Manuscript Preparation

Manuscript PreparationA 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 AJPSare 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 that exceed 10,000 words will not be reviewed.
  • The manuscript must include a title pagefeaturing an abstract of no more than 150 words, 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 Filesbefore 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 Editors.


  • Submissions to the AJPS should be no longer than 10,000 words. The word count includes the main body of text, notes, parenthetical references, appendices intended for print, and the headers and notes of tables and figures. It does not include the title page, abstract, reference section, online supporting information section, or mathematical notations. A manuscript that exceeds the 10,000-word limit will be returned without review.
  • All submissions should follow the style guidelinesfrom the American Political Science Association’s Style Manual for Political Science (revised in 2018) 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 all around.
  • 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 placeholders, 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 or 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 submission 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 ajps@ajps.orgfor any questions regarding appropriate citation practices.

Tables and Figures

  • We encourage the use of figures to demonstrate an argument or illustrate a finding. Authors should ensure that the graphical content of any figure is legible and high quality.
  • 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 a threshold no greater than 0.05.

Supporting Information

  • We encourage the use of supplemental information for manuscripts when it is directly relevant to the research design, statistical methods, or empirical findings. The material provided in the SI file is not considered part of the word count for the manuscript submission. The SI file will be sent to referees along with the manuscript. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, then the SI file will be posted on the publisher’s website with the electronic copy of the article and also on the AJPS website.
  • Information in the SI file 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, robustness checks, and additional tables and figures that elaborate the manuscript’s primary point.
  • If you have pre-registered a pre-analysis plan and you believe that viewing it would help reviewers assess your manuscript, you may include an anonymized version of it in the online supporting information section. However, please note that it will count toward the 20-page limit placed on online supporting information sections.
  • SI files associated with original submissions may not exceed 20 pages. Exceptions to the 20-page limit on original manuscripts may be given at the discretion of the co-editors based on the relevance of the material to the paper’s methodology and/or to the integrity of the peer review process.  A request for an exception to the general policy must be made during original manuscript submission in the “Comments to the Editorial Office” text box with a brief explanation as to why the exception is necessary.
  • SI files associated with papers invited to revise-and-resubmit may, at the discretion of the co-editors, exceed 20 pages if required to respond to specific reviewer comments, and where such material is referred to in the response memo and text.
  • All SI files should have a title page and a table of contents identifying the content by page number; this content and the specific page numbers must be referred to at the appropriate place in the main text of the manuscript.

Revised June 27, 2023

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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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