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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

The Social Innovations Journal invites social innovators and entrepreneurs to submit 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. 

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. 



  • 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 Smith , 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: Below are the guidelines for article submissions.

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 to their own context.  As such, we ask you to write with most of the bulk of the content focused on “HOW and WHY” your model works.

Article Guidelines

  • Please include a title for your article exactly as you would like them to appear once published.
  • Please include the author(s) and affiliations immediately following the title
  • Please include keywords (metadata) for searching purposes.
  • Please include an abstract of your article and submit it along with your article.
  • Font should be 12-point for the body of article and Times Roman style.
  • Please remember to cite all sources for your article. We do NOT publish footnotes.  We publish endnotes. 
  • For all graphics as well as charts, tables, and figures please embed them within the article exactly how you want them to appear. Please submit only high-resolution images for publishing.  For all photos and images include a suggested caption and photo credit information (if required).
  • We recommend articles being 1,000 – 1,500 words.  Research articles are recommended to be between 4,000 – 6,000 words.
  • Please define acronyms the first time they appear.  Define trade or sector-specific terminology to ensure that your article is reader friendly.  Keep in mind that you are writing to a broad audience that includes international readers.

Article Components 

  • Introduction: Frame the issue and define the social problem and context clearly. What local context or circumstances gave rise to this particular problem?
  • Offer the innovative solution and explain how your idea/model works.  Visuals are recommended. Include a narrative regarding how you will know you have achieved success (outcome and/or impact measures).
  • Differentiate your idea/model from current models. How is the solution distinct from current models? Include any citations on how your model might be influenced based upon current data and/or trends.
  • Provide insight into the financial model of the social innovation.  Provide insight into the revenue sources.
  • Discussion:  Discuss any scaling, scaling impact, and/or social and policy implications.
  • Conclusion

Tone and audience

  • Bottom line writing
  • Academic framework: Place the social innovation within the context of best practice research. However, minimize use of citations and footnotes.
  • Audience: Write for social investors, government, not-for-profits, academia and the private sector who have a vested interest in increasing their regional impact through high-impact social innovation. 


  • Submit the article text as a Word file. Make sure figures/tables are fully editable (NOT LINKED).
  • Provide notes/citations. Please only include ENDNOTES.  NO FOOTNOTES.
  • SIJ uses The Chicago Manual of Style (


Research Articles Additional Guildelines 


  • Article recommended length: 4,000 to 6,000 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. 


  • Frame the issue and define the social problem and context clearly.  What are your primary research questions?
  • Context of the issue including a literature review of current global/domestic best practices and policy recommendations.
  • Methodology:  The methodology section or methods section tells you how you went about doing their research. It should let you know a) what method they used to gather data (survey, interviews, experiments, etc.), why they chose this method, and what the limitations are to this method.
  • Findings:  Your Findings section should include a brief summary of your research results. You already went into detail on the research procedure and data you collected in the Methodology section, so this summary serves as a reminder to the reader. Use this space to mention the highlights of your results. Do not attempt to interpret your results, but rather present information objectively and informatively.
  • Discussion.  The discussion is the meaty part of your Findings report and can be of great value to your audience if written appropriately. In the discussion section, you can provide interpretations based on your observations. While the summary presents information, the discussion analyzes the data and explains to the reader what your results mean relative to the problem you stated in your introduction.   The discussion section should include a section and drawbacks and position.  This offers you an opportunity to articulate to the reader/audience how your findings and analysis is different than current models, best practices, policies outlined in the literature review. It also allows you to articulate the challenges a person might face when adopting and implementing it within the local context be they social, political, economic.
  • Policy Action Recommendations for Local Adoption and Implementation. This section offers you the opportunity to narrow your findings, discussion, drawbacks….. into concrete action steps for policy or system change key actors.
  • Conclusion

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