Pre-Launch FAQs


What is APSA Preprints?

APSA Preprints is a free-to-access pre-publication platform dedicated to early research outputs in political science and related disciplines. It has been developed through a collaboration of the American Political Science Association and Cambridge University Press.

When will I be able to post my work to APSA Preprints?

APSA Preprints will be made available to a group of selected users between the end of May and August 2019. It will be formally launched at the 2019 APSA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C (August 29th-September 1st). Between May and late August, the site will undergo rigorous user testing and ongoing development as the site evolves and further features are added.

How could APSA Preprints benefit me and my research?

Putting your pre-publication work on APSA Preprints will enable you to showcase your research at an earlier stage than through formal publication, building an audience for your work and encouraging engagement from peers. Posting a preprint helps stake an early claim to research outputs by getting your name and a date associated with the output prior to formal publication.

The site will provide an annotation and commenting tool that will facilitate feedback on your paper from the political science community. Consequently, you will be in a position to improve your paper iteratively, speeding up the research process and raising the quality and publication potential of your paper. APSA Preprints will also help political scientists make connections across the discipline by showcasing emerging research trends and allowing potential collaborators to connect with one another.

What type of content will I be able to post to APSA Preprints?

APSA Preprints will be open to a variety of types of content including research papers, conference papers, posters, replication studies, presentations, and datasets. Submissions can be made at any stage of the research process up until the point that the content is accepted for formal publication following peer review. The content must be political science, broadly defined, and meet the following requirements:

  • Scholarly in tone, methodology, and approach.
  • Written in English.
  • Does not infringe the intellectual property right of any person(s) or entity(ies)
  • Does not contain any libelous or otherwise unlawful statements.
  • Does not contain inappropriate, confidential, or harmful statement or materials.
  • Is the work of the author or co-authors.
  • Falls broadly in the scope of political science.
  • Has not been formally accepted or published after a peer review process.

APSA Preprints will not accept the deposit of work that has been finally accepted for publication as a journal article or book chapter, or the retrospective deposit of pre-acceptance forms of work that have already been published in peer-reviewed journals or books in a final “Version of Record” form.

Will the content on APSA Preprints be peer reviewed?

No. APSA Preprints is an early research space and so only content that has not yet been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, book, or other format can be deposited (though content can remain on APSA Preprints after acceptance and publication have taken place). We will however encourage informal peer review through commenting and annotation. Papers deposited on APSA Preprints can subsequently be submitted to journals for peer review. In due course, authors will be able to submit directly from APSA Preprints to selected Cambridge University Press political science titles.

Submissions to the site will pass through a series of key checks for plagiarism and also for general appropriateness using the criteria detailed below. Emphasis will be placed on quick checking and posting to the preprint site.

Who will be able to put content on APSA Preprints?

Anyone, so long as they have an APSA account, which is free to obtain, and so long as the content abides by the criteria detailed above. You do not need to become an APSA member to have an APSA account.

Will there be a charge to put content on APSA Preprints?

No. Posting content to APSA Preprints is free of charge to authors. You will need an APSA account to log in, but it is free to register.

Will an author or user need to pay to read content on APSA Preprints?

No. All content on APSA Preprints will be free to read and share. There will be no paywalls and no registration is required.

Is an ORCID iD required to submit to APSA Preprints?

No, but the corresponding author may enter a valid ORCID iD, which can be freely obtained here.

Will I be able to read APSA Preprints content on different devices?

Yes. APSA Preprints has been designed to be read on a variety of different devices, from laptops and monitors to tablets and smartphones.

Will APSA Preprints have an Impact Factor?

No. As an early research space containing non-peer reviewed material, APSA Preprints will not qualify for an Impact Factor. Many other metrics will be included at article and site level, however, including downloads, citations, shares, and Altmetric scores.

If I put my work on APSA Preprints will that prevent me from posting it elsewhere?

No. You will be free to post your pre-publication work anywhere, though our recommendation is that you post your work only on APSA Preprints because it provides usage metrics for article views and PDF downloads, as well as Altmetric data relating to social media coverage. These metrics will be inaccurate and under-estimate actual usage in article-to-article comparisons if an article is also posted elsewhere. Some readers may be perplexed if they encounter the same preprint in multiple locations.

Importantly, some journals or publishers also place restrictions on the posting of certain pre-publication versions.

What content types will be accepted?

Initially, the following content types will be accepted as PDF:

  • Working paper: full-length paper, typically designed to be submitted for peer review and formal publication by a journal or as part of a book.
  • Dataset: A very brief descriptive paper must accompany any dataset; the dataset itself should be uploaded as supplemental material.
  • Conference paper: A paper presented at a conference or workshop.
  • Poster: A poster presented at a conference.
  • Presentation: Scholarly presentations of various kinds, including those used in teaching.

What file formats will be accepted?

APSA preprints will accept PDF files as primary items. Future phases of development will include primary file types other than the PDF, but at launch any file type can be uploaded (pending a virus scan) as supplementary material including audio/video files, Excel/CSV, Word or any other type.

What will the submission process involve?

Depositing a paper on APSA Preprints will be quick and easy. To begin the submission process, you will simply need to go to the submission page, login using your APSA user name and password and then complete the following four steps:

Step 1. Enter Author Details (including details for all co-authors)

Step 2. Add Your Content, including a title, abstract, and keywords.

Step 3. Add Supporting Material and select an end-user license.

Step 4. Check, Agree, Submit

Will I be able to submit supporting materials in addition to my main contribution?

Yes. You will be able to upload data, code, appendices, and other supporting materials to supplement your main file. Any file type is permitted but the maximum file size will be 500MB. Links to third-party sites containing supplementary materials (for example datasets posted on third-party site such as the Harvard Dataverse) can also be provided. These files and links will appear in a “Supplementary Materials” tab on the content page.

What are the content licensing options?

Copyright in all content on the APSA Preprints site will be retained by the author. All work on the site will be will be non-exclusively licensed to APSA and completely free to read. All work on the site can be posted elsewhere on the internet by the author and published in formal publication venues, subject to their policies.

Authors are asked to select one of the following end-user licensing options, which determine whether and how the content can be reused by others:

  • All Rights Reserved this means that Site users may access, read, and download the Content for private and personal use only. No reuse permitted, expect with the permission of the author(s).
  • CC BY NC ND 4.0 license – this license will allow Site users to copy and redistribute the Content in any medium or format. However, the Content may not be used for commercial purposes and the user may not remix, transform, or build upon the Content. Reuse of the Content requires attribution to the author or co-authors.
  • CC BY NC SA 4.0 license – this license will allow Site users to copy and redistribute the Content in any medium or format, remix, transform and build upon the Content for any non-commercial purpose, but the Content may not be used for any commercial purpose. If the Content is remixed, transformed, or built upon, it must be distributed under the same license. Reuse of the Content requires attribution to the author or co-authors.
  • CC BY 4.0 license – this license will allow site users to copy and redistribute the Content in any medium or format and remix, transform and build upon the Content for any purpose, even commercially. Reuse of the Content requires attribution to the author or co-authors.
  • CC 0 license – this license will allow Site users to copy and redistribute the Content in any medium or format and remix, transform, and build upon the Content for any purpose, even commercially. No requirement exists to attribute the Author upon reuse since the CC 0 license effectively gives the Content public domain status and is most commonly used by US Government authors.

How will the approval process work?

Once a paper has been submitted, it will be checked by the APSA moderation team who will assess it against the submission criteria to ensure that all content on the site meets a set of basic quality thresholds.

Why might my submission be rejected?

Submissions may be rejected on any of the following grounds:

  • It cannot be identified as scholarly content. Papers should be new, original academic research or work that critically engages with existing research and not, for example, an author’s opinion on a political issue.
  • The work is not in a research area that is supported by APSA, i.e. work that does not fit within the broad spectrum of political science.
  • It cannot be plausibly categorized using one of 15 sub-field categories.
  • It is found to be wholly or partially plagiarized. All content will undergo a check upon submission using plagiarism detection software.
  • It is found to have already been accepted for publication following peer review or already formally published following peer review.
  • It is not written in English.
  • It contains infringing material and/or has not been submitted by an authorized individual. Authors are obligated to submit only work in which they own or control the copyright.
  • It is found to contain libelous or otherwise unlawful statements.
  • The paper contains inappropriate, confidential, or harmful statements or material.

How long will the approval process take?

It will take up to 3-5 US business days for submissions to pass through the approval process and be posted.

Will I be able to see the status of my paper during the approval process?

Yes, the status of your paper will be displayed in your Author Dashboard.

How will I be notified of the decision?

You will receive an email and the status of your paper will update on your personal Author Dashboard.

Will performance metrics be publicly available for my papers?

Yes. The following metrics will be available for each paper:

  • Downloads
  • Views
  • Citations

Shares and Altmetric scores will be made available as the platform develops.

How will I be able to share my work?

All content on APSA Preprints will be freely available and can be shared by the author without any need to request permission. The following sharing tools are available on the platform:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Messenger

How will I be able to update my paper on APSA Preprints?

Updates will be handled through the posting of new versions. Previous versions will remain on the platform, clearly labelled and linked to the most recent version. Search results will return the most recent version; any readers viewing an older version will be made aware that an updated version is available. This feature will not be available at the initial launch but should be available shortly thereafter.

Will I be able to submit my content to a journal, book, or other publishing venue?

Yes. You will be able to submit your content to a journal or as a book. As the system evolves, you will be able to submit directly from APSA Preprints to the online peer review systems of the APSA journals and a number of other political science publications.

How will I be able to keep track of the latest content on APSA Preprints?

You will be able to keep abreast of submissions by following the APSA Preprint Twitter account (@APSA_Preprints) and Facebook page. Over time, the Preprint site will add an ability for you to receive RSS feeds and content alerts (either for the whole of the APSA Preprints site or for one or more of the 15 political science subfields). The APSA website “PSNow” will also keep you informed of significant APSA Preprints content as well as general news about the platform.

How can I get involved today?

You can become involved with APSA Preprints in the following ways:

  • Become part of our user panel
  • Be an Early Adopter - submit your new paper to APSA Preprints

We are creating a balanced user panel in order to shape this exciting new site, running regular consultations to help us understand more about what you as a researcher need from a pre-print server. By becoming a member of the user panel, you can influence the development of APSA Preprints.

Register your interest in joining the APSA user panel here: cambridge.org/apsa-preprints/join

There is an opportunity to submit your work prior to the official launch. You will be able to post your work during the final development stage from late May 2019, and help test and trial this new initiative for the political science community.

Register for further information on submitting your paper at cambridge.org/submitapsapreprints

If you have any additional questions about APSA Preprints please contact [email protected]