To submit a manuscript to International Security (IS), log on to Editorial Manager, an online manuscript management system used by more than 6,000 journals. You can access the site at http://www.editorialmanager.com/isec.
Please register as an author and follow the instructions for submitting a manuscript. If you have any questions or encounter problems, please let us know by clicking "Contact Editorial Office" in the main navigation bar.
- A length of 10,000 to 15,000 words (including footnotes) is appropriate, but the journal will consider and publish longer manuscripts. Authors of manuscripts with more than 20,000 words should consult the journal's editors before submission.
- Delete your name or any references that might identify you from the manuscript. IS does not release authors' names to outside reviewers and, likewise, does not release reviewers' names to authors.
- Include a cover letter.
- Submit your manuscript as a Word document. Do not send a PDF document.
- Include a summary of 150 to 200 words.
What Is Appropriate for IS?
IS welcomes submissions on all aspects of security affairs. For perspectives on the scope and research agenda of the field, see Joseph S. Nye and Sean M. Lynn-Jones, "International Security Studies: A Report on a Conference on the State of the Field,"International Security, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Spring 1988), pp. 5-27; and Steven E. Miller, "International Security at Twenty-five: From One World to Another," International Security, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Summer 2001), pp. 5-39. For additional information on what kinds of manuscripts that International Security is looking for, see Teresa Johnson, "Writing for International Security: A Contributor’s Guide," International Security, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Fall 1991), pp. 171-180. Authors should not, however, limit themselves to the issues and approaches suggested in these articles.
Before submitting a manuscript to IS or any other journal, look at recent issues to get a sense of the general type of article that the journal publishes. Whenever editors gather to discuss why they reject manuscripts, they agree that the number one reason is that many submissions are inappropriate for their journals.
IS is not looking for short, undocumented papers that consist primarily of opinion and advocacy. Every year we turn away many submissions that fall into this category. We also rarely consider highly technical articles that are unlikely to be accessible to a broad audience.
We are interested in serious analyses of contemporary security policy issues, theoretical and conceptual issues in security studies, and historical questions related to war and peace. We define "security" broadly to include issues related to the causes, conduct, and consequences of wars. The editors rarely decide to seek articles on a particular topic, although from time to time we may look for articles on topics that have not been addressed in recent issues of the journal.
IS publishes articles that fall into four broad categories.
Policy. Analyses of contemporary security policy issues.
Theory. Articles that propose, test, refine, or apply theories of international relations that are relevant to the use, threat, and control of force.
History. Articles that offer new information on or interpretations of historical events.
Technology. Analyses of the scientific and technological dimensions of international security.
Of course, these categories overlap to some extent, but we try to strike a balance among them in selecting articles for publication.
In general, manuscripts are more likely to receive serious consideration if they offer one or more of the following:
Originality. We strongly prefer articles that reach new and interesting conclusions or that offer new information or evidence.
Challenges to the conventional wisdom. Articles that reiterate well known and popular views are less likely to be published than those that challenge the conventional academic or policy wisdom. As one member of the journal's editorial board put it: "If nobody is going to disagree with an article, there's no reason to publish it."
Coverage of important topics. In general, we prefer articles that address broad topics of major interest. For example, we are more likely to publish an article on the future of U.S.-European relations or the prospects for peace in the twenty-first century than one on civil-military relations in a small country.
Long shelf life. We prefer articles that are not likely to be overtaken by current events and that will be read with interest for perhaps a decade or more.
Accessibility to a wide audience. IS aims to publish articles that can be read by intelligent nonspecialists as well as by academic experts in a particular field.
Of course, not every article in IS meets these criteria, but those that do are more likely to receive positive external reviews and favorable consideration by the editors.
IS is published quarterly. Normally, the process of review and publication takes at least eight months; thus, a manuscript submitted in March would ordinarily not appear before the winter issue. Decisions on manuscripts ordinarily take no more than three to four months; the editing and publication process takes between five and six. When authors are asked to revise, the process may take longer.
Policy on Simultaneous Submissions
IS does not object to simultaneous submission of manuscripts to other publications, but we do ask to be informed if a manuscript is under consideration at another journal. We have adopted this policy because we realize that authors often are under pressure to publish quickly and we often take several months to reach a decision.
Policy on Previous Publication
If a manuscript has been published previously or will appear elsewhere soon, its chances of acceptance by IS will probably be reduced. Such issues, however, are handled on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the importance of the topic, the quality of the work, and the attention that it will receive in another publication.
How Often May Authors Publish in IS?
IS has a policy of not publishing any author more than once a year. We occasionally may make exceptions for coauthored articles. This rule does not apply to correspondence submissions.
Simultaneous Submissions to IS?
IS generally prefers only one submission per author at any given time. The editors will occasionally consider simultaneous submissions, but if two or more articles by the same author are accepted, publication of the additional article(s) will be deferred for at least a year.
International Security welcomes correspondence on articles published in the journal. We cannot publish every letter we receive, but we believe that exchanges between article authors and their critics can be interesting and informative. The journal's policy is to offer article authors the opportunity to respond to each letter in the issue in which the letter is published. There is no upper or lower limit on the length of letters published in the journal. Published letters often range from 1,000 to 3,000 words. The journal attempts to publish letters within a year of the publication of the article to which they respond. Letters should be submitted as soon as possible after publication of an article.
Correspondence can be submitted through Editorial Manager. Please register as an author and follow the instructions for submitting a letter to the editor. If you have any questions or encounter problems, please let us know by clicking "Contact Us" in the main navigation bar.
Book Review Essays
We solicit most of the book review essays in IS. If you want to write a book review essay, please contact us and we will let you know if we are interested. We sometimes receive unsolicited book review essays, and they pass through the normal review process.
How to Propose an Article
If you have a manuscript that you would like to submit to IS but you are unsure whether it is "right" for the journal, email us to ask whether we are interested. Please send a summary of the paper and a description of its length, methods, etc.
Please bear in mind that it is impossible to evaluate manuscripts that we have not seen, but we can tell you whether, for example, we have just accepted another article on the same topic. We can also assess whether the topic and approach are suitable for IS and whether the editors might have a particular interest in considering your paper.