Special Issue Proposal

Periodically, special issues or sections of TPC will be published on specific topics in counseling, education, supervision, or research. Previously published special issues and sections include:

  • Counseling the Military and Their Families
  • School Counseling
  • Counseling and the DSM-5
  • Counseling Children With Special Needs and Circumstances
  • School Counselors and a Multi-Tiered System of Supports: Cultivating Systemic Change and Equitable Outcomes
  • Distance Counselor Education

The TPC editorial team believes that topics should come from scholars, practitioners, and educators currently ensconced in the profession of counseling, as they are the sources of concerns and ideas that have the most relevance to their colleagues, students, and clients. In that vein, topics must be submitted in a formal proposal letter containing a) an introduction and short literature review of the topic, b) the implications of the topic for the counseling profession, and c) a short discussion of the intended lead contribution paper (even if it is not yet complete).

Rather than guest editors, TPC special issues have lead contributors. Lead contributors are the authors of the proposal and the major contribution paper that opens the special issue or section. If a complete special issue is produced, lead contributors will work with the managing editor to create a biographical profile and an introduction to the special issue (special sections do not have these components).

Here are the essential steps for the production of a TPC special issue:

  1. A formal proposal is submitted to TPC by the prospective lead contributor(s).
  2. The proposal is amended if necessary, and if it is accepted by the TPC editors, the lead contributor(s) and editors sign an agreement laying out due dates and other important issue information.
  3. Lead contributor(s) will submit, or produce and submit, their major contribution paper for peer and editor review.
  4. If the major contribution paper is accepted by the agreed-upon target date, TPC will send out a general call for papers to its full subscription and certification email list, ensuring that the call for papers will reach at least 65,000 individuals across the United States and abroad.
  5. All papers submitted for a special issue will go through the full TPC editorial review process, including blinded peer review and editor’s review.
  6. For the special issue to proceed, the TPC editor must receive and accept a set minimum number of publishable papers in addition to the major contribution paper by an agreed-upon target date.
  7. The managing editor will then put the accepted papers into the standard TPC publication process and oversee their progress throughout, and will work with the lead contributors to produce an introduction/response to all of the accepted papers and a short biographical profile.
  8. Unlike TPC’s standard practice of rolling publication, special issues are published in their entirety at one time, including introduction/overview, biographies, major contribution paper, all other papers, and the accompanying TPC Digest.

The standard time frame for production of a special issue from proposal acceptance to publication is around 9 to 12 months. Please note again that all special issue papers, including the lead contribution paper, go through a full peer review. There is no exception to this rule.

Special issues are an important way to highlight specific and timely topics relevant to counselors, counselor educators, and other mental health professionals, and TPC is honored to produce them.

Do you have a topic you’d like to pitch for a special issue? Email your proposal to TPC at tpcjournal@nbcc.org.