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  • This Extended Edition, Manuscript Submissions and Acceptances Report for 2004, and LARR's "Impact Factor"
  • Peter M. Ward

The Rationale for this Extended Edition of LARR

LARR readers may be wondering about the reasons for this "bumper" extended edition containing almost 200 additional pages. This is a strategic decision by the editors to almost triple the number of review essays included in vol. 40, no. 3 as a one-time mechanism of clearing the backlog of essays that had begun to accumulate. LARR remains committed to ensuring that regular research articles will normally make up between 55–60 percent of any single issue, but we are also determined to avoid review essays on books heavily outdated by the time that the essay appears in print. In any one year LARR usually receives around 400 titles, and while it is not possible to broker all of these into interesting and timely thematic clusters, the editors are assiduous in seeking to include as many books as possible, while also maintaining a three year "moving wall" from a book's publication to its appearance in a LARR review essay.

So, after careful consideration of a number of options, we have decided to undertake a one-time extended edition. Several of the review essays deal with Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in anticipation of LASA's XXVI Congress to be held in San Juan in March 2006. Enjoy!

Manuscript Submissions and Acceptance Rates, 2004

It is the practice for the lead editor to report to readers on the patterns of submissions in the preceding year. In the previous report on 2003 [End Page 5] submissions (see vol. 38, no. 2), I noted that LARR had received 33 percent more manuscripts in the first year the journal moved to the University of Texas at Austin (100 manuscripts compared to 75 in 2002), and that this was a welcome "spike" in submission rates over recent years.1 In 2004 the number of submissions was 98—almost identical to the previous year.

MS Submissions and Publication by Discipline

As in previous years, in 2004, political science (including government) continued to stand out with 37 percent of all submissions (and 29 percent of published articles in vols. 39 and 40), and although economics as a stand-alone category continues to show very few submissions, combined with political economy (spanning as it often does both economics and politics), the two make up about 9 percent of all submissions and, ultimately, a similar proportion of published articles. History submissions rose marginally in 2004 (up 12 percent), although the discipline continues to fare quite strongly in terms of published papers (26 percent of all papers), suggesting that the flow is generally of an especially high quality. There was a modest increase in the arts and humanities (including cultural studies) together with literature and language, comprising 18 percent of all submissions (up from 14 percent in 2003), but the conversion rate into published papers is somewhat lower—around 9 percent—and the LARR editors continue to encourage submissions of high-quality papers in these disciplinary areas. Sociology dipped slightly from 16 to 11 percent, but the conversion rate to published papers remained solid, at around 10 percent.

While it would make little sense to report on submission rates for book review essays, which are commissioned, several of the less-represented disciplinary areas on the full articles submission side are compensated for by book review essays. For example, 16 percent of review essays were in culture, literature, and language; history was 31 percent, whereas archaeology and anthropology covered 9 percent of review essays (slightly exceeding the percentage of regular articles). Overall, the number of reviews in political economy (20 percent) and political science/government (25 percent) reflects the large number of books that are published on these topics every year. Although the LARR editors do not try to redress disciplinary imbalances between book review essays and regular articles, we welcome the greater balance across disciplines that the review essays offer. [End Page 6]

Submissions by Country

Perhaps the most dramatic change in submissions over the previous year was the more than doubling (to 38 percent) of paper submissions from scholars outside of the...


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