Special Issues and Special Sections

There are several Special Issues and Special Sections of IJEC in preparation by Guest Editors at any given time. Experts in specific domains of e-commerce are invited to propose such issues or sections to the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Vladimir Zwass, at zwass@fdu.edu.

Information on current special issues is provided below:

Call for Papers

Special Issue Metaverse, Smart Contracts, and Non-Fungible Tokens: Societal and Economic Dynamics”

The Metaverse has captured the public’s attention and is beginning to disrupt a wide range of societal and economic structures. Primarily, the Metaverse enables massive social connections in a virtual space, which affords novel organizational mechanisms, information sharing with elaborate rules, new opportunities to monetize creative work, and untold perceived future benefits for those who invest the time and effort to integrate these into their business and personal lives.

The Metaverse is rapidly changing traditional societal and economic dynamics in exciting ways that will expand the use of technology and broaden participation in many domains of human interaction. Smart Contracts, and Non-Fungible Tokens (“NFT’s”), for example, reduce barriers to participation in valuable sectors of the economy through portable digital assets supported by blockchain technology. Artists and musicians are using Smart Contracts and NFT’s to monetize their work. Individuals who may have never owned land are purchasing virtual space in the Metaverse. In these and many other ways, individuals are enriching their lives and benefiting society through broader participation in the economy. However, there is a dark side: the novelty of Metaverse presents challenges. Many who engage in this virtual economy and broader life are naïve regarding the assets that they represent and creating investment bubbles that will cause harm. Also, this new digital economy and technologies allow criminal networks to flourish and offer unique opportunities to collect and launder illicit real-world currency.

Societal norms and legal frameworks develop slowly, but the changes brought by the Metaverse and associated new technologies, such as Smart Contracts and NFTs, are manifesting themselves almost instantaneously. The distributed ledger system that supports Metaverse facilitates almost frictionless commerce, but its distributed and anonymous nature has also created a nursery for crime. NFT’s for instance, offer a low-cost means to realize value from creative works, but are the basis for potentially harmful speculation. The markets in which all of these assets are traded are global and open at all hours; this makes for efficiency but also leads to overwork and mental strain. Looming over all these issues is the matter of trust, as individuals evaluate the vulnerability of money and private information on a distributed ledger. Research is needed to generate new theory to explain the societal and economic ramifications of the Metaverse and its emerging technologies. As well as the refresh of existing theories about the societal and economic structures that these technologies are disrupting.

In the new age of the Metaverse, Smart Contracts, and NFT’s, social scientists must develop and update their understanding of how individuals interact with societal and economic structures. Individuals, organizations, and governments need guidance to maximize the benefits of a new digital economy, where users create, buy, and sell virtual products and services, while minimizing potential harm. This special issue of the top-ranked International Journal of Electronic Commerce is intended to initiate research into the societal and economic impacts of the emergence of the Metaverse and its enabling technologies. Topics include, but are not limited to:

Submission Guidelines

Apply to All Papers to Be Recommended for Review and Acceptance in the IJEC Special Issue

  1. All papers should be in Word, edited for the English-language style.
  2. No PLS should be used for validation.
  3. There should be no copied material such as figures, without an attached permission to reproduce from the copyright holder. It is best not to use reproductions at all.
  4. All papers should be tied to electronic commerce and reference the relevant IJEC
  5. References should be alphabetized, numbered, and cited by number. All References should be exactly in the format specified on the ijec-web.org website of IJEC.
  6. The length should be up to 50 pp, with a separate online appendix file if desired.
  7. The corresponding author should be indicated.
  8. Do not use section numbers, as IJEC does not use them.

Please submit (by email to kac0117@auburn.edu) a complete Word file of the paper, including the cover page will full postal and e-addresses of all the authors (the corresponding specified), followed by the page with the authors’ bios and the body of the paper. If an appendix file is attached, it should be in Word as well, with references as specified above (by number). Please use “IJEC SI” as the subject of the email.


International Journal of Electronic Commerce (IJEC) Special Issue Timeline

Guest Editors

Kevin Craig (kac0117@auburn.edu)
Auburn University
Auburn, AL

Valeria Sadovykh (valeriasadovykh@gmail.com)
Los Angeles, CA

David Sundaram (d.sundaram@auckland.ac.nz)
University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

Gabrielle Peko (g.peko@auckland.ac.nz)
University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

Special Issue “Transformation and Sustainability of Digital Platforms and Ecosystems”

This Special Issue aims to bring together leading scholars to share the most recent findings on Digital Platforms and Ecosystems, with specific attention to Digital Transformation and Sustainability.

In recent years, digital business ecosystems and digital platform ecosystems have become increasingly studied and the terms have been used in both scientific and business worlds. Digital ecosystems are defined as a technology-enabled community of individual, organizational, and networked entities that contribute toward a focal value proposition (Jacobides et al. 2018). Digital ecosystems take the form of a complex network of affiliated actors, whose activities and outputs are linked in multilateral ways that cannot be reduced to the sum of bilateral connections between ecosystem participants but show dependencies running across many participants and along several dimensions (Jacobides, 2019). Studies tend to concur that ecosystems are not hierarchically managed, but few have specifically looked at the rules governing membership and relationships (Puranam & Puranam, 2012). Participants are linked together by several resources or product/service dependencies that confer distinct advantages that would have otherwise not emerged (Jacobides, 2019). Ecosystem actors can not be seen in isolation; instead, all of them need to interact and collaborate actively to create knowledge and innovation (Pappas, et al., 2018; Spagnoletti, et al., 2021; Subramaniam, 2022; Senyo, et al., 2019; Sutherland & Jarrahi, 2018).

“Digital ecosystems” is a multidisciplinary concept that spans, among others, biology, engineering, management, and organization studies. From an engineering perspective, digital platforms and ecosystems are technical artifacts with a variety of peripherals and complements that, through a modular architecture, enable the management of collective actions, collaboration, and complexity (Baldwin & Woodard, 2009; Bolici, et al., 2022; Nambisan, et al., 2017; Spagnoletti, et al., 2015). From a managerial perspective, digital platforms and ecosystems afford business models, strategies, value co-creation, and network externalities (Gawer & Cusumano, 2014; Cuel, et al., 2021; Kazan, et al., 2018; Song, 2019; Sahut, et al., 2019; Tan, et al., 2015). From an organizational perspective, digital platforms and ecosystems are environments where innovation is enabled, behaviors are affected by networked externalities, and governance practices are studied (Cennamo & Santalo, 2013; de Reuver, et al., 2018; Huber, et al., 2017; Subramanian, 2022). Paramount importance to the topic of ecosystems and platforms is given in the context of electronic commerce, shaped as an ecosystem of sellers, consumers, and stakeholders, and characterized by unique innovation dynamics (Arakji & Lang, 2010; Khansa, Zobel & Goicochea 2012; Zhang, Lu & Kizildag, 2017; Li, Wang & Song, 2019; Li, et al. 2019).

Despite the rapid advancement in research on these topics, various important questions remain to be answered, and this special issue explores methods and solutions for assessing the functioning and governance of these new organizational structures. We encourage contributions that identify and address the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns in the fields of digital platforms and ecosystems at the individual, organizational, and inter-organizational levels, paying specific attention to digital transformation approaches. Some of the proposed research topics include, but are not limited to:

– Organizational, social, and environmental implications of digital platforms and ecosystems
– Value co-creation and innovations within digital platforms and ecosystems, disclosing new organizational arrangements and business models
– The nature of coopetition within digital platforms and ecosystems
– Strategies and practices to effectively manage digital platforms and ecosystems
– Behaviors and usage patterns in digital ecosystems
– Transformation of individual and collective work patterns in digital ecosystems, including equity, wellness, environment, and sustainability issues
– Knowledge, learning, and continuous innovation with digital platforms and ecosystems
– Digital transformation and the role of platforms and ecosystems
– Organizing for continuous and/or discontinuous innovation.
– Consumer behaviors in digital platforms and ecosystems
– Governance and regulation of digital platforms and ecosystems
– Organizational, social, and ethical issues arising with new digital ecosystems
– New business models or strategies
– The role of universities in digital platforms and ecosystems
– Novel research approaches and theories for studying digital platforms and ecosystems
– Theoretical implications of digital platforms and ecosystems
– Disruptive innovation and digital platforms and ecosystems
– Data management in digital platforms and ecosystems
– Privacy and security issues of digital ecosystems
– Emerging technologies in digital platforms and ecosystems (including blockchain, smart contracts, AI systems and cognitive computing, FinTech, social media, and big data analytics)


June 1, 2022: Call for papers announced.
February 15, 2023: Full paper submission and initial Screening decisions.
April 15, 2023: First round of decisions (reviews, rejects, and desk rejects).
June 15, 2023: Resubmission Deadline.
August 30, 2023: Second round of decisions (rejects, second review).
September 30, 2023: Final resubmission deadline (if needed).
November 30, 2023: Final decision or minor revisions handled by editors only.

Submission of Extended Abstracts and Manuscripts

Extended abstracts and manuscripts should be submitted electronically via submission website: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=siijec2023.

All correspondence and questions regarding the special issue can be directed to any of the guest editors or sent to with “Correspondence for IJEC Special Issue” included at the beginning of the subject line.

Guest Editors

Roberta Cuel (roberta.cuel@unitn.it)
Department of Economics and Management, University of Trento,
Trento, Italy

Federica Ceci (federica.ceci@unich.it)
Department of Management and Business Administration, University Gabriele d’Annunzio – Chieti/Pescara,
Pescara, Italy

PK Senyo (P.K.Senyo@soton.ac.uk)
Department of Decision Analytics and Risk, Southampton Business School,
Southampton, UK

Ilias Pappas (ilias.pappas@uia.no)
Department of Information Systems, University of Agder (UiA),
Kristiansand, NO

Associate Editors (in alphabetical order):


Arakji, R.Y. & Lang, K.L. (2010) Adoption and Diffusion of Business Practice Innovations: An Evolutionary Analysis, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 15:1, 145-168
Baldwin, C. Y., & Woodard, C. J. (2009). The architecture of platforms: A unified view. Platforms, markets and innovation, 32, 19-44.
Bolici, F., Cuel, R., Ghiringhelli, C., & Virili, F. (2022). Ecosystems in Blockchain Competence Certification: An Explorative Multi-Perspective Analysis. In Do Machines Dream of Electric Workers? (pp. 99-108). Springer, Cham.
Cennamo, C., & Santalo, J. (2013). Platform competition: Strategic trade‐offs in platform markets. Strategic management journal, 34(11), 1331-1350.
Cuel, R., Virili, F., Ghiringhelli, C., & Bolici, F. (2021). An Emerging Digital Ecosystem: Blockchain Competence Certification Networks. In Exploring Innovation in a Digital World (pp. 50-61). Springer, Cham.
De Reuver, M., Sørensen, C., & Basole, R. C. (2018). The digital platform: a research agenda. Journal of Information Technology, 33(2), 124-135.
Gawer, A., & Cusumano, M. A. (2014). Platforms and innovation. In The Oxford handbook of innovation management.
Huber, T. L., Kude, T., & Dibbern, J. (2017). Governance practices in platform ecosystems: Navigating tensions between cocreated value and governance costs. Information Systems Research, 28(3), 563-584.
Jacobides, M. G. (2019). In the ecosystem economy, what’s your strategy? Harvard Business Review, 97(5), 128-137.
Jacobides, M. G., Cennamo, C., & Gawer, A. (2018). Towards a theory of ecosystems. Strategic management journal, 39(8), 2255-2276.
Li, J., Chen, L., Yi, J., Mao, J., & Liao, J. (2019). Ecosystem-specific advantages in international digital commerce. Journal of International Business Studies, 50(9), 1448-1463.
Li, Q., Wang Q. & Song P. (2019) The Effects of Agency Selling on Reselling on Hybrid Retail Platforms, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 23:4, 524-556.
Khansa L., Zobel C. W. & Goicochea G. (2012) Creating a Taxonomy for Mobile Commerce Innovations Using Social Network and Cluster Analyses, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 16:4, 19-52.
Kazan, E., Tan, C. W., Lim, E. T., Sørensen, C., & Damsgaard, J. (2018). Disentangling digital platform competition: The case of UK mobile payment platforms. Journal of Management Information Systems, 35(1), 180-219.
Nambisan, S., Lyytinen, K., Majchrzak, A., & Song, M. (2017). Digital Innovation Management: Reinventing innovation management research in a digital world. MIS Quarterly, 41(1).
Pappas, I. O., Mikalef, P., Giannakos, M. N., Krogstie, J., & Lekakos, G. (2018). Big data and business analytics ecosystems: paving the way towards digital transformation and sustainable societies. Information Systems and e-Business Management, 16(3), 479-491.
Sahut, J. M., Peris-Ortiz, M., & Teulon, F. (2019). Corporate social responsibility and governance. Journal of Management and Governance, 23(4), 901-912.
Senyo, P. K., Liu, K., & Effah, J. (2019). Digital business ecosystem: Literature review and a framework for future research. International journal of information management, 47, 52-64.
Song, A. K. (2019). The Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem—a critique and reconfiguration. Small Business Economics, 53(3), 569-590.
Spagnoletti, P., Kazemargi, N., & Prencipe, A. (2021). Agile practices and organizational agility in software ecosystems. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
Spagnoletti, P., Resca, A., & Lee, G. (2015). A design theory for digital platforms supporting online communities: a multiple case study. Journal of Information technology, 30(4), 364-380.
Subramaniam, M. (2022). The future of competitive strategy: Unleashing the power of data and digital ecosystems. MIT Press.
Sutherland, W., & Jarrahi, M. H. (2018). The sharing economy and digital platforms: A review and research agenda. International Journal of Information Management, 43, 328-341.
Tan, B., Pan, S. L., Lu, X., & Huang, L. (2015). The role of IS capabilities in the development of multi-sided platforms: The digital ecosystem strategy of Alibaba. com. Journal of the Association for Information systems, 16(4), 2.
Zhang, T., Lu C. & Kizildag M. (2017) Engaging Generation Y to Co-Create Through Mobile Technology, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 21:4, 489-516.

Guest Editors

Roberta Cuel (Ph.D.) is associate professor of Organizations Studies and Human Resource Management in the Department of Economics and Management, University of Trento (Italy). Her research interests include the impacts of digitalization on organizations and business models, intangible assets and knowledge, routines and practices, as well as on teams and communities. She published peer-reviewed books and international journal papers on themes connected to the impact of digitalization on organization and behaviors. She served as conference chair of the XVIII Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS.

Federica Ceci (Ph.D.) is full Professor of Organization and Innovation at the University G.d’Annunzio (Italy). Her research interests focus on the theory of the firm, management of innovation, the role of personal relationships and cultural values in enabling and diffusing innovation, analysis of managerial implications of digitalization of organizational processes, innovation dynamics, and organizational characteristics of digital ecosystems and platforms. She has published in Research Policy, European Journal of Information Systems, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of International Management, and Information Systems Frontiers among others. She served as program chair of the XVII Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS.

PK Senyo (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor in FinTech and Information Systems at the Department of Decision Analytics and Risk at Southampton Business School. His research focuses on how the use and adaptation of new digital technologies impact individuals, organizations, and society. His current research interests include Financial Technologies (FinTech), Financial Inclusion, Platform Ecosystems, Artificial Intelligence, ICT for Development (ICT4D), and Digital Innovation. PK is a Senior Editor for Information Technology & People and Associate Editor for the European Journal of Information Systems.

Ilias Pappas (Ph.D.) is full Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Information Systems, University of Agder (UiA), Norway. His research activities include data science and digital transformation, user experience in different contexts, as well as digital marketing, e-services, and information technology adoption. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and has been a Guest Editor for several journals. He is or has been a track chair on AI as well as on Big Data Analytics at ECIS and AMCIS, among others. He serves as the vice-chair of the IFIP Working Group 6.11: Communication Aspects of the E-World. Pappas is a recipient of ERCIM and Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships.