal for administrative purposes. The handling of individual manuscripts follows the standard procedures for special issues in the journal to which the manuscript is submitted. Afterwards, all published papers are co-listed on a joint special issue web page (in addition to the regular chronological volume of each journal).
If you intend to propose an inter-journal special issue, please first send your proposal to the executive editors of the lead journal. If your proposal is accepted, please also contact the executive editors of the constituent journals to find out if they want to participate in the inter-journal special issue. Only after all journals have agreed, should all information (see above) on the inter-journal special issue be sent to the Copernicus Publications Editorial Support.
Special issue proposal & guidelines for editors
Thank you for considering publishing a special issue with MS. We have drawn up some brief guidelines to help you with the process of submitting a proposal so that you might better understand your responsibilities as a special issue editor. Please note that we (a) particularly encourage review articles for a special issue, with an average of one review article solicited for every 8–10 papers in the special issue, (b) welcome a preface by the special issue editors, pulling together articles, and (c) encourage the special issue editors to work with the authors so that each set of authors are aware of what others are submitting, thus enabling cross-referencing of other papers in the special issue where appropriate.
Submission & review of a proposal
Please submit a two- to three-page prospectus for the special issue to the executive editors including the following:
- title of the special issue;
- names, affiliations, and short CVs of the proposed special issue editors;
- start date & end date of submission;
- a statement of the purpose of the special issue, whether it arises out of a conference, and whether it will include only invited papers or is open for all submissions within its scope;
- a draft of the call for papers that will solicit submissions for the special issue;
- any other useful information that will help to evaluate the special issue proposal (For example, are there specific people that you already have in mind that might contribute? Do you have a rough idea of how many papers might be published and their average length?).
The prospectus will be reviewed by the journal's executive editors, who will render a decision based on the expected contribution of the special issue and its appropriateness for MS.
Responsibilities of special issue editors
If the executive editors decide to pursue the publication of a special issue, a topic editor of MS will be assigned as liaison, and the editors of the special issue will assume the following responsibilities:
- work with the authors to obtain manuscripts of high quality;
- ensure that authors are aware of the manuscript submission process;
- coordinate a rigorous peer-review process (at least two independent referees);
- discuss with the liaison editor any changes that constitute a significant deviation from the prospectus;
- work to keep the special issue on schedule and periodically update the liaison editor on the progress of the special issue.