Markets working to support sustainable development

Submitting research to the Shaping Sustainable Markets series

1. A guide to content

SSM is the flagship research project for the Sustainable Markets Group (SMG). As a flagship it is necessary for SSM’s research outputs to be high quality, rigorous and a useful contribution to the existing body of knowledge.

Shaping Sustainable Markets research papers include those that:

  1. Focus on specific MGMs e.g. Fairtrade,
  2. Focus on groups of MGMs e.g. certification
  3. Analyse mechanisms that address a particular theme or market failure related to sustainable development e.g. climate change mitigation
  4. Analyse the use of mechanisms in a particular sector, e.g. agriculture
  5. Propose forward-looking analysis and ideas for new MGMs that have yet to be implemented but could address a particular issue related to sustainable development. 

MGMs can be chosen based on a number of factors: their prevalence (e.g. market coverage, scale of use, geographic coverage), (potential) impact on, and use in, developing world, relevance for sustainable development, and /or innovative nature.

Research can be based predominantly on syntheses and reviews of existing research, as well as primary research where necessary and possible. For more guidance see our Research Prospectus.

Papers published under the Sustainable Markets Series should be relevant for policy-makers, business professionals, researchers and practitioners concerned with the contribution of markets to sustainable development.

The series is published in English – but translation into additional languages may be occur where the author and Series Editors consider this appropriate and subject to funding.

All papers should be written using the Harvard referencing system and according to our house style guide. Papers may also be submitted in Spanish and French.

Papers should be between 2,000 and 25,000 words.

The format of the series is small, attractively designed ‘mini books’ with colour covers – available in both hard copy and freely downloadable from the IIED website and Shaping Sustainable Markets website.


2. Timing

Once submitted and accepted for publication it can take a number of weeks for your paper to be published under the Shaping Sustainable Markets Series. There are a number of stages involved:

a) Peer review and content edit
All SSM papers will be reviewed by the Series Editor (at every draft stage) as well as being reviewed at least once by an internal reviewer (i.e. someone within IIED) and an external expert. The reviewers will be asked a series of questions to identify necessary edits and content changes.

b) Language edit
The report should be written in plain English to a standard suitable for publishing in line with SSM’s style guide. Papers may also be submitted in Spanish and French. Following finalisation of content, the report will be sent for a language edit. Editorial changes to language will be sent to the author for approval prior to publication. This process will be facilitated by the Series Editor.

c) Translation
The series will be in English. Where relevant, the option of also preparing and publishing a full translation in the national language of the country/regional relevant to the publication will be explored.

d) Typesetting and design
The SSM research papers will be typeset in any of the three publication templates available and designed specifically for SSM. The Series Editor will be responsible for sourcing a front cover for each paper and photos inside the paper for illustration.

e) Proofreading and printing
When agreement is reached with the Series Editors that a report is ready for publication in the series, arrangements will be made for a final proofread and for the paper to be printed.  


3. Submission

Papers may be sent as attachments to at any time.