I have a paper that I am working on . I found a special issue on the area I am working on. My advisor told me special section have a good chance for acceptance.

What is good about special issue call for paper on journals ?

How many papers are usually accepted?

2 Answers 2


This may depend on your field of research and the specific venue. In my field, it is often considered easier to publish in special issues, because in general

  • all contributions are submitted to review en bloc, so there is a chance for weaker contributions to be 'kept afloat' by stronger ones

  • special issue editors have incentives to be lenient with rather negative reviews on individual papers, because they want their special issue to be published and therefore need a sufficient number of papers to survive

  • the competition for slots in a special issue may be lower than for slots in a regular issue, due to the narrower topic

  • papers whose general contribution may be questionable can still work in the context of a special issue with a more narrowly defined topic.

It is not possible to give a reliable estimate for acceptance rates, as this depends on many factors; however, it is likely higher for special issues compared to regular issues of a given journal.

As for the call for papers, the chance of your paper being accepted depends on whether the special issue editors seek to fill an empty slot in the proceedings of an earlier workshop, panel, etc., or whether this is an open call (and then of course on the quality and fit of your abstract/paper).


In a special issue, the journal focuses on one topic. That's helpful in the sense that if you work on that topic, you can find lots of papers on the same topic easily.

About the number of papers accepted: it varies. On the low end, it's usually at least enough to fill one issue (i.e. at least ~5 papers or ~100 pages), but I've also seen 15+ papers in an issue, similar to the number published in a conference.

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