18

What the difference between special issues and regular ones from scientific journal publication point of view?

23

Different journal may put different meaning into "special issue" It could mean that papers have been invited around a certain theme, it could mean papers come from a workshop or symposia, or that the journal have decided to gather papers around a specific topic for some reason. The point is that a special issue differs from a regular issue in that the papers constitute a collection around a theme or coming from a specific group of authors or event. Such issues can either be a decision by the journal or a request from a group of scientists to publish around "their" proposed theme. There may be additional cases but these are the ones I am familiar with within my field.

  • 1
    So papers accepted to be published in special issues have the same magnitude of quality as those published in regular ones? – Mohammed SETTI Nov 8 '13 at 15:39
  • 5
    Generally speaking that should be the case. – Peter Jansson Nov 8 '13 at 15:58
  • @PeterJansson hmm.. but how do the journal editors make sure that accepted submissions in the special issue are of the same quality of regular submissions to the journal? if they keep it up for the guest editors.. they might not guarantee the same quality, would they? – Mohamed Khamis Jul 27 '18 at 9:24
9

In my field (theoretical computer science), the best papers at a particular conference often get invited to a special issue of a journal. The editor of the special issue is typically one of the conference chairs, but the papers still go through the regular peer-review process of the journal, and are held to the same standards.

  • Okay, my paper has been peer-reviewed twice, the first one at an international congress and the second by the journal publisher! – Mohammed SETTI Nov 8 '13 at 16:03
4

In addition to publishing selected papers in conferences (as mentioned by @Mangara), a publisher can announce a special issue journal to concentrate on a particular set of fields which may be a subset of its overall scope.

One main point to note is that special issues have an additional advantage that they are time-bound. That is the dates for first review result, acceptance/rejection, and publication, are all scheduled. Although sometimes, the dates may be subjected to change, this is in contrast to regular journals where the time-frame may not always be estimated.

0

It can vary. I have seen special issues for (1) conference, (2) theme, (3) some famous professors birthday/retirement.

In general it really doesn't matter in terms of citations, just do a full cite including issue number and the like. Nobody will notice/care about if it was special or normal. It will still get cited, abstracted, held by libraries the same way.

Sometimes the reviewing can be a little easier on special issues (they tend to have a hard time filling the issue). It's also possible that a slightly less notable paper might make it through (more "datapoint science"). Again, it's not a huge impact and shouldn't worry you, but just sharing my impression.

(Partial overlap with previous answers)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.