Special Sections are meant to serve as tailored entries into 'hot' research areas by providing comprehensive overviews together with a selection of characteristic technical papers. They may be either
- event-based, featuring selected tool-related papers of a high-profile international event. The selection of these papers should, however, not merely be based on their grading during the reviewing phase. Rather, there should be a common perspective that makes the paper selection more valuable than simply the sum of its parts, or
- customized, functioning as highly topical monographs, presenting the state of the art of the considered area of research by means of an overview and dedicated invited contributions.
Special Sections are under the responsibility of an appointed editor, who may be either a member of the Editorial or Advisory Boards or a Guest Editor. A Special Section generally contains the following:
- An Overview in the form of an introductory (full-length) paper, usually solicited by the Special Section Editor. Due to the emphasis on technology transfer, the overview should introduce the addressed field, indicate its practical relevance, present an overview of the state of the art in research and industrial approaches, and explain the role of the individual contributions within this landscape. The language and the presentation style should be chosen so as to attract the interest of an audience of non-experts and be informative for readers with a good general background in Computer Science, so that even newcomers to the topic could profit from it.
- 3-6 Technical papers to be proposed by the Special Section Editor, concerning existing research results, prototypes, commercially available tools, applications, case studies, benchmarks, etc... Like regular papers, these contributions should be representative of the current state of research and best practices and should possibly offer a critical vision of it. The presentation style should also address a wide audience from the Computer Science community, although more technical details should be provided than in the overview.
Finally, one or two years later, the Special Section Editors are encouraged to write a relatively concise Follow-up Report. This report may describe important advances in the state-of-the-art, report on the feedback and the discussion between the readership and the Special Section contributors, and optionally publish some of the technically relevant reactions from readers.
Proposals for Special Sections must be submitted prior to the invitation of potential contributors by the prospective Special Section Editor(s) to the STTT office. They contain:
- a brief description of the envisaged theme;
- a structured list of prospective contributors of both overview and technical papers;
- a schedule for the realization of the Special Section, reasonably compatible with the Reviewing Policy of the contributions.
The proposal will be examined by the Editors in Chief.