Political Communication.


First round of reviews.

Turnaround rate 54 days (SD = 5)
Review length 575 words (SD = 74)
Review quality 3.7 / 5 (SD = 1.2)
Overall quality 3.5 / 5 (SD = 1.5)
Would submit again 3 / 5 (SD = 2)
Journal recommendation 4.5 / 5 (SD = 0.5)
(based on 2 reports including 3 reviews)

Desk rejects.

Turnaround rate n/a
Plausibility n/a

Reviewers & Editors (Initial Submissions)
Length 575 words (SD = 74)
Overall tone Negative (modal)
Knowledge 4.7 / 5 (SD = 0.5)
Helpfulness 4 / 5 (SD = 1.4)
Fairness 4 / 5 (SD = 1.4)
Overall quality 3.7 / 5 (SD = 1.2)
Length 121 words (SD = 0)
Decision Reject (modal)
Plausibility 4 / 5 (SD = 1)
Helpfulness 2 / 5 (SD = 1)
Fairness 3 / 5 (SD = 2)
Overall quality 3 / 5 (SD = 2)
  ·  Overall quality rating: 5 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 5 / 5
Political Communication is among the top journals in my peer group. I was impressed with the turnaround time and the qualified and helpful comments of the reviewers. One reviewer even offered advise where to go with this manuscript, which I found very helpful.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 2 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 4 / 5
The review process was quick, so that was impressive. The journal also has a solid impact factor for the field, and the editor has a great reputation. I'm sure that the quality of reviewers is probably second to only a few (at least in political communication).

My problem was that the review I received, and the editor's comments that echoed that reviewer's concerns, were fairly closed-minded about rhetorical methodology. There were vague claims about how political scientists have already developed an understanding of many of the concepts discussed (no citations provided to counter what I found was a lack of development in this lit). There were a few good points about the weakness of the theory developed in the piece (I've seen similar comments in later reviews at other journals). However, the main criticism of the piece was, in essence, based on the point that textual evidence isn't really evidence and that nothing new was being offered. The overall tone of the review was that I needed to engage more with political scientists (which I believe I did), and that the journal prefers more positivist-driven work (which is frustrating to so many in political comm on the comm side who study political rhetoric).

I wouldn't say this is a bad journal. Far from it - I'd be honored to be published in it. However, after having multiple conversations with several top scholars about the direction of the journal, and after reading through the last 5 years of issues, it seems like this one has been shutting out rhetoric scholarship. So, if you're heavily quantitative, go for it. If you're a rhetoric scholar, though, it's probably best to go elsewhere with your manuscript.

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