Special Issue Editors

  1. Proposal and Circulation of the Call: The first step for the special issue editor(s) is to discuss the idea with the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) and propose the call. The EIC will provide feedback and help the special issue editor finalize the call. After obtaining the confirmation from EIC, distribute the call to the relevant communities. The editorial assistant (EA) will assist the special issue editor(s) to circulate the call.

    The special issue editors can invite people to submit papers, but the invitation does not guarantee acceptance. All papers will go through the double-blind review process as regular papers. It is typical that special issues reject papers from people that the editors have invited. The detailed review process is described below.

  2. Status in the Review System: The guest editor obtains a temporary editorial status to review the submissions to the special issue of NCMR. The temporary status starts when the call is sent out and terminates when the special issue is completed. That is, when the final decisions (rejection or acceptance) of all the manuscripts submitted to the special issue are made and prior to the Production phase. In case multiple guest editors are involved, only one guest editor, labeled as the leading guest editor (LGE), is assigned to the CMU LPS Janeway manuscript management system. The LGE assigned to the CMU LPS Janeway system discusses and reaches an agreement with the EIC about the review process, representing all guest editors.

  3. Initial Submission: Upon each manuscript submission, the EA checks if the author submission guidelines have been followed.

  4. Initial Assignment: Once the EA ensures that the manuscript follows the submission guidelines, the EA will assign the manuscript to both the EIC and the LGE.

  5. Desk Rejection: Because our reviewers are unpaid and spend much time in writing up the reviews, the editorial team is obligated to send out only relevant, high-quality manuscripts for review. At this stage, the EA will follow the desk rejection standards, recommend any manuscript that fails to meet these standards, and send the drafted desk rejection email to the EIC and LGE, with the manuscript attached in the email. This operation saves the assignment delay set by the Janeway system. The LGE and the EIC will both review the manuscript and discuss if the manuscript passes the desk rejection threshold. Once the LGE and the EIC reach an agreement and revise the desk rejection email, the EA will send out the rejection email.

    Manuscripts that receive a desk rejection typically fail to reach—but are not limited to—the following standards:

    1. Fitting the scope of publication at NCMR.
    2. Fitting the special issue call.
    3. Low-quality writing (in the aspects of wording, grammar, organization, APA, etc.).
    4. Low conceptual or methodological rigor.

    Additional rejection standards are included at the end of this document.

  6. Assigning Reviewers: If a manuscript passes the threshold, the LGE will subsequently select the reviewers and conduct the double-anonymized review process. Typically, two to three reviewers are needed in the process. The LGE should assign the reviewers within two weeks when the manuscript is assigned to the LGE.

  7. First Decision: When the reviews are submitted, within two weeks, the LGE recommends the decision to EIC. The EIC will further discuss with the LGE to make the decision about the manuscript (reject, major revision, minor revision, or accept). In case the two parties have disagreements, both parties will respectfully present their arguments. If no agreement can be reached, the EIC will make the final decision about the manuscript.

  8. First Decision Letter: Once the EIC and the LGE reach an agreement, the LGE will draft the decision letter and send to the EIC. Upon the EIC’s approval, the decision letter will be sent out within four weeks since the reviews are submitted.

  9. Sequential Decisions: Repeat the steps of 6 to 8 until the final decision of the manuscript is made (rejection or acceptance).

  10. Production Phase: For the accepted manuscripts, the EA will carry out the steps from Early Access to Production. The author(s) and the editorial team will then follow the copy editor’s requirements to ensure the articles published first as Early Access and then in the arranged issue.

  11. Arrangement of the Article Order: The LGE will decide the article order in the issue.

  12. Arrangement of the Issue Number and Publication Time: The EIC will decide when the issue will appear and assign the issue number.

  13. Preface: The guest editor(s) are welcome, but not obligated to, write a preface to the special issue articles.

  14. Other: For any question or issue that emerges outside these guidelines during the process of editing the special issue, the EIC has the final say.

  15. OA Transition: As NCMR is transitioning into the OA system, the LGE will continue to be assigned as the only guest editor who has direct access in the LPS Janeway system. All the guidelines 1-14 remain effective in the new system. If any changes are needed, the EIC will inform the LGE and lay out further guidelines.