APSR Submission Guidelines

Review both the APSA Style Manual for Political Science and the guidelines 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, covering all disciplinary fields of political science, which demonstrates the highest standards of excellence in scholarly analysis. Submitted manuscripts should be interesting, original, well crafted, and will employ whatever methodologies and methods are appropriate for the problem under scrutiny.


Under these conditions, the APSR accepts submissions of two types of articles:

  • manuscripts that use original work to advance understanding of important political issues, and which are of general interest to the field of political science (typical length 12,000 words);
  • letters that address an important research problem or question, showing a novel perspective on existing research and encouraging scholarly debate in the discipline (maximum length 4,000 words).

Review Process

Articles submitted for review may be desk rejected by the editors upon initial submission if they do not satisfy the conditions outlined in these guidelines. Articles that are not desk rejected will be considered under a double-blind review process. To maintain the quality of the review process, authors of submitted manuscripts are expected to review future manuscripts for APSR. Editors may desk reject submissions of manuscripts by authors who repeatedly fail to provide invited reviews.

Prior Publication Policy

The APSR publishes only original work. Authors who have submitted or published work that is similar or closely related to their submitted manuscript elsewhere at any point, including in published conference proceedings, must immediately notify the editors.

Reproduction Policy

APSR expects that empirical analyses are reproducible and interpretable, depending on the nature of the research. Authors of accepted papers with quantitative, experimental, and simulation results will be required to submit data sets, software and code, and all information needed for reproducing their findings to https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/the_review. To encourage qualitative scholars to make their research transparent and accessible, we will request authors to archive relevant evidence and research protocols where possible. The editors recognize that reproduction standards in qualitative research are under discussion, and authors who are unsure about the nature of the evidence required can contact the editors for clarification. We also urge authors to consult our “frequently asked questions” page, which will be updated periodically. Appropriate embargo periods for both quantitative and qualitative research materials will be negotiated with authors where reasons for embargo are consistent with existing guidelines.

Disclosure Policy

Every submitted article must state the sources of financial support for the research it describes. Furthermore, APSR fully expects authors to conform to generally accepted norms concerning the protection of human subjects, and the editors may require certification of appropriate institutional review.1

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

Manuscript Preparation and Formatting

In order to optimize the quality and speed of the review process, authors should closely read the following manuscript preparation guideline.

Authors may provide up to four in-text citations (in total) of their published work, per author, so long as the manner of the citation does not threaten the integrity of the double-blind review process.

Submissions that do not follow our requested format will be sent back to authors, which will delay the review process.

Authors also have the option of using the APSR template in the free-to-use online collaborative LaTeX tool, Overleaf. This tool helps authors follow the APSR manuscript format and provides a number of other useful features, including: an intuitive interface; version control and a typeset preview of the article; collaborative tools allowing the sharing of the article with co-authors and the ability to highlight and comment on the text. More information is given below.

Manuscript Formatting for Review at a Glance

  • Maximum word count: 12,000 (manuscript); 4,000 (letter)
    • The word count excludes the maximum 150-word abstract, text within a table or figure, and online appendices.
    • The word count includes all text, tables and figures and their subsequent notes and captions, footnotes, references and appendices intended for publication.
    • NOTE: Please include all word counts in total. Programs like TexCount separate word count between main text, figure and table captions and footnotes. Be aware that this software notoriously underestimates word counts, struggling to properly estimate the word count produced when entering in-text references. This website provides a free (and fairly accurate) word count tool for counting words in PDFs.
  • Formatting:
    • Font should be 12 point for text, including footnotes and references
    • Everything should be double-spaced (including text, footnotes, and references)
    • Page numbers are required on all pages.
    • Please use footnotes and refrain from using endnotes.
    • Do not use acronyms or computational abbreviations when discussing variables.
    • We expect the use of the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style
  • Figures and Tables
    • Place figures and tables exactly where they should fall in the manuscript, or, if need be, use a place holder [Figure/Table 1 about here], with the figure directly following on a new page.
    • Please number figures and tables consecutively.
    • All variables that appear in tables of figures should be described in appropriate detail in the text.
    • Figures:
      • Should be readable in grayscale. If submitting in color, please vary colors not by shade, but by intensity and tones! We recommend increments of 15-85%.
      • NOTE: When printing in grayscale, classic blue, black, red and green all look the same.
      • The costs of printing published color figures are the responsibility of the author.
  • References
    • Author-Date system of the 16th Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style
      • Information can be found in Chapter 15, Documentation II: Author-Date References
      • Click here for access to the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide. Please be sure to change to Author-Date
      • See below for a basic reference list example.
    • Please provide authors' first and last names, rather than last name and first initial
    • All listed references must be cited in the text, and vice versa. Do not include non-cited material in references.
    • Please include a link to all non published work, i.e. working papers, conference papers, etc.
    • Publication information for each reference must be complete and correct at time of submission.
    • If you are using the following research tools, we recommend the following:
      • LaTeX – biblatex, style=chicago-authordate,
      • MS Word 2016 includes CMS, for previous Word versions, try the Zotero MS-Word add-in
      • Zotero – Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition (author-date)
      • EndNote – download the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition Author-Date (B)
  • In-Text Citations
    • Use the Author-Date system in the following format: (Author Year, Pages). Note there is no comma between the author and the year. Separate mass citations with a semicolon.
    • Do not redact your self-citations.
    • Do not use footnotes for simple citations.
    • Examples:
      • “In the book by Ahlquist and Levi (2013), …”.
      • Or at the end of a sentence (Mansbridge 1986).
      • Citations may appear at the end of each (in-)dependent clause.
  • Appendices:
    • Figures and Tables appearing in the appendices should be lettered to distinguish them from those in the manuscript (Table A.1, A.2, Figures A.1, A.2 etc)
    • Each appendix should have a descriptive title.
    • Please restart the page count
    • Appendices intended for online publication do not count toward word count; however, please distinguish between online appendices and those you would intend to publish in print.

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 opportunity 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 given them permission 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.

Submission Procedures for Editorial Manager

Please follow these procedures for submission:

  1. Before submitting any manuscript to the APSR, please review the Transfer of Copyright Agreement from the Editorial Manager login page at http://www.editorialmanager.com/apsr, and review its terms and requirements, as well as the permissions granted to authors under its provisions. A signed agreement will be required for all work published in this journal, but it is not necessary to send us this copyright at this time.
  2. When you submit at www.editorialmanager.com/apsr, you will be invited to provide a short list of appropriate reviewers of your manuscript. Exclude anyone who has already commented on the research included in your submission, 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 without guarantee that this will influence final reviewer selections.
  3. You will be required to upload an "anonymous" digital file of your manuscript:
    1. This file must include:
      1. includes an anonymous title page listing the title and abstract, without including any information that identifies the authors. The names of any other collaborators in the work (including research assistants or creators of tables or figures) must also be excluded.
      2. does not provide in-text links to any online databases that are stored on personal websites or at institutions with which any of the co-authors are affiliated.
      3. remove all acknowledgments or potentially identifying information.
      4. does not use any stylization of “redacted” as that is an easy author identifier; instead uses self-references in third person
    2. A separate detailed title page is recommended and should include:
      1. the full manuscript title,
      2. names and contact information (mailing address, telephone, and email address) for all credited authors, in the order their names should appear, as well as each author's academic rank and institutional affiliation.
      3. acknowledgements or other author notes about the development of the research (e.g., previous presentations of it) as part of this separate title page.
      4. In the case of multiple authors, indicate which should receive all correspondence from the APSR.
    3. You may also upload supplementary material or an appendix for the reviewers. Please distinguish between appendices you would intend for print publication and online. Please restart the page number count.
  4. Please make sure the file contains all tables, figures, appendices, and references cited in the manuscript. Furthermore, even though during the review process figure colors are fine, make sure they are readable in grayscale.
  5. Manuscripts with potentially compromised anonymity or disregards our required formatting may be returned, potentially delaying the review process.

Specific Procedures for submitting with our Overleaf Template

Overleaf is based on LaTeX but has a rich text mode allowing authors who are expert in LaTeX to edit and write. At the end of the process authors will be taken through to the Editorial Manager system to submit their article. The APSR Overleaf template can be accessed here.

Please note it is currently not possible to send an Overleaf PDF directly to our Editorial Manager site, Aries is working on developing a way for this one-click magic to become a reality.

When submitting a manuscript written with our Overleaf Template:

  1. Please download the PDF from Overleaf.
  2. Upload it to Editorial Manager using the same submission procedure outlined above, please send only the PDF of the manuscript and any supplementary material.
  3. Please be aware that if you use the default settings of this template, you are submitting a manuscript that follows the formatting aspect of our submission guidelines. Contributors are still responsible for adhering to word count, self-citations, and figure requirements.

Examples of References:


Ahlquist, John S. and Margaret Levi. 2013. In the Interest of Others: Leaders, Governance, and Political Activism in Membership Organizations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Mansbridge, Jane J. 1986. Why We Lost the ERA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

U.S. Department of State. 1979. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951. Vol. II: United Nations; Western Hemisphere. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Gerring, John. 2005a. "Causation: A Unified Framework for the Social Sciences." Journal of Theoretical Politics 17:2 (April):163-98.

Gerring, John. 2005b. "Minor Parties in Plurality Electoral Systems." Party Politics 11:1 (January): 79-107

Wedeen, Lisa. 2002. "Conceptualizing Culture: Possibilities for Political Science." American Political Science Review 96:4 (December): 713-28.

Chapter in Edited Collection

Brady, Henry E. and Cynthia S. Kaplan. 2011. "Conceptualizing and Measuring Ethnic Identity." In Measuring Identity: A Guide for Social Scientists, eds. Rawi Abdelal, Yoshiko M. Herrera, Alastair Iain Johnston, and Rose McDermott. New York: Cambridge University Press, 33-71.

Edited Collections

Boix, Carles, and Susan C. Stokes, eds. 2007. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.


Boas, Taylor. 2009. "Varieties of Electioneering: Presidential Campaigns in Latin America." PhD dissertation, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA.

Web Sites

American Political Science Association. 2013. "About the APSA Africa Workshops." Washington, DC: American Political Science Association. Retrieved October 10, 2013 (http://www.apsanet.org/~africaworkshops/content_58417.cfm).

Data Sets

Levy, Jack S. and T. Clifton Morgan. Great Power Wars, 1495-1815. [Computer file]. ICPSR09955.v1. 1989. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994. doi:10.3886/ICPSR09955.v1

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: [email protected]

Data Access, Production Transparency, and Analytic Transparency

The APSR expects authors to comply with the access and transparency obligations described on pp. 8-10 of APSA's A Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science(http://www.apsanet.org/portals/54/Files/Publications/APSAEthicsGuide2012.pdf). Researchers have an ethical responsibility to facilitate the validation of their evidence-based claim so that their work can be fully evaluated, including through reproduction and replication when appropriate, or b providing sufficient evidence and material to permit others to develop their own interpretation. This involves providing access t the data or evidence underlying their analysis, and achieving transparency in both the production and analysis of evidence All relevant materials must be made available in the APSR dataverse at https://dataverse.harvar edu/dataverse/the_review. More specifically:

  • Access to empirical materials: Authors making evidence-based knowledge claims should provide clear and complete citations to the evidence that support those claims in the reference section of the article; citations should include a "persistent identifier" (e.g., a "digital object identifier" or DOI). Authors should also provide comprehensive documentation that describes the evidence in full. Authors are expected to make these materials available if they themselves generated or collected them. However, if the protection of human subjects requires non-disclosure, if confidentiality agreements prohibit disclosure, if empirical materials are under legal constraint (i.e., they are classified, proprietary, or copyrighted), and/or if the logistical burden of sharing relevant evidence would be particularly high relative to the benefits, the author will inform the editor at the time of submission. The editors can grant an exception with or without conditions, and may require an explanation of the restriction(s) prior to publication of the piece. Once again, we encourage authors to consult our “frequently asked questions” page for more specific information.
  • Production transparency: Authors providing access to evidence they collected themselves and/or generated are expected to offer a full account of the context in which the materials were collected and/or generated and th procedures used to collect and/or generate them. They should also make available any research instruments they used (e.g. interview protocols, coding protocols, procedures for identifying appropriate informants). Authors whose claims are based o the analysis of a set of materials they created themselves should clearly describe how they assembled it.
  • Analytic transparency: Researchers should clearly map the path from the material to the claims. In addition to information provided in the article's main text and footnotes, this path should be mapped in way that correspond with the methodology and method employed. For example, researchers may wish to provide software code an associated supplemental material, a methods appendix, or a transparency appendix (TRAX2). Generally, researchers should make available materials sufficient to allow others to fully understand and, wher relevant and applicable, reproduce, replicate, and interpret their results.

These guidelines apply to all research in political science, which combines evidence and analysis to reach conclusions. APSR recognizes, however, that these general principles will be put into practice differently in different research traditions: different types of materials and information can be provided in different ways, including, but not limited, to the following examples.3

  • For survey research, along with providing the parts of the data set that they analyzed, authors might provide sampling procedures, response rates, and question wordings; and a calculation of response rates according to on of the standard formulas given by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Standard: Fina Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates for Surveys (Lenexa, KS: AAPOR, 2006).4 For observational data, authors should list the dataset in the reference section of their article, and provide the parts of the dataset that they analyzed.
  • For articles that include candidate gene or candidate gene-by-environment studies, APSR uses the same policy as the journal Behavior Genetics.5 In the relevant part, that policy states that an article will normally be considered for publication only if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
  • It was an exploratory study or test of a novel hypothesis, but with an adequately powered, direct replication study reported in the same paper.
  • It was an exploratory analysis or test of a novel hypothesis in the context of an adequately powered study, and the finding meets the statistical criteria for genome wide significance—taking into account al sources of multiple testing (e.g. phenotypes, genotypes, environments, covariates, subgroups).
  • It is a rigorously conducted, adequately powered, direct replication study of a previously reported result.
  • For articles that analyze a qualitative dataset in aggregate (e.g if using Qualitative Comparative Analysis) authors should list the dataset in the reference section of their article, and provide the parts of the datase that they analyzed. Where authors draw on individual sources (e.g., books, interviews, newspaper articles, videos, etc.) a distinct inputs to the analysis, each source must be cited, and then listed in the reference section of their article Whenever possible (within the confines of human subject protections and other exceptions mentioned in the section o Access to Empirical Materials) authors should share the relevant fragment of sources that support contested or central empirica claims and make the original sources available to other researchers. If the evidence used to create the dataset or the individual sources were collected and/or generated by the author, s/he should provide a methods appendix or section in the paper tha explains how the evidence was collected and/or generated and selected for citation, and all relevant evidence-collectio instruments. These and other (?) analytical transparency requirements can be satisfied for qualitative research using individua sources by preparing a transparency appendix (TRAX) if the author chooses to do so.
  • To achieve transparency in experimental research, authors should provide full descriptions of experimental protocols, methods of subject recruitment and selection, payments to subjects, debriefing procedures, and so on.
  • Generalizing beyond particular examples, the core principle is that analytical transparency should be provided in ways that are relevant for the type of research that was undertaken, and the inferential and interpretive steps the author took to reach a conclusion.

At the time a manuscript is submitted to APSR for review, authors must provide the main text, notes, bibliographic references, and any tables and diagrams. If they so choose (but this is not required), authors may als provide the underlying evidence, and information needed to achieve production and analytic transparency and interpretability as supplemental materials. These supplemental materials may be submitted as a file accompanying the manuscript submission o authors may provide a hyperlink to a trustworthy digital repository where they reside. Although not a requirement fo submission, data access and production and analytical transparency materials may make the manuscript more understandable an more compelling for reviewers.

By the time the manuscript is published in the journal, the underlying evidentiary material necessary to meet APSA's access, production transparency, and analytic transparency standards must be available in https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/the_review, which are made accessible when the article is published.


  1. One widely accepted guide to such norms is given by the American Anthropological Association's Code of Ethics, particularly Section III, available online here: http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/upload/AAA-Ethics-Code-2009.pdf http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/upload/AAA-Ethics-Code-2009.pdf
  2. A TRAX consists of two elements: (1) a brief overview outlining the data-collection and data-generation processes employed and (2) activated (digitally enhanced) citations. Activated citations follow the format of traditiona footnotes or endnotes, but are digitally augmented to include, for each source: (a) a precise and complete reference such tha scholars can locate the source and find the relevant information within it; (b) a redaction of/excerpt from the source; (c if needed, an annotation that explains how the source supports the textual claim with which it is associated; and (d) the sourc itself (if available and shareable) or a hyperlink thereto. For more details, see http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/moynihan/cqrm/A_Guide_to_Active_Citation/
  3. This parallels the position taken by APSA. See, for example, Guidelines for Data Access and Research Transparency for Qualitative Research in Political Science, and Guidelines for Data Access and Research Transparency fo Quantitative Research in Political Science
  4. See AAPOR's Code of Ethics.
  5. http://www.springer.com/psychology/journal/10519?detailsPage=pltci_624152