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Political Behavior - A Note from the New Editors

EPOVB section members,

We are excited to be entrusted with the editorship of Political Behavior and would like to share our priorities and processes with you. 

Our first priority is to maintain the excellence of the journal that past editors have worked hard to achieve.  To that end, changes will be modest.  Springer is open to slow and careful expansion of the journal, which we believe is likely to be warranted given the high quality submissions the journal receives.  We’re grateful for this flexibility. 

As for what kind of research we find most exciting, our perspective is that good research begins with important and interesting questions and that methods should be chosen that are appropriate to answer those questions.  We don’t think this is an especially unusual position, but we do want to emphasize that we care first and foremost about questions and wish to be ecumenical regarding the wide variety of methodological approaches in our discipline.  We value work that is creative, theoretically rich, and empirically rigorous.

As soon as we have our feet under us as editors, we will begin engaging in outreach to different organizations and sections to ensure that everyone who is doing quality work relating to EPOVB sees Political Behavior as a potential outlet for their work.  If you are part of other sections/organizations/groups that you would like to see better represented in the pages of Political Behavior, please let us know and we would be happy to work on outreach with that community. 

In a related vein, one of our top priorities is to expand our reviewer pool.  We deeply appreciate those of you who regularly review for Political Behavior; past editors have repeatedly sung your praises!  At the same time, there are good scholars in our discipline who rarely get tapped to review and whose expertise we would benefit from.  To this end, we will be compiling lists of participants from the relevant sections of previous APSAs, MPSAs, etc and adding them to our potential reviewer database so that our reviewer pool better reflects the discipline.  We also anticipate doing trainings with graduate programs on the peer review process in order to integrate these young colleagues into the Political Behavior community.  Finally, part of this focus on thinking carefully about reviewer labor, we are brainstorming ways to better support reviewers.  We have some ideas, but we are also open to your suggestions.

Regarding editorial process, we can share a few things. Manuscripts will be randomly assigned to one of us to shepherd through the process with the help of the editorial assistant; this will facilitate regular internal assessment about how each of us is doing on timelines, etc.  But decisions will be made through consensus after deliberation in our weekly meetings.  (None of this will be a surprise to anyone who knows us or our work!)  Chris’s research agenda is in American politics, and while Jessica’s gender and politics publications lean toward American politics, her training and teaching are mostly in comparative politics.  We look forward to bringing these various backgrounds to our decisions, and we also expect to sometimes turn to editorial board members for substantive expertise. 

At the end of the day, we expect that the distribution of our decisions will be fairly similar to recent trends for the journal.  As we said earlier, we see our job as one of incremental improvement on existing excellence.  We are grateful for the work that Geoff and Ben have done to hand off the journal to us in such good shape and their willingness to work with us during the transition.  We look forward to interacting with all of you as both submitters and reviewers!

Jessica and Chris