There exist review journals that every now and then publish a thematic issue on a given topic. For example, Chemical Reviews does so: one thematic issue (see e.g. this one) includes an editorial and a number of invited review on the main topic.
When writing the introduction of a research paper, one can start by summing up the recent developments in the field, and then explain the reasoning behind the paper being written (“People have looked at application of molecules X and Y to reactions A, B and C, but so far noöne has evidenced any benefit of using them for reaction D. We here show that they lead to a spectacular 270% improvement over current yields”). When writing the broader part of the introduction, one might be tempted to include many references to recent reviews on the topic. However, when many reviews come from the same thematic issue of a journal, it becomes a bit ridiculous. So…
Is it an accepted practice to include a reference to an entire issue of a journal?
Special issue of Chem. Rev. on “Giant molecules for catalysis”, 2010, issue 8.
Alternatively, is it adequate to cite the editorial of the thematic issue? Or do individual papers need to be cited, at the risk of making a long string of citations? Like so:
Lots of research has focused on applications of these molecules to A, B, C, D, E and F
where refs. 1-6 are all to sequential papers in the same issue of the same journal.