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APSR Submission Guidelines

 

Review the APSA Style Manual for Political Science, the APSR Manuscript Preparation Guidelines, the Guidelines for Reproducibility, the FAQs, and the information outlined below before submitting your manuscript.

 

The American Political Science Review (APSR) is founded by the Constitution of the American Political Science Association (APSA).
 

Scope and Aims

The APSR publishes scholarly research of exceptional merit: problem-driven scholarship that is well conceptualized, ethically designed, and well executed, meeting the highest ethical and scholarly standards for research. We welcome manuscripts that collectively use a range of methods and approaches to address both timely and timeless questions about power and governance that are central to the study of politics everywhere. The journal aims to represent the diversity of subfields, geographic areas of study, identities, methods, and approaches that are encompassed by our broad and pluralistic discipline. Submitted manuscripts should be original, innovative, and well-crafted, and they should employ the methodologies and methods most appropriate to the problems they address.

 

Tracks

  • Regular Articles that use original work to advance understanding of important issues.
  • Replications and Reappraisals that revisit results previously published in the APSR or in other journals.
  • Registered Reports that are submitted prior to any data analysis. (This track will open on September 1, 2024.)
     

Length

There is no strict word limit for the APSR, as some articles need more space than others. However, we expect most articles to be less than 12,000 words, and some may be much shorter (the equivalent of a research note or letter). All should include a total word-count on the front page. This website provides a free (and fairly accurate) word count tool for counting words in PDFs.

 

Anonymity

Manuscripts should be written in such a way that they preserve the anonymity of the author. To ensure anonymous review, authors should avoid citing themselves unnecessarily or excessively and should ensure that any self-citation does not reveal their identity. To that effect, obvious references to the author should be removed (e.g., "As I wrote in 1993,...").

 

ORCID Identifier

Beginning January 1, 2019, an ORCID iD is a requirement for corresponding authors submitting to APSR. The Editorial Manager system will prompt authors to attach an ORCID iD to their manuscript during the submission process. Authors can also choose to update their Editorial Manager profile with their ORCID iD in advance to save themselves time during the submission process. Including an ORCID iD with your article submission improves the discoverability of your work and creates more opportunities for recognition. By using your iD you can also benefit from having your ORCID record automatically updated when your article publishes. ORCID deposits your iD to Crossref and, provided you have permitted them to do so, they'll update your record automatically each time you publish an article. Learn more about ORCID and Crossref’s automatic update functionality

 

Prior Publication Policy

The APSR publishes only original work. Please see Cambridge's Preprint Policy for exceptions. Authors who have work under review or published that is similar or closely related to their submitted manuscript must notify the editors in their cover letter.

 

Preregistration

Authors who have preregistered their research should submit an anonymized copy of the preregistration plan or an anonymized link to it, which will be shared with reviewers. Authors should clearly state how their research has or has not, deviated from the original plan. Deviation is not a disqualification - we do not want confirmatory work to discourage exploratory work - but it is essential to clarify.

 

Transparency and Reproducibility

APSR takes seriously its role as a space for scholarly communication within the political science community. The Journal will continue to collaborate with authors to meet DA*RT standards. We recognize that there are many ways to meet those standards depending upon the type of scholarship, research context, and other factors that vary across the discipline. However, all approaches recognize the importance of clear and transparent communication about the procedures used to collect and analyze evidence. While epistemological and methodological diversity is a strength of the political science community, this diversity also makes more imperative scholarly communication that is as transparent and accessible as possible across disciplinary subfields and approaches.

 

Verification

If a conditionally accepted manuscript substantially relies on computation, the authors will be required to deposit a reproducibility package containing data, code, and documentation necessary for other scholars to reproduce the manuscript's findings. We will verify that the package reproduces the paper's results and is documented well enough that future researchers can understand and benefit from it. Our detailed guidelines for reproducibility packages can be found below.

Our guidelines discuss circumstances where data cannot be shared for ethical and/or legal reasons. Authors who anticipate problems adhering to our guidelines for this or other reasons should get in touch before their manuscript is reviewed.

Papers containing formal theory should be submitted with complete proofs, either in the text or as Supplementary Material, to be available to the reviewers and editors during the review process. Formal claims will be reviewed in detail by an editor and assistants at the conditional acceptance stage for consistency and readability. Authors are expected to collaborate with the journal in addressing any potential issues raised by this technical verification.

For further instructions, see Guidelines for Reproducibility.

 

Post-publication Scrutiny

The Journal follows COPE guidelines scrupulously, which means that any errors discovered after publication may entail a retraction, corrigendum, or expression of concern. The Journal also publishes replications and encourages comments on each article's publication DOI on Cambridge Core, both of which are intended to encourage post-publication discussion of work on our pages.

This upshot is this: If your paper is published in the APSR there is a very good chance it will be scrutinized in a high-profile fashion by the academic community. To save time and potential embarrassment, authors should carefully consider the reproducibility and reliability of their work, before submission. Can the findings be reproduced? How robust are they to different choices in design (measurement, sample, specification, estimator)? Are weaknesses, assumptions, and limitations openly acknowledged?

We hope that post-publication scrutiny leads to better practices and not to intellectual temerity. It is not our intention to discourage exploratory work. We also hope to normalize the process of post-publication debate and discussion, which means bringing honest mistakes to the fore without shame or recriminations. Intellectual activity is always risky, and sometimes errors offer the quickest path forward. Engagement is always preferred to withdrawal so long as it is in the service of truth and not undertaken in an ad hominem fashion. 

 

Ethics

The APSR expects all authors to comply with ethical and transparency obligations described in APSA's A Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science (2012) and in Principles and Guidance for Human Subjects Research (approved by the APSA Council, April 4, 2020).

Researchers have ethical obligations to:

  • ensure that research that directly engages human participants in the research process adheres to APSA’s Principles and Guidance for Human Subjects Research , and, if it does not for well-founded reasons, provide reasoned justification in scholarly publications and presentations (APSA 2012, 9);
  • declare what compensation was paid (if any) to human participants and how the amount was determined;
  • declare any potential or perceived conflicts of interest arising from their research (APSA 2012, 9);
  • disclose sources of financial support for their research (APSA 2012, 9);
  • “facilitate the evaluation of their evidence-based knowledge claims through data access, production transparency, and analytic transparency so that their work can be tested or replicated” (APSA 2012, 9) whenever legally, ethically and epistemologically possible; and
  • acknowledge contributions to the research, including authorship and citations to previous work, as appropriate (APSA 2012, 9, 11).

To ensure that research published in the ASPR is consistent with these principles, when submitting their research for publication in APSR, all authors will be expected to explicitly affirm the ways in which their research practices conform to these standards. In particular, submitting authors will be asked:

  • if the submission draws on research directly engaging human participants, including human subjects, expert interviewees, and those exposed to experimental interventions. If yes, authors should answer "yes" to the screening question (even if ruled exempt from further review by the relevant ethics review board) and
    • discuss in the text or an appendix their ethical practices concerning human participants, particularly those included in the Principles such as consent, deception, confidentiality, harm and impact, as well as whether and how participants were compensated
    • confirm compliance with APSA’s Principles and Guidance for Human Subjects Research , or if it is not in compliance, provide reasoned justification for deviation(s) in the main text, with additional explanation provided in an appendix (included at the time of submission) if needed;
  • whether they adhere to the other ethical principles listed above, including explaining how any other real or perceived ethical issues or conflicts of interest, were addressed, including where these issues are discussed in the manuscript or an appendix as needed;
  • to declare any agencies, organizations, or institutions that funded the research;
  • to indicate where in the manuscript or an appendix the data collection procedures (if relevant) are explained; and
  • to confirm that, if the paper is accepted, quantitative data and related code necessary to produce the results will be made publicly available on the APSR Dataverse, or in cases where such confirmation is not possible, provide a reasoned justification in the text or an appendix concerning the legal, ethical, or methodological constraints that prevent public, free access to the data.

This information (including any appendix that provides further details) will be shared with reviewers as appropriate. Reviewers will be invited to comment on the extent to which the research or researchers have adequately addressed ethical and transparency obligations.  


Manuscript Preparation and Formatting

Authors should follow the manuscript preparation guidelines.

 

Further Questions

Do not hesitate, in any cases of doubt, to consult the APSR Editorial Offices with more specific questions by sending an e-mail to apsr@apsanet.org.