Collections of four or more published journal articles on a particular topic are designated as special collections. They are often the result of a conference, hot topic, or to build a foundational source of information using reviews. Citation rates tend to be higher than the average article. Manuscript submissions typically follow the usual process and include a cover letter. Please review our past special collections for examples.

Submitting a manuscript for collection does not guarantee acceptance after peer review or inclusion in the collection. It is not uncommon for a collection manuscript to be rejected. However, it might not be included in the collection because it does not fit, but may still be published in the journal if the quality of the work is appropriate.

Most articles in the collection will be published within one of our nine communities. However, there may be articles within the collection that are in a different community. Additionally, the collection may be spread across more than one of our journals and more than one issue. The special collections list brings together the various articles. We prefer to publish all manuscripts in a collection in the same issue. However, we have split them when there is a significant delay for a manuscript or two. Collections may also be planned as two or more groups or a series.

Articles are subject to page charges. The introduction to the collection has no charge up to eight pages. Public access is granted to articles in the collection for the year it was published and the two calendar years following publication and with no time limit for the introduction. Public access means that access to the full text via the ASABE website does not require payment, membership, or site license. Everyone can access it, but it cannot be posted to other third-party websites such as ResearchGate. Open access may be purchased for articles.

Our journal home pages list the call for papers and upcoming collections.

If you wish to publish a collection, please contact the appropriate community editor for your topic and send a copy of the email to our Editor in Chief. A call for papers (CFP) needs to be developed. The call typically includes:

  • title
  • organizers (conveners) with their contact information and short biography
  • guest editors with their contact information
  • journal chosen
  • description of suitable topics and types of articles
  • qualifications for participation such as requiring that authors presented at a specific conference
  • dates for submission, author notification, first review completion, revisions, final notification, target for publication
  • how to submit - using ScholarOne, select the collection name in step one. If page charge waivers are being used, the community editor should notify the Director of Publications of the manuscript number and number of pages waived above the first three.
  • include the ASABE logo at the top of your CFP

It is very important for the collection to have someone to manage the collection and support the authors and editors. There are also decisions to make regarding which manuscripts to include and whether to delay publishing the collection while waiting on an author to finish. In some cases, authors do not finish in time and must be excluded from the collection. Organizers will receive automated weekly email reports from ScholarOne on the manuscripts until a final decision is made on all manuscripts.

When the collection is approved by the CE and EIC, the organizer should email the publications director

  • a copy of the CFP,
  • the collection logo image file (details below), and
  • whether to publish articles as soon as they are ready or wait for all articles to be completed. We prefer to publish collection articles as soon as they are ready instead of waiting for everyone to finish.

The director will list the CFP on the journal home pages, put an announcement in Inside ASABE, and promote in other emails and social media.

Below are examples of past calls for papers.

Our community editor may put a guest co-editor in charge of a collection. Under the co-editor may be guest associate editors as well as our other associate editors. It is critical that co-editors check their ScholarOne dashboard weekly to make sure that the manuscripts are moving through the system. Sometimes associate editors will need assistance inviting reviewers and making their final evaluation. All editors are expected to adhere to the Best Practices for Editors.

The introduction to the collection should be submitted to ScholarOne as a manuscript for peer review after final decisions have been made on all manuscripts in the collection. The introduction includes highlights, an abstract, keywords, and references to at least each manuscript in the collection. It may also cite other journal articles that were previously published and are significant to the topic. The introduction typically does not add much new information and it discusses the relevance of the collection and how each manuscript contributes. If a result of a conference, it would mention the conference name, date, and something about the conference. The introduction is usually eight pages or less. The peer review normally does not take long since there is little new information in it that would need to be reviewed. The authors are often one or more of the organizers of the collection and some of the authors that contributed manuscripts. See our other recent collections for examples.

Organizers should also:

  • select the authors for the collection introduction described above
  • have a plan of how to solicit authors for the collection
  • develop a logo - exactly 1 inch wide, 0.75 to 0.9 inches tall, includes ASABE logo, black and white colors, JPG file format
  • review the journal description and criteria to determine which journals are suitable
  • estimate the number of submissions expected
  • help publicize the collection among committees and colleagues