Each issue of KÜNSTLICHE INTELLIGENZ – KI Journal is dedicated to a special topic which is presented by a guest editor. The issue will provide readers with an overview of current research activities in the field, focussing on activities in Germany.

In all stages of preparation of the special topic, the guest editor maintains contact with a liaison editor who is selected from the editorial board.

We encourage diversity in special topics in terms of types of papers and contributors. Papers should fit into at least three of the general categories in the journal. The guest editor is encouraged to recruit contributions from all major research groups working on the topic in Germany and abroad, ensuring that a variety of different research groups and opinions are presented.

The special topic covers roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of an issue, about 40 to 70 pages (at most 75 pages) in the KI layout. The rest of the issue consists of free contributions to the various categories and community news.

Initially, the guest editor will provide a topic preview of about 1000 characters together with his/her contact information in the Springer KI style. This preview will be published in four succeeding KI issues.

Furthermore, he/she will prepare a list of possible contributions and contributors to the special topic and contact all potential contributors. If further interested contributors contact the guest editor based on the topic preview presented in the journal, it is up to the guest editor to decide whether to consider additional contributions. If he/she decides not to include the paper, he/she should suggest submitting the contribution for publication in the KI journal outside of the

special topic scope.

Typically, preparation for a special topic should start four issues (12 months) before its actual publication. The final versions of all papers must be submitted to the Springer online system three months before publication. The approximate timeline for the four issues per year is:

Issue Final Version Appears
1 15 November 15 February
2 15 February 15 May
3 15 May 15 August
4 15 August 15 November

The process for a guest editor is:

  • Proposal with short abstract, list of contributors and contributions.
  • List of submitted contributions, review process.
  • Final, camera-ready versions of contributions, guest editorial with “Service” (see below).
  • Final proofreading and checks.


The guest editor will prepare a one-page long guest editorial including an autograph and a photo. When submitting the editorial, he/she will also provide the list of all contributions to the special topic. Furthermore, he/she will provide a “Background Information” page where introductory books or papers, relevant conference journals, and websites giving repositories and software are listed.

In addition, the guest editor will write a survey paper on the field. This paper belongs to the category “Technical Contribution” but may be shorter (4-10 pages) than a typical paper in this category.

Submissions to the special topic may be written in English (preferred) or German. The general author instructions for the KI journal according to Springer Verlag apply in terms of manuscript format and submission procedure.

Contributions can be from the following categories (for more detailed information please refer to the author instructions for each of these categories):

  • Technical Contribution (6-10 pages including images, references)
  • Report of Research Project (4-6 pages including images, references)
  • Interview (4-8 pages including short vita)
  • Dissertation Summary (2-4 pages including images, references)
  • Discussion (2-6 pages)
  • AI Market (2-4 pages including company/project logo and contact information of the author)
  • Book Review (2 pages including image of book cover and bibliographic information)
  • Conference Report (1 page including conference logo)

The four golden rules for a special issue are:

  • The issue consists of a mix of least four different categories
  • A survey article is compulsory
  • The issue is presented in about 40 to 70 pages (at most 75 pages) in the KI layout
  • The guest editor’s group provides the survey article and at most one additional report contribution

A typical special issue consists of: about three technical contributions, about three research project reports, one interview, and possibly additional contributions from other categories.

After the list of all contributors is confirmed, the guest editor sends this list to the liaison editor. In the meantime, the liaison editor ensured that the guest editor and the special topic are entered into the Springer online submission system.

It is the guest editor’s responsibility to inform all contributors about the submission procedure. Papers have to be prepared in the KI format according to the instructions on the Springer website www.springer.com/computer/ai/journal/13218 and in correspondence with the author guidelines as presented for each category on www.kuenstliche-intelligenz.de.

Papers are submitted online. Please indicate which category the paper is meant to be published in. Also name the special topic so that the papers can automatically be associated with the guest editor.

The system will inform the guest editor of an online submission, and he/she can start to invite reviewers. It is the guest editor’s responsibility to adhere to the review timeline and preparation milestones for the special topic. After reviews are in, the guest editor decides whether and which manuscript revisions will be accepted. He/she must ensure that the revised final versions are submitted in accordance with the milestone dates. When all final versions of papers, the overview paper, and the guest editorial (as well as the list of contributions and the background information paper) have been submitted online, the guest editor must confirm that all papers are ready for publication. Then, he/she must inform the liaison editor that the special topic is ready to be published. Afterwards, the special topic will be made available for readers online and the production of the KI issue containing this special topic can be initiated.