Guidelines for special feature guest editors
Every issue of China Perspectives includes a special feature, covering a specific topic on around 5 articles.
These guidelines are intended to clarify the role of guest-editors and provide clear milestones to ensure easy coordination with the editorial committee. It can also serve as a reference for authors contributing to a special feature.
The role of the guest editor
The editorial committee welcomes proposals of special features by guest editors.
Guest editors may also sometimes be members of the editorial committee.
In some cases, the journal may invite other distinguished researchers to become guest editors.
The guest editor:
– proposes the topic and submits an initial proposal to the editorial committee for approval.
– solicits, selects and collects abstracts and contributions.
– provides authors with feedback on draft articles and ensures the overall quality of the proposed contributions. Back-and-forth exchanges with authors may be needed before the deadline for submission. This role is essential to ensure that submitted articles have a good chance to pass peer-review.
– makes sure that authors respect the formatting style and requirements of the journal.
– writes the editorial/introduction highlighting the importance and originality of the subject, once the final lineup of articles is validated.
– helps ensure the quality of proofreading, notably harmonization of key terms throughout the special feature.
– diligently helps validating the last proofs of the issue (usually, a .pdf document sent a few days before printing).
The guest editor does not:
– participate in the selection of reviewers, although they may suggest names or warn against possible problems. In order to avoid any risk of conflict of interest, the peer-review process is entirely managed by the editorial committee.
– take part in, or have a say on other articles published in the same issue of China Perspectives (varia research articles, current affairs and book reviews).
Structure of the special issue
Ideally, special features cover one general domain through a multidisciplinary approach. It aims at providing the reader with a comprehensive view of any feature of contemporary Chinese society, and to highlight the variety of dimensions at stake.
Some special features are narrower in scope, but what counts ultimately is the overall originality and coherence of the proposal.
We advise to start a project with 6 to 8 articles, and to consider the possibility that some articles may not go through the entire process for many reasons (some articles may not pass peer-review). All articles will go through double-blind peer-review, exactly the same way as any individual article submitted to the journal.
The special feature will comprise an editorial/introduction written by the guest editor. The editorial can vary in length and ambition, from an outline of 1,500 words to a more problematized 4,000 words text presenting the special feature within the existing literature. We encourage the latter, more contextualized introductions with a larger number of references.
Whether the guest editor is solicited by the journal or not, we always ask for a formal “Proposal” including a concept note (1 to 2 pages) and abstracts of proposed articles.
This proposal will be circulated among the editorial committee. It will be validated, rejected, or returned with suggestions, to be submitted again.
It is possible and encouraged to use a call for papers (CFP) to identify potential contributions beyond one guest editor’s personal contacts. The CFP will be posted on the CEFC website and via our newsletter and social media accounts. The guest editor is welcome to forward it on scientific mailing lists and to personal contacts at will.
Once the project is accepted, we will discuss deadlines with the guest-editor and put the project in the pipeline with a potential publication date, generally at least one year later. This date is tentative only, and cannot be understood as a guarantee of publication, as many contingencies can lead us to change the publication schedule.
From the anticipated publication date, a planning will be defined as follows:
– 20 months before: first contact with editorial committee; if needed, agreement on a call for papers.
– About 16 months before: guest editor receives abstracts, makes his/her selection, puts together a proposal and submits proposal to journal.
– 14 months before: approval of proposal by editorial committee.
– 8 months before: all articles must have been submitted for peer-review. We encourage early submission of completed articles to allow more time for peer-review and potential revisions of the articles.
– 3 months and 2 weeks before: editorial must be submitted by guest editor, for review and discussion with the editorial committee.
– 3 months before: all articles must be validated in FINAL version. No changes can be accepted beyond that date.
– Anticipated publication date.