Call for Papers: Special Issue of Journal of Social Studies Education Research (JSSER)

Theme of the Special Issue: Higher Education 5.0: innovation, complexity and sustainability 

Guest Editors:

Dr. María Soledad Ramírez Montoya, Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, N.L., Mexico

Dr. Francisco José García-Peñalvo, Salamanca University, Spain

Professor Ebba Ossiannilsson, International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), Oslo, Norwey, Ossiannilsson Quality for Open Online Learning (QOOL) Consultancy, I4 Quality Sweden

Dr. Arturo Molina Gutiérrez, Tecnologico de Monterrey, N.L., Mexico

Dr. Glenda Cox, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Higher Education 5.0: innovation, complexity and sustainability

Recent years have highlighted the need for radical changes in educational institutions, from infrastructures, to designs with cutting-edge curricular and pedagogical approaches. The pandemic highlighted the great challenge for universities, from the provision of technology infrastructure, adoption and maintenance of training practices, capacity building for stakeholders and the requirement for research and development in the field of open innovation (Miranda et al., 2021; Ramírez-Montoya, & García-Peñalvo, 2018) and open science (Stracke et al., 2022).  Educational innovation, as a process of integrating changes in products, services, processes, leading to improvements, is a challenge for higher education institutions. In complex and constantly uncertain environments, sustainable development is demanded in order to seek new solutions that meet global and local needs.


This is where higher education can contribute with new initiatives in training, research, innovation, science and technology transfer processes. In this framework, Education 5.0 can contribute to the innovation of products and services that meet the needs of promoting actions for complex reasoning. Education 5.0 develops and implements new personalized learning pathways, innovative didactic and management tools, smart and sustainable infrastructures, complemented by advanced internet and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics and blockchain, with a real potential to bridge the digital divide. Open Science and Artificial Intelligence are basic tools for their scope, linked to open innovation, entrepreneurship and transfer processes with strong capacity to connect public and private sectors for sustainable development and competences for complex thinking (Ramírez-Montoya, et al., 2022). This special issue aims to invite the sharing of innovative research and applications with challenge-based research for society, social impact, development competences for complex thinking and Education 5.0: products, services, knowledge generation and transfer, and open science. We welcome contributions of research, rigorous review articles, studies with a theoretical, methodological or practical focus. Papers should make a significant contribution to applications in Social Studies Education.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

-  Challenge-based research for society

-  Social impact studies in linking education, industry, government and society

-  Models, methods and applications in Social Studies Education

-  Digital citizenship in the framework of complexity

-  Interdisciplinarity for sustainable development

-  Complex reasoning training through Education 5.0

- Emerging technologies for education 5.0 (connectivity, digitalisation, virtualisation, smartification, datafication, among others)

- Reasoning competencies for complexity (scientific, systemic, critical and innovative thinking) for education and sustainable development

- Implementation of 5.0 technologies (such as internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, mixed reality, augmented reality, open platforms, virtual and remote laboratories, cyber-physical laboratories) in the development of professionals committed to problem solving

- Open education, open science, open data exchange, open repositories, physical laboratories, linked to sustainable development

- Open educational resources, to development competencies for complexity such as MOOCs and Open source platforms to scale complex reasoning skills

- Research-based scenarios in the framework of Education 5.0

- Complex thinking in entrepreneurship education

- Complex thinking features in tech-based Citizen Science


Interested authors should submit an abstract proposal of up to 500 words by November 15th, 2023 to Dr. María Soledad Ramírez Montoya by email at  (in the subject of the mail write Call JSSER). Authors whose proposals are accepted to the special issue will submit their completed manuscripts for the double blind peer review process  by January 15th, 2024.

Please also note that APC will apply to this special issue since the special issue articles will be considered through the fast track review procedure which requires authors to pay for this service. For details please contact the guest editor Dr. María Soledad Ramírez Montoya at  or the Editor-in-Chief at  

Please also note that although there is an APC applied for this issue, the board will consider waiving some of the paper fee for those who do not have institutional funding support and/or are financially not able to cover the fee as we do not want this APC to be a barrier for authors because of their financial constraints. If you do not have institutional support, please provide a letter from your institution indicating that this research has no funding support along with your submission to take it into consideration to waive the fee.


Abstract proposal submission deadline: November 15, 2023 (Abstracts need to be submitted to Prof. Dr. María Soledad Ramírez Montoya by email at (in the subject of the mail write Call JSSER).

Full-text manuscript submission deadline: January 15, 2024 (through Journal’s online submission system)

Publication: April 30, 2024.


For your questions/inquiries related to this special issue, please contact the guest editor Prof. María Soledad Ramírez Montoya by email at  (in the subject of the mail write Call JSSER).