Aims & Scope and Article Types
The journal offers a platform for reporting studies of innovations and socio-economic transitions to enhance an environmentally sustainable economy and thus solve structural resource scarcity and environmental problems, notably related to fossil energy use and climate change. This involves attention for technological, organizational, economic, institutional and political innovations as well as economy-wide and sector changes, such as in the areas of energy, transport, agriculture and water management. The journal aims to tackle the most difficult questions, dealing with social, economic, behavioral-psychological and political barriers and opportunities as well as their complex interaction. The journal is multidisciplinary in spirit and methodologically open, and invites contributions from a broad range of disciplines within the social, environmental and innovation sciences.
Specific research areas covered include:
Theoretical analysis, formal modeling, empirical studies, policy discussion and a critical survey of relevant literature. Practical cases may address transitions in specific sectors, cities or regions. Articles on historical transitions not specifically related to environment and sustainability are welcome if they include a section with unique lessons for sustainability transitions. A non-exhaustive list of keywords and themes is as follows: behavior in line with bounded rationality, development theories, diffusion of innovations, environmental regulation, formal modeling, geography of innovations, historical transitions, increasing returns to scale and path dependence, innovation policy, institutional barriers, international cooperation and coordination, learning-by-doing, learning curves, lock-in, new governance, niche markets, optimal technological diversity, regime analysis, social and political power, strategic niche management, rebound effect, recombinant innovation, sector structure, social learning, transition experiments, technological regimes, transition pathways/mechanisms, vested interests, visions of the future.
Article types in EIST
All submissions to Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions are reviewed using the general criteria of quality, originality, precision, importance of topic and insights, clarity of exposition, and fit to the journal's aims and scope. Several categories of articles are welcome.
Research articles (max. 8000 words, excluding references and figure/table captions) Research articles devoted to theoretical, modeling, experimental, historical and empirical-quantitative analysis of important questions in the field. The journal also accepts qualitative case study research (historical, institutional, geographical, organizational, etc.). Furthermore, it is open to studies opposing different views and explaining fundamental differences in long-standing debates (such as on growth, the role of price instruments and the role of voluntary action). Evaluated by two or three outside reviewers.
Reviews (max. 10,000 words excluding references) The journal occasionally publishes articles that review, critically examine and interpret important general subject areas within the wider scope of the journal. These articles need to use systematic and good quality methodology and data sources, and result in insightful synthesis. They are based on reviews of previous scientific research, not of other types of data (e.g. policy documents). Evaluated by two or three outside reviewers.
Perspectives (generally 2000 to 4000 words excluding references) provide an opportunity for authors to present a novel or distinctive viewpoint on any subject within the journal's scope, with a strong focus on current advances and future directions in transition studies, including policy recommendations. They may be opinionated but should remain balanced and are intended to stimulate discussion and new approaches. Perspectives may also advocate a controversial position, present a speculative hypothesis, introduce or critique new concepts in the field of transition studies, or mark something significant in current affairs. Perspectives are reviewed by the editorial team and one external commentator.
Policy briefings (generally 1500-2000 words excluding references) serve the purpose of building connections between the sustainability transitions research community and the policy and practice of sustainability transitions. A policy brief serves to develop elaborate policy or practice recommendations based on conducted academic research and/or to provide reflections on recent developments in the policy and practice of sustainability transitions. Policy briefings will have a substantial engagement with real-world practice of sustainability transitions, are not expected to discuss methodologies, are embedded in academic debate, and are generally written as a personal commentary. Policy briefings are reviewed by at least two editors.
Special issues (SI) The journal is open to SIs addressing themes congruent with the topical focus of the journal. They need to identify an important gap in the current transition related literature, which requires a variety of complementary perspectives to be addressed. SIs consist of coherent and high-quality collections of scholarly contributions. Please send a proposal to the editor-in-chief including the following items: title, guest editors (names, positions, affiliations and short bio), a short summary (research gap, contribution intended by the SI, a list of relevant research questions, which shall be covered by the different papers in the SI, approaches and innovative character) and a list of potential contributions (with authors, affiliations, titles and short abstract). In general, we are reluctant to publish SIs that remain restricted to results of specific research programs and we expect the guest editors to include an open call for contributions.