Edited by Timothy Clark, Mike Wright and David J. Ketchen Jr.
Chapter 23: Publishing in special issues
This chapter focuses on exploring a range of issues concerned with submitting to special issues. As a number of contributors to this volume have alluded to (see Chapters 5 and 20), special issues are associated with a number of dark practices. It is often not clear how a special issue was commissioned, how the editors were chosen, how papers were reviewed and so forth. Many people comment on the closed and opaque nature of special issues. As an author I have experienced some of these frustrations. Similarly, many colleagues have voiced their annoyance and anger following their perceived mistreatment by special issue editors. Whilst grumbles about rejection from journals are not uncommon, indeed, they are the stuff of everyday corridor conversations, they seem more intense in relation to special issues. I have witnessed colleagues hunt down special issue editors at conferences to vent their ire. That said, anyone who has edited a journal will know that occasionally hiding you name badge gives you a moment of peace at a conference. On one occasion a very frustrated collaborator dragged me to the publishers’ exhibition at a leading international conference. They thrust the latest edition of a journal into my hands and asked if I was aware of this special issue. I was not. It focused on an area of research in which we had a joint interest. To us and others we spoke to it seemed to have emerged via some secretive process.
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