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By Margaret Adolphus


An edited volume is a collection of original, research-based chapters which are organized into a cohesive volume, often around a particular theme. The volumes are structured way with an introduction and conclusion, and perhaps deliberately containing papers with opposing views.

Emerald is a significant publisher of edited volumes, and the cornerstone of its portfolio is its book series.

Edited volumes, whether published by Emerald or by another publisher, tend to fit into one of two categories:

1. Research series

Research series usually focus on an emerging theme, either within a specific field of study or discipline, such as Advances in Austrian Economics, or on a broader field of study which cuts across a few disciplines, such as Research in Organizational Change and Development.

Volumes are published at regular intervals and are devoted to a specific sub-theme or, more generally, to the latest scholarly work and practice.

2. Handbooks

Handbooks often aim to capture the state of a particular field past and present, with a trajectory for the next ten years of scholarly research.

Examples include: Handbook of Collaborative Management Research, Handbook of Action Research or Handbook of Organization Development, published by SAGE, or Emerald's Handbook of Survey Research, Transport Survey Methods, and Research in the Sociology of Work.

Handbooks tend to concentrate on reviewing rather than adding to the research. However, a good research review does not merely summarize the literature, it also moves the conversation along by making recommendations, building a new concept, or suggesting further research avenues.

Typically, both types of edited volume are disseminated through the same outlets as journals. The main difference, however, lies in the former's thematic focus (making it similar to a journal special issue) and greater degree of structure, and in the review process. The latter, together with differences at the chapter level, will be explored in subsequent sections.

There is a considerable academic pay-off from publishing in a volume, in that you associate with leading scholars in the field. Unlike the solo process of contributing an article to a journal, there is likely to be a chance for collaboration and discussion between contributors, which in turn creates networking opportunities and the chance to work together on further projects.