For Authors|For Editors|For Reviewers

Special Issues Policy

We publish Special Issues in accordance with Supplements, Theme Issues, and Special Series by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and Conflict of Interest Disclosure and Journal Supplements in MEDLINE by the NLM guidance.

1. About Special Issues

A Special Issue is a collection of articles that concentrates on a topical research area within the scope of a journal, and is organized and led by subject experts who take on the role of Guest Editor of the Special Issue.

A Special Issue is not an issue of the journal. All submissions follow the same peer review process as regular papers and are published in the regular issues of the journal when they are accepted, but are additionally labelled as belonging to a Special Issue and are discoverable within the Special Issue part.

2. Benefits of being a Guest Editor

Additional benefits of being a Guest Editor include:

• Improving your academic profile and marking you out as influential within your discipline
• Being at the forefront of scientific communication
• Exerting creativity in the inception and development of a topic
• Assembling and working with a strong team of Editors
• Networking with like-minded colleagues around the world and forging new contacts with field leaders
• Handling manuscripts close to your professional interests and gaining a better understanding of editorial processes
• Feeling you have contributed to the development of the journal

3. Proposing a Special Issue

The Discovery Medicine Editorial Office usually invite scholars to guest edit Special Issues on topics of interest to the scientific community.

The scope of the proposal should be made clear throughout the text and topics. Broad descriptions that cover the entire scope of the journal are not appropriate. You should ensure the text and topics are explicitly linked to the narrower scope of the Special Issue.

You should structure your proposal according to the following guide:

1. The Special Issue’s title: Please ensure that the topic of your proposal is within the scope of the journal. Write a succinct but descriptive title for your Special Issue in no more than 20 words. The title should clearly reflect the subject of interest.

2. Submission deadline: A Special Issue can be open for submission for 8–12 months.

3. List of Guest Editor(s): Names, affiliations, email addresses, websites, research interests, and social media accounts (optional), ORCID (optional). Guest editing requires time and may become demanding; therefore, most Special Issues are led by a team of Guest Editors. Please feel free to invite 1–3 colleagues or scholars in this field to co-edit the Special Issue with you if needed and decide on each person’s responsibilities and work distribution as a group.

4. A summary of the Special Issue (about 200 words) and relevant keywords (about 3–10 words): Briefly describe the motivation behind the Special Issue, the main topic and areas covered, and the types of submissions that would fit the scope of the Special Issue.

5. The customized Call for Papers letter prepared by the Guest Editor(s) (optional): The call for papers letter will be used to invite scholars to submit their research to your Special Issue. It should contain a brief description of the Special Issue and motivate the potential contributors to submit their research. The editorial office can help you contact scholars by either providing you with a list of potential contributors or sending out invitations on your behalf.

6. The plan to promote the Special Issue (optional): Promoting the Special Issue is crucial to ensuring its success. Please let us know how do you intend to advertise your Special Issue and attract potential contributors. Please also let us know how we can assist you.

4. Editorial Procedure of Submissions to the Special Issue

Special Issue submissions are peer-reviewed and published following “The Discovery Medicine Editorial Process”.

The Guest Editor(s) can select one of the following actions in response to a submission: accept, reject, ask author for minor/major revision, or ask for an additional reviewer after the peer review process. When making an editorial decision, you are expected to verify:


• Overall suitability of the manuscript to the journal/section/Special Issue;
• Manuscript adherence to high-quality research and ethical standards;
• Standards of rigor to qualify for further review.

First or Final Decision

• The suitability of selected reviewers;
• The adequacy of reviewer comments and author response;
• The overall scientific quality of the paper.

Guest Editor(s) have a responsibility to make decisions on the acceptance or rejection of submissions based on the collected review reports. Please kindly note that (a) if there are conflicts of interest between the Guest Editor(s) and authors, or if you are not available to make a timely reply to the Editorial Office on matters of acceptance or rejection, we will invite another Editor from the journal’s Editorial Board with an appropriate research background to check and make decisions; (b) if the Guest Editor(s) supports the acceptance of a manuscript despite a reviewer’s recommendation to reject, Discovery Medicine staff will seek a second independent opinion from an Editorial Board member or the Editor-in-Chief before communicating a final decision to the authors.

5. Disclosure of Conflict of Interest

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest for manuscirpts to the Special Issues follows the Supplements, Theme Issues, and Special Series by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and Conflict of Interest Disclosure and Journal Supplements in MEDLINE by the NLM guidance.

• In Special Issues sponsored by for-profit organizations, where any product of the sponsor is mentioned in an article, a statement to clarify for this for readers must also be included in the “Conflict of Interests” section of the article.
• A statement about the author's source of funding for publication is to be included in the article.
• Financial relationships between any of the Editors, authors and sponsors must be disclosed along with any other Conflict of Interest.

Updated on 10 January 2023