1. Advantages to publishing themed issues through Geosphere
Because Geosphere is online only, papers in a Themed Issue can be published as they emerge from the review and production process and do not have to await all contributions as they do in a print journal. There are no page charges, and color figures, animations, dynamic figures, and data sets are both possible and encouraged. Our electronic format provides a wealth of ways to present information not available in print publications.
2. Process for proposing a themed issue
Send to the Science Editors in care of Managing Editor Bridgette Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org):
- The title of your proposed thematic issue
- A one-paragraph description of the purpose and scope of the issue. Please see the Geosphere website for examples from previous Themed Issues. The statement of purpose and scope should be relatively short, in the form of a call for papers. If the Guest AEs agree, this will be published on the Geosphere website.
- A preliminary list of papers (tentative titles and authors)
- The names and contact information of 2–3 people who have agreed to serve as Guest Associate Editors
The Science Editors will evaluate the proposal on the following basis:
- The theme is of interest to the broad Geosphere readership
- The papers and authors are representative of the approaches and perspectives on the topic
- No guest associate editor is an author or co-author on more than 30% of the papers in the volume
- There is a commitment for approximately 10 or more submissions for the Themed Issue (Six papers is the absolute minimum number of papers needed for a Themed Issue.)
- The guest associate editors agree to write an introductory paper to be published once 3–4 papers for the Themed Issue have been accepted
3. General Information about Geosphere Themed Issues
- Call for papers – Although themed issues will accept volunteered submissions, we recognize that some Themed Issues may be “closed,” meaning that instead of issuing an open call for manuscripts, the Guest AEs target a specific group of authors (e.g., people attending a specific conference, or members of a specific community science initiative). If this is the case for your proposed issue, we will not publish the call for papers on our website if you prefer it not to be publicly advertised. But, please discuss this with the Science Editors ahead of time. The statement of purpose and scope is required in any case, as we will use this for advertising the issue once it is published.
- List of papers – We recognize that the list of papers will evolve as the issue develops. We ask for a tentative list so that we have a clear idea of what will be in the issue in order to decide whether it will be appropriate for Geosphere.
- Identifying submissions for a Themed Issue – Please inform prospective authors to mention the Themed Issue by title in their cover letter so that we can route the manuscript appropriately.
- Submission window – An 18-month window for submissions is appropriate. Papers coming in more than 18 months after the Call for Papers will be treated as general submissions to Geosphere and will not appear in the Themed Issue. If circumstances warrant, the Guest AEs may request an extension, but we rarely agree to keep the submission window open for more than two years.
- Publication of papers in a Themed Issue – Since Geosphere is an electronic journal, we do not need all papers in hand before we can launch the Themed Issue. Each paper will be processed as it comes in, and will be published in a regular issue of Geosphere immediately after acceptance.
- Launching the Themed Issue – Once 3–4 papers have been accepted, we can officially launch the Themed Issue (if the Guest AEs agree that it is time). At that time, the Introductory paper is published, and the Themed Issue will appear as its own volume on the Geosphere website. In effect, readers have two ways to access each Themed Issue paper. One way is through the regular issues, which may have contributions to the Themed Issue scattered amongst different regular issues. The other is through the Themed Issue link on the Geosphere website, which appears as its own page with a Table of Contents that includes all contributions. As such, the Themed Issue is a dynamic document. The issue grows as additional papers are submitted and accepted.
- The introductory paper – This is authored by the Guest AEs and is typically published after 3–4 papers have been accepted. This should focus on summarizing the science contained in the Themed Issue and its importance in terms of past and future science developments in the field. We are pleased to publish Themed Issues in honor of individuals, but the introductory paper should not be used for biographical information or to recap the career accomplishments of an individual. We give the Guest AEs a lot of latitude on how much summary they wish to include. Some write quite detailed introductory papers, with brief statements regarding the contributions of individual papers or groups of papers. Others prefer a more general approach, giving the reader a brief idea of the scope of the issue. Either approach is acceptable.
- Guest AEs – The Guest AEs will handle getting the papers sent out for review, shepherding them through the review/revision process, and making a recommendation to the Science Editor regarding acceptance. The final decision regarding publication lies with the Science Editor. It is expected that the Guest AEs will be diligent in assuring a rapid review cycle. We strive to return the reviewed paper to the authors within three months after initial submission. It is very helpful if the Science Editor is provided with a list of expected papers and suggestions as to which Guest AE should handle them so that we can route them appropriately. We will need names and contact information of all the Guest AEs so that we can place them in our online manuscript processing system, Editorial Manager (EM). A guide to using EM will be sent to all Guest AEs.
Posted November 2012