American Journal of Political Science

View Current Issue: AJPS 67:4 – October 2023

The American Journal of Political Science is taking a brief hiatus and will close from Friday, December 15th at 11:59 PM EST to Monday, January 8th at 12:00 AM EST. During this time, we won’t accept new or revised manuscripts and you will not be able to see the review status of manuscripts that you previously submitted. However, you’ll still be able to submit reviews and we will continue to make decisions during this short break.

Three Policy Updates at AJPS

As we begin the final two years of our editorship, we want to share three policy updates that go into effect immediately:

1. Verification: In an attempt to simplify the verification process for accepted manuscripts, we relayed to the Odum Institute a new, streamlined set of requirements.

  • When authors receive notification that we have accepted their article, they will no longer be required to submit the raw data or provide citations or information to Odum on how to access the raw data.
  • Authors will be required to share with Odum, and upload to Dataverse, the complete dataset they used in the analysis. In the paper and/or appendix, authors will be responsible for explaining where the data come from and how they compiled the analysis dataset.
  • Authors can opt to make the code used to construct the analysis dataset available, but the only requirements for verification will be to submit the analysis dataset and the code for all analyses conducted in the manuscript.
  • For more information, go to

We arrived at this change in response to surveys we conducted with published authors and the user community, as well as our experience verifying manuscripts throughout the last four years.

2. IRB and Human Subjects: To ensure that human subjects work follows important ethical considerations, we began our term with a policy requiring IRB approval for all work that involves human subjects. In light of a small number of cases in which submitting authors work in countries or at institutions that don’t have a formal IRB review process, we have instituted the following changes:

  • During the submission process, authors whose work involves human subjects must provide information regarding whether they obtained IRB approval. We define “human subjects” research using the current federal definition: i.e., living individuals from whom data were obtained by intervention or interaction with the individual or from whom identifiable private information was obtained.
  • If any  author on a manuscript has access to an institutional IRB, then the research on which the submission is based must have received IRB approval or exemption, as appropriate. The corresponding author will submit documentation of IRB approval or exemption along with the manuscript.
  • If no author  on a submission has access to an institutional IRB, the manuscript must include an appendix that addresses a series of questions about the conduct of the research.
  • For more information, go to

This change is the result of the recommendations arrived at by a committee of editorial board members charged to consider possible updates to the IRB policy.

3. References: References in the bibliography no longer count as part of the 10,000-word limit on submissions (although parenthetical references in the text and footnotes still do). We join a growing number of journals adopting this approach so that authors may cite as widely as is appropriate for their work.

AJPS Virtual Issue of 2022 Top Cited Papers

We are very pleased to announce the publication of the latest virtual issue of most cited American Journal of Political Science articles in 2021-2022. These top cited papers are open access and free to read. Please click here to view the issue and share widely with your colleagues.

Kathy and Jen

Kathleen Dolan and Jennifer L. Lawless
Co-Editors-in-Chief, American Journal of Political Science

AJPS Editors Announce Updates to Open Access

October 17, 2022

From Kathleen Dolan and Jennifer Lawless, Co-Editors of AJPS:
We are very pleased to announce that, beginning with the October 2022 issue, all articles in AJPS will be open-access for the first month after publication. This is a permanent feature of the journal’s publishing and will go a long way to provide equity and access to scholars around the globe. We are delighted to work with our editors at Wiley to bring this innovation to the journal.

MPSA Announces Term Extension of the American Journal of Political Science Editorial Team

October 4, 2022 – The Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) is pleased to announce the two-year term extension of the co-Editors of its flagship journal, the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS).

The MPSA Council in its September meeting expressed overwhelming support for the recommendation of the MPSA Executive Committee to extend the term of Kathleen Dolan (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee) and Jennifer L. Lawless (University of Virginia) as AJPS Editors for an additional two years.

Kathleen Dolan is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Co-Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Political Science. She earned a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. Dolan’s research focuses on gender politics, public opinion, elections, and voting behavior, with a specific focus on how the public evaluates women candidates. Dolan is the author of two books, When Does Gender Matter? Women Candidates and Gender Stereotypes in American Elections (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Voting for Women: How the Public Evaluates Women Candidates (Westview Press, 2004). Her work has also appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She has served as co-editor of the journal Politics & Gender and as a member of the board of the American National Election Studies.

Jennifer L. Lawless is the Leone Reaves and George W. Spicer Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where she’s also the Department Chair. Lawless’ research focuses on political ambition, campaigns and elections, and media and politics. She is the author or co-author of seven books, including Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era (with Danny Hayes) and It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office (with Richard L. Fox). Her research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, has appeared in numerous academic journals, and is regularly cited in the popular press. She has served as editor of Politics & Gender and as a member of the board of the American National Election Studies. She graduated from Union College with a B.A. in political science, and Stanford University with an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science.

Also extending their terms are Associate Editors Frederick J. Boehmke of The University of Iowa, Elizabeth Cohen of Syracuse University, Dan Reiter of Emory University, and Graeme Robertson of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The MPSA Council and executive leadership express their support for the work of the editors and look forward to their continued contributions to the AJPS and the discipline.


About the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS)
The American Journal of Political Science (AJPS) is committed to significant advances in knowledge and understanding of citizenship, governance, and politics, and to the public value of political science research. The AJPS is the flagship journal of the Midwest Political Science Association and is published by Wiley.

The Journal has been published since May 1957 and is published in January, April, July, and October of each year.

About the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA)

The Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) was founded in 1939 and is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship in all areas of political science.

The purposes of the MPSA are to promote the professional study and teaching of political science, to facilitate communications between those engaged in such study, and to develop standards for and encourage research in theoretical and practical political problems.

As such, MPSA is a nonpartisan association. It does not support political parties or candidates. Learn more at

It Takes a Submission: Gendered Patterns in the Pages of AJPS

Kathleen Dolan and Jennifer L. Lawless When we became editors of the American Journal of Political Science on June 1, 2019, we stated that one of our goals was to understand the patterns of submission and publication by authors from underrepresented groups. We begin that examination by presenting data on submission and publication rates of women and men. We focus on manuscripts submitted to the journal between January 1, 2017 and October 31, 2019. This time period spans three different editors/editorial teams: Bill Jacoby served as editor from January 2017 until April 2018; Jan Leighley from April 2018 through May 2019; and we have been co-editors since June 2019. Although our editorial team was in place for only the last five months of this period, we wanted to examine a long enough time span to get a good sense of any gendered patterns that exist in the pages of AJPS. We view these data as contributing to recent conversations about the representation of women as authors and as cited authorities in political science journals. Michelle Dion and Sarah Mitchell, for example, recently published a piece in PS about the citation gap in political science articles.[1] They compare the gender composition of membership in several APSA organized sections with the gender balance in citations published by each section’s official journal. Dawn Teele and Kathleen Thelen document a lower percentage of female authors in 10 political science journals than women’s share of the overall profession.[2] We take a different approach. Because we have AJPS submission data, we can examine the link between gender gaps in submission rates and subsequent publication rates. After all, women and men can be under- or over-represented in the pool of published articles only in proportion to their presence in the pool of submitted manuscripts. We believe that attention to the appropriate denominator offers a clearer picture of authorship patterns. Submissions During the period under examination, 4,916 authors submitted manuscripts and received final decisions from AJPS. Women accounted for 1,210 (or 25%) of the submitting authors. At the manuscript level, the gender disparity was less substantial. Of the 2,672 manuscripts on which an editor issued a final decision, 945 (or 35%) had at least one female author. The lion’s share of the manuscripts that included a female author, however, also included at least one male co-author (see Figure 1). Indeed, we processed four and half times as many manuscripts written only a man or men (65%) as we did those authored only by a woman or women (14%). Homing in on the 1,238 solo-authored manuscripts, 962 came from men. Women, in other words, accounted for just 22% of the solo-authored submissions we received. Figure 1. Composition of Authors for Manuscripts Submitted to AJPS Figure 1 Notes: Bars represent the percentage of manuscripts that fall into each category. The analysis is based on the 2,672 manuscript for which we issued a final decision (accept or decline) from January 2017 – October 2019. Decisions Whereas striking gender disparities emerge during the submission process, we find no significant gender differences when it comes to manuscript decisions. During this time period, we accepted roughly 6% of submitted manuscripts. Those submissions included a total of 307 authors, 75 of whom were women. Thus, women comprised 24% of accepted authors – this is statistically indistinguishable from the 25% of female submitting authors.[3] Notice, too, that our rates of acceptance are consistent across the composition of authors. Regardless of how many women or men author a piece, only about 6% are accepted for publication. None of the differences across categories in Figure 2 is statistically significant. Given the comparable acceptance rates across author composition, it’s no surprise that the percentage of female authors on our pages is roughly the same as the proportion of manuscripts submitted that included at least one female author (35%). Of course, given that most of the manuscripts submitted by women also include at least one male co-author, 84% of the articles published during this time had at least one male author.  Figure 2. Manuscript Acceptance Rates at AJPS, by Composition of Authors Figure 2Notes: Bars represent the percentage of accepted manuscripts that fall into each category. The analysis is based on the 2,672 manuscript for which we issued a final decision (accept or decline) from January 2017 – October 2019. A COVID-19 Caveat Over the course of the last several weeks, submissions at AJPS have picked up substantially (as compared to the same month last year). It’s impossible to know whether to attribute the uptick to MPSA conference papers that were no longer awaiting feedback, more time at home for authors, different teaching commitments, etc. But we examined the 108 submitted manuscripts we received from March 15th through April 19th to assess whether the patterns from the larger data set have been exacerbated amid COVID-19. After all, women are still more likely than men – even among high-level professionals – to shoulder the majority of the household labor and childcare or elder care responsibilities. It wouldn’t be surprising if the gender gap in manuscript submissions grew during this time. The data reveal that it hasn’t. The 108 manuscripts we processed in this month-long period included 54 female and 108 male authors. So, women comprised 33% of submitting authors, which is actually somewhat higher than usual (remember that women comprised 25% of the authors in the 2017 – 2019 data set). At the manuscript level, 41 of the 108 papers had at least one female author. That’s 38% of the total, which is again a slightly greater share than the 35% of manuscripts with at least one female author in the larger data set. This doesn’t mean that Covid-19 hasn’t taken a toll on female authors, though. Women submitted only 8 of the 46 solo-authored papers during this time. Their share of 17% is down from 22% in the larger data set. As a percentage change, that’s substantial. Even if women’s overall submission rates are up, they seem to have less time to submit their own work than men do amid the crisis. Conclusions In examining the gendered patterns in submission and publication at AJPS over the past three years, we see two different realities. In terms of “supply,” there is a large disparity. Women constitute just one-quarter of submitting authors, and their names appear on only one-third of submitted manuscripts. But when it comes to “demand,” there is no evidence of clear bias in the review or publication process. Women’s ratios on the printed pages are indistinguishable from their ratios in the submission pool. As long as it’s the case that women are less likely than men to submit manuscripts to AJPS, the gender disparities in publication rates will remain. Given these findings, and the work we do, we would be remiss not to draw a comparison to the political arena. We’ve known for decades now that when women run for office, they do as well as men. They win at equal rates, raise as much money, and even garner similar media coverage. Yet women remain significantly under-represented in U.S. political institutions. Why? Because they look at a political arena where they are significantly under-represented and assume (rationally) that widespread bias and systematic discrimination is keeping them out. Because they think that in order to be qualified to run for office, they need to be twice as good to get half as far. Because they’re less likely than men to receive encouragement to throw their hats into the ring. But we also know that when women are encouraged to run for office, they’re more likely to think they’re qualified and they’re more likely to give it a shot. So as a discipline, it’s incumbent upon us to encourage female scholars to submit their work to AJPS and other top journals. It’s our responsibility to let them know that their work is just as competent and just as important as that of their male colleagues. We are not so naïve as to believe that encouragement is all it takes to close the gender gap in rates of submission. That women are still not similarly situated with men in important resources (tenure track jobs, research support, family obligations) poses obstacles that encouragement alone cannot surmount. But while the discipline continues to address these resource gaps, we can change the face of tables of contents by calling attention to the myths about women not succeeding when they submit their work. [1] Dion, Michelle L. and Sara M. Mitchell. 2020. “How Many Citations to Women Is ‘Enough?’ Estimates of Gender Representation in Political Science.” PS: Political Science & Politics 53(1):107-13. [2] Teele, Dawn Langan and Kathleen Thelen. 2017. “Gender in the Journals: Publication Patterns in Political Science.” PS: Political Science & Politics 50(2):433-47. [3] These results are consistent with a 2018 symposium on gender in the American Political Science Association’s journals. See “Gender in the Journals, Continued: Evidence from Five Political Science Journals.” PS: Political Science & Politics 51(4). ********************

Covid-19 Update:

Covid-19 has thrown everything off kilter, even academic journals.  Here at AJPS, we have seen two patterns in the past two or three weeks – a 27 percent increase in manuscript submissions AND a 54 percent decline in review invitations accepted – over the same period last year.  While AJPS reviewers have terrific turnaround time, we realize that people may be delayed in returning reviews this semester. So these figures suggest that manuscript processing might take a bit longer from start to finish for this “Covid-19 cohort.” As a result, we call on authors to exercise patience and gratitude for the colleagues doing this work. ********************


The American Journal of Political Science (AJPS) is the flagship journal of the Midwest Political Science Association and is published by Wiley.