I am delighted to announce the launch of a new journal, Research and Politics, of which I am one of the general editors together with Catherine de Vries and Bernard Steunenberg. Sage will publish the new journal.R&P is going to be quite different from most existing academic publications. The journal provides a venue for scholars to communicate rapidly and succinctly important new insights to the broadest possible audience while maintaining the highest standards of quality control. We will do so by publishing short (up to 4,000 word) articles that are published on-line on an open access basis. Quality control is assured through peer review and a large team of associate editors which consists of esteemed political scientists across the subfields. We strive for speedy publication through a quick review process and continuous publication (i.e. no need to wait for the next issue), although we will uphold limits to how many articles we publish.
We expect to attract a wide range of articles. We will surely publish articles that look very much like regular research articles, only shorter. But we also expect and hope to attract articles that are less easily placed in regular peer-reviewed journals. Indeed, we suspect that some articles that would contain valuable knowledge are currently not being written because they do not fit neatly in the straight jacket of what most journals expect or can deliver.
For example, the time lags in the regular publishing process may be a real obstacle for those who wish to publish predictions or cutting edge analyses of current events or policy debates. Open access should be crucial to these types of analyses, as one would wish to reach the broadest audience possible. A strict replication policy, peer review, and the active involvement of academic specialists differentiates this journal from public affairs journals. By adopting the norms and standards of academia and thus appealing to the incentives of academics, we hope to get more academics involved in public debates without sacrificing rigor.