The Frequently Asked Questions listed below reflect the most frequent questions about PAR in the past. If you have a new question, or cannot find your question listed, or have read the answer and have additional questions, please contact the editorial office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 I have an idea for a manuscript, but I don’t know if it is suitable for PAR. Is there someone I can talk to about it?
2 How do I submit manuscripts to PAR?
3 What happens to a manuscript after I submit it?
4 How much discretion do editors have to overrule the reviewers?
5 Why are manuscripts reviewed?
6 Can I submit my manuscript to two or more journals simultaneously?
7 How long does the review process take?
8 I am a junior faculty member or government official. Will it help me get published if I co-author with a senior person or someone better known to the field?
9 Are all manuscripts submitted to PAR peer reviewed?
10 I would like to review articles for PAR in my field…. How can I do that?
11 I just read a great book. Would PAR like me to review it?
Q1: I have an idea for a manuscript, but I don’t know if it is suitable for PAR. Is there someone I can contact?
Yes, you can contact the PAR editorial office at email@example.com. If the question is broader than “is this appropriate for PAR” and deals more with “how can I make this manuscript appropriate for PAR,” the Managing Editor, Richard Feiock, will make some suggestions or pair the author with a member of the editorial board or other volunteer who can help the author develop the idea.
Q2: How do I submit manuscripts to PAR?
Authors should submit a manuscript electronically to http://www.editorialmanager.com/par/. You will need to register as an author and then will be asked to follow the instructions for a submission. All manuscripts should be written using a widely accepted word processing program such as Microsoft Word. Be sure to number pages and to remove all identifying information from the submission. Email Rick Feiock at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Q3: What happens to a manuscript after I submit it?
The editorial team is able to track it after submission through the Editorial Manager system. The editors read it and determine if it should be sent for external review. If the paper is missing key components of a polished paper or is determined to be inappropriate, a decision to decline the manuscript will be made at this point. We select reviewers who are content area experts. These reviewers are best suited to evaluate a manuscript’s potential contribution to the field. We also strive to make sure some, if not all, of the reviewers are experts in the research methods used. Manuscripts are typically sent to three reviewers. When the reviews are submitted through the Editorial Manager system they are read, and judgments are made on the manuscript based on the advice of the reviewers. Decisions are of three sorts: accept, with or without minor revision; revise and resubmit, which means if particular changes are made the manuscript will be re-reviewed for possible acceptance; and rejection without invitation to rewrite. A revise and resubmit is not an acceptance, but it does indicate interest in the manuscript and suggests that the manuscript could be made publishable.
Q4: How much discretion do editors have to overrule the reviewers?
Editors do have the discretion to overrule reviewers, and the final decision is based on our assessment of the quality of the work and the extent to which it advances our knowledge of public administration and/or provides an opportunity for scholars and practitioners to build on and broaden their existing frameworks and perspectives as informed by the reviewer’s assessments. The editors routinely use discretion when reviewers disagree on a manuscript and also use discretion in telling authors which critical comments are more serious. Editors may also use discretion to go with two reviews if the third one is intolerably late or to solicit an extra review if the first three do not provide sufficiently concrete advice about how to revise or what the shortcomings of a manuscript are.
Q5: Why are manuscripts reviewed?
First, PAR receives hundreds of manuscripts each year. The editors could not possibly read and judge them all fairly. Second, peer review assures the quality and impartiality of the selection process. Third, peer review protects the journal from incorrect information, misleading interpretations, and in many cases from publishing old, recycled manuscripts or manuscripts that have been published elsewhere. Fourth, academics get more “credit” for peer-reviewed articles than for non-peer reviewed articles because the standards for peer review are considered more rigorous.
Q6: Can I submit my manuscript to two or more journals simultaneously?
No. So much time and work goes into the review of each manuscript that it is assumed that if a manuscript is accepted, the author will indeed publish it in PAR. If authors submit the manuscript to several journals, the possibility exists that both of them will accept the manuscript and the author will publish in one and leave the other one hanging. This is more than an annoyance, it will result in an informal rejection of future manuscripts because the author has already announced that he or she may not really be submitting the manuscript. Journal editors inform one another about such occurrences.
Q7: How long does the review process take?
We seek to minimize the elapsed time between an initial manuscript submission, an editorial decision, and, if the paper is accepted, publication. The average time to an initial editorial decision on a new submission was 28 days, including those papers that were rejected without review. The average time to an “accept” or “revise” decision is approximately 60 days.
Q8: I am a junior faculty member or government official. Will it help me get published if I co-author with a senior person or someone better known to the field?
No. The only thing that matters is the quality and timeliness of the material. The peer review process is blind, that is, the reviewers normally do not know whose work they are reviewing. Sometimes they can figure it out from internal clues when they are dealing with a manuscript that is based on a large grant, for example, or with the work of someone who has published a lot from a particular data set, but generally they do not know if they are reviewing a notable person’s work or someone brand new to the field.
Q9: Are all manuscripts submitted to PAR peer reviewed?
Most manuscripts are reviewed, but perhaps not all. All regular article submissions will go through the blinded review system. Guest editorials or invited pieces may not be peer reviewed. Authors of invited pieces may request peer review.
Q10: I would like to review articles for PAR in my field…. How can I do that?
Please register in the Editorial Manager system as a reviewer. When registering, you will be asked to list at least two key words that describe your interests and areas of expertise. You will always have the option of refusing to review a manuscript if it comes at an especially busy time. Such refusal will not disqualify you from future reviews. Just let us know in timely manner through Editorial Manager that you can’t review it so we can send it out to another reviewer as promptly as possible.
Q11: I just read a great book. Would PAR like me to review it?
If you have ideas about books you would like to review or to see reviewed in PAR, contact the book review co-editors. Someone else may be designated to review a book that interests you, so it is unwise to send unsolicited reviews. You can contact the editors at the following addresses:
Danny L. Balfour
Professor of Public and Nonprofit Administration
Grand Valley State University