Review Criteria

Manuscripts submitted to JSPP undergo an initial screening by one of the main editors (and sometimes an additional associate editor), to assess whether a submission matches JSPP’s profile and scope. If the following criteria are not met, a manuscript will be desk-rejected:

I. Scope

The following criteria have to be met:

  • Does the manuscript substantially engage with and advance the understanding of social or political problems, their reduction, or the promotion of social justice?
  • Is the research question social or political psychological in nature?

Additionally, at least one of the following criteria has to be met:

  • Does the manuscript relate to issues relevant to regions of the world that are underrepresented in psychological research, or is the research conducted among populations and/or by scholars from backgrounds underrepresented in psychological research?
  • Does the manuscript introduce new research methods, or use methods that are underrepresented in social and political psychological research (e.g., qualitative methods, decolonial approaches)?
  • Does the manuscript contribute to JSPP as a forum for innovation, questioning of dominant assumptions and theoretical perspectives, and critical debate?
  • Does the manuscript have the potential to inspire practical applications towards reducing social and political problems and promoting social justice?
  • Does the manuscript draw on other disciplinary perspectives (where relevant) to enrich social and political psychological theorizing?

II. Theory

The following criteria have to be met:

  • Does the manuscript consider the historical, political, economic, and socio-cultural context that shapes research questions and findings?
  • Is the research well founded, as documented in a coherent, compelling, and critical review of theoretical and (where applicable) empirical literature that situates the research meaningfully in relevant contexts?
  • Does the manuscript make its theoretical positioning explicit?

III. Methodology (for empirical manuscripts)

The following criteria have to be met:

  • Are the methods, sample(s), and analytical procedures appropriate in light of the research questions, thoroughly and transparently documented (see also our Open science criteria here); and is the research carried out carefully (so that data quality and trustworthiness are ensured)?
  • Is the sample size appropriate and justified (e.g., through statistical power analysis for quantitative studies or guidelines for qualitative research)?
  • For quantitative papers reporting only a single study, are the findings from a representative sample of the population or a population that is underrepresented in social or political psychological research?
  • If quantitative studies were conducted with crowdsourcing (e.g., MTurk, Prolific) or other convenience sampling methods that strongly limit the sample’s characteristics (e.g., student samples), are data quality issues addressed (e.g., attention and comprehension checks, bots, non-naivete of participants) and are the findings replicated in a different type of sample?

Additionally, the following criteria have to be met (ideally already in the first version submitted, but can be refined over the course of the revisions):

  • Are limitations of the sample (e.g., ecological validity, generalizability and distribution of key variables for quantitative studies; transferability for qualitative studies) critically discussed?
  • Are the sample characteristics that are central to the research question and important for contextualizing and interpreting the findings reported (e.g., race and/or ethnicity depending on what is relevant in the context, nationality and/or immigration status, gender, social class, where recruited and how); and does the sample description avoid homogenizing the sample by addressing crucial intersecting social positions (such as those mentioned above) and intragroup differences?
  • Does the manuscript show sensitivity to ethical issues, including power dynamics within the research (i.e. reflexivity) and potential political and societal consequences of the research?

IV. Presentation

The following criteria have to be met (ideally already in the first version submitted, but can be refined over the course of the revisions):

  • Is the manuscript written in a style that is accessible to a broad audience?
  • Is the presentation clear and well-structured, and (where applicable) is there parsimony in using tables and figures?

Having passed the first stage, manuscripts are assigned to a handling editor, who will organize the peer-review process and recruit reviews from at least two (sometimes more) experts. We aim to reach a first decision within three to four months of submission, though we note that this is not always possible, and has become increasingly more difficult due to the increased workload for academics within the neoliberal university context and ongoing global crises.