Sections and Paper Categories

EM publishes four types of papers: research papers in the special issue and the general research section, position papers and invited papers as well as case study papers and Fundamentals. For more information about the different sections you can publish in, please also refer to Editorial 24/2. All of these articles undergo a double-blind review by our editorial board and/or our senior/associate editors. In addition, editorials, prefaces and book reviews are published, which are subjected to a check by our editors-in-chief.

Research papers

EM publishes high quality research articles in a special issue and a general research section. All research papers submitted to EM need to comply with the following criteria:

  • Research papers require an explicit description of a research gap, a research question and the chosen research methodology.
  • Research papers require an analysis on how your research connects to prior research and especially to the field of electronic markets, digital platforms and ecosystems as well as networked business.
  • Research papers need to include a research model that allows a profound discussion of the insights and conclusions regarding the application of the research, on the validation of the results as well as implications for academia and practice.

Special issues are collections of research articles on a specific topic as announced in a call for papers. The number of articles varies but is typically about 3 to 8 papers. If you are interested in organizing a special issue section see our information here. Please note that on Springer Link special issues are termed "Topical Collection". Since adopting the continuous article publishing model, articles to topical collections may be added even after a special issue has been finished.

General research submissions need to address a specific research question within the scope of the journal, i.e. electronic markets and IT-enabled networked business, and feature original and mature research. Research articles need to motivate and formulate a research question, analyze prior literature in the given domain, develop a model to answer the research question and, last but not least, present a compelling discussion of the findings of the research for academics and practitioners. All articles will be screened by Co-Editors to decide whether the scope and maturity merits that the article is forwarded to the reviewers. To submit a General Research, please select this paper type upon submission and follow the instructions for General Research.

State-of the-Art research papers should provide a profound overview of a specific field of research and identify key aspects which are either clear or under discussion. The authors should aim at critically discussing the various positions observed in the field and derive the aspects that deserve future research. Often, state-of-the-art research papers include the formulation of a research agenda, which might be regarded as novel outcome of the research.

Position papers

Position papers focus on introducing new ideas. They connect to a relevant problem in the area of electronic markets/networked business and propose a novel standpoint. While writers of research papers need to convince the invited reviewers of the quality of the conducted research, writers of position papers need to convince two board members of Electronic Markets of their opinion. A convincing argumentation typically requires a theoretical focus, a structured line of argument, a novel standpoint as well as an insightful outlook. Often, position papers are more qualitative and practice-oriented in nature. To submit a position paper, please select this paper type upon submission and follow the special instructions for position papers.

Case study papers

Case study papers are a specific form of research papers. This section follows the observation that retrospective research has become a widespread research tradition. It provides a platform for case- and design-oriented prospective research which is critical for identifying and analyzing innovative and relevant research topics (see Editorial 24/1). Case study papers aim to obtain in-depth insights in how IT is used in a business setting and to understand the intricate network of factors that determine the success of IT-based solutions, such as industry dynamics, the fit with organizational design or social embeddedness.


Fundamentals is a section that aims to structure recent topics of interest in the fields of electronic markets and networked business. They should offer an understanding of the topic’s relevance, its main characteristics, a definition, examples as well as an outlook. 

In contrast to research papers, papers submitted to the “Fundamentals” section should primarily structure existing knowledge and offer guidance, e.g. by proposing a framework based on existing Research.

To submit your research to the Fundamentals section, please select this paper type upon submission in the Editorial Manager and follow the special instructions for Fundamentals.

Discussion Papers

Discussion papers are a specific form of invited papers. As short opinion papers, discussion papers bring novel and/or controversial positions to the debate around relevant topics within the scope of the Electronic Markets journal. They should foster an open debate of ideas and are not subject to the same criteria as classical research papers. Contrary to the other double-blind reviewed paper categories (e.g., research papers, position papers, Fundamentals, case reports), discussion papers undergo an editorial review process, which involves an Electronic Markets editor and one additional single-blind reviewer. They are also marked as discussion papers on the webpage and on the electronic article itself.

Discussion papers are planned with the Editorial Team before the submission. Therefore, kindly contact first the Editorial Office (editors(at) outlining your ideas. In case of a positive response, when submitting the paper through the Editorial Manager System, please select the paper category “Invited Paper” and add a brief notice in the comments’ section stating that the submission is a discussion paper.