APSR Submission Guidelines
Review the APSA Style Manual for Political Science, the FAQs, 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: 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.
Under these conditions, the APSR accepts submissions of two types of articles:
- manuscripts that use original work to advance understanding of important political issues, speaking to the field of political science (typical length 12,000 words);
- letters (a kind of research note) 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).
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, including ethical standards and commitments to sharing data. 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. Authors will be asked to agree to review at least two articles for the journal in the upcoming year as a condition of sending their article out for review.
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. Please see Cambridge’s Preprint Policy for exceptions.
Ethics and Transparency in Research
APSR 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, 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 APSR 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 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 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, 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 APSR, 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 APSR 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 APSR Dataverse.
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
Authors should follow the manuscript preparation guidelines below. Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will be sent back to authors, which will delay the review process. Repeated submission of manuscripts that do not meet our standards may result in rejection.
Self-citation and Blind Review
Manuscripts should be written in such a way that they preserve the anonymity of the author. In order to ensure Blind Review, authors ought to avoid citing themselves unnecessarily or excessively, and should certainly ensure that any self-citation does not reveal their identity.
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.
The APSR does not publish preregistration reports, but it does review and publish research that has a preregistered research plan. Authors who have preregistered their research plan will be asked to provide information sufficient for the editors and reviewers to evaluate the extent to which the reported analysis is consistent with the preregistered research plan at the time of submission. This includes submitting an anonymized copy of the preregistration plan, which will normally be shared with manuscript reviewers.
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 and online Appendices. It includes all text, tables and figures and their subsequent notes and captions, footnotes, and references in the article itself exclusive of appendices.
- 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.
- 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.
- Please include complete first and family names in the reference list.
- We expect the use of the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (for final acceptance only, not at point of submission)
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.
- 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.
- Author-Date system of the 17th 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:
- 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 17th Edition (author-date)
- EndNote – download the Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition Author-Date (B)
- 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.
- “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.
- 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. On-line Appendices should be limited to 25 pages, including ethical and methodological discussions, if at all possible.
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.
Please follow these procedures for submission:
- Before submitting any manuscript to the APSR, please review the "License to Publish" or "LTP" forms provided by Cambridge University Press. A signed agreement will be required for all work published in this journal, but it is not necessary to send us this license to publish at this time.
- 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 read and provided feedback on the research included in your submission; any of your current co-authors or people with whom you have co-authored with in the past five years; any of your institutional colleagues, as well as past and current students. 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.
- You will be required to upload an "anonymous" digital file of your manuscript.
This file must: (1) include 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) Eliminate any 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) Avoid using “redacted” as that is an easy author identifier; instead use self-references in third person
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 (which is the corresponding author).
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. As a reminder, Supplementary On-Line Materials and on-line Appendices are typically limited to a total of 25 pages.
- 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.
- Manuscripts with potentially compromised anonymity or manuscripts disregarding 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:
- Please download the PDF from Overleaf.
- Upload it to Editorial Manager using the same submission procedure outlined above, please send only the PDF of the manuscript and any supplementary material.
- 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:
Cohen, Cathy J. 1999. The Boundaries of Blackness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hardy-Fanta, Carol, Pei-te Lien, Dianne Pinderhughes, and Christine Marie Sierra. 2016. Contested Transformation. New York: Cambridge University 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.
Gay, Claudine. 2001. “The Effect of Black Congressional Representation on Political Participation.” American Political Science Review 95:3 (September): 589-602.
Junn, Jane. 2007. "From Coolie to Model Minority: US Immigration Policy and the Construction of Racial Identity." Du Bois Review: 4:2 (June): 355-73.
Wedeen, Lisa. 2002. "Conceptualizing Culture: Possibilities for Political Science." American Political Science Review 96:4 (December): 713-28.
Chapter in Edited Collection
Ravi K. Perry and X. Loudon Manley. 2017. “Case Studies of Black Lesbian and Gay Candidates: Winning Identity Politics in the Obama Era.” In LGBTQ politics: A Critical Reader, eds. Marla Brettschneider, Susan Burgess, and Christine Keating. New York: NYU Press, 295-308.
Brettschneider, Marla, Susan Burgess, and Christine Keating, eds. 2017. LGBTQ politics: A Critical Reader. New York: NYU Press.
Smooth, Wendy. 2001. "African American Women State Legislators." PhD dissertation, Department of Political Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
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).
Dawson, Michael C., Ronald E. L. Brown, and James S. Jackson. National Black Politics Study. [Computer file]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02018.v3
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]