From the Executive Director’s Proposal, August 2015
APSA proposes adding a new online-only open access journal to its publication portfolio. This journal will be free of all paywalls or subscription requirements, meaning that it will be accessible to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.
The open access model, together with the absence of a print edition, will combine to create a barrier-free venue for the timely publication of high-quality, peer-reviewed articles, reflecting the research diversity of political science and emphasizing innovation in form, submission, review, and presentation. Such a journal will play a central role as part of the broader APSA strategy to help build and strengthen the discipline of political science in the US and abroad and to foster new developments in political science research. It will build on APSA’s premium brand and ensure that the association publishes more of the top-level research output from its members.
The proposed journal is an excellent fit with the academic and professional development priorities of the association and will permit the association to respond effectively and creatively to emergent trends in higher education and the social sciences. Thus, the proposed journal offers added value to the association and its members and more broadly the discipline of political science. Its core objectives can be summarized as follows:
Diversity. Representation of the diverse methodological approaches to political research, as well as of the many subfields that constitute the discipline, is essential. It is vitally important that the journal is perceived as open and welcoming to junior faculty, non-US faculty, and faculty from the full range of subfields and academic institutions.
Innovation. A born-digital journal provides a terrific opportunity for the development of innovations in article presentation including dynamic data visualizations, article commentaries, or video presentations for classroom use. Furthermore, the journal would encourage methodological innovation by promoting experimentation in different qualitative and quantitative research methods, given the quick publication cycle and diffusion of new articles.
Public Engagement. The open access model and the associated promotional strategy, combined with the emphasis on timely publication, will support APSA’s goal of public engagement and demonstrating the broader value of political science research and scholarship.
Timeliness. Flexible, rapid publication promotes the professional development and advancement of faculty, fosters the worldwide dissemination of knowledge including methodological innovation, supports diversity in methods, and promotes the engagement of the profession in the public sphere.
The new journal will be for the entire APSA membership as well as the entire audience of individuals around the globe interested in political science research. It is essential and expected that the APSA Council and the journal’s editors – as well as the wider APSA community – will be active participants in shaping the form and identity of the journal in the launch phase and the early years of its development. The watchwords at all times must be “quality” and “diversity”: both must be evident in the journal’s table of contents from the outset.
Read the full Proposal from Steven Rathgeb Smith.
Call for Proposals
APSA is currently seeking an editor/ editorial team for this journal. The Call for Editors is here. Members of the search committee, chaired by Evan S. Lieberman, MIT, includes Lisa Garcia Bedolla, University of California, Berkeley; Melani Cammett, Harvard University; James Druckman, Northwestern University; Jane Green, University of Manchester; Melissa Schwartzberg, New York University; and Michael Tomz, Stanford University. APSA President Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University and APSA Executive Director Steven Rathgeb Smith serve on the committee ex officio. For questions about the journal or the application process, contact Steven Rathgeb Smith at email@example.com.