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How to Organize a Special Issue of Pezzottaite Journals?

At the Pezzottaite Journals we aim to encourage, academic members, authors, researchers, and conference organisers to put together a special issue on any of our Journals on the selected current topics of interest.

Special / themed issues can be a great way of focusing attention on a hot topic.  A good special issue can enhance the profile of your journal, attract top authors and potentially boost usage and citations.  Many editors arrange for a guest editor to handle the entire issue on their behalf.  This allows for a specialist to oversee the issue and bring in their contacts and networks. 

The goal of running special issues is to provide a coherent outlet for high quality research in a coherent thematic area of topical or practical significance. Periodically, Pezzottaite Journals will put out a call for proposals for special issues. As well, individual academics or teams of academics may wish to put forward a proposal to the Editor-In-Chief.

To organise a special issue, please prepare and submit a proposal using the following guidelines and the online special issue proposal form, alternatively you may prepare your proposal (in PDF) and email direct to Editor-In-Chief of the journal.

After your proposal has been received, the Editorial Board Members will review it and assess the needs of the journal, the Editorial Board Members will determine whether to accept / revise / decline your proposal.

Basic Guidelines

Publish one special issue per volume.  This allows you to take advantage of the opportunities a themed issue can offer, whilst also ensuring sufficient breadth through the standard issues to appeal across the range of the journal’s readership.

Solicit ideas for themes that merit a special issue from your board. You could invite proposals for special issues from your board and your readers.

Appoint a guest editor to handle the special issue on your behalf.  They should be a specialist in the subject of the special issue, and ideally will be sufficiently well-networked internationally to bring some top authors and articles into the journal. They should be well-organised.

Encourage the guest editor to develop a proposal, summarising the rationale for the issue, the approach they envisage taking and the areas they wish to cover. This can be a good way of assessing the guest editor’s level of commitment.

Ensure that your guest editor understands the nature of their commitment and their obligations under copyright and libel law.  They should understand the journal’s schedule and be aware of limits on article length. 

Communicate regularly with your guest editor to assess progress. Timely publication of journal issues is extremely important and you may need to supply an issue at short notice if a special issue is delayed.

Articles in special issues are often commissioned; they should still be peer-reviewed in order to support your journal’s reputation for quality and to maintain general publishing standards (which are important to abstracting and indexing services such as Thomson ISI).  You should take a decision as to whether the peer review process will be handled by the guest editor or by you / your editorial office.  If it is to be handled by the guest editor, then you should ensure that the review process is in line with the journal’s standard practice (single / double-blind).  You should also liaise with the guest editor to ensure that individual board members are not being over-burdened.

Work with your guest editor to address any queries that arise, make the most of your networks and manage the peer review process.

Use listservs in your subject area to post calls for papers and to announce the special issue once it is published.

General Requirements

Minimum two guest editors would be required to organise a special issue. Not all from the same institution. Normally 8 to 10 peer reviewed papers per one special issue are required. The number of pages of each paper shouldn't exceed 25-pages (single line spacing with before / after spacing to ‘0’, in ‘Times New Roman’, and font size ‘10’). However, it could reach maximum 30-pages per paper, if it is so necessary.

For conference organisers, the special issue may comprise of best selected papers, however extended versions (with complete results) of these papers would be required subject to another peer review acceptance / rejection process. Please note that case number of best papers exceeds the limit of 8 papers per one special issue, multiple special issues classified by context / theme would be possible.

The special issue must reflect an international collaboration. Therefore, no more than four papers from a particular country/institution permitted, unless it is justified by guest editors and authorised in advance by the journal editors. This is also applicable to a particular conference, where the conference organiser has already selected papers. 

Guest Editor's Duties & Responsibilities

  • To prepare ‘Call for Papers’ to send / public announce to authors with a copy sent to Editors of the journal. It will be also announced on the journal's web;
  • To contact directly with potential authors inviting them. In the case of a conference, invitations to be issued to the best papers presented at that venue;
  • To ensure that all papers be reviewed by at least 2 reviewers. The Pezzottaite Journals review form must be used, which can be obtained from the Editor-In-Chief;
  • Copy of all review reports must accompany each finally accepted paper sent to the journal;
  • To ensure the final versions of the accepted papers is in the format required by Editor-In-Chief;
  • To submit all the final versions of all accepted papers, in the format required, at least one month before the agreed final publishing;
  • Ensure that all authors sign and return transfer of ‘Declaration & Copyright Assignment’ Form. These need to be posted with the publisher;
  • Budget issues. Any special financial items should be also identified here only.

Preparing the Proposal

Prepare a complete proposal covering the following details:

  • Title of the special issue (avoid using broad scope titles, more specific titles are recommended);
  • One page description of the proposed special issue with the following elements:

    • Motivations and objectives of this special issue;
    • Technical overview of the topic showing its relevance and importance (this may include a short but intensive review of literature);
    • What are the technical / technological / theoretical issues to be addressed by this special issue;
    • Scope of the special issue (this is a list of classified topics of interest that will be announced in a call for paper / invitations to authors);
    • Provisional dates as it will appear on your call for papers / invitations to authors. Note that the dates may be amended by the journal editors as necessary:

      • Manuscript Due Date: (the deadline to receive all submissions);
      • Acceptance Notification Date: (the date you send acceptance / provisional acceptance / major revisions / rejection notifications to authors);
      • Final Manuscript Due Date: (the deadline to receive finally revised submissions);
      • Publications Date: (the publication date of this special issue).
  • Guest Editor(s) Details:

    • Names, address, Affiliation, Email, Telephone and Fax;
    • Brief of Guest Editor (s) or Editors biographies (or a web link to guest editors published biographical details) along with a brief description of their areas of expertise and an indication of why they would be suitable as guest editors;
    • The Editor (s) should already have established credibility in the area to be covered by the special issue. Involvement of an overseas editor would be an attractive (but not mandatory) addition to any proposed guest editorial team;
    • If an editorial team is put forward, the proposal needs to indicate who the Lead Guest Editor will be for all communications regarding the special issue.
  • A draft Call for Papers statement that would be printed with Pezzottaite Journals as the official Call for Papers after any necessary refinements. Please Refer, Click and Download ‘Special Issue Order’ Form. Fill the form and submit it with us at: contactus@pezzottaitejournals.net

Role of Guest Editor

Role of Guest Editor involves a set of responsibilities that must be agreed to before permission to proceed with a special issue can be given:

  • Guest Editor will serve as the communication and correspondence conduit between the special issue editorial team and Pezzottaite Journals;
  • The Guest Editor (s) are responsible for identifying and allocating reviewers for submitted papers, ensuring final manuscript word count remains within guideline constraints, and managing the review process using the administrative process described below:

    • Guest Editor (s) will record all acceptance / rejection / revise and submit decisions. However, if circumstances require, the Editor-In-Chief reserves the right to override a decision;
    • Guest Editor must liaise closely and regularly with both the Editor-In-Chief to finalise the Call for Papers and all deadlines and scheduling issues associated with the production of the special issue;
    • The Guest Editor (s) write a short introduction (editorial) to the special issue and the articles it contains. Where possible, it is preferable that the Guest Editor (s) arrange for a high-profile international colleague, who has expertise in the area, to write a closing piece (epilogue) drawing some broader conclusions and setting out some broad implications and directions for the future. Where this is not possible, the Guest Editor (s) will write the epilogue.

Publishing Time Frame

Special issues do need time to plan. Recommended timeframes from publishing a call for papers to publication are between 12 – 18 months. Any longer than 18 months might mean that the special issue loses some of its topicality, although some journals do plan 2 or 3 years’ worth in advance. There are no hard and fast rules but here are some guidelines about planning a special issue.

It is important that the Guest Editor sticks to deadlines wherever possible, otherwise it will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the journal’s issues.  Even if you choose not to put a formal contract in place with your Guest Editor, it is essential that s/he is aware of the critical deadlines. Click and download ‘Contract for Guest Editor, fill the form and submit it with us at: contactus@pezzottaitejournals.net

Normally, Pezzottaite Journals practice for special issues is to close the call for papers at 12 months before the issue date. This is to allow 9 months for the Guest Editors to complete the review process and 3 months to process the accepted manuscripts to the publication and mail-out stage. Once the special issue has been integrated into the publication schedule, the final Call for Papers and deadline for receiving manuscripts for review can be set by working backward from the planned publication date. Editor-In-Chief will have the final say on the production scheduling for any special issue.

Please check the dates mentioned in ‘Contract for Guest Editor’ and ‘Special Issue Proposal’ Form, and it is advisable to be generous with these deadlines as there is often ‘slippage’.

Publication Date: set a date for when you would like the special issue to be published. Remember that special issues have a tendency to exceed the usual page extent so avoid publishing them in the final issue of the volume. As special issues can help with citation activity, it is recommended to have them earlier in the volume to give them a longer ‘window’ in which they could be cited.

Ultimately, you as Editor are responsible for the content and timely delivery of the journal, and therefore you should maintain oversight of the special issue. At the very least, you should read all the articles prior to submission. If any of the material is not up to scratch, you have the right to refuse publication.

Evaluation of Proposal

Proposals for special issues should be emailed at: contactus@pezzottaitejournals.net. The Editor-In-Chief, after consulting with the Managing Editor, Associate Editors and the Chair of the Pezzottaite Journals will make the final decision as to approval / non-approval of the proposed special issue and will advise the proposers, accordingly. If approval is granted, scheduling and planning can commence.

Criteria for evaluating a Special Issue proposal include:

  • Fit with the Pezzottaite Journals Editorial Policy;
  • Quality and thoroughness of the formal proposal;
  • Importance of the proposed theme;
  • Appeal to a broad segment of Pezzottaite Journals authors and readers;
  • Scholarly credentials of the proposed Guest Editors.

Proposers of a special issue should be aware that if, through the course of assembling the special issue, it becomes apparent that an insufficient number of accepted papers will be available to produce a viable issue, the Editor-In-Chief can cancel the special issue and the Guest Editor will be asked to advise all authors of accepted papers accordingly. Any papers that have been given final acceptance for inclusion in a special issue that is ultimately cancelled will be published in the next available general issue of journal (s).

Administrative Process for Producing a Special Issue

The finalised Call for Papers, from the Guest Editors, for an approved special issue will be published as soon as the issue title, Guest Editors, approximate publication date and ISSN are confirmed. The Call for Papers will, at a minimum, be published on the Pezzottaite Journals Home page and distributed to other members and organisations with which we has strategic linkages.

OJS web application serves as the central communication hub during the entire process of assembling the special issue. This will ensure proper record keeping and tracking at all stages of the production process. Specifically:

  • All manuscript submissions for the special issue will be submitted to us. The Guest Editors will be provided access to submitted manuscripts and will allocate two reviewers for each manuscript;
  • When reviews for a paper are received, the Guest Editor will make a recommendation to the Editor-In-Chief and on-forward review reports and editorial feedback to the author(s);
  • We would like to ensure, as far as possible, that two reviews are received for each paper submitted. If a reviewer is delinquent or becomes unable to complete the task, EIC will ask the Guest Editor to nominate a replacement reviewer. In cases where it becomes too difficult or time-critical to achieve two completed reviews, the Guest Editor (s) can make the manuscript decision recommendation based on one review;
  • Once the review reports have been received, the Guest Editor will need to make an editorial decision of either:

    • Publish Unaltered;
    • Review Again after Minor Changes;
    • Review Again after Major Changes;
    • Desk Reject.

      If the Guest Editor chooses “Publish Unaltered,” the manuscript is accepted for publication, and the authors are notified of this decision.

      If the Guest Editor chooses “Review Again after Minor Changes,” the authors are asked to prepare and submit a final copy of their manuscript with the required minor changes suggested by the reviewers. Only the Guest Editor reviews the revised manuscript after the minor changes have been made by the authors. Once the Guest Editor is satisfied with the final manuscript, the manuscript can be accepted.

      If the Guest Editor chooses “Review Again after Major Changes,” the authors are expected to revise their manuscript in accordance with the changes recommended by the reviewers. 

  • When revised papers are submitted with us, they will either be made available to the original reviewers for re-assessment, or to the Guest Editor as per editorial feedback comments, for further advice on revision, rejection wording or acceptance. Formal acceptance must be issued by EIC as there are pre-publication requirements to be communicated to authors.

Guest Editors’ Introductory Article

Typically, the Guest Editors prepare an introduction that reviews the state of the art on the domain of the Special Issue, suggests new directions for research, and provides a synopsis and integrative analysis of the collective contributions of the Articles and Research Notes in the Special Issue. The Introductory Article then goes through a single-blind review process managed by the Editor-In-Chief. The manuscript is submitted to up to two stages of review, with a final decision made by the EIC to publish or not publish the Introductory Article. The Guest Editors are responsible for timely revisions of their own manuscript based on the ‘Manuscript Formatting & Style’, ‘Philosophy Concerning Impact of Research’ and ‘Publishing Guidelines’.

It is Pezzottaite Journals policy that none of the Guest Editors, including any Pezzottaite Journals Editor on the project, can submit a manuscript either as an author or co-author for review for publication in the Special Issue, other than the Introductory Article, in order to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

The Guest Editor handling a manuscript cannot assign himself / herself as a reviewer of the manuscript. This is to ensure a high-quality, fair, and unbiased peer-review process of every manuscript submitted to the journal, since any manuscript must be recommended by one or more (usually two or more) external reviewers and the Guest Editor before acceptance for publication. The name of the Guest Editor who accepts a manuscript for publication is published with the manuscript, in order to acknowledge their invaluable contribution to the peer-review process and the indispensability of their contributions to the running of the journals. The peer-review process is double blinded.

Summary

Special Issues are a way for Pezzottaite Journals to solicit and package contributions to international business research on a specified theme. The use of Guest Editors is designed to encourage highly-focused feedback and substantial development of the submitted manuscripts. At the same time, manuscripts proceed on a parallel track with regular submissions and adhere to Pezzottaite Journals fit and quality norms.