The Political Quarterly

Cover image for Vol. 87 Issue 2

Edited By: Ben Jackson and Deborah Mabbett

Impact Factor: 0.449

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 123/163 (Political Science)

Online ISSN: 1467-923X

Author Guidelines

Notes for Contributors

The following notes set out some general editorial principles. A more detailed style document is available on request from the Assistant Editor, Stephen Ball, email:

The Political Quarterly publishes articles on issues of public policy on the basis of knowledge of the most authoritative sources and expert opinions. We do not set out sources or authorities in detail, nor aim to be technical or narrowly academic; rather, we intend to continue the journal’s tradition of publishing jargon-free articles written in plain English that are nevertheless challenging, intellectually demanding and innovative. A typical PQ article will discuss issues of practical importance, or offer background material or basic speculation that is directly relevant to these issues.

Many of PQ’s readers are academics, but the journal aims to address the interests of a broad readership of policymakers, politicians, journalists, students and the informed public.

Submission of articles
Please submit all papers to the Assistant Editor using one of the two methods detailed below (unless one of the Editors has asked you to send your paper directly to them, in which case they will suggest an appropriate method). We now prefer electronic submissions; if your article is accepted for publication we will ask you to supply the text in electronic form. This is not a condition of publication, so if you are unable to supply an electronic version we will scan your typescript instead.

• Electronic submissions should be sent as an email attachment or on disk in Word, WordPerfect, or .rtf. If you prefer another wordprocessor or file format we can probably accommodate it, but please contact the Assistant Editor first. Whatever wordprocessor you use, please do not add elaborate formatting or decoration to your file – we have to strip it all out again during editing.
• Typescripts (two copies, please) should be typewritten or printed out on A4 paper, using one side only and wide margins all round, with all text double spaced including the text in notes and extracts. We do not return paper submissions unless you include a suitable SAE.

Please list any notes as endnotes at the end of the article, not as footnotes at the foot of the page. The type and number of notes is restricted – see below. We do not normally publish articles longer than 5,000 words. If we publish your article we will also ask for a 150 word abstract and six keywords.

The journal pays modest amounts to all contributors. The payments are based on a standard scale related to the length and nature of the material, and normally in your home currency.

The journal does not send page proofs to individual authors, but contributors do receive a printed or (usually) emailed version of the copy-edited text of their article; pages are produced directly from this edited version so please treat it as a proof by checking it carefully and resolving any queries. You may make minor adjustments at this stage, but please avoid substantial rewriting. Contributors are asked to return corrections to the Assistant Editor as soon as possible, and certainly within five days of receipt.
Subheadings within articles should be short (typically, of 3–5 words), restricted to one level, and fairly evenly distributed throughout the text. Three to five headings are usually sufficient for an article of average length. If your article has no subheadings the editors may add them.

Notes and references
Notes should contain bibliographical information only. Please use as few notes as possible, and certainly no more than twelve. Set these out in a double spaced list at the end of the article, not at the foot of the typescript pages. If you submit an article with more than twelve footnotes, the editors will ask you to reduce the number or will make cuts themselves, or may even reject the article.

Your bibliographical notes, which will be printed as a list of endnotes after the article, should include at least the following information:

For books or other free-standing publications: author, including forename(s) or initials(s) first, full title of work, place of publication, name of publisher, date of publication.

For periodical articles: full name of author, title of article, title of periodical, year of publication, page numbers of article.

Please do not include discursive notes containing commentary or other subsidiary information. Instead, work this additional information into the text or omit it altogether. Similarly, do not include author–date (‘Harvard’, e.g. Brown, 2003) or any other system of separately listed references. Reduce the number of references to the bare minimum and then convert them to bibliographical notes.
Capitalisation, spelling, hyphenation, punctuation
• Please use British English spellings and ‘-ise’ rather than ‘-ize’, as in ‘realise’, ‘capitalise’.
• Please use single quotation marks (‘thus’) throughout, and restrict the use of double quotation marks (“thus”) to quotations within quotations.
• There is an editorial presumption in favour of fewer rather than more initial capitals. In general, please reserve initial capitals for proper nouns and formal titles, or where their use is necessary to avoid a genuine ambiguity.

Tables and diagrams
Tables and diagrams should not be used unless they are absolutely essential to the discussion. Any tables that qualify should be kept simple and used sparingly to prevent the text from being overwhelmed by masses of ancillary data.

If you include graphs, charts or diagrams, we will ask you to produce high-quality electronic versions of this material in whatever form the printer may request. If this or any other requirement creates technical problems, please contact the Assistant Editor.

Books for Review
All books for review should be sent to:

Donald Sassoon
108 New River Head
173 Rosebery Avenue

Publishers should note that review copies sent speculatively to the Assistant Editor, to the Editors, or to Blackwell Publishing Ltd are unlikely to be reviewed in the journal.

Exclusive Licence Form
Authors will be required to sign an Exclusive Licence Form (ELF) for all papers accepted for publication. Signature of the ELF is a condition of publication and papers will not be passed to the publisher for production unless a signed form has been received. Please note that signature of the Exclusive Licence Form does not affect ownership of copyright in the material.  (Government employees need to complete the Author Warranty sections, although copyright  in such cases does not need to  be assigned).  After submission authors will retain the right to publish their paper in various media/circumstances (please see the form for further details).  To assist authors an appropriate form will be supplied by the editorial office. Alternatively, authors may like to download a copy of the form here.