SPECIAL ISSUES: Principles & Guidelines

General Principles

  • Timely, relevant areas. Special issues are intended to focus attention on an area of particular interest to the Modeling & Simulation (M&S) community; the topic of the special issue should be timely and relevant.
  • High quality. To ensure high quality, the review process must be at least as rigorous as that of regular issues. A thorough, critical, peer review of full manuscripts is required. In general, at least three reviews are given to each paper.
  • Open access. The opportunity to publish in a special issue should be open to all potential authors, except in cases where an actual or perceived conflict of interest arises. Access may be provided through a general Call for Papers issued to the M&S community at large, or in the case of special issues derived from conferences, from the Call for Papers associated with the conference.
A proposal for a special issue must first be approved by the Special Issues Editor (SIE) specifying the scope and content for the special issue, motivation and rationale, guest editor(s), etc. The guest editor(s) of the special issue cannot publish papers in their own special issue.

Once the special issue has been approved, the guest editor(s) normally assumes the handling of manuscripts submitted to the special issue, in much the same way as an area editor for the journal (please see Information for Area editor(s)). One important exception is that the guest editor(s) is normally responsible for all communications with authors that have submitted manuscripts to the special issue, e.g., notification of the outcome of the review process, transmittal of reviews, requesting revisions, etc. The guest editor(s) must consult with the Editor-in-Chief of the journal before communicating outcomes to authors, since all final decisions must be approved by an EIC. It is recommended that guest editor(s) use the online review system (in the same role as an area editor) to process manuscripts submitted to the special issue.

Policies: general guidelines

When a SI is accepted for publication, a detailed list of policies and procedures is given to the SI Guest Editor. The following list includes a brief description of some of these policies.
  • SIMULATION does not have SIs devoted to Conferences (except for a selected group of SCS sponsored conferences). Nevertheless, if during a top conference a new important area of research, timely and relevant, is identified, we encourage the conference organizers to present a proposal for an SI in the area. In those cases, the SI-GE will coordinate with the SI Editor a fast-track review process for those top papers. Nevertheless, all call for papers must be open to the whole M&S community and everybody can submit a paper to the SI.
  • Special Issues Guest Editors (SI-GE) cannot submit a paper to the SI they propose; they act as the coordinators and editors of the issue only. Also, the SI should try not to include papers by authors at arms-length of the SI-GE. The same rules apply to potential reviewers of the papers.
  • Any paper submitted to an SI which is an extended version of a Conference Papers should be significantly different from the original Conference submission. It is suggested that the paper have at most 30% of overlap with the original submission (i.e., the SI-GE must check that the authors are not sending similar copies of the same work, as Journal papers should be elaborated and extended versions than the Conference versions). A meaningful change is expected in the cases of extended Conference papers. The SI-GE and the author should also check any copyright issues derived from the original Conference publication, and ensure that the copyright and self-plagiarism guidelines of any societies involved are considered.

  • Consult the Instructions for Special Issue Guest Editors here