We are excited and honored to be the editorial team for JEPS. We are indebted to Eric Dickson for his efforts as the journal's previous editor. He set a high bar for JEPS as an outlet for high quality experimental research. Lucky for us, the healthy state of experimental research means that we will continue to have a deep pool of well-crafted and important work. We also thank Nick Haas, who deftly guided us through the transition as Editorial Assistant. Without his help, it would have been a near impossible task to get up to speed.
In this note, we want to highlight some new things about JEPS, but before we do, it is necessary to emphasize the things that are not changing. We continue to welcome high quality, cutting edge experimental research on topics that are relevant to the study of politics. Although “political science” is in the name of the journal, we accept experimental research from all corners of the social sciences, not just the discipline of political science. We also continue to construe “experiments” broadly. These are studies that use research designs that credibly identify causal effects — be it research conducted in a lab, on a survey, or in the field. We are interested in publishing experimental research that draws on designs in which the researcher manipulates that causal variable as well as those that draw on naturally occurring exogenous variation in variables of theoretical interest. In short, this is an ecumenical, interdisciplinary social science journal interested in publishing research that offers credible evidence of causal effects in the domain of politics.
While JEPS will remain the outlet it has become for stellar experimental research in political science, we have also instituted some changes. First, we have moved to a more explicitly “strong associate editor” model. The Associate Editors now have the final decision on whether to accept or reject articles. Given the diversity of the research we receive at JEPS, we believe that this approach is preferable. As part of this process, the Editor will also review a subset of submissions that are relevant to his areas of expertise and share the burden with the Associate Editors. The Senior Associate Editor will serve as Acting Editor when a submission presents a conflict of interest for the Editor.
Second, we have introduced some new types of article submissions. In additional to research articles, we will now accept short reports as well as create explicit submission categories for meta-analyses and replications. We envision these articles accomplishing the following:
Research Articles (4000 words) report novel findings that are empirical, theoretical, or both, based on well-designed and executed original experiments.
Short Reports (1000 words) are concise summaries of findings that do not meet the level of theoretical and/or empirical contribution showcased in research articles, but do inform best practices, measurement, or show innovations in experimental designs and protocols that would be of broad interest to experimentalists.
Replications (3000 words) are concise summaries of replications of previous experimental findings. Authors should make the case that the replications are informative (e.g., well-powered with consideration given to any key factors — such as context, sample, mode of treatment, etc. — that vary between the original and the replication).
Meta-Analyses (3000 words) are concise summaries of analyses of previously reported experimental findings (both published and unpublished) that inform a well-defined question or domain in the study of politics.
We have also increased the word limits for research articles from 2500 to 4000 words. Nonetheless, we remind contributors that although JEPS has fairly strict word limits, authors may submit an online appendix of unlimited length. We believe that careful use of the online appendix affords researchers the opportunity to provide detailed information about the experimental design as well as nuances in the literature that provide the basis of their research, while maintaining the pithy article format that focuses readers’ attention on the most important aspects of the research.
Third, JEPS has joined Dataverse! We ask authors to submit their data and replication files to Dataverse once their paper has been conditionally accepted for publication. We subject these files to an in-house verification to ensure that the data files are in order, the code is clear, and the results are reproducible. By placing replication materials on Dataverse, JEPS ensures that researchers will have access to the data underlying published articles in perpetuity.
Finally, as we move forward as a team we are committed to ensure that JEPS stays at the forefront of empirical research. We are currently in the process of investigating how to better integrate innovations from the open science movement into the submission and editorial process — including verifying preregistered research (of course, one is always invited to include a pre-analysis plan in the submission process) and pre-accepted results-blind publication. These are noble directions to move the journal, but they are not without challenges. They require the allocation of scarce editorial resources and we want to be sure we can implement an efficient and fair process before adopting these features.
We are optimistic about JEPS's future, and welcome your submissions and your feedback.