The Icelandic Review of Politics and Administration (IRPA) publishes original research on Icelandic politics and policy related subjects. Articles with a broader political science relevance may also be considered, especially articles of a sufficiently high standard with a comparative focus or containing theoretical and methodological innovations. Novelty is essential for publication in the journal, and it is the author’s responsibility to illustrate it. Material that has been published previously in books or academic journals is generally not accepted. Novelty can consist in theoretical contributions, methodology and the presentation of new data and/or comparative focus.
Common requirements in Social Science journal are that articles contain:
- An account of the study’s novelty.
- An overview of other academics’ writing and research related to the subject.
- Explanations of concepts, measurement tools and the methodology of the study discussed in the article.
- Analysis of the data acquired.
- An account of the main results.
- Discussion on the results within the academic framework introduced in the beginning.
IRPA is a peer reviewed journal that is double blind; where the reviewer does not receive information on authors and authors do not receive information on reviewers. The Journal Ethics can be read here. The Icelandic academic community is relatively small, therefore it is recommended that authors and reviewers alike hand in their work in a way that minimizes the possibility of tracing the material.
IRPA is open to submission from political scientists and researchers in related fields dealing with politics, public administration and policy relevant issues. This means that the journal welcomes contributions also from sociologists, economists, philosophers, lawyers and historians when dealing with subjects relevant to the focus and scope of the journal.
There are four possible outcomes of peer-review:
- the article is accepted;
- the article is accepted subject to certain changes (a statement listing the changes that were made must accompany the next draft);
- revise and resubmit: major changes must be made to the article, however, the author may submit a revised article for peer-review (same reviewers);
- the article is rejected
Should the reviewers not agree on the results the editors either rule on the problem, or a third reviewer is called in and his/her opinion dictates the result.
Reviewers are asked to submit a written review. Reviewers can write notes on the paper’s margin, however, a short written statement with the main results is mandatory.
A certain sensitivity is needed when communicating with authors. They are often young scholars who are commencing their career in writing articles. It is thus important that they experience feedback on an article as a positive and constructive process, whether the article is accepted or rejected. Reviewers are asked to abstain from guessing the authors’ backgrounds or speculating on their hypothetical personal qualities. Experience shows that such conjecture is often false and can, in some instances, decrease the value of the review. An article is to be reviewed on its own merit, not the author’s.
Reviewers are at liberty to suggest amendments, without making them a prerequisite for publication. However, conclusions of peer review must be clear as to whether the article is approved for publication; or if it is approved subject to certain changes; and all such changes must be clearly indicated. Remarks can be made regarding the order of subject matters; lack of coherence in reasoning; unsubstantiated statements; unprofessional methods; inconsistent use of references; circumvention of previous research; quality of presentation, and so on. Reviewers are asked to make suggestions on ways to make the article more concise, should it be too long, and thus point out unnecessary digressions and ways to make the paper more to the point and legible.
If an article is rejected it is preferable that the reviewer suggest another venue suitable for publication, with or without changes.