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Special Sections & Special Issues

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 advanced pre-prints.  

Special sections are accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals should be sent via this form and should include: title, editors, an 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 with a shared theoretical focus, with an invited editorial by the guest editor(s).  It should iincluding a minimum of four Research Articles and a maximum of six , as well as at least one contribution to each of our journal sections.

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 December 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 2024 call for proposals is now open (see announcement), until 1 June 2024.

Proposals are sent through this form, and should include: title, editors, an overview of the topic and theoretical focus (8001000 words excluding references), and abstracts of all contributions (150200 words). A response will be provided approximately six weeks after the call for proposals has closed. All manuscripts (exempting the introductory guest editorial) accepted within a Special Issue proposal will need to be submitted no later than four months upon the acceptance of the proposal. See our guidelines and access the proposal submission form here. 

Should you have any questions about edited collections, please get in touch with our Managing Editor

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 and academic 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 the team with a minimum of four 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 an 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 the same as for usual submissions.