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PS: Political Science & Politics

APSA's Journal of Record for the Profession

PS: Political Science & Politics provides critical analyses of contemporary political phenomena and is the journal of record for the discipline of political science reporting on research, teaching, and professional development. PS, begun in 1968, is the only quarterly professional news and commentary journal in the field and is the prime source of information on political scientists' achievements and professional concerns.

Current Issue: October 2017, Volume 50, Number 4

PS will take a winter hiatus from Monday, December 18, 2017 to Monday, January 8, 2018. During this time, no new or revised submissions will be accepted. However, all other journal operations will continue. Reviewers can submit their reviews and editors will continue to issue decisions. We look forward to receiving your submissions on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.


From the Editors' Corner: There are at least three reasons why we find PS to be the most appropriate outlet for [research].

First, journals are a key element of our professional life and their relative rankings is the equivalent of disciplinary “cat nip.” Political scientists cannot resist looking at journal rankings. As an illustration of this irresistible attraction, at the APSA convention immediately following publication of the 1975 journal-ranking article in PS, one of the authors’ mentors asked if he had seen the article and immediately launched into a discussion of the rankings. The mentor was so focused on the rankings that he had read the article without noticing that it was coauthored by his former student! We regularly receive inquiries about our studies reporting rankings of scholarly journals and presses, especially requests for data.

Second, there is also a rational incentive to this professional interest in journal rankings. Rightly or wrongly, the assessment of a scholar’s publication record is conditioned at least in part by the perceived ranking of the journals in which their articles appear. At the extreme, some evaluators for tenure, promotion, or even hiring may simply assign the ranking of the journal to the articles it contains without reading and assessing their contribution. In this light, the articles that we have published in PS may be seen by some as undermining the engagement which should guide colleagues in making such decisions. In our defense, our 2007 paper makes a strong effort to properly situate the use of any form of ranking journals in the evaluation process.

Third, articles about the ranking of journals are studies of the sociology of our profession. As students of institutions and behavior within institutions we need to avail ourselves of the same tools we use to examine the political world to understand our profession. Moreover, work in this vein provides a policy benefit to the profession. As described above, the genesis for the first journal ranking article was an effort to reform an inequity in cross-discipline evaluation.

In its first decade, hosting scholarly articles on the profession was not initially seen as within the purview of PS. The first journal-ranking article was initially rejected by the editor. However, in the following decades PS has become the principal home for quantitative and non-quantitative scholarship on the profession. And we believe that the profession is the better for it. 

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Recent Editor's Report

Virtual Issues

Capitol Hill Insights: Voices from the Congressional Fellowship Program

PSC 49 V2 Cover This virtual issue features articles written by alumni of the American Political Science Association’s Congressional Fellowship Program and published in PS: Political Science & Politics between 2010 and 2015. Established in 1953, the Congressional Fellowship Program brings select scholars and professionals to Washington, DC, each year to serve fellowship placements in congressional and other offices. The articles gathered here—written by alumni who are political scientists, journalists, health policy specialists, and other domestic and international professionals—illustrate the unique first-hand insights into Congress and the legislative process provided by the fellowship experience. 

Read Capitol Hill Insights here!

Navigating the Profession: Sage Advice from the Pages of PS

Navigating the Profession Cover This first virtual issue of PS: Political Science & Politics brings together some of the journal’s most highly cited articles about the profession from more than a dozen past issues. This practical material spans numerous topics that especially apply to young scholars. From “ideas and debates” of political science as a vocation, to the “nuts and bolts” of preparing a literature review and publishing as a graduate student, this virtual issue has something both for scholars just beginning their studies and for academics early in their careers.

Read the virtual issue here!

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