Some Details about New AJPS Submission Requirements

By Jan Leighley, AJPS Interim Lead Editor

I’m a firm believer in celebrating every step along the way when the goal is to publish research at a peer-reviewed journal: when the manuscript is “done”; when it’s submitted; when there is a decision (whether positive or not, and whether final or not); when page proofs arrive; when page proofs are completed; when the manuscript is published online; and when the print version arrives. As with many aspects of academic life, publishing always takes longer, and is always more complicated, than one would like.

Celebrating the submission of a manuscript to the AJPS has never been more important—in part because of its high impact ranking, but also (on a more practical level) we are now asking authors to do a bit more as they submit manuscripts. Effective immediately, we have added several new details to the submission process. All authors who plan to submit a manuscript should take a look at the updated submission guidelines we have posted online before finishing the manuscript for submission.

One of the key changes we have made is to limit the length of Supporting Information documents to 20 pages or less. While it is true that online “space” (where Supporting Information documents are published) is unlimited, the time and attention of editors and reviewers are not. We hope this page limit results in more thoughtful and focused decisions about what additional details are provided—but also helps to produce papers that can “stand alone,” without a seeming endless dumping of additional details and analysis into the ever-present “Supporting Information” file.

The new manuscript guidelines also provide more details about how we expect author anonymity to be maintained in the manuscript. Here, we also now ask corresponding authors to provide details about other related papers under review, or book manuscripts in development. We hope this clarifies what information authors are expected to provide to allow reviewers to assess the manuscript’s theoretical and empirical contributions, independent of other related work. Whether cited in the submitted paper or not, if other papers “in progress” overlap with the AJPS submission, we want to know about them.

Related, we now ask corresponding authors to provide the names of co-authors from the past five years for every author of the submitted manuscript, along with identifying each author’s dissertation chair. This allows us to better avoid conflicts-of-interest as we invite reviewers on manuscripts—in a growing, increasingly complex discipline that now reaches across continents. Though we are each experts in our respective subfields (and more, at times), we simply cannot know all the professional and personal connections that might compromise the peer-review process.

And, finally, we have implemented procedures to implement the MPSA council policy regarding editorial conflicts of interest. All authors should review that policy so that the manuscript’s corresponding author is able to identify any potential conflicts of interest with the current editorial team. As dictated by council policy, the MPSA Publishing Ethics Committee (chaired by Sarah Binder) provides guidance on some cases where an alternative editorial process is required.

Thanks to all of our authors for sending their best work to us—and helping us to provide the most efficient and rigorous review process possible.  As always, send questions about the submission and review process to ajps@mpsanet.org, and best wishes for the start of the new semester.

 

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

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