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Opinions section policies

The following policies apply to the opinions section. Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions or concerns. The entire document is available here, with a subset particularly pertinent for public view repeated and reorganized below.

The sections below outline the External Submission Criteria; Policies on Revision, Acceptance, and Timing for External Submissions; Editorial Standards for Published Articles; and Anonymity Policy of The Stanford Daily Opinions Section.

External Submission Criteria: external submissions are in two categories:

  1. Timely articles with relevance to campus affairs: articles submitted to The Daily chiefly addressed to the immediate Stanford community, often on pressing matters affecting Stanford community members. Editors try to ensure such articles are published in a timely manner if they are accepted. Submissions are limited to 1,600 words, but should avoid exceeding 1,000 words.  Articles exceeding 1,200 words are unlikely to be accepted. 
  2. Guest contributors: general opinion articles submitted to The Daily that are not addressed to the immediate Stanford community or on a timely subject affecting the community. The subject matter should still have some connection to the University, but need not be on timely affairs. These articles are sometimes published but take a lower priority. We encourage interested writers to apply to the opinions section rather than submitting as a guest contributor. Submissions are limited to 1,600 words, but should avoid exceeding 1,000 words.  Articles exceeding 1,200 words are unlikely to be accepted.
  3. Letters to the editor: short letters of not more than 600 words, sent directly to the editor-in-chief of the paper at [email protected]. The Opinions Section’s Editorial Standards for Published Articles (below) apply to letters to the editor. Unlike external submissions to the Opinions Section, however, letters are not edited before publication; rather, they are accepted or declined outright.

Policies on Revision, Acceptance, and Timing for External Submissions: 

  1. Acceptance: acceptance of article submissions is at the discretion of the Editor of Opinions, and The Daily routinely declines to publish articles. Acceptance is not guaranteed based on submission, and the section generally does not share detailed rationale for declining articles.
  2. Revision: all accepted articles are accepted provisionally, and undergo at least two rounds of revision before publication. Unless an editor states that a certain revision is only a suggestion, revision requests should be considered necessary for publication. The section will decline to publish an article if an author is unwilling to work with editors on revisions.
  3. Timing: the editors can generally accommodate articles submitted at least two calendar days before the publication date (not including the publication date), at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. For timely matters, the editors of opinions may be able to publish articles submitted one calendar day before the publication date before 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time. In either case, how quickly the section can publish depends on how quickly an author can address revision suggestions. Please keep in mind that The Daily is a student organization, and the Opinions Section has no full-time staff.

Editorial Standards for Published Articles

  1. The section is committed to honoring the dignity and humanity of individuals and groups that make up the Stanford community. We believe that this effort involves ensuring that individuals and communities can live their lives with the assurance that they are given basic respect, safety and equal regard in society. As an organization that amplifies voices, we will not platform voices that threaten this assurance with public expressions of threat, prejudice and animus.
    1. As part of this commitment, we will not publish facially reasonable articles linked to authors or groups who are known to advance and advocate threats on the dignity and humanity of individuals and groups.
    2. Though the section does not align itself with a particular political orientation, we should note that the commitments in point one above are substantive value commitments: the section does not take a free-speech absolutist position on the articles in our section.
    3. The section will not publish articles that unnecessarily single out individuals rather than institutions or offices. Articles that deal mainly with individuals must pass a high degree of scrutiny to justify this attention.
  2. The section will not publish articles that involve claims relying on faulty reasoning, misrepresentations of truth or claims from unreliable sources. All factual claims must be substantiated.
  3. Parties who submit must be relied upon to work with editors in good faith. Those who have shown an unwillingness to respond in good faith to edit suggestions, or who share edit suggestions publicly to attack The Daily rather than corresponding with editors, will have future submissions declined without further consideration.
  4. Editorial decisions made before Volume 260 shall not be considered precedent for the present editorial policy.

Anonymity Policy 

  1. The section will consider granting anonymity to authors and sources in cases where the article includes information about the relevant individual such that revealing the individual’s identity would jeopardize their safety or subject them to undue harassment. The bar for anonymity is lower for a source than for an author: sources may sometimes be granted anonymity if they do not wish to be quoted on the record due to fear of reprisals from parties mentioned. Authors, on the other hand, will not be granted anonymity to protect from reprisal for making certain claims or statements, but only to protect from danger arising from exposure of personal information about them.
  2. The section allows group authorship of articles as long as the group membership is sufficiently transparent or at least one group member is willing to be listed as an author as well. This can be as simple as 

“[Group name]

[Name], President”

to avoid the suggestion that the group member takes sole responsibility for the article. 

  1. In certain situations, groups may publish anonymously if there is a danger of reprisal from the University. This determination is at the discretion of the Editor of Opinions and executive team.
  2. Editorial decisions on anonymity made before Volume 260 shall not be considered precedent for the present anonymity policy.

Joining the Opinions Section

The Daily supports a team of contributing writers in the Opinion Section, who write regularly in the section. Those seeking to join the Opinions Section as a contributing writer should apply during the recruiting cycles at the beginning of each volume, or by sending an inquiry to [email protected].