Honorary Special Issues of SIAM Journals

In effect July 2010, as passed by SIAM Council and the Board of Trustees, is a policy that clearly rules out Special Issues in honor of an individual.

It was presented to Board and Council that SIAM receives many requests for Special Issues. Most are proposed through a journal Editor-in-Chief to the Vice President for Publications as a Special Issue with a topical focus. Such Special Issues can serve to explore new areas for the journal or to highlight an emerging topic.

However, SIAM also receives the occasional request for a Special Issue in honor of an individual. These could be either for birthdays of prominent mathematicians or in honor of a recently deceased author. Such issues are characterized by an introductory page highlighting the honored individual, followed by articles solicited from former students or close colleagues of the honoree.

SIAM instituted procedures in the mid-1990s to ensure that such special issues would require several levels of approval. It was noted that a journal Special Issue in honor an individual is at least comparable to a major award. Such honors should require a rather high level of approval. Furthermore, adding pages to a journal can incur a large cost to SIAM, and this is another factor arguing for very careful consideration.

There have been no honorary special issues of SIAM journals since 1999. This suggested formalizing the highly discouraged Special Issues honoring individuals into a specific statement that such issues will not be approved. The resolution passed July 2010 states: 

RESOLVED that SIAM establish a policy to not publish special issues of SIAM journals whose intent is to honor an individual and that this policy be well-publicized. The Vice President for Publications is charged to implement this policy.


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