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How the Outstanding Author Contribution is chosen

Outstanding Author Contribution Awards – Emerald's gems


The criteria used for determining whether to publish a chapter in a book are determined by the Series or Volume Editor. These criteria vary from book to book and subject to subject and this is as it should be. However, we do believe that when it comes to deciding on the outstanding contribution from the whole series that other factors should come into play. We want to help by providing some more specific guidelines which will be useful in all subject areas and will help to distinguish the "outstanding" from the "publishable". Once reviewed, all published chapters will be of a high quality or they would not have been accepted for publication, but what qualities set apart the outstanding chapters – Emerald's gems – from the rest?

Aims of the Outstanding Author Contribution Award

In celebrating the Outstanding Author Contributions with our annual Awards for Excellence, our overarching aims are to:

  • Publicly recognize and celebrate an author's contribution of an outstanding chapter.
  • Demonstrate that Emerald publishes top-quality research written by top-quality authors.
  • Build on the relationships between the author and the series editor and commissioning editor.
  • Raise the profile of the book series.


We ask editors to nominate one chapter to receive an Outstanding Author Contribution Award. Winning authors will be rewarded with a certificate, plaque or other keepsake to represent their achievement. We understand from experience that selected authors regard this as a great honour.

The criteria for choice

There are certain factors which are prerequisites in any chapter. They should provide or demonstrate:

  • Contribution of something new to the body of knowledge either in terms of approach or subject matter.
  • Excellent structure and presentation and well written text.
  • Rigour in terms of argument or analysis.
  • Relevance – to practice and further research, in most cases.
  • Up to date – demonstrating that the latest/key works in the field have been cited.
  • A work which is clearly within the editorial scope and remit of the book series.

Over and above those factors, different types of chapters may require alternative approaches. A top-quality literature review, an innovative conceptual exploration, and a really well constructed case study will do different things, and can all demonstrate excellence in their own manner.

The deciding factor

It is worth noting that an outstanding contribution should have that special something – something that raises it above the rest and which you, as the editor, can recognise and define for the rest of us as a chapter of notable outstanding quality.