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How to develop a special section

A special section is a collection of papers on a common theme, often derived from a workshop on that theme. The special section will include an introductory overview and between four and six peer reviewed papers, which should preferably cross-reference each other.

If you wish to propose a special section, the first step is to consult the journal editor (email: JASSS@surrey.ac.uk).

Then, the procedure we advise (but this may vary depending on the circumstances):

  1. At the workshop, consult the authors and secure their agreement to publish in JASSS.
  2. Ask the participants at the workshop (probably the authors, or maybe just a subset that becomes an editorial board) to comment on the papers presented to the workshop. This is also an opportunity for cross-links between articles to be identified.
  3. Ask the authors to revise their papers in the light of the discussions at the workshop and the board's comments and also to re-format them to follow the JASSS guidelines.
  4. Ask the authors to submit the revised articles to you. You check the articles to ensure that the authors have revised them as requested, and that they have followed the guidelines in every particular. You ensure that you have the articles, all the figures etc. as separate image files, and that there are biographical details included.
  5. Submit the articles using the journal submission portal. At the last step, where it asks for a 'Message to the editor', write the name of the special section. Then send an email with a list of the article titles and the name, affilation and email address of two proposed external referees for each article ('external' meaning someone who has has not been involved in the workshop) to the editor.
  6. At that point, the journal editor takes over and sends each article out for review, normally using your suggested referees and one other chosen by the journal.
  7. When the list of accepted articles has been finalised, you (or the editorial board) write an introduction/overview. This is not refereed.

A typical special section will take between 9 months and 18 months from workshop to publication (most of that time is taken by the authors revising their papers after the first set of reviews, so if that is speeded up, it can be shorter).

Revised 18 February 2014


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