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Call for Submissions: 2019 Review of the APSA Preferred Journal List

The APSA journal list, last updated in 2016 , groups journals from the 1605 and 1606 Fields of Research into broad quality categories. This list is intended to forestall the judgement of politics journals by other disciplines or interested groups, is used internally within several universities, and serves as a guide for publication strategies. A 2017 survey of political scientists by Anika Gauja and Carolien van Ham found that a clear majority supported APSA maintaining the journal list.

To keep the list up-to-date, the APSA Executive has formed a committee made up of Selen A. Ercan (University of Canberra), Shahar Hameiri (UQ), Duncan McDonnell (Griffith), and Annika Werner (Griffith/ANU). Will Jennings (University of Southampton & UK PSA Executive Committee) will advise the committee as an external international expert.

The committee will decide on all submissions made regarding the APSA journal list. It will not consider aspects of the list about which no submissions are made. The Committee will strive for unanimity. When this cannot be reached, the members will vote and, if required, the external expert will be tie-breaker. To retain the credibility of the list, the overall shares of A*-ranked journals (5% of the total), A-ranked (15%), B-ranked (30%), and C-ranked (50%) will be kept constant.

All Australian departments and individuals working in Australian departments engaged in politics research are invited to make submissions proposing revisions to the list. Revisions might include: incorporating new journals and excluding journals from the list as well as promotion and demotion of journals’ ranking. In order to facilitate the transparency of the process, the names of all departments and individuals who have made submissions will be made public.

The submission process is now open and will close on 15 July 2019. Submissions should be sent directly to Duncan McDonnell ( The results of the revision process will be released at the end of August 2019 and will be put up for approval by the membership at the annual general meeting during the APSA conference in Adelaide.

The following two criteria apply to submissions. Submissions that do not meet these criteria will be automatically excluded from consideration:

- Each submission regarding an individual journal must provide multiple types of evidence. These might include data such as 3-year & 5-year Impact Factor, citation rates, rejection rates, prestige of editorial team or editorial board, and other quality indicators. Referring to Impact Factor alone or simply arguing “we know this journal is good” is not sufficient. Arguments for the classification of a journal based solely on its sub-field or area of study will also not be considered.

- All individuals or groups making a submission must specify whether or not they have an interest in a journal (i.e. as editors or as authors with publications in or forthcoming with a specific journal). If this information is missing, the submission will be discounted as the committee lacks the resources to check all potential conflict of interest.

Finally, please alert the Committee to errors in the list – all care has been taken in its composition, but the magnitude and complexity of the task mean errors may have inadvertently been made.


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