Policy Studies Journal

Cover image for Vol. 45 Issue 3

Edited By: Edella Schlager

Impact Factor: 2.153

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 10/47 (Public Administration); 30/165 (Political Science)

Online ISSN: 1541-0072

Author Guidelines

The Policy Studies Journal's review process is paperless. Submissions should be made through ScholarOne.


All manuscripts should generally range from 25 to 40 pages in length. This count includes the abstract, the manuscript text, all charts, figures, and indices. Every manuscript must have an abstract and a list of key words on the abstract page. The abstract, and each figure and table must be on separate pages. Page calculation should be based on standard 8.5 by 11 inch paper size with one inch margins and a standard 12-point type face. All text, including abstract, footnotes, citations, and appendix material should be double spaced while tables and graphs should be single spaced and each on a separate page. Citations, style and grammar should follow the American Political Science Association standard (Revised 2001).

To ensure quality and anonymity of the review process, we ask that authors limit their self-citations to no more than four published works. This assumes that the manner of self-citation does not threaten the integrity of the double-blind review process (i.e. ensure that self-citations are in the third person). A forthcoming work, or work that is not generally accessible to others should have its citation redacted. Manuscripts with potentially compromised anonymity will be returned, potentially delaying the review process.

The editor regards submission of a manuscript to the Policy Studies Journal as an implied commitment by the contributors not to submit their paper to another publication while it is under consideration by this journal.

Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript. Visit https://authorservices.wiley.com/home.html for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Once a manuscript is accepted the author must complete the Copyright Assignment Form and submit it via email to enable Wiley-Blackwell to publish the manuscript.


OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive.

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

Editorial Policy

PSJ seeks papers that make a strong theoretical contribution using transparent empirical analysis to any sub-field of public policy. This includes both manuscripts that offer positive empirical findings on theoretical questions of interest as well as those that report negative or null findings if previous theory or findings lead one to expect positive results. We will not review manuscripts that are currently under review for publication or that have been previously published. Papers that do not meet the formatting and contents guidelines below will not be sent for review.

Public Policy Theory - Papers of this type will be expected to have a strong theoretical basis, transparent empirical evaluation and further the quest for a parsimonious understanding of the policy process by enhancing our understanding of policy theory. Alternately, we encourage contributors to submit manuscripts that contribute to the public policy literature through related research traditions as might be found in political science, public management, public administration, policy sciences, and others.

Methodological Approaches to Policy Research - Papers in this category will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of distinctive methodological approaches to studying and influencing public policy. Such approaches include the use of case studies, large-n statistical analysis, experimental designs and formal analyses as ways to develop and test theories, analyze policy problems and shape policy debates. Papers in this category might emphasize the epistemological, theoretical and empirical strengths and/or weakness of different approaches, and identify exemplary applications. It is expected that these papers will meet rigorous theoretical and/or empirical standards, and that they will be written to be accessible to the broader audience of policy scholars.

Synthetic Reviews - The general purpose behind synthetic reviews is to provide our readership with productive ways to think about important policy areas. Review articles should be substantively focused and explore both classic and current scholarship in a given area. Ideally, review pieces will become bedrock articles included in any graduate policy seminar or substantive policy seminar. There are many ways to organize this type of article. Given the sheer diversity of ways to categorize and organize policy research, we expect review articles to take on many different forms but all will go through the typical peer-review process. Authors should identify important themes in the literature that enable readers to understand recent advances in research or address both the theoretical approaches and analytical tools used to understand and inform a policy area. Ultimately, these pieces will help identify the boundaries of substantive knowledge for a particular policy area. Therefore, articles should explore areas of agreement in the literature, along with discussing points of conflict and then suggest future directions for scholarship. We encourage review articles in all areas of policy research. This includes domestic, international, and comparative policy articles on a range of topics. Review articles should be submitted on line, following PSJ's electronic submission process or directly to either of the co-editors. If you have any questions about articles or would like to discuss writing a review article, please contact Andrew Braden and Qianhui Li at policystudiesjournal@gmail.com.

Symposia - The occasional symposium are attractive, if it is well structured and executed. If you have any ideas for symposiums, please contact Andrew Braden and Qianhui Li at policystudiesjournal@gmail.com

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