About Special Collections

What is a "Special Collection"?

A Special Collection is a select group of scientific contributions focused on a central theme, topic, or research direction. Special collections are initiated and supervised by Guest Editors, who are responsible for the content and for managing the review process for all contributions.

How is "Special Collection" content reviewed?

A special collection has one or more Guest Editors, who are approved by the journal’s Editor. With oversight from the Editor, Guest Editors recruit reviewers, process and adjudicate reviews, offer feedback to contributors, and make final publication decisions.
All material in a Special Collection is peer-reviewed, and each individual submission must be accepted for publication according to the same standards as all other journal content. There are no exceptions to this rule.

How is "Special Collection" content published?

Special Collection contributions appear on the journal website in two complementary ways.

First, individual contributions that have been accepted are published immediately, as normal articles, in the current volume of Demographic Research. Thus, they are available online without delay to readers and library services.

Second, after publication of the collection’s final contribution, the guest editor submits an editorial that outlines the focus, content, and importance of the collection. The editorial and all contributions are then also linked together under a separate heading on the journal’s website that identifies the group of papers as a Special Collection. Each individual contribution continues to stand alone as a published paper in the journal, but this second listing also enables readers to view the collection of material as a whole. In the Special Collections section it is also possible to include links to supplementary material, and to related websites or publications.

How can I become a Guest Editor of a Special Collection?

The typical process for starting a Special Collection project is as follows:

A person wishing to edit a Special Collection first submits a short proposal to the journal’s office. This first proposal should contain a description of the topic or issue, a list of possible papers and authors, and (if applicable) the names of other Guest Editors. Should the group of contributions be the product of a workshop or seminar, the proposal should also include information about the event and list all sponsors or funding sources.

If the Editor decides the project shows promise, he or she will then request a complete set of papers and drafts. After reviewing this preliminary collection, the Editor will then convey a decision to the journal staff, either rejecting the proposal or approving the project. Once the project is approved, the responsibility for content shifts to the Guest Editor(s).

What are my responsibilities as a Guest Editor?

Guest Editors work with the journal’s staff to review submitted contributions. Typically all papers in a collection begin the review process at the same time, although time to decision will naturally vary from paper to paper.

Guest Editors are responsible for identifying reviewers, for maintaining contact with the office staff during the review period, for contacting additional reviewers should the need arise, and for evaluating the reports, including any editorial adjudication decisions. The Guest Editor works directly with the authors to ensure that revisions and problems are dealt with quickly. Once reviewers have recommended publication of a submission, the Guest Editor must also approve the final version of the work before it can be published.

After submissions are published, a Guest Editor must then submit an introduction, summary, or editorial for the collection. Depending on the length and content of this piece, it may itself be subject to a full peer review. This piece is also published in the current volume of the journal, under an appropriate submission category.

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