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PS Symposium: Guidelines for Proposals

PS: Political Science & Politics welcomes proposals for symposia. A symposium consists of a set of articles focused on a single or set of related topics. Symposia are popular among our readership and provide one of the few outlets in the profession for a set of authors to write on a single topic. Symposia can be particularly beneficial to the progress of our discipline, as they encourage a more comprehensive and integrated focus on a particular question.

Achieving diversity and inclusion is a priority for the American Political Science Association. As part of this commitment, PS requests that scholars who proposing a symposium consider how they may contribute to this effort by recruiting participants with a diverse set of scholarly backgrounds, methodological perspectives, and from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in political science. Proposals should include with their proposal a description of efforts to recruit a broad and diverse team of contributors.

Symposia include five to seven contributors, with each article 3,000 words or fewer, inclusive of references, notes, tables, and figures. If the proposal includes an introduction and/or summary article(s), those are included in the numbers of contributions. Authors may submit appendices in the form of supplemental materials which are hosted by Cambridge University Press and published online with the article. Supplemental material does not count toward the word limit.


A proposal for a symposium must be sent to the editors of the journal at [email protected] Ideas for symposia can be sent along at any time, and we can discuss format and content with you.

Proposals should consist of the following elements:

  • The name and affiliation of the guest editor or editors.
  • A one or two paragraph description of the topic of the symposium.
  • A list of potential paper topics and authors with brief summaries.
  • A description of efforts to include a broad and diverse set of contributors.
  • Selection of type of review process: single or double blind.
  • A timeline for completion.

PS also encourages proposers to consider an “open call” for contributions on a particular topic. These proposals should still include elements 1., 2., and 3., and a description of how the guest editor or editors will manage the open call.

All articles submitted to PS must adhere to the general publication guidelines of the journal, and we remind proposers of the word limit. One method to reduce overlapping coverage is to commission an annotated bibliography to prevent the need for each author to review the same materials.

Guest Editor Responsibilities

Guest editors provide subject matter expertise and also manage the peer review process, in partnership with the editorial team. Guest editors should work to ensure all manuscripts are within the word limit (3,000) and offer suggestions to edit down material as needed. All material in PS the journal is peer-reviewed, including symposia. We have developed a flexible policy regarding how we manage peer review for symposia.

In some cases, guest editors have chosen to use a full double blinded peer review process. In these cases, the editors have decided that they may not want to accept all of the submissions or they want to use peer review to spur revisions. In other cases, we have allowed for “single-blinded” peer review. Each of the conference or symposium participants (or another reader) agrees to review one other submission from the group. In these cases, the participants know whose paper they are reviewing, but the author does not know the reviewer.  Peer review can be way to ensure that authors adhere to the publication guidelines and to the timeline.

It is important that the type of peer review be agreed upon before acceptance of the proposal.

Guest Editor Rewards

Guest editors are encouraged to write an introductory or summary essay as part of the symposium. Guest editors also benefit from having the opportunity to demonstrate ownership of an issue. Guest editors will be prominently mentioned in the table of contents.

Editorial Manager

All manuscripts must be submitted through Editorial Manager. This tool is critical for helping the managing editor work efficiently with the guests editor.

Thank you again for considering a symposium for PS: Political Science & Politics! We look forward to working with you.

Phillip Ardoin
Paul Gronke
Co-editors, PS: Political Science & Politics
[email protected]

Celina Szymanski
Managing Editor, PS: Political Science & Politics
[email protected]

American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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