Submission Guidelines

General Considerations

The American Political Science Review (APSR) publishes scholarly research of exceptional merit, focusing on important issues and demonstrating the highest standards of excellence in conceptualization, exposition, methodology, and craftsmanship. A significant advance in understanding of politics -- whether empirical, interpretive, or theoretical -- is the criterion for publication in the Review.  Because the APSR reaches a diverse audience, authors must demonstrate how their analysis illuminates or answers an important research question of general interest in political science. For the same reason, authors must strive to be understandable to as many scholars as possible, consistent with the nature of their material.

The APSR publishes original work. Submissions should not include tables, figures, or substantial amounts of text that already have been published or are forthcoming in other places. In many cases, re-publication of such material would violate the copyright of the other publisher.  Neither does the APSR consider submissions that are currently under review at other journals or that duplicate or overlap with parts of larger manuscripts submitted to other publishers (whether of books, printed periodicals, or online journals).  If you have any questions about whether these policies apply in your case, you should address the issues in a cover letter to the editors or as part of the author comments section during online submission. You should also notify the editors of any related submissions to other publishers, whether for book or periodical publication, during the pendency of your submission's review at the APSR - regardless of whether they have yet been accepted.  The editors may request copies of related publications.

The APSR uses a double-blind review process. You should follow the guidelines for preparing an anonymous submission in the "Specific Procedures" section that follows.

If your manuscript contains quantitative evidence and analysis, you should describe your procedures in sufficient detail to permit reviewers to understand and evaluate what has been done and -- in the event the article is accepted for publication - to permit other scholars to replicate your results and to carry out similar analyses on other data sets.  With surveys, for example, provide sampling procedures, response rates, and question wordings; calculate response rates according to one of the standard formulas given by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Standard Definitions: Final Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates for Surveys (Lenexa, KS: AAPOR, 2006). [1]  For experiments, provide full descriptions of experimental protocols, methods of subject recruitment and selection, payments to subjects, debriefing procedures, and so on.  In any case involving human subjects, the editors may require certification of appropriate institutional review and/or conformity with generally accepted norms. [2]

The strength of evidence necessary for publication of quantitative empirical findings cannot be captured by any single criterion, such as the conventional .05 level of statistical significance.  The journal's co-editors -- following the evolving disciplinary standard among reviewers -- will evaluate the strength of findings on a range of criteria beyond statistical significance, including substantive significance, theoretical aptness, the importance of the problem under study, and the feasibility of obtaining additional evidence.

In addition, authors of quantitative or experimental articles are expected to address the issue of data availability.  You must normally indicate both where (online) you will deposit the information that is necessary to reproduce the numerical results and when that information will be posted (such as "on publication" or "by [definite date]"). You should be prepared, when posting, to provide not only the data used in the analysis but also the syntax files, specialized software, and any other information necessary to reproduce the numerical results in the manuscript.  Where an exception is claimed, you should clearly explain why the data or other critical materials used in the manuscript cannot be shared, or why they must be embargoed for a limited period beyond publication.

Similarly, authors of qualitative, observational, or textual articles, or of articles that combine such methods with quantitative analysis, should indicate their sources fully and clearly enough to permit ready verification by other scholars -- including precise page references to any published material cited and clear specification (e.g., file number) of any archival sources.  Wherever possible, use of interactive citations is encouraged.  Where field or observational research is involved, anonymity of participants will always be respected; but the texts of interviews, group discussions, observers' notes, etc., should be made available on the same basis (and subject to the same exceptions) as with quantitative data. 

Articles should be self-contained; you should not simply refer readers to other publications for descriptions of these basic research procedures.

Please indicate variables included in statistical analyses by italicizing the entire name of the variable -- the first time it is mentioned in the text -- and by capitalizing its first letter in all uses. You should also use the same names for variables in text, tables, and figures.  Do not use acronyms or computational abbreviations when discussing variables in the text. All variables that appear in tables or figures should have been mentioned in the text, standard summary statistics (n, mean, median, standard deviation, range, etc.) provided, and the reason for their inclusion discussed.  However, tables and figures should also be comprehensible without reference to the text, e.g., in any figures, axes should be clearly labeled. Please bear in mind also that neither the published or online versions of the Review normally can provide figures in color; be sure that a grayscale version will be comprehensible to referees and readers.

You may be asked to submit additional documentation if procedures are not sufficiently clear.  If you advise readers that additional information is available on request, you should submit equally anonymous copies of that information with your manuscript as "supplemental materials."  If this additional information is extensive, please inquire about alternate procedures.

Manuscripts that, in the judgment of the co-editors, are largely or entirely critiques of, or commentaries on, articles previously published in the Review will be reviewed for possible inclusion in a forum section, using the same general procedures as for other manuscripts. Well before any publication, however, such manuscripts will also be sent to the scholar(s) whose work is being addressed. The author(s) of the previously published article will be invited to comment to the editors and to submit a rejoinder, which also will be peer-reviewed.  We do not publish rejoinders to rejoinders.

The APSR accepts only electronic submissions (at  The web site provides detailed information about how to submit, what formatting is required, and what type of digital files may be uploaded. Please direct any questions to the journal's editorial offices at [email protected]


Manuscript Formatting

Manuscripts should be no longer than 12,000 words, including text, all tables and figures, notes, references, and appendices intended for publication. Font size must be 12 point for all parts of the submission, including notes and references, and all body text (including references) should be double-spaced. Include an abstract of no more than 150 words.  Explanatory footnotes may be included but should not be used for simple citations; but do not use endnotes.  Observe all of the further formatting instructions given on our web site.  Doing so lightens the burden on reviewers, copyeditors, and compositors. Submissions that violate our guidelines on formatting or length will be rejected without review.

For submission and review purposes, you may locate tables and figures (on separate pages and only one to a page) approximately where they fall in the text, but with an in-text locator for each, in any case, e.g., [Table 3 about here].

If your submission is accepted for publication, you may also be asked to submit high resolution digital source files of graphs, charts, or other types of figures. Following acceptance, all elements within any tables submitted (text, numerals, symbols, etc.) should be accessible for editing and reformatting to meet the journal's print specifications, e.g.., they should not be included as single images not subject to reformatting.  If you have any doubts about how to format the required in-text citations and/or bibliographic reference sections, please consult the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), and review recent issues of the APSR.


 Specific Procedures

Please follow these specific procedures for submission:

1.   Before submitting any manuscript to the APSR, download a PDF of the Transfer of Copyright Agreement from the Editorial Manager login page at and be sure its terms and requirements, as well as the permissions granted to authors under its provisions, are acceptable to you. A signed agreement will be required for all work published in this journal.

2.  When you submit (at, you will be invited to provide a short list of appropriate reviewers of your manuscript.  Do not include on this list anyone who has already commented on the research included in your submission. Likewise, exclude any of your current or recent collaborators, institutional colleagues, mentors, students, or close friends. You may also "oppose" potential reviewers by name, as potentially biased or otherwise inappropriate, but you will be expected to provide specific reasons.  The editors will refer to these lists in selecting reviewers, though there can be no guarantee that this will influence final reviewer selections.

3.  You will also be required to upload a minimum of two separate files.

a) An "anonymous" digital file of your submission, which should not include any information that identifies the authors.  Also excluded should be the names of any other collaborators in the work (including research assistants or creators of tables or figures).  Likewise do not provide in-text links to any online databases used that are stored on any personal web sites or at institutions with which any of the co-authors are affiliated.  Do not otherwise thank colleagues or include institution names, web addresses, or other potentially identifying information. 

b) A separate title page should include the full manuscript title, plus names and contact information (mailing address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address) for all credited authors, in the order their names should appear, as well as each author's academic rank and institutional affiliation. You may also include any acknowledgements or other author notes about the development of the research (e.g., previous presentations of it) as part of this separate title page. In the case of multiple authors, indicate which should receive all correspondence from the APSR. You may also choose to include a cover letter.

4.   Please make sure the file contains all tables, figures, appendices, and references cited in the manuscript.

5.  If your previous publications are cited, please do so in a way that does not make the authorship of the work being submitted to the APSR obvious. This is usually best accomplished by referring to yourself and any co-authors in the third person and including normal references to the work cited within the list of references. Your prior publications should be included in the reference section in their normal alphabetical location.  Assuming that in-text references to your previous work are in the third person, you should not redact self-citations and references (possible exceptions being any work that is "forthcoming" in publication, and which may not be generally accessible to others). Manuscripts with potentially compromised anonymity may then be returned, potentially delaying the review processes.


Further questions

Do not hesitate, in any cases of doubt, to consult the APSR Editorial Offices with more specific questions, by telephone (940-891-6803), or by sending an e-mail to: [email protected]


[1] See

[2] One widely accepted guide to such norms is given by the American Anthropological Association's Code of Ethics, particularly Section III.




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