IEEE Security & Privacy Special-Issue Proposal Guidelines

S&P aims to stay abreast of this fast-changing field, and special (theme) issues on timely topics are an integral way we achieve that. We invite proposals for special issues that:

  • focus on a topic of broad interest.
    • Topics that will involve contributors from academia, industry, and government are particularly encouraged. We encourage consideration of research, practice, and policy-focused contributions as part of all special issues. Special issues focused on technical conferences are welcomed if they are focused on particular topic areas, with submissions that will be substantially different from published conference papers recognizing the different audience and length.
  • propose a team of guest editors (GEs) who are known to be leaders in the theme’s field.
    • There should generally be two primary GEs, ideally one from the editorial board and one domain expert in the subject area. There may be additional GEs to help with soliciting and attracting paper submissions. We suggest at least one GE from industry and one from academia. We also encourage geographical diversity of the GEs. We encourage inclusion of one GE who has already been a GE for S&P, or an Associate Editor in Chief (AEIC) to support the subject-matter GEs.
  • identify potential authors who are also leaders in the theme’s field.

To avoid any appearance of conflict of interest, GEs should not submit their own work for consideration in their special issue.

When drafting a special-issue proposal, please use this template, which includes space for your call for papers (CFP). (See example CFPs here.) Proposals for special issues should be emailed to

The AEIC will perform the initial check of the proposal. If a proposal has potential, the AEIC will submit it to the S&P editorial board for evaluation. The evaluation will be based on technical accuracy, objectivity, balance, GE capability, proposal quality, and relationship to other recent and planned special issues. On the basis of the board members’ comments, the AEIC will decide whether the proposal should be accepted, revised, or rejected. Once a special-issue proposal is accepted, the timeline is:

  • week 0 (one year in advance of issue): start advertising CFP
  • week 4: deadline for abstracts
  • week 12: deadline for submitted articles
  • week 20: reviews due
  • week 21: EIC decisions due
  • week 30: revisions due
  • week 34: final reviews due
  • week 36: final decisions due
  • week 38: all final materials (papers and guest editorial) due

If your special-issue proposal has been accepted, please read the S&P Editor Roles > Guest Editors page and the Computer Society’s Guest Editor Information page for an overview of the GE role.