PS Submission Guidelines
Review both the APSA Style Manual for Political Science and the guidelines outlined below before submitting your manuscript.
PS: Political Science & 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.
● 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 Profession, and The Teacher). All content is peer-reviewed and is expected to adhere to social scientific research standards. Articles must adhere to the word limit of 4,000 words, inclusive of the title, abstract, figures, tables, references, and notes. Online appendices may be submitted as supplementary material and do not count toward the word limit.
Politics articles have original research content and should be targeted to a broad audience of political scientists and general readers.
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.
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.
Teaching Article Type Description:
- Teaching Innovation submissions focus on new, creative or experimental teaching, including innovative strategies, games, software, and experiential learning to improve classroom and co-curricular learning experiences for teaching political science. Manuscripts submitted in the Teaching Innovations category are not expected to provide the systematic assessment required of traditional SOTL research. Submissions may range in length from 1200-1700 words. Authors are encouraged to include as appendices supplemental resources such as syllabi, instructional resources, assessment tools, handouts, etc. Appendices are not counted toward the word count of the manuscript.
- Scholarship of Teaching and Learning submissions must meet the SoTL standards providing rigorous, systematic, and evidence-based assessments of teaching goals. SoTL research may include but is not limited to questionnaires and surveys, reflection and analysis, interviews and focus groups, content analysis of text, secondary analysis of existing data, quasi-experiments (e.g. comparison of two sections of the same course), and case studies. Submissions can be diverse in terms of topic but must provide, either quantitatively or qualitatively, evidence demonstrating the pedagogical innovations or teaching techniques described in the manuscript are effective. Manuscripts must be under 3,650 words including the abstract, references, and tables. Authors are encouraged to include as appendices supplemental resources such as syllabi, instructional resources, assessment tools, handouts, etc. Appendices are not counted toward the word count of the manuscript.
All content published in PS is peer-reviewed. The organizational structure, format, and length determine the type of content.
Articles include traditional research articles on topics as described above. Articles should be 4,000 words or fewer.
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. Symposia are curated by a guest editor and include five to seven contributions, with each manuscript limited to 3,000 words.
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. Spotlights are curated by a guest editor and include five to ten contributions, each 1,500 words.
“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. Section heads should nominate papers by emailing [email protected]. 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 or to nominate an excellent paper for inclusion in “From the Sections.” Both have a 4,000 word limit.
Manuscript Preparation Guidelines
● Manuscripts should be double-spaced and formatted for 8 1/2" x 11" paper and should comply with the word limit, all inclusive (i.e., 4,000 words for articles, 3,000 words for symposia, and 1,500 words for spotlights)
● An online 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, 17th edition.
Manuscripts may be submitted at any time. Accepted and manuscripts are customarily published online first and printed in the next available issue, themes and page count permitting. Submitted manuscripts are subject to a double-blind, peer-review process of approximately two to four months. Authors must submit their manuscripts through the journal's online manuscript processing system, Editorial Manager, here: www.editorialmanager.com/ps. The Editorial Manager system builds a PDF document from the Microsoft Word files you submit, ensuring anonymity. New authors will need to create an account within the system before submitting their manuscript, including registering for 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.
Guidelines for Submission to Editorial Manager
When submitting a manuscript through the online Editorial Manager system, the authors should have the following information available:
● three keywords that describe the manuscript;
● a cover letter available to upload
● an abstract of no more than 150 words; an abstract is required for all article types upon submission, however only articles (not symposia or spotlights) are published with their abstracts
● the number of words in the manuscript (not to exceed 4,000 words for articles, 3,000 for symposia, and 1,500 for spotlights);
● 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 required. 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. As part of the submission process, you must suggest two reviewers to review your work. You should name potential reviewers who possess a particular expertise to assess the submission. You also have the option to note any opposed reviewers upon submission.
Submit. After uploading your manuscript, view and approve the system-generated PDF before logging out of the system. You will receive a confirmation email upon successfully submitting your manuscript.
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. If you believe you cannot comply with the data policy, clearly indicate your request for an exemption in your cover letter upon submissions. Note that exemption requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the editorial team.
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 and should be cited in the text.
For additional instructions on how to upload a dataset, see PS Dataverse instructions.
Ethics and Transparency in Research
PS takes seriously its role as a space for scholarly communication within the political science community. Such scholarly communication entails clear and transparent sharing of our research across disciplinary subfields and epistemological and methodological approaches. This, in turn, requires clear and transparent communication about the procedures that we use to collect our evidence and to ensure that our research practices are ethical. 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.
Consequently, PS 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 PS is consistent with these principles, when submitting their research for publication in PS, 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 research draws on research directly engaging human participants, including human subjects, expert interviewees, and those exposed to experimental interventions, should answer "yes" to the screening question (even if ruled exempt from further review by the relevant ethics review board),
- 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 in the main text, with additional explanation provided in an appendix (included at the time of submission) if needed;
- 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;
- declare any agencies, organizations, or institutions that funded the research;
- indicate where in the manuscript or an appendix the data collection procedures (if relevant) are explained; and
- confirm that, if the paper is accepted, quantitative data and related code necessary to produce the results will be made publicly available on the PS 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, who will be invited to comment upon the extent to which the research or researchers have adequately addressed ethical and transparency obligations.
Upon conditional acceptance for publication in the PS, authors (particularly those whose work directly engages human participants in the research process) will be expected to
- affirm a set of ethical and/or transparency declarations related to these principles;
- submit an appendix that explains any exceptions or issues related to the above principles, revised if relevant in light of comments from reviewers and editors, including relevant additional documents, such as but not limited to
- ethics certificates or approvals from all organizations that approved the research and/or
- other research documentation, such as survey instruments, interview guides, or other codebooks; and
- for quantitative research, prepare and deposit in the PS Dataverse the datasets and code necessary to reproduce all results described in the text and any appendix, including in-text references to tests or statistics, tables, figures, or other illustrations, unless legal, ethical or methodological constraints prevent such data sharing.
The corresponding author will be responsible for preparing these materials and submitting them for archiving in the PS Dataverse.
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, the same or new reviewers. The deadline for submitting a revision is included in the decision letter and depends on the extent of the revisions requested.. Revised and resubmitted articles more than six months old will not be considered for publication in PS.
Upon acceptance, authors are asked to submit a revised, unblinded, final copy of the manuscript in Microsoft Word (no other formats are permitted) directly to the managing editor. The final version 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 to create proofs. A digitally-signed "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) business 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 both 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].