Biogeosciences (BG) and its discussion forum Biogeosciences Discussions (BGD) offer an efficient new way of publishing special issues for measurement campaigns, conferences, etc. The individual papers are peer-reviewed & published as soon as available in regular issues, but then labelled as part of the special issue and linked electronically. The special issue can comprise any number of journals, the special issue editors can be the same or different in different journals, the manuscript processing follows the standard special issue pathway of the journal where the manuscript is submitted, all published papers are co/listed on a joint special issue webpage (in addition to the regular chronological volume of each journal).
The specific advantages are:
BG special issues are usually handled by 2-3 editors, comprising the guest editors and at least one member of the BG editorial board with experience in the subject area of the SI. As much as possible, the editors (at least some of them) should not be closely involved in the work from which the special issue arises. An editor must not handle papers he/she is a co-authoror one which is likely to be perceived as associated with a conflict of interest. The proposers of a SI should directly contact appropriate editorial board members to find a willing staff editor whose role will be to assist the other guest editors in taking decisions and facilitating communication with the electronic editorial office. All guest editors are given access to the electronic editorial office.
Each manuscript is handled by one of the guest editors. Acceptance to act as a guest editor implies that decisions will be made in a timely manner, as described on the BG web site, and that prompt action will be taken upon receiving email messages from the editorial and production offices.
Proposals of the SIs should be submitted to the editors-in-chief providing the following information:
After acceptance by the editors-in-chief and implementation of the SI by the editorial office (usually completed within a few days), the SI may be announced by the guest editors who should inform potential contributors about the BG publication policies outlined above.
The guest editors are obliged to ensure the high standard of publication in BG. All manuscripts rated as "poor" in one of the fields Scientific Significance, Scientific Quality or Presentation Quality must be rejected. The regular editor should monitor the quality.
The guest editors must ascertain that all manuscripts are within the scope of BG, do not contradict each other and that they cite each other.
The guest editors can provide a 1 to 2 pages long Preface to the special issue. The draft has to be sent around to all leading authors of the SI and will be read and approved by the chief editors before publication. The Preface/Introduction is published free of cost. A longer summary providing a synthesis of all papers could be published as separate article, which however will be treated as a regular contribution, i.e. it will be peer-reviewed and also involves payment of service charges.