Statement of Aims

The International Journal NOvation – Critical Studies of Innovation is underway, to contribute to the rethinking and debunking of innovation narratives in STS (Science, Technology and Society) and STI (Science, Technology, and Innovation). Our first steps date back to April 2017, where this endeavor was already in perspective with Godin and Vinck’s book (2017). From then a first Issue was proposed: “X-innovation: Re-inventing Innovation Again and Again” (with B. Godin, G. Gaglio and S. Pfotenhauer as editors), in the meanwhile launched in 2019 (June).

Putting together several scholars across at least three continents, NOvation is in itself proof of an urge to open the field of innovation studies as well as other and every disciplinary areas engaged in this discussion, not just internationalizing their practices but make them to contribute to a wider kind of inter and cross-disciplinary problems and interpretations – encouraging co-authorship between discipline or special issues with debates between disciplines is something that new generations have been bold and this Editorial Board is nurturing.

We should, in fact, emphasize that there is now a younger generation of researchers, more open to our view than the mainstream researchers and scholars are, frequently entrenched as the latter are in University chairs or established research institutions, whose agendas tend to be shaped according to policy agendas. In fact, from the very beginning, “innovation studies” has been a policy-oriented field. Otherwise, there are indeed many scholars who do not recognize themselves in that normative orientation, at the same time being critical of the current system of bibliometric validation and ready to publish in this journal.

There is a need to look critically at studies of innovation presented as the unavoidable path to scholars and experts and get better pictures of innovation than the one this field has been used to. The journal questions the current narratives of innovation and offers a forum to discuss some different interpretations of innovation, not just its virtues but also its implications. In this sense, NO refers to the non-innovative behaviors, which are as important to our societies as innovation. Failures, imitation and negative effects of innovation, to take just some examples of non-innovation or NOvation, are minimized and rarely form part of theories of innovation.


The following topics comprehend this journal scopus of interests and critical approaches:

- Deconstructing theories and models of innovation;

- Deconstructing the discourses proposing, idealizing and selling them;

- Confronting diverse ontologies of policy and development with rational innovation models and other views of officials and development agencies;

-  Not just deconstructing, but also constructing different models and proposing alternative narratives.

In addition, the areas that NOvation calls to collaborate represent an interdisciplinary field with many disciplinary and thematic affiliations – Economics and sociology of innovation, History of Science and Technology, Conceptual history, Intellectual history, Public Policy, Institutional History, etc. –, with a wide scope of methodological possibilities:

  1. Critical analyses: from and on studies of innovation, being those approaches more disciplinary or interdisciplinary in nature;
  2. Discourse analysis: deconstructing actors’ rhetoric, policy-makers’ frameworks and scholars’ theories and argumentation;
  3. Intellectual history: documenting scholars’ theories and trajectories;
  4. Conceptual accounts: studying the concepts used in the field, the traveling of concepts among fields (academic and public) and their transformation into catchwords;
  5. Case studies: helping to understand and mapping the uses of innovation and to rethink current narratives.


One thing that we find most important to not lose sight of is that ‘NOvation’ modus operandi is different than mainstream journals, i.e., not too obsessed with fashionable international credentials, like REF-Research Excellence Framework or other criteria that make rankings and so on – impact factors, etc. Researchers in fact are also looking for alternative indicators giving a better account of the diversity of access and appropriation of knowledge than the only citation and impact factors in a mainstream journal. In addition, with our policy of open peer review, we are encouraging responsible and grounded evaluations, as well as constructive debates, which means that when it reveals interesting this somewhat 'invisible' work of a journal might be published in a proper section.

The critical study of innovation is important because innovation as a word is everywhere in contemporary societies. Innovation is on the political discourses, on cultural and knowledge debates, as well as in the political economy of nowadays global economics. It is not for the sake of being against, but to make up for the lack of empirical basis that the pro-innovation bias has. We are indeed interested in understand "why innovation is (un) important’ in connection to other categories of human agency contributing to progress”, or putting in other words: understand ‘why, where and when’ innovation could be– or not be–  important to progress and development of human endeavor in different contexts and regions.


Tiago Brandão (Managing Editor)


Operation and Rules

ISSN 2562-7147

This is an Open Access and peer review journal (two evaluations per manuscript).

By becoming an evaluator a scholar accepts that his/her name will be revealed to the author/s. 

We are publishing an annual Special Issue.

For submission, look at the Authors Guidelines.


Copyright Statement
This Open Access journal is under a Creative Commons License – CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0, that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.