A special issue is composed of articles all working on a particular area of interest. These papers give readers a good chance to study contemporary societal policy challenges, bring together previously dispersed information, propose novel ideas, discuss current trends in science, and so on. The term "special issue" may mean different things to different journals. For instance, it may sometimes indicate that a journal has decided to compile, rework, and publish a selection of its best articles as the result of a scientific workshop or conference.
A special issue's articles should all be in one format (for instance, original research) or they may include a variety of formats that the journal accepts, including case studies, discussions, interviews, research papers, etc. Each special issue has at least one scientific editor (different from the editor-in-chief of the journal). Each special issue should predetermine all procedural details, timelines, calls, peer review process, etc. via a formal proposal by the guest editor.