Special Issues & Themed Issues Submission Guidelines


For general author guidelines, see this page.

ACME has a long-standing tradition of publishing special issues and themed sections. Special issues differ from themed sections in that they are longer, usually with at least five articles and an introduction. A themed section typically has a minimum of three articles with an introduction. We ask that special issues not exceed ten research articles, although permission can be granted for a larger special issue. These numbers are approximate and not hard rules—please consult with an ACME editor with questions about specific special issue or themed section proposals. Please check back issues to get a sense of what topics and themes we publish, and also feel free to reach out to any member of the ACME Editorial Collective to evaluate interest and fit. Below we answer some frequently asked questions regarding the process of submitting, evaluating, and managing a special issue.

How do I/we submit a proposal for a special issue or themed section?

When submitting a special issue/themed section, please provide the following information:

  1. Title of special issue/themed section.
  2. Name(s) of guest editor(s), affiliations, and email contacts. Please describe any previous editorial expertise, including journals for which you have written peer reviews.
  3. Rationale for the special issue/themed section. Briefly describe the background and inspiration for the collection, for example, if the issue/section comes from a conference session. Situate the special issue/themed section within the literature including similar collections that have been published in other journals.
  4. Rationale for submitting to ACME. Please refer to ACME’s Author Guidelines above, as well as our Focus and Scope statement (see: https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/about) to explain how your SI/TS meets the goals of the journal.
  5. Proposed papers+. Provide the titles of papers+ or other types of submission formats, names of authors, affiliations, and contact details. Provide also a 250-word abstract for each proposed paper+.
  6. Proposed timeline. Please provide a detailed timeline including major milestones for the processing of your special issue/themed section from submission to publication.

What happens when a special issue/themed section is submitted?

A special issue/themed section proposal can be submitted to any member of the editorial collective via email or ACME’s administrative email addresses (Managing Editor: acmegeogeditor@gmail.com or Coordinating Editor: acme.geography@gmail.com). The ACME Editorial Collective will share the proposal amongst the Collective to discuss whether to accept the issue for review. The Collective will often have questions or suggestions on how to improve the proposal. Once the proposal is satisfactory, the special issue/themed section will be assigned to an ACME editor based on content knowledge and other appropriate considerations. As a special issue/themed section guest editor, you will be in touch with the ACME editor to provide  updates and submit the papers+. All works that will form part of a special issue/themed section go through ACME’s peer review process and are overseen by an ACME editor in conversation with the special issue/themed section’s guest editor(s).

What is the role of a special issue/themed section Guest Editor?

The main role of a special issue/themed section guest editor(s) is to be the contact point between the assigned ACME editor (and any editorial assistants) and the authors of the special issue/themed section. The guest editor helps to manage the process of handling manuscripts. Although the ACME editor will solicit advice and input from the guest editor(s) during the review process, final editorial decisions are made by the ACME assigned editors.

We expect a special issue/themed section guest editor(s) to be involved with these actions:

  1. Work directly with authors to make sure that each submission is ready for peer review.
  2. Support authors in submitting pieces to the ACME Online Journal System (OJS) and notify the assigned editor and managing editor as papers are submitted so that they can be assigned in a timely manner.
  3. Provide a list of a minimum of three possible referees per piece to the ACME editor overseeing the special issue/themed section.
  4. Provide feedback during the review process as requested by the ACME editor. The ACME editor retains control over decisions about revisions, rejections, or acceptances; however, should a guest editor disagree with the review reports, they can and should bring this up with the ACME editor.
  5. After the revisions are submitted, it is the responsibility of the guest editor to read each manuscript, and make sure the author has met the requirements of the reviewer reports. The guest editor will then advise the authors on any further required revisions based on both the review reports and their own readings of the materials. These notes must be recorded in the OJS system so that the ACME editor can access them. Of note, should the guest editor desire a second round of revisions, they are encouraged to share this with the ACME editor.
  6. Ensure that the authors understand what is expected from the revisions and serve as a liaison between the authors and the ACME assigned editor about any necessary clarifications.
  7. Remind and, at times, nudge authors to complete revisions.
  8. Assist with final copyediting and proofreading.
  9. Compose an introduction for the special issue/themed section. Some guest editors also solicit an afterword from another scholar to close out the collection.