Guidelines for Manuscripts


Manuscript Preparation A manuscript submitted for review to The American Journal of Political Science should be prepared as follows:

  • The manuscript should address an important research problem or question; display a high level of creativity or innovation in research; contribute in a novel way to a body of knowledge; and, as appropriate, demonstrate high quality theorizing and/or state-of-the-art methodological use.
  • The manuscript must effectively and informatively communicate its contribution to a general political science audience.
  • The manuscript must include a concise, descriptive, and informative abstract of 150 words or less on the title page. The word count for the manuscript must follow the abstract.
  • Lengthy reviews of the literature are discouraged. The manuscript should engage the relevant literature, clearly demonstrate gaps in that literature, and be clear about its contribution.
  • The use of figures that demonstrate an argument or a finding is strongly encouraged. The extensive use of tables is discouraged in the main text.
  • The use of supporting information (SI) is strongly encouraged (and treated as a substitute for appendices). Such information will not be counted toward the word count noted below. SI should be aimed at a sophisticated reader with specialized field expertise. For example, formal theory may include proofs; computational models may include computer code; experiments may include the details of the protocol; empirical work may include data coding, alternative econometric specifications and additional tables and figures that elaborate the manuscript’s primary point. SI will be sent to reviewers. If the manuscript is accepted for publication the SI will be permanently posted on the publisher’s website with the electronic copy of the article.
  • The manuscript should follow the style guidelines of the American Political Science Association’s Style Manual for Political Science (rev. August, 2006) which is based on The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition). The guidelines include, but are not limited to, matters of text style, citations, appendices, notes, references, and tables/ figures.
  • The manuscript should not exceed 8500 words. The word count for the manuscript must follow the absract on the title page. The word count includes all information from the Introduction through the Discussion/Conclusion. It excludes the Abstract, Bibliography, and Supporting Information. It will include figures and tables (see the next bullet point). A manuscript that exceeds this length will be returned without review unless the author specifically requests, justifies, and receives the Editor’s exemption.
  • For purposes of review, figures and tables should be inserted into the body of the manuscript.
  • Figures and tables must be numbered consecutively.
  • All text, footnotes, and bibliographic references must be doubled-spaced and printed in a standard 12-point type font (tables may be single-spaced). Page margins should be a minimum of one inch. All bibliographic references are Last Name, First Name (not Last Name, First Initial)- e.g., Smith, John, not Smith, J.
  • To help with your preparation download the AJPS Style Guide. The guide has been developed by former and current editors of the Journal of Politics and the American Journal of Political Science.

Manuscript Submission A manuscript intended for review by AJPS must be submitted to Editorial Manager as follows:

  • Submission is available on The Journal’s website at Only electronic submission is accepted. Other forms of submission will not be accepted.
  • Before submitting a manuscript, the contact author should have available the names and email addresses of all authors and the text of the manuscript abstract. At this time, s/he should identify a research subfield for the manuscript. An author submitting a revised manuscript should further have available the original manuscript number.
  • An original or revised manuscript must include one anonymous (PDF, Word, or LaTex) file as described below:
  1. The contact author must submit an entirely anonymous version of the manuscript.
  2. An anonymous file must exclude such author-identifying information as the cover page information on authors’ names and universities, expressions of appreciation to others for advice or data, statements of where the manuscript may have been presented at a conference and citations to the author’s unpublished work.
  3. The file should be marked “anonymous” in the “document summary” tab and the file should be printable. This file should also contain any supporting information (SI) and it should be clearly marked.
  4. An author who submits a revised manuscript must place any comments to reviewers in the dialogue box during the submission process in Editorial Manager.
  5. An author may, but is not required to, include comments to the Editor, acknowledgements, and details on where the paper has been presented. This information can be inserted in the “authors comments” field in Editorial Manager.
  • If a manuscript is accepted for publication, the manuscript will not be published unless the first footnote explicitly states where the data used in the study can be obtained for purposes of replication and any sources that funded the research. All replication files must be stored on the AJPS Data Archive on Dataverse. Please refer to the Accepted Article Guidelines for instructions relating to the AJPS Dataverse Archive. In addition, if Supporting Information (SI) accompanies the article, it must be ready for permanent posting. Manuscripts without data or SI are exempt.

An author may recommend 3-4 individuals who are particularly qualified to review the manuscript. Recommendations cannot include an author’s doctoral dissertation supervisor, someone with whom an author has co-authored in the past 12 months, colleagues in an author’s department or comparable academic unit, or anyone with whom an author has a family or other personal relationship. Recommendations are recommendations; none, one, or all of them may be selected to review. An author’s recommendations must include a name and a contact email address. Author recommendations should be done via the Editorial Manager system.

  • An author may recommend 3-4 individuals who should not review the manuscript. The author should provide reasons why such individuals ought to be disqualified. These recommendations will be taken into account in the review process, but should not be construed as barring such individuals from the review process.

Other Notes

The American Journal of Political Science does not review manuscripts that:

  • Are not analytically rigorous, of high quality, and self-contained;
  • Are unsolicited rejoinders to recently published articles;
  • Are reviews of books or essays on current events;
  • Are under review elsewhere or published already;
  • Ignore one or more of the substantive, stylistic, or formatting preparations or procedures stated above.

AJPS is committed to the integrity and quality of the review process. It conducts this process in a manner that is timely but also depends on reviewer response. Accordingly, the review process can take as much as six months. All reviews are advisory to the Editor.

The Editor often returns a manuscript without review if it does not meet the standards of AJPS.

Submit Manuscript

See Guidelines for Accepted Articles


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