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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some common questions about the journal. If your question is not answered here, please contact the Managing Editor at ps@apsanet.org.  


General Questions

Q: How many issues of PS are published each year?

A: PS publishes four issues per year: January, April, July, and October.


Q: What type of research does PS publish?

A: Original research meaning research that has theoretical and/or empirical contributions.


Q: I forgot my Editorial Manager login information. How do I retrieve it?

A: Go to editorialmanager.com/ps, click on “Send Login Details,” and enter your email address. You will receive an email with your login information. If you have further issues, please email us at ps@apsanet.org.


Q: How do I submit a symposium or spotlight proposal?

A: Please find the proposal instructions on our Guidelines for Proposals: Symposia and Spotlights page.


The Review Process

Q: How does the editorial team work?

A: Our team consists of four editors at Wake Forest University: Lina Benabdallah, Justin Esarey, Peter Siavelis, and Betina Wilkinson. Lina Benabdallah primarily fields international relations manuscripts, Peter Siavelis primarily fields comparative politics manuscripts, Betina primarily fields most American Politics manuscripts, and Justin Esarey primarily fields methodological manuscripts and manuscripts related to the profession. That being said, the editors work closely and collaboratively on newly submitted and revised manuscripts.


Q: What are the criteria for deciding whether an article is desk rejected or sent out for review?

A: Manuscripts may be desk rejected if they fall outside of the scope of the journal, do not comprise original research, lack evidence for their claims, are poorly written, do not comply with research ethics and transparency policies, inadequately engage relevant research/literature, or violate submission guidelines. Submissions that fit the scope of the journal will be sent out to external reviewers through the double anonymous review process.


Q. What criteria for evaluating manuscripts must reviewers follow?

A: Reviewers are asked to answer these questions when submitting their review:

1. Does the manuscript make a significant contribution to knowledge or theory-building within political science?

2. Does the manuscript address an important social question or political problem? If not, could the presentation be reframed in a way that would better highlight its broader social relevance?

3. Is this manuscript of sufficiently broad interest to be published in PS? Would it be more appropriately placed in a specialized journal? Could you recommend other journals that the author(s) should consider?

4. Does the author(s) utilize methods appropriate to the research question? Would the discussion be more comprehensive and of greater interest to the discipline, if research within other methodological traditions was also addressed?

5. Is the writing clear, well-organized, and free of unnecessary jargon?

6. What specific revisions would you regard as necessary for publication?


Q: Once my article has been assigned to an editor, who do I contact with questions?

A: If you have a question about your manuscript at any point in the review process, please email the editorial team at ps@apsanet.org.


Q: May I ask for an extension for my revise and resubmit?

A: Yes. If you require more time at any point in the process, please email the managing editor at ps@apsanet.org.


Q: What is the difference between articles, symposia, spotlights, and Comment and Controversy?

A: Articles include original research (with a word limit of 4,000 words) relating to Politics, The Profession, or The Teacher. PS’s Politics section includes evidence-based research on contemporary political issues around the world. PS’s The Profession section includes evidence-based research relating to the political science discipline. PS’s The Teacher section includes systematic and evidence-based assessments of new, creative, or experimental teaching tools and strategies to improve classroom and co-curricular learning experiences for teaching political science. 

A symposium (3,000 words) or a spotlight (1,500 words) begins with a scholar (or two) (the proposed Guest Editor(s)), submitting a symposium or spotlight proposal. This proposal is peer-reviewed if deemed appropriate by the handling editor. If a symposium or spotlight proposal is accepted, the managing editor will work closely with the Guest Editor(s) and the editors of PS to shepherd the various symposium/spotlight contributions through the review process.

The Comment and Controversy section invites original research contributions that comment on, extend, methodologically assess, or correct recently published work. These manuscripts must be 3000 words or less, provide new evidence or analysis that substantially changes the conclusions or interpretations of the published work, and communicate these findings in a collegial and respectful manner. All submissions will be peer reviewed. In all cases, the author of the originally published work will be invited to respond to the commentary and may be engaged as part of the review process. Reviews from independent scholars (not involved in the originally published work) will always be solicited for Comment and Controversy submissions. However, the original publication’s author(s) will also typically contribute a review as well. For example, in the case of a reported error in the original publication, our standard procedure will be to ask the original publication’s author(s) to contribute a review and to write a response if the article is accepted.

Examples of manuscripts that would be appropriate submissions under the heading of “Comment and Controversy” include:

1. evaluation, discussion, and re-assessment of an influential scholarly work more than ten years after its original publication in light of new data and findings;

2. re-analysis of a previously published article’s empirical claims using different and improved techniques that lead to different findings;

3. assessment of the robustness of a previously published article’s findings in light of new evidence or existing evidence not addressed by the original publication;

4. alternative interpretations of the evidence presented in an existing publication that are substantially different from those in the originally published work; and

5. corrections of error in the originally published work that result in substantially different findings.

Manuscripts under the heading of “Comment and Controversy” will be desk rejected by the editors if:

1. they do not comprise original research (examples of original research include reanalysis of existing data and/or the presentation of new data or interpretations that are directly relevant to the previously published work’s findings);

2. they do not meaningfully alter our interpretation of the previous work’s conclusions;

3. they make unsubstantiated allegations of error or wrongdoing;

4. they use a polemical or insulting tone; or

5. they appear in the judgment of the editors to be part of a systematic pattern of harassment of an author or authors and/or not driven by genuine scientific concern.

When a Comment and Controversy manuscript is accepted for publication, that manuscript will be forwarded to the publisher of the original work (e.g., the journal or book publisher) by the editors of PS. Comment and Controversy publications are not designed to take the place of corrigenda or retractions of the original article, but to stimulate discussion and reward scholars for bringing new information to the attention of the scholarly community. After accepting a Comment and Controversy submission, PS will send a pre-print of the accepted manuscript to the publisher of the original work and encourage them to consider taking any action they deem appropriate. Depending on the nature of the manuscript, this might mean adding a hyperlink to the original work leading to the commentary in PS, posting a corrigendum or retraction, or taking no action at all. 


Communications With and About the Journal

Q: Where can readers, authors, and the broader public find information about the journal?

A: The journal’s primary website is hosted by Cambridge University Press. Information about the journal can also be found on Political Science Now and on the website of the American Political Science Association. The journal’s Twitter handle is @ps_polisci.


Q: How can readers, authors, and the broader public communicate directly with the editorial team?

A: Please email us at ps@apsanet.org.