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Guidelines for Referees

Australasian Parliamentary Review

Journal of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group

The Australasian Parliamentary Review (APR) is the journal of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group (ASPG). The APR publishes articles on issues affecting the operation of Parliaments in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. APR is published twice a year and is committed to encouraging and stimulating research, writing and teaching about the parliamentary institutions of the region. Where relevant to the Australasian experience, the Editor also welcomes manuscripts relating to international events.

All material is subject to an editorial review process and the Editor reserves the right to accept or decline submissions.

Submissions that are the subject of the double blind review process must meet academic standards in terms of originality, insight, clarity and rigour. Referees are asked also to look for and comment on other desirable qualities such as argument, organisation, scholarship etc.

APR publishes:

  • Articles: These are of between 4000-6000 words in length. In exceptional cases, articles of up to 10,000 words will be considered. Referees should be aware that longer articles may require more judicious assessment;
  • Research reports: Submissions dealing with current research projects and/or findings of 2500 words. Where a worthy article does not have the required attributes but is of substantive interest to the reader, referees may wish to recommend it for publication as a Research report;
  • Conference/symposia papers: (for instance APR has the first right or refusal for papers delivered to the ASPG conference);
  • Readers' commentaries on published work of 800-1000 words or in the form of a Letter to the Editor of not more than 400 words in length (not refereed);
  • Review articles dealing with a significant book or set of books on emerging themes in the areas of interest to the APR readership.

APR also publishes material on issues relating to parliament, whether arising from policy debates, major committee reports, political and electoral matters, referenda or significant court decisions affecting parliamentary operations.

Material submitted to the APR may be considered more suited to publication on the website of the ASPG as Occasional Papers and referees are asked to comment on this suitability.

Papers will not always be sent to a referee whose field is identical to the subject matter of that paper. You do not have to be precisely qualified in a field to be a constructive referee. If, however, you do feel unqualified to judge the merits of a paper, advise the Editor and another referee will be found.

Unless otherwise agreed to by the Editor and the referee, the identity of APR referees is not known to authors . Also, as referees receive unpublished work, we ask that you treat the material as confidential until published.

Referees should declare to the Editor any conflict which may affect their independence.

If you have concerns that a paper may breach copyright and/or contains plagiarism notify the Editor, providing support for your concern.

Principles referees are asked to watch for are that the material:

  • Is presented in a logical order and informs the reader;
  • Is of appropriate length and conforms to the APR's manuscript specifications (see box); and
  • Is well written.

Manuscripts that are the subject of the double blind process need to be of high quality, need to make a new or substantial contribution to the general body of knowledge, need to adequately substantiate assertions and facts and need to be in a style that is highly readable.

When responding, a referee is asked to indicate clearly whether the article is:

  1. acceptable without revision;
  2. acceptable after minor revision;
  3. possibly acceptable after major revision;
  4. not acceptable;
  5. other, please specify;
  6. should be considered for publication on the ASPG website.

As a referee, you are a valued part of the APR team. Your useful feedback on this document would be appreciated in order that it may be improved in support of other referees, authors and, of course, your Editor


  • Contributions should be submitted in Word format using A4 page setting and double spacing throughout;
  • The inclusion of references and endnotes is at the discretion of the author. The Editor's's preference is for these to be available from the author on request. Otherwise, references should be in endnote form and kept to a minimum. Avoid the use of footnotes;
  • Either use the Harvard OR the Classic Oxford system;
  • The use of abbreviations and acronyms should be kept to a minimum;
  • Use single quote marks, with double within single quotes;
  • Use ise (i.e., organise);
  • Tables use tabs or cells (insert table mode), not multiple spaces.
  • On notification of formal acceptance, authors may make small changes to the manuscript in the time specified by the Editor. Major changes are not accepted, except in response to referee reports.

Capitalisation: Use capitals sparingly and consistently throughout your manu­script. As a general rule, use upper case (capitals) for specific organisations/entities and job titles and lower case for functions or generic terms.

For example:

  • the Treaty of Versailles; the Executive Council, but otherwise treaty, council;
  • the Minister, the Secretary of State, etc. when naming specific government min­isters, but otherwise minister or secret­ary of state, e.g. the Minister for Foreign Affairs, but foreign ministers of the EU;
  • Parliament but parliamentary;
  • government; the Howard Government, otherwise the government, the Department of Primary Industry, otherwise, the departments.

Reference style for sources:

Note: the word editor abbreviates to ed. (full stop); the word editors contracts to eds (no full stop). Any abbreviation which ends with the last letter of the word - e.g. Mr, Dr - is not followed by a full stop. Where the abbreviation does not end with the last letter of the word - e.g. Prof. - a full stop is used.

Authored book:
Smith, Rodney; Ariadne Vromen; and Ian Cook. 2002. Keywords in Australian Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Edited book:
Brown, Peter, Laurel Green and Jenny Jones (eds). 2002. Civil Servants and Ministers. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Chapter in an edited book:
Hausner, J, T. Kudlacz and J.J. Szlachta. 1997. 'Regional and Local Factors in the Restructuring of South-Eastern Poland', in Gernot Gabher and David Stark (eds), Restructuring Networks in Post-Socialism: Legacies, Linkages and Localities. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 115-17.

Journal article:
Swieringa, Margaret. 2006. 'Intelligence Oversight and the War on Terrorism', Australasian Parliamentary Review 21(1), pp.135-42.

Official publications:
(In most cases a department, committee, commission, etc. is listed alphabetically under its own name as the author - be careful to make style of citations in text correspond with those in the list - e.g. if you have OECD 2000 in the text, it should be 'OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). 2000.' in the reference list).


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