Benefits of commissioning content and how to get started

What is commissioning?

This is the solicitation of content, where Editors and Editorial Board Members approach established and up-and-coming researchers within their field to contribute to a journal.

The purpose of commissioning is to improve the quality and diversity of content published with the journal, whilst providing readers with cutting edge information within the field.

How commissioning can benefit your journal

Increase usage and citations

Ensure good coverage of your field

Encourage diversity of content

Additional benefits:

  • Commissioned Reviews and Editorials can encourage conversation and debate

  • Commissioned articles increase the journal’s views and citations

  • Solicitation of content that is emerging or less well-covered increases field coverage

  • Support growth and development for indexing applications

  • Increase the reach and recognition of the journal to the authors from new research communities

  • Solidify the journal’s position as a primary source of information for new and established researchers

Commissioning methods

Identify experts and up-and-coming researchers to contribute to the journal

Encourage Editors and Editorial Board members to submit their research to the journal

Identify key topics within the field and invite authors to contribute research on these topics

How to start

Before commissioning content for a journal, we recommend that Editors reach out to the journal’s Portfolio Manager or Commissioning Editor to discuss their approach.

Here are a few points to consider before reaching out to the T&F Editorial team and while managing commissioned content:

  1. The journal will only be able to consider proposals that fall within its Aims & Scope.
  2. Taylor & Francis offers a few formats to present commissioned content:
    • Special Issues: Articles are published within a dedicated issue. The research published can be by invitation or by open call for submissions. 
    • Article Collections: Articles are published in a regular issue and assigned to the article collection immediately upon acceptance. The research published can be by invitation or by open call for submissions. Article collections offer an opportunity for cross-journal collections.
    • Individually Commissioned Articles: Articles appear within the regular issue/volume run of the journal and are not assigned to a specific special issue or article collection.
  3. All manuscripts, regardless of whether they are commissioned or submitted to Article Collections / Special Issues, go through peer review following COPE guidelines and are expected to meet the journal’s ethical publishing and peer review policies.
  4. Special Issues and Article Collections may require a Guest Editor or Advisor who is usually a recognised specialist in the field.
  5. Consider how you wish to develop the journal (i.e. content, diversity, quality, impact).
  6. Consider the current research landscape and the appetite for your proposed content:
    • What value does your proposed content bring to the journal’s readership?
    • Is there a gap in the literature that needs to be filled?
    • Is there an emerging topic that needs coverage?
    • Is there sufficient research activity to warrant a full special issue or article collection, or is the topic better suited to a standalone article or short series of 2-3 articles?

Next steps

Once you have considered the above points:

  • Please discuss your ideas with your journal’s Portfolio Manager or Commissioning Editor
  • Work in collaboration with your contacts to develop and implement an appropriate commissioning strategy for your journal
  • Watch your journal grow from strength to strength!


Here are some examples of popular Special Issues and Article Collections published within our journals:

  1. Laser Thermal Therapies for Brain Disorders published in International Journal of Hyperthermia
  2. Antibody-Drug Conjugates published in Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy
  3. Transgender and Gender Expansive Education: Pedagogical Considerations published in Pedagogy, Culture & Society
  4. Digital Behavioral Technologies, Vulnerability, and Justice published in the Review of Social Economy
  5. Children and natural disasters published in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Additional information