Guidelines for Thematic Issues
This document has been created as a guideline for preparing and administering thematic special issues of the Journal Relevant Tomorrow.
Step 1. Coming up with the idea to organize a thematic special issue (TSI)
1. Topics for thematic special issues (TSI) are suggested by Editor in Chief or other members of the Editorial Board, or by scholars from outside the Editorial Board.
2. TSI needs to align with the mission of the Journal.
3. Decision on whether or not to organize the proposed TSI is taken by the Editor in Chief in consultations with these members of the Editorial Board who are denoted by expertise in the given thematic area.
4. There should be more than one Editor for a TSI. In exceptional cases, one Editor may be allowed to run a TSI. In this case, the decision to make the exception must be supported by the evidence of exceptionally sound qualifications of the Editor.
5. The formal decision to launch a TSI must always be supported by the written Call for Papers (CfP) for the TSI. The TSI CfP must be 1) written in a concise form; 2) following academic tradition; 3) arguing for the currency / novelty and importance of the topic. Once TSI has been approved by the Editor in Chief, TSI CfP is published on the Journal’s web site.
6. The editors of TSI are expected to establish for the TSI a board of reviewers which shall include not only the regular members of the Editorial Board (EB), but also scholars and practitioners from outside the EB who have expertise in the TSI topic (superior to that of the core EB of the Journal). Practitioners should be included when TSI topics involve topics for which practitioners may exert a big influence.
Step 2. Evaluation of the qualification of the Editors of a thematic special issue (TSI)
7. The candidate(s) to the role of the Editor(s) of a TSI must possess sufficient qualification for the job.
8. Qualifications are evaluated based on the publications record of the candidates, or by alternative means which can prove sufficient expertise of the candidate in the given topic and in the familiarity (and experience) with the academic publishing practice (how to organize the review process, how to evaluate reviews, etc.).
9. If none of the candidates to the role of editors of the TSI has sufficient qualifications to run the TSI, EiC (in consultations with EB) shall nominate an editor with sufficient qualifications to complement the list of the candidate editors.
Step 3. Establishing quality controls for a thematic special issue (TSI)
10. Situations when TSI is organized / run by only one Editor should be avoided. In exceptional cases, one Editor may be allowed to run a TSI. In this case, the decision to make the exception must be supported by evidence of the exceptionally sound qualifications of the Editor.
11. The Editors of a TSI must represent various institutions.
12. Ideally, the Editors of a TSI shall come from at least two different countries.
13. Situations when Lithuanian-affiliation-only Editors are in charge of a TSI in the Lithuanian language must be avoided. In exceptional cases, if no foreign experts with sufficient Lithuanian language skills can be found to act in the role of the Editor, additional measures must be taken to ensure the quality of the preparation process of the TSI. These additional measures may involve consultations with the Editor in Chief and / or members of the Editorial Board (EB) during the review and paper acceptance decision process.
14. TSI CfP, developed according to the accepted TSI CfP Template, is an important tool for establishing the quality and process control, as it contains references against which the process can be benchmarked: 1) justification of the novelty & fit to the aims of the Journal; 2) important dates; 3) the number of review iterations; 4) members of the TSI EB; other specific aspects of relevance.
15. Additionally to CfP, the Editors must present to EiC plans for 5) the planned number of papers for TSI; 6) envisioned promotional and dissemination activities; any other information relevant to the Journal’s administration.
Step 4. Publication of a thematic special issue (TSI)
16. TSI publication is preceded by the publication of the TSI CfP (see Step 1. Coming up with the idea to organize a thematic special issue) once the TSI has been formally approved by the Editor in Chief.
17. Editors of the TSI are expected to prepare an editorial introduction to the TSI. Ideally, the editorial shall provide an overview of the papers included in the TSI complemented by the editors’ views on how the selected papers and / or the special issue contribute(s) to the development of the field and the Journal.
Other important issues
18. The Editors of a TSI cannot be (co-)authors of papers submitted to the TSI.