Call for Journal Host


Sponsorship of the

Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics

Start Date: September 1, 2020

In August 2004 the Executive Council of Pi Sigma Alpha approved the creation of a national undergraduate journal of political science.  The journal is operated and edited by a student team of Pi Sigma Alpha members under the direction of a Pi Sigma Alpha chapter advisor, who serves as faculty editor.  The faculty editor reports to the Executive Council of Pi Sigma Alpha.

The journal is published online, twice annually. The sponsoring institution and editor serve a three-year term with a possibility of renewal. The editors of the journal are assisted by an Advisory Board, consisting of political science faculty and three members of the Pi Sigma Alpha Executive Council. Some of those Advisory Board members should be faculty at the sponsoring institution. The journal’s student Editorial Board members review all manuscripts and forward the strongest ones to the Advisory Board members, who make publication recommendations. Typically, each Advisory Board member reviews one manuscript per journal issue. The faculty editor and Advisory Board meet with officers of Pi Sigma Alpha at the annual meeting of the APSA.

The first faculty editor of the journal was Rosalee Clawson of Purdue University.  As she noted from her experiences at Purdue, the journal “provides undergraduates from across the nation with the opportunity to publish their research.  Second, the journal is designed to increase students’ substantive knowledge of the field of political science and enhance their understanding of political science as an academic discipline. Third, as a result of working on the journal, Purdue students increase their critical thinking, writing, and verbal communication skills.  Fourth, the journal provides Purdue students with valuable leadership experience and cultivates teamwork skills.  Finally, the journal fosters close interaction and cooperation between Purdue faculty and undergraduates.”

Zoe Oxley of Union College succeeded Rosalee Clawson.  She, Professor Clawson, and three student editors of the journal from Union College had an article published in the July, 2009 issue of the American Political Science Association’s PS: Political Science and Politics (v. 42, number 3, pp. 565-569) describing the operation of the journal and the pedagogical value of their experiences managing the journal. This article is recommended to chapter advisors with an interest in submitting a proposal. Following Union College, Ronald Rapoport and Christine Nemacheck of the College of William and Mary hosted the Journal from 2010 to 2013.  The current faculty editor is Terri Towner of Oakland University. Their term will expire August 31, 2020.

Pi Sigma Alpha issues this call for proposals for campus chapters of Pi Sigma Alpha to submit a bid to sponsor the journal beginning in September, 2020.  This call outlines the terms of the sponsorship.

Expectations of the campus sponsor:  The sponsoring chapter must make a three year commitment. The proposal must show, at minimum, evidence of the following support:

  1. A committed faculty advisor with a scholarly record sufficient to oversee a journal;
  2. A consistently strong Pi Sigma Alpha chapter that can be expected to produce the undergraduate student support sufficient to staff the journal’s editorial and production functions every year;
  3. A clear commitment by the Department, College, or University to provide financial, logistical, and staff support in the form of: office space to house the journal; computer equipment and printer; faculty members from the chapter’s department to serve on the Advisory Board; and some form of academic credit for student involvement. Ideally, the sponsoring institution will also provide teaching credit or a stipend to the faculty advisor.

Other Stipulations:  Pi Sigma Alpha, as an incorporated entity, owns the journal and any related copyrights, and its sponsorship will appear prominently on the publication.  The national office of Pi Sigma Alpha will publicize the journal on its website, in its newsletter, and through its chapter advisor listserv.  The winners and runners-up of the annual Pi Sigma Alpha Best Undergraduate Class Paper competition are automatically considered for publication in the journal.

Pi Sigma Alpha provides financial support for the journal, which includes a stipend of $2,500 per issue for the faculty advisor and a subsidy not exceeding $2,500 per issue covering the full cost of the journal’s management and publication.

The current faculty editor is Professor Terri Towner of Oakland University. Questions about the journal can be emailed to her at towner at oakland dotedu.

Deadline for Proposals: March 31, 2019.

Proposals are to be sent electronically as Microsoft Word documents to the Pi Sigma Alpha National Office at

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