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Guest Editors and Article Collections

Guest Editors play an essential role in framing the scope of article collections at BMC Medicine, soliciting relevant articles and other content, and authoring a guest editorial.

Article collections provide a great opportunity to explore a specific theme, discuss novel aspects of a clinical or health issue, and ultimately influence future research, policy and practice.

How to become Guest Editor

Interested experts may become guest editors in two ways:

  • They are invited by the Journal because of their expertise in a specific field
  • They submit a proposal for an article collection that is carefully assessed by BMC Medicine editorial team, and consequently, can be either accepted or rejected in light of its fit with the Journal’s scope, the proposal’s novelty, general interest to our readership,   the reputation of the proposal ‘s authors on the topic of the potential collection (e.g., number of publications and citations,  awards and honors, current position, etc.), the need to keep the right balance among the kinds of topics we publish, etc.

Guest editors who are invited by BMC Medicine still need to submit a detailed proposal for the article collection on their topic of expertise unless this was already developed by the Journal.

Guest Editor role

The role of Guest Editor is mostly advisory. The overall editorial responsibility for the journal is with the Chief Editor. Editorial decisions are generally made by considering the advice of the peer reviewers following at least one round of peer review. Guest Editors and Editorial Board Members may provide advice on manuscripts submitted but are not always involved in the final decisions. 

Manuscripts submitted to the collection (including the ones submitted or commissioned by Guest Editors) are not guaranteed acceptance for publication.  

The following is a brief outline of the role guest editors usually play in the development of our article collections. Such action areas are discussed in detail with the BMC Medicine in-house editorial team at the onset of the process to accommodate the needs of specific article collections and/or guest editors.

  • Develop a proposal on the article collection to frame its scope, importance and specific aims
  • Provide input on the summary version of  the collection’s scope as revised/summarized by BMC Medicine in-house editorial team for the call for papers, and relevant uses on the Journal’s website and other online and print materials
  • Commission relevant articles as agreed upon with BMC Medicine in-house editorial team.  For invited articles, guest editors can either approach the authors directly or delegate this to the Journal’s editorial team.
  • Publicize the collection within their professional networks and social media
  • Author and submit a guest editorial for publication as part of the collection
  • Optional:
  1. Review the abstracts of all articles that are submitted for   the collection as well as pre-submission inquiries and provide input on the article’s potential novelty and significance.  Such input will be considered by BMC Medicine in-house editorial team in completing a full manuscript assessment vis-à-vis a variety of parameters (e.g., methods, existing literature, etc).  BMC Medicine in-house editorial team is responsible for all decisions on what to send to peer review
  2. Recommend a list of reviewers who specialize on the collection topic. All potential reviewers will be first assessed by BMC Medicine in-house editorial team to exclude potential COIs and other items vis-à-vis the Journal’s and Publisher’s policies, and then invited by the same team to review relevant manuscripts.
  • Others - as agreed upon with BMC Medicine in-house editorial team

As for all manuscripts submitted to BMC Medicine, all articles submitted for an article collection are assessed by our experienced in-house editorial team. Manuscripts to be considered must be within the scope and threshold of the journal, and we base decisions on suitable manuscripts upon an extensive and rigorous peer review process by academic experts who specialize in the manuscript topic.

Expectations of Guest Editors

In line with our general policies (, Guest Editors are required to declare any competing interests and also recuse themselves from handling or advising upon any submissions where they might have a conflict of interest.

For additional information on our peer review policy, visit:

After the Collection’s Launch

Unless otherwise specified, article collections will stay open for a period of 1 year with new articles being added as available after the original launch date/set of articles. Our in-house editorial team will consult with the guest editors before adding any new relevant article, which we may receive and accept over time, to an ongoing article collection instead of publishing it in the general section of the Journal’s website.

For additional information on article collections and how to become a guest editor, please contact