Submission Guidelines—PS: Political Science & Politics

PS Submission Guidelines

Review both the APSA Style Manual for Political Science and the guidelines outlined below before submitting your manuscript.

PS: Political Science and Politics features timely, peer-reviewed articles on contemporary politics written for the informed, general reader and commentary and debate on major issues in the political science profession. Other PS sections are "The Teacher," a dedicated section for articles on pedagogy and teaching, and “The Profession,” a section with articles on and about the political science discipline. PS also serves as the association's journal of record.


Editorial Guidelines

  • Submissions should be manuscripts that have not been published previously and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere (the one exception, “From the Sections,” is addressed below).
  • Manuscripts should present issues and analyses of relevance and interest to political scientists with clarity and conciseness. Good writing matters.
  • Qualitative and quantitative manuscripts are welcome. Manuscripts that are exclusively descriptive are not suitable for publication in this journal. The subjects and methods of articles should be of interest to political scientists reading outside their own field of interest or specialty.



Articles in PS are organized into three thematic areas (Politics, The Teacher, and The Profession). All content is peer-reviewed and is expected to adhere to social scientific research standards.  


Politics articles have original research content and should be targeted to a broad audience of political scientists and general readers. Articles need to adhere to the PS length restriction of 3,650 words, inclusive of all notes, references, and tables (supplementary materials may appear in an online Appendix).

The Teacher

Articles in “The Teacher” section include research on teaching and pedagogy within the field of political science. Articles in this section must include not just an interesting idea or innovation in teaching, but also a systematic assessment of the learning objectives, or a detailed description of the teaching resources, materials, and methods for implementing the innovation. 

The Profession

Articles in “The Profession” section include research articles on the political science profession and higher education; research and commentary on graduate and undergraduate training; articles on political and social science research; and reflective essays on mentoring (supplementary materials may appear in an online Appendix).


Special Content

Special review procedures are used for special content areas, and this content is published within one of the three PS sections.


Individuals wishing to submit a set of long-form articles for a symposium or to organize a group of scholars on a topic must review the PS Symposium: Guidelines for Proposals.


Individuals wishing to submit a set of very short, timely articles on a topic of current political or social import must review the PS Spotlight: Guidelines for Proposals.

“From the Sections” and “Reflections”

“From the Sections” contains articles that have been nominated by section newsletter editors and are deemed of sufficient importance and interest to be disseminated to the entire discipline. The level and type of peer-review is determined in consultation with newsletter editors. “Reflections” provides authors an opportunity to submit non-anonymized essays on mentoring, research, graduate and undergraduate education, or other reflections on your experiences in the profession. These articles will be sent out for peer-review. Please contact the PS editorial staff if you have ideas for reflective essays. 


Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

  • Manuscripts should be double-spaced and formatted for 8 1/2" x 11" paper and should not exceed 3,650 words in length, including references, endnotes, tables, and figures. (A web-based appendix is available for supplementary and supporting material.)
  • Manuscripts should include in-text citations that will correspond with endnotes and references. Endnotes and references should conform to the Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.
  • Gender-specific pronouns used to refer to members of the profession or to society at large should be avoided.

Manuscripts submitted for possible inclusion in the "front" of PS (Politics, The Teacher, and The Profession) may be submitted at any time. Accepted and revised manuscripts are customarily printed in the next available issue, themes and page count permitting. Submitted manuscripts are subject to a blind, peer-review process of approximately 2 to 3 months. Authors must submit their manuscripts through the journal's online manuscript processing system, Editorial Manager, found here: www.editorialmanager.com/ps. Please do not submit your paper as a PDF document. The Editorial Manager system builds a PDF document from the Microsoft Word files you submit, which ensures the file's anonymity. New authors will need to create an account within the system before submitting their manuscript, including an ORCiD. The author's or authors' name(s) should appear only on a separate cover sheet. The first page of the text should include the title of the manuscript. Language within the text that might identify the author(s) should be removed. See specific guidelines.


Guidelines for Submission to Editorial Manager

When submitting a manuscript through the online Editorial Manager system, the authors need to have the following information available:

  • three keywords that describe the manuscript;
  • a cover letter available to upload or cut-and-paste;
  • an abstract of no more than 150 words;
  • the number of words in the manuscript (not to exceed 3,650);
  • the number of figures and tables; and
  • a blinded manuscript in Microsoft Word.

Keywords and classifications describe the content of your manuscript. The keywords should designate which subfield(s) of political science your work falls into, as well as any particular aspects of your submission. The classifications indicate areas of research specialization. These terms are standard among the APSA and its journals. After you have made the classification selections, choose the Next button to continue.

Blinding your manuscript is very important. In Editorial Manager, when answering the question about a paper's anonymity, consider the following to avoid your submission being returned to you prior to review.

  • Do your names appear on the title page or in the header or footer areas? If so, remove them before submitting the paper.
  • Does the paper refer to your previous work in the text of the manuscript using phrases such as "in my earlier work (Smith 2004)," or "in our 2003 article on ... we"? Revise these. Such self-references do not comply with the double-blind peer-review process.
  • Have acknowledgements been included with the version submitted for review that indicate specific grant numbers, your conference presentations, or other easily recognized background details that would reveal your identity to the reviewers?

Reviewers. You also have the opportunity to specify reviewers whom you suggest or oppose. This page can be filled in naming those who possess the particular background to assess the submission, or others who you believe cannot fairly assess the work. After uploading your manuscript, make sure you view it in both pdf and html before logging out of the system.


Data Policy

Authors of empirical papers will be required to submit files for replication purposes to https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/ps/ prior to the publication of manuscripts. Failure to adhere to these guidelines, unless explicitly agreed to by the editorial team, will result in a withdrawal of acceptance. 

Authors should upload to Dataverse: 

  1. The data set(s) that formed the basis of the research
  2. Well documented code that will produce results from the article and online appendices (placed in the order that the results appear in the manuscript)
  3. A log or results file that displays the results produced by running the code
  4. A ReadMe file that includes descriptions of the other files, any variables used in the analysis and a description of intermediate data sets or programs used to create the final results. The data files and code can be provided in any format using any statistical package or software.

There may be occasions when the author is unable to comply due to data embargoes or privacy concerns. These cases will be handled individually and the rationale for the inability to provide the replication files must be included in the cover letter at the time of submission. We recognize that it may be necessary to de-identify some datasets by removing some demographic and other indicators. Authors are asked to provide information on how proprietary data can be obtained by others in their Readme file. In all cases, a copy of the code used to create the final results is still required.  

To encourage qualitative scholars to make their research transparent and accessible, we request authors to archive relevant evidence and research protocols where possible. The editors recognize 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. 

Appropriate embargo periods for both quantitative and qualitative research materials will be negotiated with authors where reasons for embargo are consistent with existing guidelines.

The data should be referenced using the DOI (from Dataverse) in the references section of the manuscript. 

For additional instructions on how to upload a dataset, see PS Dataverse instructions.


ORCID Identifier

Beginning January 1, 2019, an ORCID iD is a requirement for corresponding authors submitting to PS. 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.


Manuscript Processing and Production


Upon submission, the editors make an initial judgment about the suitability of the manuscript for publication in PS. Suitable manuscripts are sent to a minimum of two reviewers. After reviewers make their recommendations, the editors reach a final judgment. Every effort is made to limit the review process to three months.

If the editors, based on the recommendations of the reviewers, feel that the article would benefit from revision the author(s) will receive a letter from the editors asking the author to revise the article as outlined by the reviewers and to resubmit it for further review by the editors and, perhaps, other reviewers. The author(s) has six months from the date of this letter to resubmit a revised version of the article. Revised and resubmitted articles more than six months old will not be considered for publication in PS.

When accepted, authors are asked to submit a revised, unblinded, final copy of the manuscript in Microsoft Word (no other formats are permitted). The final copy is copy-edited and returned to the author for final approval. All changes and revisions are incorporated into the manuscript electronically and submitted to the compositor for to create proofs. A "License to Publish" form from the author will be requested before proof/production.

One set of page proofs is sent to the author. Corrected page proofs should be returned to the managing editor within two (2) days of receipt of the proofs. Every effort should be made to limit corrections to typographical errors. Fees charged for other changes will be the responsibility of the author.


Charges apply for all color figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in color in the online version only, or whether they should appear in color online and in the print version. There is no charge for including color figures in the online version of the Journal but it must be clear that color is needed to enhance the meaning of the figure, rather than simply being for aesthetic purposes. If you request color figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions to avoid any delay in the publication of your article. Note: other requirements for table and figures regarding resolution and formats will be provided should your manuscript be accepted for publication.




Submit manuscripts through the online system at: www.editorialmanager.com/ps.

Submit questions to: [email protected].