Business History changes Special Issue policy

Proposals for special issues are considered by the editorial team twice a year, once in June and once in December, to allow for a more systematic decision-making process. The deadline for submitting a special issue proposal is the first Friday in June and December. 

Proposals should be submitted to the Managing Editor ( and copied to the Joint Editors-in-Chief, Stephanie Decker ( and Neil Rollings ( Guest editors remain free to submit proposed SIs at any point in the year but the proposals will not be considered until the next deadline. Guest editors will receive a decision shortly after the deadline. The expectation is that up to two special issues will be approved in any round averaging to three being commissioned each year, assuming that they are regarded as of suitable appeal. Decisions will be relayed to the applicants with feedback early in the New Year and the summer depending on the relevant deadline. 

Submitted proposals must be fully worked out in advance of submission. Editors remain happy to advise on proposed SIs in advance of any submission but that any revisions requested by the editorial team after submission are expected to be minor.

To this end it is important that potential guest editors acquaint themselves closely with the requirements for a SI proposal. The guidance below is a slightly amended and abridged version of the 2016 editorial on Special Issues. That editorial still forms the basis of our approach to Special Issues but the guidance below reflects our experience since 2016 on the way the process has worked. Rejected proposals can be resubmitted to the next SI competition but only if invited to do so and after significant and substantial revision in line with any feedback offered.

Special Issue Proposal Guidance

Presentation of the topic and the questions to be addressed.

  • Justification and relevance of the topic. It is important to explain why the proposed Special Issue fits within the remit of Business History, its contribution to business history as a field and why business historians would be interested in the proposed theme.
  • One to two pages providing a short synthesis of existing debates and the state of literature in the field, research gaps in that field and how the special issue will contribute to fill these gaps. This part should include references.
  • An outline of the mechanisms to be used to attract high quality articles. This could take the form of an open Call for Papers or an indication of invited contributions emerging from specialised workshops or sessions in conferences or congresses. It is important to show how this process has endeavoured to be inclusive.
  • Acknowledgment that all the articles proposed for the special issue, including the introductory essay, have not previously been published and are not under consideration elsewhere.
  • Acknowledgement that all articles will be submitted through the ScholarOne electronic platform for the journal in order to be peer-reviewed before acceptance for publication.
  • A proposed timetable with deadlines for completion of key milestones, which is to be monitored by the Guest Editors in close coordination with the member of the editorial team assigned to oversee progress on the special issue. The timetable should generally include: the date when a Call for Papers (if relevant) will be published or the dates of a workshop or session in the case of invited articles; the deadline for authors to submit the first version of their article to the ScholarOne website for peer-review evaluation (including the introductory article, which will be handled by the Associate Editor in charge of the special issue); the expected deadline for completion of the peer review process; and a suggested date for final publication. Please note that the final decision on this publication date will be in the hands of the editorial team, who need to take into account other articles accepted for publication in the journal and other special issues.
  • Guest Editor details, including names, academic affiliation, address and email, accompanied by a short biography with indication of most important research conducted by guest editors, and citations for the last two or three relevant publications related to the topic of the proposed Special Issue. 

See the journal website for further information.