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Thematic Series Guide

Information for Guest Editors and Authors

Call for Thematic Series Proposals

We are inviting proposals for Thematic Series within the scope of Advances in Bridge Engineering. Currently, the thematic series is launched by bridge engineering researchers who make a proposal. And timely topics proposed by the journal editors, along with invited Guest Editors.

The journal welcomes proposals for whole issues devoted to a specific topic of bridge engineering. Proposals should be submitted by prospective guest editor(s), and emailed to the journal mailbox directly:

Each proposal should include the following information: 

  1. Title of the thematic series
  2. Description of the proposed topic (Give examples of topics that would be included. This is a preliminary list as we understand that the topics will depend in part on submissions)
  3. Description of the theme (Describe the overall objective of the issue – which theme are proposed to cover in the issue and what are important research areas)
  4. Guest Editors’ information (Including organization information, affiliation email address, research background, editorial experience, please also highlight those related to the main topic of the thematic series)
  5. Planned timeline
  6. Call-for-paper strategy (Please indicate if it relates to the conference or workshop). Upon approval by the Editors-in-Chief, the Call-for-paper should be circulated widely by the Guest Editors.

Thematic Series Reviewing Process

Both invited manuscripts and unsolicited submissions are welcome. The Guest Editor(s) will be in charge of inviting and selecting papers for the Thematic Series. The manuscripts submitted to the Thematic Series also follow the single-blind reviewing procedure. 

(a) Initial Check 
The submitted manuscripts will be initially checked by the handing editor. At this stage, a decision of “Reject without review” would be made for the submissions which do not meet the scope of the journal and the topic of the thematic series. In addition, manuscripts are automatically checked for text overlap. Those with high overlap scores with a double-check may also be rejected directly without further review. 

(b) Preliminary assessment
Manuscripts passing the initial check will be preliminarily assessed by the Editors-in-Chief and then the Guest Editors. At this stage, the Editors-in-Chief has sole discretion, with the help of the Guest Editors, on whether to send the manuscript for peer review or reject it without review. Special emphases with being paid on the readability and the attractiveness of the submitted manuscripts. Manuscripts without an attractive abstract and/or a comprehensive and convincing introduction will be rejected at this stage without detailed comments.

(c) Peer review
Qualified reviewers (no less than two independent experts) will be invited for peer review by the Guest Editors. When a submission has at least two usable reports, the Guest Editors can return it for revision (major or minor) or make recommendations to the Editors-in-Chief whether to accept the manuscript for publication or reject it. If the Editors-in-Chief deem it necessary to invite reviewers for further evaluation, the Editors-in-Chief will directly invite new reviewers to review the manuscript. The Editors-in-Chief make the final decision. All manufacturers are evaluated by fit with the mission statement of the journal, perceived quality and novelty of the work, potential interest to the journal’s readership, and the standard of presentation (including the standard of technical written English and the quality of figures). Infrequently, after several rounds of inviting reviewers, a submission may receive no reports. In this case, the submission may be rejected at the editors’ discretion.

Appendix - Publisher’s Code of Conduct

In this Appendix the term “Journal” shall mean the journal for which the Editor-in-Chief is editorially responsible.


1. The Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to follow the COPE guideline entitled Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
2. The Publisher has responsibility to ensure that journals published by the Publisher adhere to editorial and publication ethics standards recommended by COPE, and the Publisher will support Editor(s)-in-Chief in their pursuit of adhering to such COPE standards. When dealing with publication and research ethics issues, Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to follow COPE guidance and flowcharts or any guidance provided by the Publisher. The final course of action should be decided by the Editor(s)-in-Chief. In difficult cases, or where there is no existing COPE guidance, the Editor(s)-in-Chief may seek advice from the Publisher, and some cases may need to be resolved in collaboration between Editor(s)-in-Chief and the Publisher. The Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and general guidelines and flowcharts are available from the COPE website (
3. Editor(s)-in-Chief is expected to be aware of the editorial policies and information provided for authors by the Journal.
4. If there is more than one Editor-in-Chief for the Journal, it is understood that the responsibility concerning Editorship of the Journal is shared between them.

Peer review

5. Editor(s)-in-Chief is expected to comply with the Journal’s peer-review process (e.g. open, single- blind, double-blind) and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies, including those pertaining to Collections.
6. Peer review is an essential component of the research publication. It aims to assess the validity of the reported research and suitability for journals’ scope and aims. In order to maintain the integrity of the published record the Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to ensure that all manuscripts reporting primary research, or secondary analysis of primary research, accepted for publication in the Journal are peer reviewed by reviewers who are competent in a relevant field and/or have expertise in a relevant methodology, as judged by their publication record, and are free of potential bias. Such bias includes, but is not limited to, any recent collaboration between the peer reviewers and the authors of the manuscript. The requirement for Editor(s)-in-Chief to ensure absence of conflicts of interest amongst peer reviewers expressly applies to peer reviewers suggested by the authors of the manuscript.
7. Editor(s)-in-Chief is expected to obtain a minimum of two peer reviewers for manuscripts reporting primary research or secondary analysis of primary research. It is recognized that in some exceptional circumstances, particularly in niche and emerging fields, it may not be possible to obtain two independent peer reviewers. In such cases, Editor(s)-in-Chief may wish to make a decision to publish based on one peer review report. When making a decision based on one report, Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to only do so if the peer review report meets the standards set out in section 8 below.
8. Peer review reports should be in English and provide constructive critical evaluations of the authors’ work, particularly in relation to the appropriateness of methods used, whether the results are accurate, and whether the conclusions are supported by the results. Editorial decisions should be based on peer reviewer comments that meet these criteria rather than on recommendations made by short, superficial peer reviewer reports which do not provide a scientific rationale for the recommendations.
9. Editor(s)-in-Chief is expected to independently verify the contact details of reviewers suggested by authors or other third parties. Institutional email addresses should be used to invite peer reviewers wherever possible. Each manuscript should be reviewed by at least one reviewer who was not suggested by the author.
10. Manuscripts that do not report primary research or secondary analysis of primary research, such as Editorials, Book Reviews, Commentaries or Opinion articles, may be accepted without two peer review reports. Such manuscripts should be assessed by the Editor(s)-in-Chief if the topic is in the area of expertise of the Editor(s)-in-Chief; if the topic is not in area of expertise of the Editor(s)-in-Chief, such manuscripts should be assessed by at least one independent expert reviewer or Editorial Board Member.

Manuscript handling

11. Editor(s)-in-Chief is expected to provide a professional service to authors. Correspondence should be handled in a timely and professional manner. Arrangements should be in place to ensure editorial staff absences do not result in a reduced service to authors.
12. Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to make full use of the online submission and peer-review system provided by the Publisher and, where necessary, maintain offline tracking systems, in order to preserve a full record of the peer review of each manuscript, where offline tracking is used, Editor(s)-in-Chief should upload offline records to the online submission and peer-review system as soon as possible.


13. Editor(s)-in-Chief is expected to respect and uphold the confidential status of materials submitted to the Journal and should ensure that material remains confidential while under review.