Propose a Special Issue

Propose a Special Issue

Special issues may be an effective way to draw attention to specific topics in the field of technical communication. Technical Communication aims to publish one or two special issues every year.  Experienced researchers and or practitioners are welcome to propose, organize, and guest edit special issues around topics of their interest and expertise.


Proposals for special issues can be submitted to the editor-in-chief (Miriam F. Williams, PhD) throughout the year. Proposals should include the following elements:

  • Autobiographical information about the guest editor(s), which highlights their connection to the proposed theme of the special issue (max. 200 words per guest editor).
  • A working title of the special issue.
  • A description of the special issue theme, including its aims and scope, and its practical and academic relevance (max. 1000 words).
  • A listing of specific topics that may be covered by the special issue.
  • An indication of the viability of the special issue, in terms of potential authors.
  • A tentative timeline.
  • Contact information of the guest editor(s).

Procedure for Proposing a Special Issue

After receiving a proposal for a special issue, the editor-in-chief will acknowledge receipt and send the proposal to the editorial advisory board for advice. On the basis of the recommendations given by the editorial advisory board, the editor-in-chief will decide on the special issue proposal. The final decision may also contain specific recommendations  for the special issue (e.g., specific topics to be included, authors that may be approached). The editor-in-chief and the guest editors decide on a suitable timeline for the special issue. The guest editors then prepare a call for papers, which will be posted on the Technical Communication Web site, and distributed to other relevant channels.

Procedure for Articles Submitted for a Special Issue

Articles in a special issue may be invited to openly submitted. The procedure consists of two steps. First, potential authors are encouraged to submit an article proposal (max. 400 words) to the guest editors. The article proposals are reviewed for their academic and practical relevance and their potential contribution to the special issue. Based on the reviews, a selection of potentially strong contributions is made. The authors of these proposals are invited to submit a full article for review. Second, the selected articles undergo the same process of peer review as the articles in regular journal issues.

Published Special Issues (since 2006)

Special Issue: “Transmedia, Participatory Culture, and Digital Creation”
Guest editors: David Wright, Daniel C. Reardon, and Edward A. Malone
Volume 66, Number 3 (2019)

Special Issue: “Content Strategy in Technical Communication”
Guest editor: Rahel Anne Bailie
Volume 66, Number 2 (2019)

Special Issue: “Election Technologies, Technical Communication, and Civic Engagement”
Guest editors: Godwin Agboka and Isidore Dorpenyo
Volume 65, Number 4 (2018)

Special Issue: “Emerging Forms of Project Management in Technical and Professional Communication”
Guest editors: Benjamin Lauren and Joanna Schreiber
Volume 65, Number 2 (2018)

Special Issue: “Globalizing User Experience: Strategies, Practices, and Techniques for Culturally Sensitive Design”
Guest editors: Guiseppe Getto and Huatong Sun
Volume 64, Number 2 (2017)


Special Issue “Exchanging Research among Academics and Practitioners”
Guest editor: Michael J. Albers
Volume 63, issue 4 (2016)

Special Issue “Contexts of Technical Communication”
Guest editor: Kirk St.Amant
Volume 62, issue 4 (2015)


Special Issue “Technical Communication: How a Few Great Companies Get it Done”
Guest editor: Miles Kimball
Volume 62, issue 2 (2015)

Special issue “Sustainable Practices for Developing a Body of Knowledge”
Guest editor: Hillary Hart and Craig Baehr
Volume 60, issue 4 (2013)

Special issue “Professionalization of Technical Communication: Zeitgeist for Our Age
Guest editor: Nancy W. Coppola
Volume 58, issue 4 (2011) and volume 59, issue 1 (2012)

Special issue “Legal Issues in Global Contexts: Reconsidering Content in an Age of Globalization”
Guest editors: Kirk St.Amant and Martine Courant Rife
Volume  57, issue 3 (2010)

Special issue “Qualitative Research in Technical Communication”
Guest editor: James Conklin
Volume 55, issue 4 (2008)

Special issue “3D Virtual Worlds and Technical Communication: One More Tool in the Kit”
Guest editor: Sean D. Williams
Volume 55, issue 3 (2008)

Special issue “Acknowledging Complexity: Rethinking Program Review and Assessment in Technical Communication”
Guest editors: Kirk St.Amant and Cindy Nahrwold
Volume 54, issue 4 (2007)

Special section “Information Architecture”
Guest editors: Andrea L. Ames and Michelle Corbin
Volume 54, issue 1 (2007)

Special issue “Accessibility”
Guest editors: Gail Lippincott and Kathryn Riley
Volume 53, issue 1 (2006)