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Special Sections & Special Issues

Responsible editorsMAT editorial collective 


We publish two kinds of edited collections: special sections and special issues. 

A special section consists of between three and seven contributions on a topic or theme, with an invited editorial by the guest editor(s). Special sections can include writing of any submission type (Research ArticlePosition PieceReviewPhoto Essay, and/or Field Notes), but should include a minimum of two Research Articles. Special sections are published within journal issues as part of the usual publication schedule. Depending on the schedule, they are often published as a collection of advance pre-prints.  

Special sections are accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals should be sent via this form and should include: title, editors, overview of the topic and theoretical focus (500700 words excluding references), and abstracts of all contributions (150200 words).   

A special issue is a curated collection of seven to 12 contributions (including at least four Research Articles) with a shared theoretical focus, with an invited editorial by the guest editor(s). We aim to publish one to two special issues a year, with the possibility of publishing outside of the usual journal publication schedule. We aim to publish special issues in June and/or October each year.  Occasionally, public events and issues require a more rapid response than an annual publishing cycle allows; in these circumstances, the MAT editors may publish calls for contributions to special sections or issues on a particular theme.  

Proposals for special issues are considered on an annual basis. The next closing date for submission of proposals is 30 September 2020. Proposals should be sent via this form and should include: title, editors, overview of the topic and theoretical focus (8001000 words excluding references), and abstracts of all contributions (150200 words). A response will be provided by 16 October. All manuscripts (exempting editorial) accepted for publication in the upcoming special issue will need to be submitted by November 31 2020.  


Guidelines for special issue/section editors:  

  1. Guest editors are expected to work with authors to ensure that papers submitted for a special issue/section are of high quality; can be reasonably expected to be well reviewedand adhere to the technical requirements set out in the journal guidelines, which can be found on our website.   
  2. All articles should follow the usual author guidelines for submissions. Each contribution must be submitted by the individual author through our online system, with a note tying them to the special issue so that we can track them appropriately.  
  3. Papers are handled by MAT for peer review; guest editors are expected to provide us with a minimum of three suggested reviewers for each paper to facilitate the process. 
  4. We make a decision on the basis of the reviewers comments and inform the author(s) directly, copying in the guest editor(s). We also discuss contradictory reviews with guest editors. Papers may be rejected; submission for inclusion in a special issue is not assurance of acceptance. If the reviewers suggest that an article be rejected, the guest editors may appeal, but MAT retains the right to make the final decision. 
  5. If we have other papers ready for publication that fit the theme of the special section/issue, we may suggest to the guest editors that they include them. Papers submitted through the usual journal system will not incur a fee.  
  6. Articles that are provisionally accepted are reviewed by MATs editors, and it is desirable that guest editors assist in this. If an article requires further external review, howeverthe editorial office handles it.  
  7. An editorial introduction should be prepared as soon as it is confirmed which papers are accepted for publication in the special issue. This should be submitted at least one month before publication to allow time for copy-editing and revisions.   
  8. All other peer-review processes and communications are as for usual submissions.