The Journal typically solicits for its main articles. In advance of each issue, the staff of each section begins the process by brainstorming and developing topics. Once compelling topics have been selected, editors survey the academic field and identify scholars and policy experts who they believe would make a unique and meaningful contribution on the given subject. Before solicitation begins, managing editors obtain feedback and approval from the editors-in-chief for topics and authors. While section editors and editorial assistants are heavily involved in this process, communication with the authors from this point forward is typically handled by managing editors (and senior section editors.) Once an author has agreed to write an article, the Journal provides an author’s packet detailing its expectations and explaining the editorial process.
The Journal makes every effort to ready contributions for publication. Solicitation for articles does not, however, mean an obligation regarding publication.
An author is typically given around 5-7 weeks to submit a first draft.
Abstracts and Outlines
The Journal asks that, before submitting full drafts, authors submit abstracts and outlines of their articles. Within each section, editors review these planning documents and communicate with the authors any initial thoughts they may have in order to reach a consensus regarding a vision for the article.
An author is typically submits an abstract 2 -3 weeks before the first draft deadline.
Drafts and Substance Edits
Once first drafts have been received, the editorial staff of each section sets to work performing substantive edits that are global in nature. Working as a team within each section, editors critically assess the content of a given article. They seek to identify a thesis that represents an original intellectual contribution by the author. They then examine how well the article supports that central argument. Once this assessment has been made, the managing editor communicates the staff’s suggestions to the author, who then makes the appropriate modifications and returns an updated version of the draft. If major shortcomings in stylistic requirements and other guidelines (word limit, formatting of endnotes etc.) are evident, the author is requested to address them too.
A second round of substance edits continues this process and focuses on the structural integrity of the piece. At this stage, editors are attentive to the ordering and structure of the article. This may involve adding section headings, changing the order of paragraphs, and suggesting language to improve the article’s flow. The goal during this phase it to ensure that the author’s message comes across clearly and cohesively. These edits are passed on to the author, who submits a third draft. While most substantive editing is handled within individual sections, managing editors show drafts to the editors-in-chief at this point to ensure quality and continued progress.
This stage takes 2-3 weeks of communication between the author and the editorial staff.
The Journal relies on experts from academia and the field of international affairs to read its authors’ submissions and help determine the relevance, factual accuracy, and value added of the pieces. As a part of the substantive editing process, the editorial staff submits manuscripts of articles to qualified peer reviewers, who are often members of the Georgetown University faculty. They comment on the articles and evaluate different aspects of the pieces (originality, value added, factual accuracy) on a scale of 1 to 5. Their feedback is communicated to the authors, who are then asked to make any final modifications the Journal deems necessary. It should be noted that the advice of peer reviewers is highly valued but is not indiscriminately followed. While editors take into consideration the remarks of peer reviewers, the editorial advice they give is ultimately based on their own opinion of a given article.
Peer review is a strictly double-blind process.
The editorial staff carefully considers the feedback from the peer review and results of substance edits to make a preliminary decision about publishing or not publishing an article. After consultations with the editors-in-chief and if time permits, every effort is made to allow for another round of edits to strengthen the weak areas of an essay.
The author(s) is informed of the situation. Authors have a right to expect a tentative decision regarding publication after substance edits and peer reviews are complete. This should be no later than 4 weeks from when they first submitted a draft.
The editorial staff undertakes the line editing process to eliminate grammatical errors, typos, and formatting mistakes. Editors pay careful attention to both the body of the article and the endnotes. Within each section, staffers take turns reviewing a given piece before the managing editor performs a final review and submits the manuscript to the editors-in-chief. Editors-in-chief also comprehensively review articles at this stage.
This typically takes place 4 weeks after the first draft of an article is submitted by the author.
Final Approval and Publication
Once a final draft of an article has been line edited, it is sent to the author for approval. If the article is in an acceptable state, the author signs a Copyright Assignment Agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding, and an Author Approval. The editors-in-chief then review the piece, perform a final proof, and submit the article to the design team.
This takes place 5-7 weeks after the deadline for first drafts.
The Journal welcomes unsolicited pieces which need to adhere to the deadlines and guidelines detailed at: http://journal.georgetown.edu/submissions/
The Journal receives a high volume of unsolicted essays. Editors typically review full articles (not abstracts or outlines). If an article is short-listed by a section, the editors-in-chief review and approve unsolicited essays that the Journal chooses to work with. Unsolicited essays undergo the same stages in editorial process as solicited articles.
The authors are typically informed of a decision no later than 2 weeks after the deadline for submission.