Manuscript Preparation

Manuscript Preparation:  A manuscript submitted for review to The American Journal of Political Science should be prepared as detailed below. Papers that do not meet these formatting and submission guidelines will not be sent out for review.

  • All submissions of original work submitted to the AJPS are expected to adhere to the ethics in research and publications guidelines provided in the American Political Science Association’s A Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science (revised, 2012).
  • The manuscript should present its content as efficiently as possible, with no unnecessary material included in the text, tables or figures. Manuscripts over 10,000 words will not be reviewed.
  • The manuscript must include a title page featuring an abstract of 150 words or fewer followed by a word count for the manuscript. The abstract should provide a concise summary of the research stream to which the manuscript contributes, the specific research topic it addresses, the research strategy employed for the analysis, the results obtained from the analysis, and the implications of the findings.
  • The American Journal of Political Science maintains a strict policy requiring authors of accepted articles to provide all data and code necessary to reproduce their article results. If a manuscript is tentatively accepted for publication, the replication materials will be verified to make sure that they do, in fact, reproduce all results that appear in the article and immediate supporting materials before final acceptance and publication. Authors should review the AJPS Guidelines for Preparing Replication Files before submitting a manuscript for review. If there are limitations or restrictions on data access or if an exception to the general replication policy will be requested for any reason, then the author should contact the editorial office to explain the situation before submitting the manuscript. Exceptions to the AJPS replication policy will be granted at the discretion of the Editor.


  • Submissions to the AJPSshould be no longer than 10,000 words. The word count includes the main body of text, notes, references, and the headers of tables and figures. It does not include the title page, Abstract, or Supporting Information. Manuscripts at or near the maximum length will be subjected to special editorial review to determine whether their length is justified. A manuscript that exceeds the 10,000 word limit will be returned without review.
  • All submissions should follow the style guidelines from the American Political Science Association’s Style Manual for Political Science(revised August, 2006) or The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition). The guidelines include, but are not limited to, matters of text style, citations, appendices, notes, references, and figures/tables.
  • All text, footnotes, and bibliographic references must be doubled-spaced and printed in a standard 12-point type font (material in figures and tables may be single-spaced). Page margins should be a minimum of one inch.
  • An alphabetical listing of references is required. All bibliographic references should provide authors’ first and last names, not the last name and first initial- e.g., Smith, John, not Smith, J.

Citations and Author Anonymity

  • The manuscript must exclude any author-identifying information, such as title page information listing authors’ names and affiliations, expressions of appreciation to others for advice or data, statements of where the manuscript may have been presented at a conference, acknowledgments of support for the research, or citations to the authors’ unpublished work that is not available online. Citations to one’s own published work should be made in the third person (e.g., “In earlier work, Brooks, et al (2000) examined …”), not in the first person (e.g., “In earlier work, we examined … (Brooks, et al (2000)”). In most cases, information that is removed from the manuscript to maintain anonymity should not be indicated with place-holders, such as “AUTHOR CITATION” or “REDACTED.”
  • Manuscripts should not cite unpublished work as support for the current analysis unless it is available online. Exceptions include presentations at major professional conferences, entries in working paper series that are widely-available to scholars. Bibliographic information for any unpublished material must include a URL that enables referees and other interested readers to access the work directly.
  • If the paper to be submitted is part of a larger research agenda (e.g., other related papers under review or book manuscripts in development) these details should be identified in the “Author Comments” text box during the manuscript submission process.
  • Please contact the editorial office at for any questions regarding appropriate citation practices.

Tables and Figures

  • The use of figures to demonstrate an argument or illustrate a finding is encouraged. Authors should ensure that the graphical content of any figures is legible and of high quality. The use of color should be minimized, as it cannot be included in the print version of the AJPS. Color figures are retained in the online version.
  • For purposes of review, authors are encouraged to insert figures and tables into the body of the text, thereby enabling referees to refer to the material easily while reading the manuscript. Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively.
  • Authors who report that results are “statistically significant” should use the 0.05 level or lower; the use of asterisks or other symbols to represent varying levels of statistical significance is strongly discouraged. Statistical tests using the 0.10 level are not acceptable for work submitted to the AJPS.

Supporting Information

  • The use of supporting information for manuscripts is encouraged when it is directly relevant to the research design, statistical methods or empirical findings. The material provided in the supporting information is not considered part of the word count for the manuscript submission, but is generally limited to a maximum of 20 pages. Supporting information will be sent to referees along with the manuscript. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, then the supporting information will be posted on the publisher’s website with the electronic copy of the article and also on the AJPS website.
  • Supporting information should be aimed at a sophisticated reader with specialized field expertise. For example, formal theories may include proofs; computational models may include computer code; experiments may include 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. In most cases, the details of robustness tests also should be relegated to the supporting information. The main text of the manuscript should provide a relatively brief summary of the results from the robustness tests and refer interested readers to the supporting information for more complete presentations of the tests themselves, if necessary.

Updated August 10, 2018

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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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