Guidelines for Referees

//Guidelines for Referees
Guidelines for Referees2017-09-13T03:56:14+00:00

The Australasian Parliamentary Review is the journal of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group.

The APR

  • focuses on issues affecting the operation of Parliaments in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
  • is committed to encouraging and stimulating research, writing and teaching about the parliamentary institutions of the region
  • where relevant to the Australasian experience, publishes articles relating to international events
  • is published twice a year.

All material submitted for inclusion in the APR is subject to an editorial review process. The APR Editor reserves the right to accept or decline submissions.

Submissions that are the subject of the double blind review process must meet academic standards in terms of originality, insight, clarity and rigour. Referees also look for and comment on other desirable qualities such as argument, organisation, scholarship etc.

Specifically, the APR aims to publish:

  • Articles of between 4000-6000 words: In exceptional cases, articles of up to 10,000 words will be considered. Longer articles require more judicious assessment by referees.
  • Research reports dealing with current research projects and/or findings of 2500 words in length: Where a worthy article does not have the required attributes but is of substantive interest to the reader, referees may wish to recommend it for publication as a Research paper.
  • Conference papers where the APR has the first right of refusal for papers delivered to the ASPG annual conference.
  • Readers’ commentaries on published work of 800-1000 words, or in the form of a Letter to the Editor of not more than 400 words in length (not refereed)
  • Review articles dealing with a significant book or set of books on emerging themes in the areas of interest to the APR readership.

The APR also publishes material on issues relating to parliament, whether arising from policy debates, major committee reports, political and electoral matters, referenda or significant court decisions affecting parliamentary operations.

Material submitted to the APR may be considered more suited to publication on the website of the ASPG as occasional or research papers and referees make comment on this suitability.

Papers are not always sent to a referee whose field is identical to the subject matter of that paper. A person does not have to be precisely qualified in a field to be a constructive referee. If a person feels unqualified to judge the merits of a paper, they should inform the Editor of this and another referee will be found.

Unless otherwise agreed to by the Editor and the referee, the identity of APR referees is not known to the authors. Referees also receive unpublished work, and are expected to treat the material as confidential until it is published.

Referees should declare to the Editor any conflict which may affect their independence.

If a referee has concerns that a paper may breach copyright and/or contain plagiarism, they must notify the Editor, providing support for their concern.

The ‘Principles’ referees are asked to watch for are that the material is

  • presented in a logical order
  • informs the reader
  • of appropriate length
  • conforms to the APR’s manuscript specifications (these are available separately on this website)
  • well written.

Manuscripts that are the subject of the double blind process need to be of high quality, need to make a new or substantial contribution to the general body of knowledge, need to adequately substantiate assertions and facts and need to be in a style that is highly readable.

When responding, a referee is asked to indicate clearly whether the article is:

  • acceptable without revision
  • acceptable after minor revision
  • possibly acceptable after major revision
  • not acceptable
  • other (referee to specify), OR
  • should be considered for publication on the ASPG website (as an Occasional Paper)

All referees are considered to be a valued part of the APR Editorial team.

Feedback on this document is welcomed in order that it may be improved in support of other referees, authors and your Editor, Colleen Lewis (email: colleen.lewis@monash.edu).