Submit a special issue proposal

Special issues of Nordicom Review are thematic issues where the processes of peer review and manuscript evaluation are handled by external editors (guest editors).

All special issues are preceded by an open Call for papers, and all considered article submissions undergo the same rigorous double-blind peer-review process as submissions to the regular issue.

Keep in mind that there is a lengthy publication process, and therefore it is not realistic to hope for a special issue to be finalised within one year. The role of guest editor requires much work, and we strongly recommend that at least two people share the responsibilities.

Should you be interested in submitting a proposal, the first step is to contact our managing editor, who will send you a questionnaire to fill out with the details of your proposed special issue.

When we evaluate your proposal, we consider whether the proposed issue is appropriate for our aims & scope, whether it will make a needed contribution within our field, and your previous experience as an editor. We also consider whether the topic is high on the public or political agenda; we particularly encourage proposals with a policy or democracy dimension.

Below, you may read the guide that we have prepared for special issue editors. This guide contains the information you will need to prepare yourself for your role and responsibilities in the process of editing a special issue. 

Special issue editor guide


We have prepared this guide to provide you with the information you will need to best prepare your manuscript for submission to Nordicom, as well as preparing yourself for your role and responsibilities in the process of taking the manuscript from proposal to publication. Please read through this guide in its entirety before you begin work on your project and keep it nearby as you proceed through the course of development. We are happy you have chosen to publish with us and look forward to working together.

Nordicom offers a complete in-house editorial team devoted to providing personalised and professional service and minimising the length of the publication process. One of our dedicated editors will be your direct contact during the writing and evaluation processes. Our manuscript editor will be your contact throughout the editorial stages, including technical editing, to ensure your manuscript complies with Nordicom’s guidelines, language editing, and final proofreading. Typesetting is also provided in-house, ensuring efficient treatment of corrections between proof stages. Our communications officer will assist with promotional activities and marketing and work to increase your readership. Finally, our managing editor will ensure smooth hand-offs throughout the publication process and will be available to answer any questions.

From proposal to publication and promotion 

Below outlines what you can expect the publication process at Nordicom to look like, from when you propose your idea to the final publication and our efforts to promote it.

The role of guest editor requires much work, and we strongly recommend that at least two people share the responsibilities. Nordicom retains the right to withdraw from the process at any point until the letter of agreement is signed. The agreement then allows withdrawal with two months’ notice from either party if the agreed upon schedule or commitments are not being followed. 

All of Nordicom’s publications are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence.

Step one: Questionnaire

When you contact the editors at Nordicom about a special issue proposal, you will be sent a questionnaire to fill out, asking you to provide details about the proposed title, the objectives and topicality, your previous experience, and the approximate schedule you have in mind. 

Step two: Call for papers

If Nordicom wishes to proceed with your proposal, the editorial team will invite you for a discussion about both parties’ expectations and responsibilities. All special issues of Nordicom Review are preceded by an open Call for papers published on Nordicom’s website. You will be provided with a Call for papers template to fill out. 

Step three: Letter of agreement

After abstracts have been received, you and your assigned editor will review them and discuss whether there is the potential for a high-quality publication. If so, and Nordicom decides to proceed with the project, you will be asked to sign a letter of agreement, a legal contract. This document lays out your rights and responsibilities as editor, as well as Nordicom’s. You can then proceed to issue invitations for full manuscripts. 

Step four: Development

After the agreement is signed follows the stage where the full issue is prepared. Although this is a period of less contact between you and Nordicom, we expect you to keep your editor at Nordicom informed about any substantial changes that may occur.  

Distributing instructions to authors

All contributions that are accepted for publication must adhere to our editorial policies and will have to meet our final manuscript delivery requirements, and we find it helpful to provide these at the beginning of the process, thus you should include the following links in the invitation for full manuscripts. These instructions include a checklist, which must be followed for the final (post-review) manuscript delivery to Nordicom. We also provide a manuscript template to assist in correctly formatting manuscripts. It is your responsibility as editor to provide these links to all authors and co-authors involved in the project:

We strongly encourage you to ensure that the provided guidelines are being followed from a very early stage of the process. Spending the last weeks before the delivery deadline correcting formatting errors is not recommended.

Including an introductory article

Special issues must have an introductory article written by the editor. The introduction should address the reasons behind the collection and some of the main conclusions, taking all included contributions into consideration. In other words, it should sum up the collection in its entirety. The introduction provides an overview and gives its readers a preview of the quality of the rest of the issue. Therefore, it should not be quickly put together in the days before final delivery, but should be written and developed in a process similar to the other articles. 

Step five: Submitting full manuscripts for plagiarism check

All contributions in Nordicom’s publications are submitted to Similarity Check – a Crossref service utilising iThenticate text comparison software. This is done before the peer-review process. We thereby ask that when you receive full manuscripts, you send them to Nordicom’s managing editor, who will submit them to the service and return them to you with the iThenticate reports.

Step six: Peer review

When you have addressed any potential issues raised by the similarity check, manuscripts should undergo peer review.  Nordicom requires that all submissions under consideration undergo double-blind review by at least two expert scholars. As editors of the issue and experts in your field, you are responsible for providing names of potential relevant reviewers.

Your assigned editor at Nordicom is responsible for the administrative process and will contact the reviewers and ensure a timely schedule, keeping you updated on the process. When the reviews are received, you and your editor will evaluate the reviews together.

After revisions have been satisfactorily made, the editor will review all contributions and provide comments on anything that needs to be further addressed regarding the content and scientific integrity of the contributions.

Step seven: Final manuscript delivery

When all comments from the editor have been addressed, you will make the final manuscript delivery, and all contributions must meet our final manuscript delivery requirements outlined in the instructions for authors. The final manuscript delivery checklist at the end of this guide must be followed. 

In order for us to efficiently and accurately process the manuscript and begin promotional planning in good time, all the requested information regarding author affiliations, contact information, promotional material, and so on, must be delivered and confirmed before the editorial process can commence.

Step eight: Editorial process

Upon acceptance of contributions for publication, corresponding authors will be sent a publication agreement to sign.

The manuscript editor will be your main contact throughout the editorial process. Unless previously agreed otherwise, the manuscript editor will be in direct contact with the authors and will copy you on communications regarding the editorial process.

All stages of editing are tracked and saved, and before any editing commences, the original files submitted by the authors are preserved. 

Language editing

The manuscript first goes through language editing. It is crucial that authors adhere to the final manuscript delivery checklist in the instructions for authors in order to gain the full benefit of the editing process. Therefore, we reserve the right to return for revision any manuscript that does not meet the requirements before language editing commences. After the language editing, authors will receive the manuscripts back for a final review. This is the last opportunity for changes.


After the final review, the articles are typeset and proofs are sent to authors for approval. The purpose of the proofs is to catch missed typos and potential errors introduced during typesetting. No other changes should be made. It is much more time consuming to make corrections at this stage, which is why it is important for authors to take the time needed during language editing while the manuscript is still in a Word document.

Step nine: Publication

Upon final approval, the PDF will be made accessible, which means that metadata will be entered in order to increase the visibility and findability, and the content will be tagged in order to be accessible for people with visual or cognitive impairments. Alternative text descriptions will be embedded for any figures, and tables will be tagged appropriately for screen readers. Therefore, once the PDF has been submitted for publication, absolutely no further changes can be made.

The managing editor coordinates the publication on the Open Access publishing platform Sciendo. The issue will be available to read free of charge and without requirement of registration. 

Step ten: Promotion

Nordicom promotes your publication in different ways, as we strongly endorse the idea that scientific results and findings should be accessible to a wide readership. You will set up a plan together with our managing editor and communications officer in good time before your book is due to be released. If you have specific ideas for promotion, please let us know early in the process.

All issues and articles are promoted via our social media and our website, and we announce the issue’s publication via relevant Nordic and international mailing lists for researchers. Other activities are decided by you and the communications officer in order for the issue reach its target audience. Our communications officers have prepared some ideas and strategies – along with successful examples – of various promotional activities you can engage in to increase the reach of your publication.

It is important that you and the authors engage in the promotion, as you know the issue and target audience best. Our evaluations two weeks post publication show that authors’ engagement on social media greatly improves the reach. 

Final words

We are very happy that you have chosen to publish with Nordicom. While your contact with us will be most frequent after the final manuscript is delivered, we have wished to highlight that there are many different steps and we expect you to stay with us throughout the process – and we will stay with you. Should any questions or problems arise, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Sometimes, especially if a project has been delayed before it reaches us at Nordicom, authors may not respond in a timely manner. In these cases, it is your responsibility to track them down or give them a push. In some situations, you may have to approve their manuscript in their stead; they agree to this in the author’s letter of agreement, which is signed upon final manuscript delivery.


Final manuscript delivery checklist

Providing a clear, consistent, and complete manuscript, author information, and promotional material to Nordicom will maximise the potential for a high-quality final publication with a wide range of readership. Therefore, the following submission checklist must be followed so we can effectively and efficiently review the issue. 


All authors have been notified of the requirements in the instructions for authors. All contributions have been reviewed by the editors to ensure that these instructions have been followed.

Supporting material

A complete list of articles in the final and confirmed correct order is provided. The final and confirmed title of the issue is included.

A synopsis of 200–250 words with some of the main research questions, methods and methodology, major findings, conclusions, and intended audience of the issue. 

All authors and co-authors have provided full affiliations (department, organisation, country), e-mail address, and ORCID iD.

Preferred initials are indicated for those with multiple names

All authors have provided answers to the three promotional questions included in the instructions for authors.


All contributions are 7,000–9,000 words, including notes, acknowledgements, and references.

References involving the authors that were anonymised for peer review have been filled in. 

Layout and quality of individual articles are consistent.

Titles are consistently formatted. If subtitles are used, they are used consistently for all articles (i.e., either all titles have subtitles, or none of them).

Only two levels of headings are used; bold 14-point font for section headings and italic 14-point font for subsection headings. Headings are brief, clear, and descriptive. 

An introductory article, following the author guidelines, has been written by the editor and is included with the other contributions.

Figures are sized appropriately and provided in editable format and in individual files clearly labelled with author name, chapter number, and figure number.

Tables are sized appropriately and follow Nordicom’s guidelines.

File submission

Each article is provided in a folder or e-mail clearly labelled with the article number and author name. This folder should contain all the relevant elements of that article, clearly labelled with author name and a description of what is in the file, including the following:

  • a file with the article text
  • an individual, separate file for each figure, provided in editable format
  • separate files for additional material, such as supplementary material or alternative text descriptions for figures


Josefine Bové, managing editor:

Page last updated June 2023