Guest editors guidelines


Preparing a proposal for a special issue

Special Issues (SI)  should be organised by recognised experts in the field of family businesses, business-owning families, entrepreneurial families, and allied fields. SI can also cover a conference, scientific meeting, or symposium.

Guest Editors may be invited by the journal to edit a SI. We also accept SI proposals which are subject to evaluation and approval by the Editorial Board. SI proposals are welcome at any time during the year, and should be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief, Amaia Maseda,


Potential Guest Editor(s) should develop their proposal idea to ensure it is relevant and submit it to the Editor-in-Chief. The main sections of the proposal are:

  • A suggested title for the SI.
  • The purpose of the SI and relevance to EJFB, that is, why there is a need for the particular issue.
  • The motivation of subject topics within the context of the SI and potential sources of papers, including target number of papers or the conference/workshop/symposium from which papers will be identified.
  • The proposed Guest Editors with complete contact information, including names, emails, affiliations, and a short biography (1 paragraph) of each of the Guest Editors.
  • A proposed timetable showing when a Call-for-Papers will be distributed (if applicable), the submission deadline, reviewer deadline, revision deadline for revised papers, and first papers publised after the round of reviews.
  • Provides any further information if it is relevant.

If the proposal is accepted, Guest Editors will be contacted by the Editor-in-Chief to set up the SI. If a SI does not have a suffcient number of accepted papers, EJFB will publish it as a Special Section instead.

We require our Guest Editors to familiarise themselves with the editorial and publication policies of the journal. All articles must comply with the EJFB's publishing ethics & research integrity and our guidelines for style and format.

Guest Editors are welcome to submit an Editorial for the SI once all papers are accepted, and can liaise with the Editor-in-Chief regarding the requirements for this.

Guest Editor role and responsibilities

The Guest Editors’ main editorial task is to manage the peer review of submitted manuscripts. EJFB will create a special submission type related to the SI. The system assigns the submitted papers to the Guest Editors account, who have access to the papers and the reviews of those papers.

As a Guest Editor, the responsibilities will be the following:

  • Seek submissions either by open Calls-for-Papers, invitation, or both.
  • Set deadlines to ensure timely submissions and publication.
  • Identify and recruit unbiased reviewers for each paper (at least two reviewers).
  • Manage peer review of the papers within the submission system. All papers must be peer reviewed before they are accepted. 
  • Provide running order of articles and an Editorial introduction to the SI.
  • Help with marketing and comunication activities of the SI if possible.

EJFB permits Guests Editors to publish a paper in their own SI. It must be agreed with the Editor-in-Chief in advance. Upon submission, the paper will be assigned to the Editor-in-Chief  who will handle the peer review and make the final decision on the paper.

Selection of papers and peer review process

Guest Editors must ensure that the review process is conducted in an appropriate manner and in line with normal review practices for the journal. The selection of papers should be based on the academic quality of the content and the topic should clearly fall within the scope of the SI.

Guest Editors should recommend papers for publication only on the basis of academic merit and subject appropriateness. Authors must be informed that submission will not guarantee publication.

Papers will be submitted and reviewed using the EJFB's submission system. Guest Editors are expected to handle the peer review process within the editorial system in a timely manner for all journal communications.

Papers should not have been published elsewhere, unless they are extended versions of conference papers. EJFB uses the professional services of Crossref Similarity Check through Ithenticate software for the detection of plagiarism. It is needed to ensure papers originating from a conference, symposium or workshop have sufficient new contributions to warrant journal publication (if applicable).

Guest Editors can handle the review process of all papers if they are not authored by themselves. If there are submissions from Guest Editors, the review process will be taken care of by Editor-in-Chief.

If a submission is judged to be outside the scope of the SI but otherwise has quality, the Editor-in-Chief should be notified to redirect the manuscript to the regular section of the journal.

It is essential that articles accepted for SI have been subjected to the peer review process, which is double-anonimized; that is, the reviewers do not know who the authors of the manuscript are and the authors do not have access to the information of who the peer reviewers are.

Guest Editors must follow publishing ethics guidelines when handling peer review. It’s very important to investigate any potential conflict of interest. 

Once reviewers submit their recommendation along with the reviewer’s report, Guest Editors have authority and responsibility to recommend rejection, revision or acceptance of each manuscript. Guest Editors are required to make decisions based on at least two independent reviewers’ reports.

The Editor-in-Chief can accept or rescind Guest Editors recommendation depending on quality of the external review comments and makes the final decision on submitted manuscripts.

Ethical responsibilities of Guest Editors

Please note that SI are subject to the same strict and rigorous ethical principles as regular journal issues. If unethical practices are detected, the SI will be cancelled by the Editor-in-Chief.

The selection of papers should be based on the scientific quality of the content and the topic should clearly fall within the scope of the SI. Guest Editors should protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with authors and reviewers.

Guest Editors should select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the field and must review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest made by reviewers in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias. The reviewers should evalute the manuscript with an understanding that it is under consideration by an academic journal, as opposed to for a workshop, symposium or conference (if applicable).

Guest Editors must not disclose authors and reviewers’ identities and should follow the journal’s policy relating to the disclosure of conflicts of interest. 

Guest Editorial

Guest Editors should prepare a Editorial introduction to the SI that mentions each paper in order of  appearance. The Editorial must be more that just the description of each article. It must convey the enthusiasm of the Guest Editors to the readers of the interest and importance of the topic addressed in the SI. That is, the Guest Editorial should address the significance, impact, practical usefulness, and future directions of the topic.