2024 MDPI Topics Award


MDPI Topics—Collaborative and Multidisciplinary


Overview of Topics

MDPI runs Topics, which are collections of papers that concentrate on specific multidisciplinary topics in two or more MDPI journals. Topics allow authors from different research areas to unite around one theme, describe multidisciplinary applications, and develop new ideas. Topics are curated and led by a Topic Editorial Team of scholars with diverse backgrounds that cover the various facets of the research topic, and are supported by MDPI's simple and efficient service. Authors can submit manuscripts to any MDPI journal participating in the Topic. All submissions follow the same peer review process as regular papers and are published in the regular issues of the journal when they are accepted, but are additionally labelled as belonging to a Topic and are discoverable within the collection.

MDPI Topics offer an alternative way to present your research, across multiple journals and disciplines, thereby enabling a collaborative and versatile research environment. The goal is to enhance networks for disseminating scientific research.

Topic Editors, who are trusted with taking the lead, have the ability to identify two or more MDPI journals for their Topics. Among the participating journals, authors contributing to a Topic are invited to submit to the one which is the best fit given their focus of research. Published papers appear both within the journal issue and on the dedicated Topic webpage.

As part of our ongoing intention to create new and beneficial open access publication opportunities, MDPI would like to present here the benefits of its Topic program.

More about Topics

Benefits for Publishing in Topics

  • Topics disseminate research focusing on specific multidisciplinary themes more widely and efficiently;
  • Topics allow authors from different research areas to unite around one subject. Authors can submit to the same Topic using different journals as their preferred platform;
  • Authors benefit from collaboration across disciplines and from broader readership and visibility;
  • Authors can discover multidisciplinary applications and develop new ideas;
  • Authors can select the publishing conditions based on their own expectations;
  • Topics help the sharing of reviews, original articles, case reports, opinions, and perspectives for interdisciplinary subjects;
  • Topics build awareness of the benefits of publishing with MDPI journals.

Topic Editor Benefits

  • Topics enhance editors’ networks of scientific collaboration;
  • Editors can gain insights into trends and growth areas both within their areas of research and beyond;
  • Editors can see how cutting-edge topical issues presented in an open-access format increase research impacts;
  • Editors can select the journals to use as their platform;
  • Topics further strengthen cooperation between fellows in various disciplines.

Topic Editor Responsibilities

Each Topic Editor has the critical task of representing one research area from within the multidisciplinary topic. As a whole, the team will form a network of experts, bringing together scholars from across different fields to develop new ideas and initiate unique collaborations that would otherwise not be possible. More information on the role of editors and how to use our submission system SuSy can be found here. The main responsibilities of Topic Editors are as follows:

  • Preparing the Topics title, aim and scope, summary, and keywords;
  • Providing a list of potential contributors;
  • Pre-screening, supervising the whole peer review process, and making decisions on new submissions in their Topics;
  • Promoting Topics at conferences, on social media, and on other relevant platforms.

Topic Editor Ethics

MDPI Policies on Publication Ethics can be found here. Please check any individual journal guidelines that supplement MDPI guidelines. MDPI is a member of COPE. We fully adhere to its Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines.

Content Relevance: The Topic Editor must ensure the published content within the Topic is in line with the title and stated scope of the journal.

Citation Policies: The Topic Editor must not ask authors to include references merely to increase citations to their own or an associate’s work, to the journal, or to another journal they are associated with. The addition of references not relevant to the work is strongly discouraged. See MDPI Publication Ethics. In accordance with COPE guidelines, we expect that “original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations”. This condition also applies to an author’s own work. COPE have produced a discussion document on citation manipulation with recommendations for best practice.

Editor’s Submission: The Topic may publish contributions from the Topic Editor(s), but the number of such contributions should be limited to ensure the diversity and inclusiveness of authorship representing the research area of the Topic. Any article submitted by a Topic Editor will be handled by a member of the Editorial Board.

Confidentiality: The Topic Editor should protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal. This includes all communications for Editors only and the identity of reviewers, unless it is an open peer review after publication and reviewers have signed their review report.

Conflicts of Interest: All those involved in the peer review process must carefully consider and declare any conflicts of interest when participating in the review, decision-making process, and publication of a paper. All associations that interfere with, or could be potentially perceived as interfering with, the full and objective assessment, peer review, and decision-making process must be declared. Even if an Editor believes that the existence of a conflict of interest, or several conflicts of interest, will not impact the peer review or decision-making process, the Editor should remove themselves from the process to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest and to protect the integrity of the peer review process. In the event of a conflict of interest, an alternative Editor will be found. Please check here for more information.

Declaration of Competing Interests: Any potential editorial conflicts of interest should be declared to the publisher in writing prior to the appointment of the Editor and then updated if and when new conflicts arise. The publisher may publish such declarations in the journal. The Editor shall apply MDPI’s policy relating to the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest by authors and reviewers, e.g., “Disclosure of Interest” by the ICMJE guidelines.

Promoting your Topic

Publications in a Topic are generally gathered through invitation from the Topic Editor(s). Nevertheless, submissions from the wider community are always welcome. An effective way to maximize visibility and increase submissions is to promote your Topic as early as possible. Examples of effective promotion from the Topic Editor’s side include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adding the title and URL of your Topic to your email signature.
  • Social media is a convenient, widespread, and highly effective tool for advertisement. You are encouraged to post on Twitter and LinkedIn, with a Topic banner provided by the Topics Office, or to announce the project on ResearchGate. This will increase the visibility of the Topic to your peers. Please always tag MDPI or the journal’s Twitter account when you post a new Tweet; our staff will help to amplify the message.
  • Announcing your Topic on the homepage of your website is another way to increase its visibility. MDPI staff can send you images or text in all formats that suit your needs. In addition, you can inform us of related research websites that could list your Topic or relevant mailing lists.
  • Promoting your Topic using MDPI’s new initiative, SciProfiles—Discussion Group Service. The Discussion Group is a function on the SciProfiles platform that allows you to discuss your Topic or any others with your peers and other academics.
  • Introducing your Topic to colleagues at academic events. Topic flyers and posters can be delivered to you. If you will be giving a presentation at a conference and are willing to broadcast the open call for submissions, a slide about the Topic can be prepared for you.

Topics Proposals

Submitting a Topic Proposal

The Topics Office invites scholars to guest edit Topics on subjects of interest to the scientific community. We welcome proposals from our readers and authors submitted directly to us on a topic within their field of expertise. Each journals’ Editorial Team and Editors-in-Chief will oversee the appointment of Topic Editor(s) and Topics proposals, checking content for relevance and ensuring the suitability of the material for the journal. If you have an idea for a new Topic, please fill in the required information and submit your proposal via the Topics website.

Topic Proposal Application

Detailed Guide to Topics Proposals

The information below will guide you through important points that will support the success of the Topic.

To ensure that each Topic addresses a unique subject of interest, please check that your proposed subject is not already covered. All open Topics can be found here.

Topics proposals must include the following:

  • The most relevant subject and the titles of the journals that you are submitting your proposal to. Please ensure that the topic of your proposal is within the scope of each journal.
  • A tentative Topic title: The title should clearly reflect the subject of interest.
  • Submission deadline: A Topic can be open for submission for 6–12 months.
  • List of Topic Editors: Names, affiliations, email addresses, ORCID (optional), ResearchGate account (optional), and CV (optional). Guest editing requires time and may become demanding; therefore, Topics are led by a team of Topic Editors. Please invite 1–3 colleagues or scholars in the field to co-edit the Topic with you and decide on each member’s responsibilities and the work distribution.
  • A summary of the Topic (about 200–400 words) and relevant keywords (about 3–10 words): Briefly describe the motivation behind the Topic, the main topic and areas covered, and the types of submissions that would fit its scope.
  • Information about at least eight planned papers or a list with at least 40 potential authors (note that not all planned papers may be suitable for publication following the peer-review process. We recommend taking this into account and proposing more planned papers than you would expect to have included in the Topic): This includes the names, emails, and affiliations of the authors, and tentative titles of the planned papers (optional).
  • The plan to promote the Topic (optional): Promoting the Topic is crucial to its success. Please let us know how you intend to advertise your Topic and attract potential contributors, and how we can assist you.
  • Please indicate whether you have previous experience as a Guest Editor or Topic Editor for MDPI journals.

Editorial Procedure of Submissions to the Topics

Topics submissions are peer-reviewed and published following “The MDPI Editorial Process”.

The Topic Editor(s) can select one of the following actions in response to a submission: accept, reject, ask the author for revision, or ask for an additional reviewer after the peer review process. When making an editorial decision, you are expected to verify:


  • The overall suitability of the manuscript to the journal/section/topics;
  • The manuscript’s adherence to high-quality research and ethical standards;
  • The standards of rigor to qualify for further review.

First or Final Decision

  • The suitability of the selected reviewers;
  • The adequacy of the reviewer comments and author’s response;
  • The overall scientific quality of the paper.

If there is any suspicion that a paper may contain plagiarism, an MDPI Editor will recheck it using the industry standard anti-plagiarism iThenticate software.

The Topic Editor(s) has a responsibility to make decisions on the acceptance or rejection of submissions based on the collected review reports, and it should be noted that the Editor-in-Chief and/or Editorial Board members of participating journals in each Topic maintain oversight and may also be involved in the decision-making process in some cases. This collaboration ensures the quality and integrity of the Topic.

Additionally, please kindly note the following: (a) if there are conflicts of interest between the Topic Editor(s) and authors, or in the case of unresponsiveness to the Editorial Office regarding matters of acceptance or rejection, we will invite another Editor from the journal’s Editorial Board with an appropriate research background to check and make decisions; (b) if the Topic Editor(s) supports the acceptance of a manuscript despite a reviewer’s recommendation to reject, MDPI staff will seek a second independent opinion from an Editorial Board member or the Editor-in-Chief before communicating a final decision to the authors; and (c) any article submitted by a Topic Editor(s) will be handled by a member of the Editorial Board.

Accessing the MDPI Online Submission System (SuSy)

An MDPI Editor will handle the whole editorial process via the MDPI online Submission System (SuSy). The Topic Editor(s) will be able to monitor the whole process after registering and logging into SuSy with the email address announced on the Topic website. By clicking on the Topic title, the Topic Editor(s) can view the status of all submissions to their Topic.


For any inquiries related to Topics, please contact the Topics office ([email protected])

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