I have been invited as a special issue guest editor. The journal is genuine (I have both published and reviewed there multiple times) but not very prestigious and sometimes seen as "easy" to get into. So far the special issue has a title and a deadline, but the scope is yet to be defined by the guest editors. The title is broad enough to be its own journal. Within the fields that would fit with this title, my expertise and network range from "a little" to "none at all".
I've been a little surprised by the invitation because I thought guest editors were senior researchers in their field, and no matter how much introspection I do on the impostor syndrome, I'm not a senior researcher in this topic.
I tentatively accepted, because being a guest editor could be a great learning experience and would enhance my CV, and perhaps I don't need that much domain expertise if the other guest editors are more experienced experts and my role would be rather to carefully read papers, reviews, replies, and more reviews, before accepting a paper (or not)?
Now it turns out nobody else has accepted yet and I've been asked to find others, and I'm getting cold feet. Could people who have experience being special issue guest editors, or who are otherwise familiar with these roles, give some advice?
- In special issues, are guest editors usually senior researchers with a lot of domain expertise and an extensive network in the field? Or do you also encounter those whose expertise is at best tangentially related?
- How much of a handicap would it be to lack the in-depth expertise? Is this a debilitating limitation or one that can be reasonably accommodated?
The field of Earth Observation / Remote Sensing. The publisher is based in Switzerland, specialises in open access, and its journals are indexed by the usual places,