Stanford Social Innovation Review

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Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)

ISSN: 1542-7099 (Print)1


Purpose, objective, or mission: “To advance, educate, and inspire the field of social innovation by seeking out, cultivating, and disseminating the best in research- and practice-based knowledge.”2 The goal is to bring together academic theory and practice to create ideas for achieving social change, and to inform and inspire new social change.

Target audience: Leaders in nonprofit organizations, foundations, or other philanthropic institutions, along with people working in business, government, academia, and other fields.3

Publisher: Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University.4

Peer reviewed? No.5

Type: Civilian publication.

Medium: Print and online.6

Content: The website is extensive, and includes links to past issues as well as original content: blogs, webinars, podcasts, SSIR events. The SSIR covers people and organizations whose work has an impact on business, nonprofit, and government sectors, particularly those with cross-sector ideas and solutions to global issues. Subjects include social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and philanthropic strategies, as well as educational reform, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection.7

Frequency of publication: Website updated frequently; print magazine is published quarterly.8

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: External authors (anyone outside SSIR’s editorial team) can submit articles under Features, which run 4000-4500 words; 3500-4500 word Case Studies; 1500-word Viewpoint articles; 800-word Books (formerly called Reviews); or blog posts for the website, running between 600-800 words.9 The guidelines list specific details for each submissions category that writers should take into consideration.

Submission and review process: Submissions are sent via a brief email pitch, Word format, to SSIR editors covering the specific section you’re submitting under. Submission guidelines list the current editor of each section and how to contact them, and detail the questions to cover in the pitch.10

You’ll get acknowledgment of your proposal within 1-2 weeks. The review process takes up to two months, as each editor (including managing and academic editors, depending on the proposal) participates in the review, and then sends the proposal to the editorial committee, who makes the final decision. A list of criteria for submissions is found in the guidelines.11

Additionally, SSIR editors and stable freelance journalists write articles under What Works, What Didn’t Work, What’s Next, Reviews of books, Q&A and Research. You can submit pitches for these categories as well, for a particular person, organization, trend or research. The website also details what the editors want to see for ideas for these sections.12

Editorial tone: Easy to read, thoughtful articles chock full of information and interesting ideas, theories, suggestions, and solutions to global challenges.

Style guide used: If the submission is accepted, SSRI editors will work closely with the author on style guides and citations.13

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Submissions on LIS issues would do well in the SSIR, if approached from an innovative, thought-provoking way, such as describing grass-roots LIS efforts and their outcomes, or discussing LIS in a global setting, or how LIS practices can be used to promote social change. Writers need to make sure the topic submitted would be relevant or interesting to all the SSIR’s readers, so it should not be too LIS specific. Real-world examples described through research or firsthand experience are ideal. LIS efforts on providing information to mass populations, particularly underserved, or information technologies that bridge communities and allow information sharing would most likely do well in this publication.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Print magazine has a circulation of 13,000, while the website averages 165,000 unique visitors per month.14

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The magazine is published by Stanford University, which is located in Santa Clara County, CA, and the print magazine is sold in newsstands across the United States and Canada. English is the primary language of this Silicon Valley publication, however, in an email to the author on October 5, 2020, Eric Nee, Editor-in-Chief of SSIR indicated that the “SSIR has five partner organizations around the world–Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, and Monterrey, Mexico) who have a license to produce SSIR in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Spanish.”

Reader characteristics: Per the submission guidelines: “SSIR’s readers are highly educated, widely read, and well informed about the field of social innovation. They want to be provoked, surprised, and presented with memorable information and rigorous analysis. They don’t want long-winded arguments, insider jargon, or excessively narrow and technical writing.”

Readers are overwhelmingly CEO’s, presidents, or senior executives of their organization. Half work for nonprofits, and a small group are philanthropists or foundation leaders.15

The writing is smart and well researched, and poses interesting questions and theories to readers, assuming that everyone is at the same high level of education and that readers are interested in viewing challenges from a global perspective.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Not a publication specifically aimed at the LIS community, and, per their submission guidelines, readers don’t want “insider jargon.”16

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Articles submitted to the SSIR should be timely, forward-thinking, and offer solutions as well as pose questions for readers, who are thought leaders and executives looking for new ways to lead their organizations and foster social change. The LIS field is ripe for this type of exploration, and SSIR readers would most likely benefit from learning about innovations in the LIS world.

Last updated: October 5, 2020


Show 16 footnotes

  1.  Stanford Social Innovation Review, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed March 27, 2018,
  2. “Overview,”, accessed November 17, 2016,
  3. “Submission Guidelines,”, accessed November 17, 2016,
  4. Overview.”
  5. Submission Guidelines.”
  6. Overview.”
  7. Submission Guidelines.”
  8. “All Issues,”, accessed November 17, 2016,
  9.  “Submission Guidelines.”
  10. Submission Guidelines.”
  11. Submission Guidelines.”
  12. Submission Guidelines.”
  13. Submission Guidelines.”
  14. “Information for Advertisers,”, accessed November 17, 2016,
  15. Submission Guidelines.”
  16. Submission Guidelines.”
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