Guidelines for Special Issues in The Bottom Line

Guest editor(s)


Special Issues (SI) of The Bottom Line (TBL) play an important role in achieving the aims and scope of the Journal. The Editorial Board of TBL actively encourage SI proposals that advance those aims and scope. Given the expanding nature of the fields of information, knowledge and innovation as well as the fields of sustainability and value, the Journal plans to regularly publish SIs each year (maximum two per year). SI proposals will usually be reviewed on March 1st and September 1st. 


1. Content 

Each SI should meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • Advance an under-developed or emerging area of research (either theoretically, conceptually or phenomenon-driven) that has a high potential for making theoretical, empirical and/or practical contributions to the fields of information, knowledge and innovation, or sustainability and value; 

  • Revisit an existing and already widely-read research topic in these fields, which needs redefinition, reevaluation or redirection; 

  • Bring high-quality research from disciplines of management or outside of management (particularly law and economics), or from subdisciplines of management, accounting and business, beyond the information, knowledge and innovation field, where it has a high potential to enrich current debates and conversations in the  field and enlarge the Journal’s scholarly community; 

  • Bring high-quality research from disciplines of management or outside of management (particularly law and economics), or from subdisciplines of management, accounting and business focused on sustainability and value field, where it also has a high potential to enrich current practical and/or theoretical debates and conversations of  the Journal’s community; 

  • Provide high-quality research that will advance theoretical knowledge, bring empirical evidence or a research agenda that promotes practical, managerial, informational, social, economic and political implications. 

Preference will be given to SI proposals that are likely to: (i) attract high-quality submissions; (ii) make a significant impact on the field of information, knowledge, and innovation; (iii) expand this field from the perspectives of sustainability and value; and (iv) which are helmed by a high-quality and diversified team of guest editors. 


2. Proposal 

Potential guest editors with plans for a SI that meets at least one of these criteria should submit to TBL editors a proposal of about 2000 words which includes: (i) a basic case for the SI, specifying how the relevant selection criteria will be addressed; (ii) some indication of the likely pool of submitters to the SI; (iii) a list of potential reviewers; (iv) a “marketing strategy” to ensure a decent number of high-quality submissions; (v) an indicative timeline, including any conferences or developmental workshops associated with the SI; and (vi) a brief summary of the relevant qualifications of the proposed guest editors, including major publications and editorial experience.  

Proposals should be sent to [email protected] 


3. Guest editors 

A SI should normally be edited by no less than two and no more than five guest editors. A team of guest editors should meet (minimum of two of) the following criteria: 

  • Proven and published expertise in the relevant area(s) of the SI; 

  • Proven track record of publications in the top tier journals of the guest editors’ respective fields; 

  • Proven and published expertise in the relevant area(s) of the SI; 

  • A track record of editing academic publications. At least one guest editor must have editorial experience, by being a member of the editorial board of TBL or of a journal of similar quality. 

TBL actively encourages editorial teams to reflect diversity in institutions, countries, gender and ethnicity when forming the team. 


4. Process 

All in all, the role and responsibilities of guest editors are the same as those of associate editors of TBL, also applying the following guidelines: 

  • No more than one reviewer per manuscript may be chosen from the SI senders; 

  • A clear strategy for calling SI reviewers and authors is recommended; 

  • Potential SI editors are strongly encouraged to consider, besides the formal review process, the inclusion of other methods for paper development. This could include, for example, workshops (preferably online), more precisely paper development workshops at conferences, or the provision of feedback on proposals before the submission deadline. Workshops could also be organized  for  authors who received revisions for resubmission to the SI. Furthermore, it is strongly recommended to partner with upcoming conferences, congresses, events and other prestigious international associations for promoting the SI. The plans for the organization of  such activities must be clearly indicated in the SI proposal. These activities will not be financed by TBL; 

  • While partnerships are recommended, SI should include an open call for papers. Therefore, submissions to an SI are encouraged not to be restricted only to participants and scholars who attend a particular conference but open to everyone interested in the SI. Exceptions may be considered upon justification; 

  • It is not recommended that SI guest editors submit their own manuscripts to the SI in addition to a paper that introduces  the SI. Requests for exceptions must be communicated transparently in the proposal and will be approved case-based. 

  • This introducing paper must be between 4000 and 8000 words. An ideal introduction will go far beyond a mere summary of articles published in the SI but also map the state of the art on the SI’s topic. It should be written as an academic article that critically advances the discussion on the topic of the SI and meets TBL's academic quality standards. The introductory article will be sent to the Editor-in-Chief of TBL (between two to four months) after acceptance of the articles is completed. TBL editors will provide developmental feedback for guest editors to refine the article. 

  • All potential conflicts of interest, before the proposal, or during and after the editing process, must be considered and clearly highlighted by the guest editors. 


5. Outcome 

SI articles should meet all the normal requirements of any individual TBL paper and should be of relevance to a wide international and multidisciplinary readership. 

  • Authors should note that the same criteria of quality, originality, significance, and impact apply to articles in SI as to regular articles; 

  • An SI typically contains seven or eight articles in addition to an introduction paper. A minimum of six accepted papers is required, similar to a regular issue of TBL. However, the review process should not be influenced by this final number. If the number of accepted manuscripts is greater than eight, a Larger Issue or a Double Issue may be considered. If the number of quality manuscripts is less than six and more than four, the SI may also be published as a shorter special topic forum in a regular issue of TBL;

  • SI guest editors should inform the Editor-in-Chief of the likely number of acceptances during the review process; 

  • Authors should work to meet the  deadlines set by the guest editors and associate editor and be made aware that if they miss deadlines for submission, revisions or return of proofs their papers may be excluded from the SI so as not to disadvantage other authors; 

  • Papers are expected to be accepted and published within one year of closing submissions; 

  • If there are quality articles that do not fit the SI perfectly or that, in the course of the process, differ from the others, but still offer the potential for refinement, these papers should be forwarded to the responsible associate editor or the Editor-in-Chief for consideration in a regular TBL issue. 


6. Role of TBL Editors 

All SI teams will be assigned one TBL associate editor as a principal liaison. The role of this editor is to provide advice and guidance through the review process and to ensure that accepted manuscripts meet the TBL standards for publication. 


7. Final Remarks 

In the introduction to the SI, guest editors should acknowledge and list people and institutions (including events) that contributed to success of the SI.