More information and tools for Guest Editors

Special Content Publication types

Special Issues
A Special Issue will often focus on a particular aspect of a journal's scope and in most cases falls into one of three categories:

  • Papers from key presentations given at a conference
  • Topical Special Issues
  • Honorary Special Issues

Papers included in a Special Issue are handled outside of a journal's regular submission process and are organized by one, or several, Guest Editors. A Guest Editor will receive a submission, arrange for it to be reviewed and revised and will then make a decision or recommendation as to the acceptability of the manuscript.

Manuscripts accepted in a Special Issue should reflect the quality of those articles published in regular issues of the journal and should be of clear international appeal. High quality Special Issues are beneficial to a journal as they have the potential to increase usage and citations and to attract new authors and readers.

Special Issues are published as part of a journal's announced publication schedule. The title of a Special Issue may be prominently placed on a journal's cover, and sometimes also on the journal spine. Full disclosure of a Guest Editor's affiliation, accreditations and any potential conflicts of interest are published inside all Special Issues. If a Guest Editor wishes to check these details before publication they can arrange this via their publishing contact.

Additional copies of Special Issues may be purchased at a discounted rate and distributed to interested parties. Hardbound copies, Softbound copies, CDs, USB sticks and online access for non-subscribers can also be arranged. Any of these products/activities can be sponsored by a third party, such as a related industry or government agency or conference sponsor, in exchange for acknowledgement and/or advertisement. Guest Editors who would like more information on these services should contact their publishing contact.

Supplements are similar to Special Issues in that they focus on a particular aspect of a journal's scope. However Supplements are published in addition to a journal's announced schedule and thus the production costs must be covered by an external source.

Funds to cover a Supplement's production costs commonly come from conference organizers (setting aside a portion of delegates' fees), or from sponsorship by a commercial company, who would then wish to be acknowledged in the Supplement. It is important that full disclosure of a sponsor's involvement and any potential conflicts of interest should be transparent and fully acknowledged. While Supplements may contain acknowledgements, they should not contain product advertisements.

Like Special Issues, Supplements are subject to peer review and the content of a Supplement should never be disclosed to a commercial sponsor prior to publication. Depending on the specific arrangement, a Supplement may be sent to the Editor of the involved journal, and in some cases to a Society, for final approval.

Procedia are e-only products focusing entirely on publishing high quality conference proceedings that can also be available in a print version, if requested. Procedia enable fast dissemination so conference delegates can publish their papers in a dedicated online issue on ScienceDirect, which are then made freely available worldwide.

Conference proceedings are accepted for publication in Procedia based on suitability and are required to meet certain criteria, including relevance to an international audience and covering highly cited or timely topics.Procedia offer authors and conference organizers a fast and cost effective way to provide maximum exposure for their papers. A list of all Procedia titles can be found at the following


Open Access

Access to quality research is vital to the scientific community and beyond. We support sustainable access and work hard to provide a range of Open Access options alongside our access initiatives to ensure everyone can read, use and trust the latest research.

Elsevier supports authors who wish to publish Open Access and offers a number of publishing options which include:

Open Access journals Elsevier publishes a number of Open Access journals where all articles are peer-reviewed and, upon publication, are free to access by the reading public. These journals do not have any subscriptions; instead, a publication fee needs to be met for each article published Open Access. This is covered by the author, their institution or their funding body. For authors publishing Open Access in Open Access journals, they can determine how readers can reuse their articles with a choice of Creative Commons user licenses.

Open Access articles This is an Elsevier program which enables authors to publish Open Access in established subscription journals (these are also referred to in the industry as 'hybrid journals'). This means in addition to its subscription access content, this type of journal contains open-access articles that are immediately free to access by the reading public with permitted reuse. If the author chooses to follow this route, an open-access publication fee will need to be paid. Elsevier has a strict no double dipping policy for these journals and will not charge subscribers for Open Access content published in these journals.

Open Access archives Elsevier enables subscribers and the general public to have Open Access to archived material in selected Elsevier journals. This includes all Cell Press articles after 12 months via the Cell Press website. Articles are made Open Access after an embargo period which begins from the final publication date of the article.

Green Open Access This refers to when an author would like to post a draft version of their article on their institutional or personal website for public access. Elsevier has always had a flexible posting policy and is working in partnership to test and learn more about how best to support sustainable green Open Access. As such, authors are voluntarily able to post their accepted author manuscript to personal websites, to institutional repositories, or to arXiv. However, if their institution has an Open Access policy or mandate that requires posting, Elsevier requires an agreement to be in place which respects the journal-specific embargo periods.

Elsevier has established agreements with funding bodies, including Wellcome Trust, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Research Councils UK (RCUK). This ensures Elsevier authors can comply with funding body Open Access policies. Details on our funding body agreements are found online at

To learn more about Elsevier's Open Access publishing options please visit:

Guest Editor Feedback Programme (GEFP)

Listening to our Guest Editors, Elsevier has launched a Guest Editor Feedback Programm (GEFP). The GEFP is an online survey which has been set up to gauge how Guest Editors feel about the support and tools they receive from Elsevier during the process of organizing a Special Issue. Elsevier aims to continuously improve services provided to Guest Editors, using the feedback collected from Guest Editors. Similar to our existing Editor Feedback Program (EFP), Guest Editors are contacted by e-mail and asked to provide their feedback via the online survey.

Guest Editor tools

EES (Elsevier's Editorial System) has been designed around the following principles:

  • To provide an end to end electronic workflow for the submission of manuscripts, minimizing paper copy
  • To make submission and peer review as efficient and simplistic as possible for Authors, Reviewers and Editors
  • To support open communication and collaboration between all parties listed above

An EES guide and EES supporting information can be found at the following links:

First time Guest Editors, or those Guest Editors who wish to re-familiarize themselves with the system, can request EES training.

To request EES training Guest Editors should go to:

Reviewer Finder
Reviewer Finder is designed to help Editors find suitable reviewers. It can be accessed from within EES. Reviewer Finder suggests lists of potential reviewers, based on a Scopus algorithm for ranking published articles. Potential reviewers are listed based on the number of their relevant articles, drawn from over 13,000 journals in Scopus. Editors can search by topic or by name, and can check for any conflicts of interest. The results of the search will put forward potential reviewers and provide Editors with information to help determine a reviewer's suitability. Suitability will be based on published work, citations, h-index and conflicts of interest checks with the manuscript under review (previous co-authorship or affiliation to the same institute). 

An interactive tutorial can be found here.

Please be aware Reviewer Finder is not yet live for all journals.

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