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The Social Innovations Journal invites social innovators and entrepreneurs to submit short or long articles for consideration for publication. SIJ’s mission is to promote innovative ideas, incubate social innovation and thought leadership (i.e., teaching leaders how to think and not what to think) to spark a culture of innovation to create new models and systems change. 

Please submit article for consideration to Caroline Ridgway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

SIJ publications are guided by best practices in data-driven decisions and social innovation. SIJ encourages writers to keep the below definitions and guidelines and definitions in mind when submitting articles. 

Definitions:

  • Social Innovation is driven by the individual/organization’s process to focus on improving products and services to increase social impact. Innovations can be captured through the term ‘disruptive innovations’ that originate in low-end or new market footholds or sustainable innovations that are incremental advances or major breakthroughs.
  • Best practices in data-driven decisions and social innovation or “big data” as reported by Desouza and Smith2, is used to describe the growing proliferation of data and our increasing ability to make productive use of it. Data-driven intelligence has been used successfully in technical and business endeavors, but a very different situation prevails in the social arena. There is a large chasm between the potential of data-driven information and its actual use in helping solve social problems. Beyond the infrastructural impediments (information technology, financial, customer information) that social sector users of big data face, data itself can be a problem (missing, incomplete, stored in silos, and policy/regulatory challenges such as privacy and confidentiality). In the social sector, for the most part, there is no big data! However, with the proliferation of open data platforms, citizens are creating new ideas and products such as building global data banks on critical issues, engaging citizens and citizen science, building a cadre of data curators and analysts, and promoting virtual experimentation platforms. 

Guidelines:

Thank you for your interest in submitting an article for publication in the Social Innovations Journal. Below are the guidelines for the submission of both a long (feature) and short (new innovations/ideas/enterprises) articles.    

When writing your article, please write within the context of why our readership reads the Social Innovations Journal.  Our readership is less interested in the “WHAT” and more interested in the HOW” as they are hoping to learn and apply this knowledge.  As such, we ask you to write with most of the bulk of the content focused on how your model works and why it works.

Once you submit your article we will contact you to go through our editing process.  The editing process is conducted in two stages that include a content/style edit and a copy edit.

Please don’t forget to include a brief bio of the authors at the end of the article, in addition to a brief one-paragraph article summary. 

Please address any questions to Caroline Ridgway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Social Innovations Journal
What Works Article Guidelines (Short Articles - Innovations and Enterprises)

Architecture

  • Article length: 1,000 to 1,500 words.
  • Provide one primary illustration (such as a photo, graph) that will serve as a visual introduction to the social innovation.
  • Obtain a brief bio and picture.

Outline/Components 

  • Frame the issue.
  • Define the problem clearly.
  • Offer the innovative solution and how it will be measured.
  • Differentiate from the competition: How is the solution distinct from what similar organizations offer? Why is this model preferable to or more successful than its competitors? What local context or circumstances gave rise to this particular problem and this particular solution?
  • Provide insight into how the model is funded.
  • Discuss social and policy implications and/or risks.

Tone and audience

  • Bottom line writing: Begin with a concise executive summary (about 10% of total word count) that gives the gist of the article. Follow this with a narrative that is guided by the outline above.
  • Academic framework: Place the social innovation within the context of best practice research. However, minimize use of citations and footnotes.
  • Audience: Write for regional program officers and leaders of foundations, nonprofits, government, academia and the private sector who have a vested interest in increasing their regional impact through high-impact social innovation. 

Format

  • Submit the article text as a Word file. Make sure figures/tables are fully editable (NOT LINKED OR EMBEDDED).
  • Submit art files (such as jpegs) SEPARATELY.
  • Provide notes/citations. NO FOOTNOTES OR NOTES (CAN BE LISTED AS A SIDEBAR). SIJ uses The Chicago Manual of Style (www.chicagomanualofstyle.org).

Social Innovations Journal (SIJ)
Feature Article Guidelines (Long Articles – Data/Research Focused)

Architecture

  • Article length: 4,000 to 6,000 words; average 5,000 words.
  • Provide one primary illustration (such as a photo) that will serve as a visual introduction to the social innovation.
  • If appropriate, provide 1-2 tables or graphs to help illustrate a major point and to break up the text. 

Outline/Components 

  • Frame the issue.
  • Define the problem clearly.
  • Offer the innovative solution and how it will be measured. Provide any trends/research/data informing the solution. 
  • Discuss the expected local, national, international social impact.
  • Differentiate from the competition: How is the solution distinct from what similar models offer? Why is this model preferable to or more successful than its competitors? What local context or circumstances gave rise to this particular problem and this particular solution?
  • Provide insight into how the model is funded.
  • Discuss social and policy implications and/or risks.

Tone and audience

  • Bottom line writing: Begin with a concise executive summary (about 10% of total word count) that gives the gist of the article. Follow this with a narrative that is guided by the outline above.
  • Academic framework: Place the social innovation within the context of best practice research. However, minimize use of citations and footnotes.
  • Audience: Write for regional program officers and leaders of foundations, nonprofits, government, academia and the private sector who have a vested interest in increasing their regional impact through high-impact social innovation. 

Format

  • Submit the article text as a Word file. Make sure figures/tables are fully editable (NOT LINKED OR EMBEDDED).
  • Submit art files (such as jpegs) SEPARATELY.
  • Provide notes/citations. NO FOOTNOTES OR NOTES (CAN BE LISTED AS A SIDEBAR). SIJ uses The Chicago Manual of Style (www.chicagomanualofstyle.org).
2 Desouza, Kevin & Smith, Kendra: Big Data for Social Innovation. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2014, Vol 12. No 3