Guidelines for Contributors


When submitting papers to the journal, authors are expected to have read and observed the Ethics Policy of Transnational Corporations and the documents referenced in it.

Authors are also encouraged to read and observe the COPE ethical guidelines.

In addition to the explicit declarations listed below, submission of manuscripts to the journal is on the understanding that authors adhere to the following:

  • Authorship: All authors who have made substantial contributions to the paper are included in the author list (others involved should be listed in the acknowledgements). The authorship criteria should be based on the ICMJE Guidelines. Any change to the author list after submission of the manuscript should be approved by all authors, including any who have been removed from the list.
  • Corresponding author: The corresponding author is the author responsible for communicating with the journal for publication. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the manuscript. The corresponding author ensures that all the authors mentioned in the manuscript have agreed to authorship and the order of authors, have read and approved the manuscript, and have given consent for submission and subsequent publication of the manuscript.
  • Originality: Authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works. If the work or parts of other publications, or words of others, have been used, this must be appropriately cited or quoted.
  • Copyright and permissions: Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use any material in their manuscript that has been created by a third-party copyright holder. The United Nations will hold the copyrights for all published articles. By submitting their manuscript, authors agree to the transfer of copyrights upon publication. Authors are free to reuse their manuscripts that have been published in Transnational Corporations, with due acknowledgement.
  • Data access and retention: For the purpose of reproducibility of results, authors may be asked to provide the research data in connection with a manuscript for editorial review. Authors should be prepared to provide access to such data and retain it for a reasonable time after publication.
  • Standards of research ethics and laws: Authors should ensure that their submitted articles do not include research which has been conducted in violation of applicable standards of research ethics or applicable laws. This includes laws and regulations relating to data protection and processing of personal data, as well possible ethical approval if the research involves human participants.

Editorial policies

Transnational Corporations publishes high-quality policy-oriented research. Work submitted to the journal should adhere to generally accepted academic standards in terms of originality, significance and rigour, as well as to the criteria for high-quality research and analysis set out in United Nations publication policies, and specifically UNCTAD’s Publication Policy.

The journal is committed to inclusivity and encourages submissions from a diverse range of authors from all countries and backgrounds. It welcomes contributions from the academic community, policymakers, research institutes, international organizations and others.

In line with the journal’s aims and scope, submissions are sought from a variety of disciplines. However, submissions should be accessible across disciplines (idiosyncratic research relevant for a single discipline should be avoided) and of interest for the non-academic readership of the journal in the policy and practitioner communities.

To ensure high-quality, impactful publications that are both academically rigorous and policy relevant, authors should ensure appropriate policy framing of the paper, demonstrate policy relevance and draw clear policy conclusions.

In line with our publication ethics statement, allegations of research misconduct and suspected plagiarism, including duplicate or redundant publications, false citations, falsification of data or omission of data sources, will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken.

No fees for authors and open access

There are no fees or article processing charges associated with submitting to or publishing in Transnational Corporations. In accordance with United Nations policies for public access to publications, all articles of the online version of the journal are open access and free to read and download for everyone.

Submission guidelines

Authors are requested to submit their manuscript by email to Papers for publication must be in English.

The submission should be accompanied by the following declarations:

  • Duplicate submissions and redundant publications: A statement must be included that the manuscript (or parts thereof) has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere, and that the manuscript will not be submitted elsewhere until the editorial process is completed or the manuscript is withdrawn by the authors.
  • Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Authors must disclose all personal, financial and non-financial relationships, funding support or other interests that could inappropriately influence or bias their work. If there is no conflict of interest, it should be stated explicitly.
  • Acknowledgement of funding sources: Grants and other funding sources for the research reported in the manuscript should be duly acknowledged.

Original research papers, reviews and perspective papers should not normally exceed 10,000 words. Point-counterpoint papers should not exceed 7,000 words. Research notes should not exceed 5,000 words. All papers should include an abstract not exceeding 150 words. Book reviews should be about 1,500 words. The word count includes the abstract, text, footnotes, references, tables, figures and appendices.

Manuscripts should be double-spaced (including references) with wide margins and prepared in Microsoft Word. Pages should be numbered consecutively. Footnotes should be placed at the bottom of the page they refer to. An alphabetical list of references should appear at the end of the manuscript. Appendices, tables and figures should be on separate pages and placed at the end of the manuscript.

The first page of the manuscript should contain the (i) title of the manuscript; (ii) full name(s) of author(s), institutional affiliation(s) and country name(s); (iii) mailing address, email address, telephone number of the author (or corresponding author, if more than one).

The main text should not include any information that may identify the authors. It should be presented in the following order: (i) title; (ii) abstract (describing aims, methods, scope of analysis, results and conclusions); (iii) keywords (between 4 and 8); (iv) JEL classification codes; (iv) main text; and (v) list of references.

Style guide

Spelling is guided by the United Nations Editorial Manual. A number of words ending in -ise and -isation in British English should be spelled -ize and -ization.

Quotations should be accompanied by the page number(s) from the original source (e.g. “Cantwell, 1991, p. 19” and “UNTAD, 2019, pp. 104–105”). Quoted words, sentences and paragraphs are enclosed within double quotation marks. Single quotation marks are used to enclose quotations within quotations.

Footnotes should be numbered consecutively throughout the text with Arabic-numeral superscripts. Important substantive comments should be integrated in the text itself rather than placed in footnotes. For citations from newspaper and magazine articles and Internet-based materials (e.g. blog posts, webpages and online databases), authors are encouraged to list them in footnotes, rather than in the references section.


1 India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, “India achieves 100 GW milestone of installed renewable energy capacity”, 12 August 2021,

2 European Commission, “What category do I fit into?”, EU Immigration Portal, (accessed 13 December 2021).

3 Based on UNCTAD, “International investment agreements navigator”, Investment Policy Hub, (accessed 15 April 2018). 

4 The Financial Times, “Gig workers should get pension rights now, says regulator”, 19 May 2021.

5 Bloomberg News, “Tracking tax runaways”, Bloomberg Special Reports: Corporate Tax Inversions, 1 March 2017,

Figures must be accompanied by heads, subheads, units, labels and full sources. Footnotes to figures should be preceded by lowercase letters and should appear after the figure sources. Figures should be numbered consecutively. The position of figures in the text should be indicated as follows:


Put figure 1 here


Tables should have heads, subheads, column heads and full sources. Table heads should indicate the year(s) of the data, if applicable. The unavailability of data should be indicated by two dots (..). If data are zero or negligible, this should be indicated by a dash (-). Footnotes to tables should be preceded by lowercase letters and should appear after the table sources. Tables should be numbered consecutively. The position of tables in the text should be indicated as follows:


Put table 1 here


Abbreviations should be avoided whenever possible, except for FDI (foreign direct investment), MNEs (multinational enterprises) and TNCs (transnational corporations).

Citations in the text should appear as: “UNCTAD (2019) reported that …” or "(Cantwell et al., 2010; Dunning, 2000)”. The family name of the first co-author, followed by “et al.”, can be used when the source was co-authored by three people or more.

References should be completed fully following the examples below. The first name of authors must be spelled out. Names of organizations should be spelled out when abbreviations are used in citations. Names of journals should not be abbreviated. DOI numbers are required only for the sources which have been published online but without issue or page numbers. Authors should ensure that there is a strict correspondence between names and years appearing in the manuscript (including figures, tables and appendices).


Cantwell, John (1991). “A survey of theories of international production”, in Christos N. Pitelis and Roger Sugden, eds., The Nature of the Transnational Firm (London: Routledge), pp. 16–63.

Cantwell, John, John H. Dunning and Sarianna M. Lundan (2010). “An evolutionary approach to understanding international business activity: The co-evolution of MNEs and the institutional environment”, Journal of International Business Studies, pp. 41, 567–586.

Dunning, John H. (2000). “The eclectic paradigm as an envelope for economic and business theories of MNE activity”, International Business Review, 9(1), pp. 163–190.

UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) (2009). Investment Policy Monitor, No. 1, 4 December.

__________(2019). World Investment Report 2019: The Special Economic Zones (New York and Geneva: United Nations).

All manuscripts accepted for publication will be edited to ensure conformity with United Nations practice.