Toolkit for Guest Editors of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Special Issues

About Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing publishes peer-reviewed multidisciplinary research on personal and ubiquitous technologies and services. The journal provides a global perspective on new developments in research in areas including user experience for advanced digital technologies, the Internet of Things, big data, social technologies and mobile and wearable devices. The journal is published by .

Publishing Model

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing is a Transformative Journal (TJ), a that has committed to transitioning to fully (OA). Authors can choose between gold OA or subscription publication based on their preferences, funder or institutional requirements, and APC funding availability.

Journal Metrics 2020

Impact factor: 3.006
Five-year Impact factor 2.636
Downloads 254,728
h5-index: 37
h5-median: 44

Protecting Academic Integrity

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing has implemented new and more rigorous controls over all Special Issues accepted for publication in the journal.
These include
more thorough screening of guest editors
new controls over the number of articles which can be accepted for an issue
more rigorous oversight of the review and acceptance process
controls over articles being published online

The following now apply to Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Special Issues:
Proposals for Special Issues are rigorously screened for possible research ethics and integrity issues before they are accepted for the journal.
Before a Special Issue is given final approval to be put into production, additional integrity checks are carried out by the Editor-in-Chief, editorial team, production office and by Springer Nature.
Guest Editors will need to provide a summary of the proposed contents of the Special Issue to the Editor-in-Chief which will be used in these integrity checks. No articles are accepted for publication until this is complete.
There is an upper limit of 15 articles for a Special issue. Guest editors are expected to prioritise papers to be accepted within this limit, regardless of the number of articles which have the potential to be accepted after peer review.

Please make yourself aware of the issues surrounding research ethics and integrity by reading the and

Journal Management

Journal Publishing Editor

Rachel Moriarty


Manifesto Group

Editorial Office


Irish Marino



Special Issues, often referred to as ‘Special Tracks’ or ‘Theme Issues’ are used by Personal and Ubiquitous Computing as a way of drawing together research on a specific topic.
Special Issues contain a maximum of 15 articles and are open to general submissions and invited articles. Special issues can contain s: original research articles, short reports, review articles, case studies or methodologies articles.

Call for Papers

When proposing a new Special Issue, the first step is to complete a Call for papers (CFP). This is used to evaluate your Special Issue.
Please complete the form at
and return this to the Publishing Editor Rachel Moriarty
Proposals for Special Issues that do not use use this form will not be considered.
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing receives many proposals and only selects a very small number for publication.
If you haven’t heard from us within 10 days you should assume that we do not wish to proceed with your proposal.
You can find examples of CFPs on the journal homepage and . The CFP should highlight:
why this is an essential topic
the research areas you will cover: authors should be able to read the text and decide if their work would be suitable
include information on the types of articles that you seek
state a submission deadline and deadlines for the review process
identify the Guest Editors of the Special Issue
identify one Lead Guest Editor who will be responsible for the Special Issue
do not include CVs or biographies of the Guest Editors

If the Special Issue is accepted for the journal, the Editor-in-Chief may wish to suggest revisions to your CFP to fit the style and tone of the journal or to recommend changes to the scope.
We will then add the CFP to the journal website so you can share it with potential authors and we will promote it on social media.

Working with authors

Guest Editor roles

The Lead Guest Editor will be responsible for assigning manuscripts to other Guest Editors. Guest Editors will handle handle all aspects of the review and editorial decisions and should do so in an efficient and timely manner.

Inviting authors

When thinking about which authors to invite, start by considering colleagues in your network who may be interested in submitting or could offer alternative suggestions. You can also identify researchers and groups who may not be in your direct network. If there are any recent or upcoming conferences, this can also be an excellent place to look for potential authors.
We want a diverse group of authors to contribute to the issue and encourage diversity in geographical region, gender, and career stage.
Some authors may decline the invitation to submit, and you may decline some submissions, so we recommend that you invite at least 60 authors - three times the number of invitations than the target number of potential authors.
You may ask authors to write on a specific subject or encourage authors to choose their article type and topic within the scope of the special issue.

Contacting authors

You can contact authors directly to send invitation emails. Once authors agree to submit, you should:
refer authors to the
inform them that all submissions will be subject to peer review
remind them that articles must be original and not published formally elsewhere and not be under review in another journal
confirm any waiver offers/costs associated with submission

Disclosures and Ethics

You will need to specifically check the declarations or ethics statement of the article to ensure that it covers everything necessary, including:
disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest
information on any ethical approval sought for the study
consent for publication, if relevant.
If there is anything you are unsure about in the ethics statement, you may find it helpful to consult the or


Where possible, you should aim to adhere to the agreed submission deadline and remind authors of the deadlines. Discuss any requests for extensions with the Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Editor.

Open Access

As the journal publishes under a hybrid model, authors can publish for free (subscription model) or can also choose to publish open access by paying an article-processing charge. Authors based in certain countries can publish open access for free - more information is available section.


Guest Editors of a special issue will receive an individual login to the

Peer review

Peer review is an essential part of high-quality research.
All articles in a Special Issue must be peer-reviewed using . Two or more peer reviews, plus your editorial review, are necessary. You may structure your process as either one round of review or more, depending on your requirements.
To find two willing and available reviewers you may need to send out many invitations. It could be helpful to invite four potential reviewers and inviting additional reviewers as and when required. Reviewers can track, verify and showcase their peer review, publication and editorial contributions on .

Initial Assessment

Before sending an article for peer review, you should make an initial assessment to confirm that it fits the aims and scope of the journal and the Special Issue and whether you think it meets the quality threshold for the journal to publish the work.
If you receive an article that isn’t within the scope of your Special Issue you can suggest that the authors resubmit it as an ordinary submission. Please contact the Journal Editorial Office Assistant to ask them to reassign it to the Editor-in-Chief.
We would also encourage you to provide comments to the authors. You can also act as a second reviewer and provide a report yourself. For cases where the report is not sufficiently detailed, or the reviewer is very junior, or you are not familiar with the topic you should seek further reviewers.

Selecting Reviewers

You may select from existing reviewers in the Editorial Manager system or add new reviewers. When adding reviewers, please use their official institutional emails.
Reviewers should be independent of the Guest Editors to ensure no conflict of interest occurs. The Editorial Team undertakes regular monitoring of Special Issues to ensure the integrity of the peer-review process is maintained.

Reviewer Criteria

The following are criteria for suitable reviewers:
active in a relevant field based on their publication record - ideally, they should have published more than ten articles in the last ten years
free of potential bias, for example
have not co-published with an author of the submitted article in the last five years
not currently or recently affiliated at the same institution
independent of one another, i.e. do not both work at the same institution
has an official institutional email address
has no conflict of interest with the Guest Editors as co-authors, with other co-Guest Editors or colleagues.

You may be flexible when:
a reviewer has co-published with an author once or twice as a small proportion of a publishing history
a reviewer has co-published with an author once or twice in articles with an extensive author list
a reviewer is junior, especially if their supervisor agrees to review the report before submitting it and includes their name
it would make valid peer review impossible if requests for exclusion were honoured.

If you find it difficult to find sufficient reviewers, you may be able to provide a brief report on a manuscript yourself or, as a last resort, make a considered decision or recommendation based on one detailed report from a senior peer reviewer. We would advise that you assess the experience and expertise of the reviewer, as well as the level of detail and thoroughness of their report, before you reach a decision or recommendation.


When you have received comments from two or more reviewers, you will need to decide whether to accept, reject, or request revisions on the article. This decision will be sent directly to the authors through the submission system.


You should make Accept recommendations based on at least one round of review, two robust and independent reviewer reports and your reading of the article.
Additional integrity checks may be carried out on all articles you recommend for acceptance.
Final publication of any article is subject to final approval by Springer Nature and the Editor-in-Chief.


Based on the reviewers' comments, you may wish to ask the authors to revise their article. You may build this in as a formal step in your Special Issue process (i.e. a revise and resubmit deadline), or you may ask selected authors to revise where you think their article would be essential to the Special Issue.


Articles should be rejected when reviewers’ decisions are clear. You would select Reject After Review for these articles. When rejecting an article it is essential to provide authors with reasons for rejection and feedback that they can work on in future.
For articles that are scientifically sound but do not fall within the scope of the issue you can use these decisions in Editorial Manager:
Reject without review
Use this decision for articles which do not meet the quality threshold for review for the Special Issue. This often called a desk reject.
Reject and transfer
Use this decision for any out of scope articles or those that do not meet the requirements of the journal
Reject – do not transfer
Use this decision for any articles where you have ethical concerns.

Other considerations

COPE guidelines

The journal is a member of the ) and subscribes to its principles on dealing with acts of misconduct, thereby committing to investigate allegations of misconduct to ensure the integrity of research. Please make yourself aware of the issues surrounding research ethics and integrity by reviewing the

Manuscript Screening Service and Plagiarism Checking

Our Manuscript Screening Service (MSS) checks all new submissions to ensure they conform to our ethical standards. Guest Editors must check the Manuscript Screening Service Report and the iThenticate score for all submissions to the Special Issue before sending them out for review.

Conference Papers

If a Special Issue is a follow-up to a conference or a workshop, Guest Editors are responsible for ensuring that the contents of the manuscripts submitted differ from the conference papers (roughly 30% new content). Any potential copyright and self-plagiarism issues have to be avoided in advance. Extended papers published in the Special Issue can contain a specific note referencing the conference paper and providing information about the extended content.


Springer journals encourage posting preprints of primary research manuscripts on preprint servers, authors’ or institutional websites, and open communications between researchers, whether on community preprint servers or preprint commenting platforms. Preprints are defined as an author’s version of a research manuscript before formal peer review in a journal, which is deposited on a public server (as described in ); preprints may be posted at any time during the peer-review process. Posting of preprints is not considered prior publication and will not jeopardize consideration at Springer journals. More information can be found here:

Authorship Change

It is not uncommon for the authorship to change during the revisions of an article.
However, we require that all authors submit an Authorship Change Request Form when making changes to the authorship. Whenever a change is made after a revision, the Journal Editorial Office will ensure authors fill out the form and send this to you for approval.
We ask you to check the authorship changes and ensure that the additions/removals are justified and that the signatures look valid. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact the Publishing Editor for advice, especially if there are considerable changes, e.g. several authors are removed or added. We do not permit any authorship changes after acceptance, including articles that have received an Accept with Revisions decision or similar.

Submissions by Guest Editors

Guests Editor may publish an article in their Special Issue but you must agree on this with the Editor-in-Chief in advance. The Journal Editorial Office will assign the article to the Editor-in-Chief or relevant Associate Editor, who will handle peer review and make the final decision. If Guest Editors make submissions without the agreement of the Editor-in-Chief, the Editorial Team will reject them.

Deadlines and cancellation

After peer review, you may wish to extend the deadline or cancel the Special Issue if you fail to attract enough high-quality submissions. In the latter case, we may choose to review articles as open submissions. Please discuss this with the Publishing Director.


Once articles have been accepted they are transmitted to the production department. Proofs will be available online for the Guest Editors to review and approve before online publication.
Colour figures and images are reproduced free of charge in electronic form. There is a page charge for colour in print and for Open Access.
Special Issues are published in order of their completion date in the publishing pipeline.
When the Special Issue appears in print, the title and names of the Guest Editors will appear on the cover and the contents page.

Enhancing your special issue

We recommend that you write an Editorial which will appear in the Special Issue when it is published. The Editorial should provide a background to the issue and set the context for the papers in the issue. Papers that appear in the issue may not be cited.
Once you have submissions in progress or expected, you can promote the issue to ensure that it gets the maximum amount of visibility. We encourage you to share the Special Issue on social media and with colleagues, editorial board members, society members, and at conferences.
The Publishing Editor will suggest ideas and work with you to promote the finished Special Issue.


The following resources may be helpful:
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