November 23, 2017 | Chantal Reilly, Production Editor

Production guidance for special issues and guest editors

Special issues are a great opportunity to invite guest editors to work on your journal and focus on current and exciting topics in the field. To ensure smooth production of the special issue, it is essential that the guest editors are aware of all the journal requirements as early as possible.

The information outlined below is designed to help academic editors guide guest editors through the preparation and production of their special issue.


Key information

The first thing you need to do is alert your T&F contacts of your special issue. We need to know:

·        The title (provisional title which will be confirmed before publication).

·        Guest editor name(s) and contact information (including email and postal address). If there are multiple guest editors, please tell us the order they should appear in and who the corresponding guest editor is.

·        Deadlines. The submission deadline you have given to authors, and when you expect to send accepted papers into production. Please also let us know whether papers will be sent in as soon as they are ready, or whether they will be sent at the same time.

If the journal has a peer review site, please get in touch with your Global Peer Review contact for help setting up your special issue.



Authors must obtain permission to reproduce any figure, table or extract from another source (this includes derivatives). We have detailed guidance on how to do this on our Author Services website. The main points we require are:

·        Non-exclusive rights to reproduce in an article for a journal with specialist academic readership, in a commercial setting and with a defined circulation

·        Print and electronic rights in perpetuity

·        Worldwide English-language distribution rights



In preparing an article for submission, authors must ensure that the format and style adhere to the journal’s instructions for authors on Most of our journals have templates to help authors submit their manuscript correctly, and we would encourage these to be used where available.

By the time a paper enters production it must be in its final and complete form. This minimises the chance of errors being introduced late in the process and avoids lengthy proofing cycles that can delay the journal’s publication schedule.

Changes such as improving prose style, preferential grammar or spellings, adding or deleting material, and any queries between authors and editors should be taken care of prior to entering production.

The papers will be sent through copyediting as part of the production process. The copyeditor will:

·        ensure that the article makes sense throughout;

·        correct any mistakes in grammar and punctuation;

·        check that the spelling is correct and consistent, and follows journal style (e.g. “focused” or “focussed,” “colour” or “color”);

·        make sure that the paper is using the correct reference style;

·        cross-check the references and any tables and figures to ensure they are mentioned in the text;

·        flag up any potential problems with third-party permissions, or anything that could contravene laws against libel.

Copy editors do not rewrite sections of the text or polish language as this might distort the author’s voice and intention. They also do not spot errors that require specialist subject expertise. Any specific style points not outlined in the instructions for authors need to be communicated to authors of the special issue in the first instance, and checked by the guest editor(s) for consistency. You should also inform the production contact so they can liaise with the copy editor.

If you have any queries about style, layout, or other considerations for your special issue, please contact your production editor.


Cross-references between articles in an issue should be kept to an absolute minimum. It not only delays the publication process, but can have a detrimental effect on the impact factor of a journal. Any instances of cross-referencing that are deemed necessary should be flagged in the text by adding next to the citation and to the reference list entry “(this issue)” to clarify its status for the production team so they can treat it appropriately.



You should get in touch with your production contact as early in the process as possible, and no later than two weeks prior to sending papers into production. They will be able to provide detailed information and help with any queries you might have.



Authors will be asked to sign a copyright transfer agreement with Taylor & Francis or the journal’s proprietor once their paper reaches production. Please visit this website for more information about the agreement:


The process

Once manuscripts enter production and have been checked for completeness they will be sent on to the copyeditor and typesetter. The author will then be sent PDF proofs of their article to check and return by the deadline. The typesetter makes final corrections and returns them to the production contact who reviews the file. Once a paper has been approved by the production contact, it will be published online ahead of the issue unless otherwise agreed. Once all papers are finalised they will be compiled into the special issue and published as a complete product once the rest of the issue content is ready. Please note that it is not possible to make corrections to articles once they have published online.

Please refer to the process diagram below for more information.


Published: November 23, 2017 | Author: Chantal Reilly, Production Editor | Category: Front page, Managing my journal, Taylor & Francis Online | Tagged with: