Guidelines for contributors

Papers should be submitted as email attachments to the general editor at:

Since its launch in 1983, Prometheus has pushed against the boundaries surrounding the understanding of innovation, in its broadest sense. The journal publishes critical papers, those that express – and justify – opinions on innovation issues. Prometheus is particularly attracted to papers that challenge prevailing views, and it encourages debate.

Aims and scope
Prometheus is an international, multidisciplinary journal publishing papers on innovation, by
which is meant the production, introduction and diffusion of change. From a core interest in
technological change and the information required to bring it about, the journal’s scope has
expanded to cover:

• the history of innovation
• information for innovation
• invention and creativity
• research and development
• diffusion of innovation
• science and technology policy
• organisational strategy for innovation
• intellectual property rights
• communication and information technology
• networks and spatial dimensions of innovation
• open innovation
• the social, economic and political environment of innovation
• the management of innovation
• the evaluation of innovation

Types of submission
Papers submitted to Prometheus should not be so technical or specialised that they cannot be appreciated by a readership that includes academics, practitioners and policy makers and excludes no one. All submissions to Prometheus should be addressed to Stuart Macdonald, the general editor, at Authors considering submitting to Prometheus are very welcome to consult Stuart Macdonald informally before submission.

Research papers
Research papers are the staple fare of Prometheus. There is NO compulsory format.

Papers published recently in Prometheus:
• ‘Innovation paradoxes: a review and typology of explanations’
• ‘Research and data-sharing policy in Sweden – neoliberal courses, forces and discourses’
• ‘How to make an artificial satellite out of a nuclear reactor’
• ‘Why invisible boundaries matter: imagined institutions and power’
• ‘Marginalising homœopathy: an Australian case study’
• ‘Sinking deltas: trapped in a dual lock-in of technology and institutions’
• ‘Achieving impact: impact evaluations and narrative simplification’

Prometheus also publishes:
Book reviews and review essays
Special issues

Instructions for authors
Prometheus considers all submitted papers on the strict condition that they have been
submitted only to Prometheus, that they have not been published already, and that they are
not under consideration for publication or in press elsewhere.

Page charges
There are NO submission or publication charges for authors publishing in Prometheus.

Impact factor
Prometheus has never had an impact factor and does not want one. The journal will have
nothing to do with the ranking and gamesmanship that have done so much to damage
academic publishing.

General guidelines
• Papers are accepted only in English. Either British or American spelling is
acceptable, but consistency is essential.
• Abstracts of about 250 words should accompany all papers submitted.
• There is NO prescribed length of paper.
• Submitted papers need NOT be in Prometheus house style, though authors will be
required to put accepted papers into the journal’s style.
• Full names of all authors, their affiliations and email addresses should appear on the
cover page of the submitted paper. One author should be identified as the
corresponding author.
• Biographical notes on contributors are NOT required.
• Keywords are NOT required.
• A cover letter is NOT necessary, though authors are welcome to explain anything
they think needs explaining.

Figures and tables
It is in the author’s interest to provide high quality figures and tables. Both should be
saved separately from the text and in an editable format, such as Word. Please do not embed figures and tables in the paper’s file All figures and tables should be numbered in the order in which they appear in the paper (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2).

Reproduction of copyright material
Authors of academic papers may make very limited use, with attribution, of small passages,
such as short quotations, from the papers of others. Beyond this fair use, contributors are
required to secure permission for the reproduction of any figure or extensive extract from the text of a source that is copyrighted or owned by another party. This applies to direct
reproduction as well as derivative reproduction, where the contributor has created a new
figure or table that derives substantially from a copyrighted source. Authors are themselves responsible for the payment of any permission fees required by the copyright owner. Copies of permission letters should be sent with the submission to the general editor.

Supplementary online material
Authors are welcome to submit animations, movie files, sound files or any additional
information for online publication.

Submission procedure
Papers should be submitted as email attachments to the general editor at All submissions will be acknowledged, and every effort will
be made to ensure rapid processing. Prometheus does not use an automated manuscript
submission system and authors should feel free to contact editors at any time. Desk review
will determine whether the paper is suited to the journal and ready for peer review.

Peer review
A paper that passes desk review will be allocated to an appropriate editor, who will take
charge of its peer review and will ultimately decide whether it should be published in
Prometheus. If they like, authors may suggest an editor for their paper from the list of editors and their academic interests on the Prometheus website (, though there can be no guarantee that their choice will be available.
Because expert referees are likely to know who is writing in their area, Prometheus adopts a single blind review system: referees are anonymous, but not authors. Always the aim is that authors should find refereeing rigorous and helpful. Prometheus selects referees who are experts in each paper’s subject, but referees provide only advice to the editor and do not determine a paper’s fate. That lies in the hands of the editor in charge of each paper, who may (or may not) consult the general editor.

It is very likely that the editor, guided by referees, will require revisions to a paper. This is an
iterative process that requires prompt attention from authors at every stage. Only
exceptionally are revised papers returned to referees.

Once a paper has been accepted and edited, it will be despatched for copyediting. Authors
will each receive copyedited proofs to check typesetting, editing, completeness and accuracy, and to answer questions that have arisen. Major change at this stage is not possible. It is absolutely essential that authors return corrected proofs within the time set. On publication, authors will receive an electronic copy of their own paper and of the whole issue in which it appears.

Authors of accepted papers grant the Prometheus and Pluto Journals, publisher of
Prometheus, the rights to publish the paper under creative commons license (CC BY 4.0) in
the English language, in print form and digitally. Moral rights will be retained by the original
author(s) and copyright will be held by the authors. Authors will receive a Pluto Journals
author agreement copyright form for electronic signature upon the acceptance of their paper for publication. Authors will be asked to affirm that their submission is original, has not previously been published, and does not plagiarise or otherwise copy someone else’s work without attribution.

Publishing ethics
Prometheus adheres to the ethical standards endorsed by COPE, the Committee on
Publication Ethics ( Be clear that the editors of Prometheus take infringement of these guidelines seriously. Where authors’ explanation for their
behaviour is unsatisfactory, our practice is to:
• reject the authors’ submission
• inform interested authors and publishers of the circumstances
• inform organisations to which authors claim affiliation of our findings.
Complaints about the editorial process should be directed to the editor in the first instance,
and to the publisher in the second. Dispute that remains unsettled will be referred to an
independent assessor acceptable to all parties.

Papers should be submitted as email attachments to the general editor at: