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Advances, Systems and Applications

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Guidelines for Guest Editors

Preparing a proposal

For unsolicited proposals, guest editors should first contact the Associate Publisher with their special issue/collection idea to ensure the relevancy of the topic with the journal's scope. Once the idea is accepted, guest editors can then complete the SI proposal form and submit it for approval.

Note that proposals sent directly to the EiC will not be reviewed/processed. All unsolicited SI proposals should only go to the Associate Publisher.


Associate Publisher
Kathleen Wilson

Download the SI proposal form here.

As the journal has received numerous SI proposals in the last few months, kindly expect a 3-6 months evaluation period. If the SI needs to be urgently published, please consider submitting to another journal.

It is the Guest Editors' role to identify and invite authors to submit papers for the Special Issue, and submissions are expected to be of the highest quality in terms of science and presentation. They should also ensure that all papers submitted conform to the editorial and publication policies of the journal.

Submission guidelines for authors can be found at:  

Each manuscript submitted must be original, not published formally elsewhere, and must be peer reviewed by at least two specialists in the field. Guest Editors are expected to handle all aspects of the papers’ review and editorial decisions in an efficient and timely manner. CLCO has a database of reviewers available to Guest Editors, however it is possible for GEs to invite new reviewers – these should be done using official institutional emails and they should be independent from the Guest Editors to ensure no conflict of interest occurs. Regular monitoring of Special Issues is undertaken by the Editorial Team to ensure the integrity of the peer review process is maintained.

Manuscript Screening Service and Plagiarism Checking

All new submissions are checked by our Manuscript Screening Service (MSS) to ensure they conform to our ethical standards. Guest Editors must check the Manuscript Screening Service Report and the iThenticate score for all submissions to the SI before sending out for review.

Conference Papers

If a Special Issue is to be offered as a follow-up to a conference or a workshop, GEs are responsible for ensuring that the contents of the manuscripts submitted to the Special Issue differ from the conference papers (we expect roughly 30% new content). Any potential copyright and self-plagiarism issues have to be avoided in advance. Extended papers to be published on the SI should contain a specific note referencing the conference paper and providing information about the extended content.

Authorship Change Request Form

It is not uncommon for the authorship to change during the revisions of a paper, however we require that all authors submit an Authorship Change Request Form when making changes to the authorship. Whenever a change is made after a revision, the Editorial Team will reach out to the authors and ensure they fill out the form and this will then be sent to you for approval. We ask you to check the authorship changes, making sure the additions/removals are justified and the signatures look valid. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact Rachel for advice, especially if there are considerable changes e.g. several authors are removed or added. We do not permit any changes to authorship after acceptance, and this will include to papers that have received a “accept with amends” decision or similar.

Submissions by Guest Editors

We occasionally permit Guests Editors to publish a paper in their own SI, but this must be agreed with the Editor-in-Chief in advance. Upon submission, the Journal Editorial Office will assign the paper to the Editor-in-Chief or relevant Associate Editor who will handle the peer review and make the final decision on the paper. If submissions are made by Guest Editors to their SI, without agreement of the Editor-in-Chief, these will be rejected by the Editorial Team.


Assigning a Reviewer

Criteria for a suitable reviewer:

  • Active in a relevant field and/or methodology as judged by their publication record. Ideally published more than 10 articles in the last 10 years.
  • Not too senior as they are likely to be very busy.
  • Free of potential bias, i.e.
    • No co-publication with an author of the submitted manuscript in the last 5 years.
    • Not currently or recently affiliated at the same institution (i.e. within the past year).
    • Reviewers should be ‘independent’ of one another i.e. not both work at the same lab/institution.
    • Has an official email address, not personal (e.g. “gmail” or similar).
    • Has no conflict of interest with the Guest Editors i.e. co-authors, co-Guest Editors or colleagues.

Where it makes sense to be flexible:

  • Where a reviewer has co-published with an author once or twice as a small proportion of a prolific publishing history.
  • Where a reviewer has co-published with an author once or twice in articles with an extensive author list.
  • Where a reviewer is junior, but exactly on topic, especially if their supervisor agrees to look at the report before it is submitted and includes their name.
  • Where it would make valid peer review impossible if requests for exclusion were honored.

Reviewer Citation Recommendations

We welcome reviewers guiding authors on expanding their literature review, however if a reviewer asks authors to cite their own papers, this should be investigated for citation manipulation – reach out to the Associate Publisher for support in this.

Problems Finding Reviewers or Making Decision?

If you still struggle to find sufficient reviewers, you may be able to provide a brief report on a manuscript yourself or make a considered decision/recommendation based on one detailed report from a senior peer reviewer, although this should be a last resort.  We would advise that you assess the experience and expertise of the reviewer, as well as the level of detail and thoroughness of their report before you reach a decision/recommendation. We would also encourage you to provide your own comments to the authors; you can also act as a second reviewer and provide a report yourself.

For cases where the report is not sufficiently detailed, or the reviewer is very junior, or you are not familiar with the topic, then you should seek further reviewers or the opinion of the Editor-in-Chief.



When rejecting a manuscript, whether before or after peer-review, it is important to provide authors with reasons for rejection and feedback that they can work on in future.  We therefore ask you always to provide comments for the authors when rejecting manuscripts explaining your reasoning.


Accept recommendations should be made on the basis of at least one round of review, 2 robust and independent reviewer reports and your own reading of the manuscript.


Guest Editors are welcome to submit a preface/editorial for the Special Issue once all papers are accepted, and can liaise with the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher regarding the requirements for this.

Once the papers have been accepted, they are then transmitted to the publisher’s production department. Proofs will be available online for the Guest Editors to review and approve before Online publication.