Each of the following sections provides general information for authors about the manuscript submission process. We recommend that you take the time to read each section and review carefully the BSP Editorial Policy before submitting your manuscript to Behavioral Science & Policy.

Manuscript Formats

Manuscripts can be submitted in a number of different formats, each of which must clearly explain specific implications for (public and/or private-sector) policy and practice:

  • Proposals ( specify scientifically grounded policy proposals and provide supporting evidence including concise reports of relevant studies. This category is most appropriate for describing new policy implications of previously published work or a novel policy recommendation that is supported by previously published studies.
  • Findings ( report on results of new studies and/or substantially new analysis of previously reported data sets (including formal meta-analysis) and the policy implications of the research findings. This category is most appropriate for presenting new evidence that supports a particular policy recommendation. The additional length of this format is designed to accommodate a fuller account of methods, results, and/or analysis of studies that have not been previously reported elsewhere (though some finer details may be relegated to supplementary online materials).
  • Reviews ( survey and synthesize the key findings and policy implications of research in a specific disciplinary area or on a specific policy topic. This could take the form of describing a general-purpose behavioral tool for policy makers or a set of behaviorally grounded insights for addressing a particular policy challenge.
  • Other Published Materials. BSP will sometimes solicit or accept Letters (Invitations)

Review and Selection of Manuscripts

On submission, the manuscript author is asked to indicate the most relevant disciplinary area and policy area addressed by his/her manuscript. (In the case of some Review papers, a “general” policy category designation may be appropriate.) The area-specific Senior Disciplinary Editor and the Senior Policy Editor provide an initial screening of the manuscripts. A manuscript that passes initial screening is reviewed by a relevant Associate Policy Editor and a relevant Associate Disciplinary Editor, who serves as the steward of the manuscript as it is moved through the editorial process. The manuscript author will receive an email within approximately two weeks of submission indicating whether the article has been sent to outside referees for further consideration. External review of the manuscript entails evaluation by at least two outside referees. In most cases Authors will receive a response from BSP within approximately 60 days of submission. With rare exception, we will submit manuscripts to no more than two rounds of external review. We generally do not accept re-submissions of material without an explicit invitation from an editor. Professional editors trained in the BSP style will collaborate with the author of any manuscript recommended for publication to enhance the accessibility and appeal of the material to a general audience (i.e., a broad range of behavioral scientists, public- and private-sector policy makers, and educated lay public). We anticipate no more than two rounds of feedback from the professional editors.

Copyright and License

Copyright to all published articles is held jointly by the Behavioral Science & Policy Association and the Brookings Institution, subject to use outlined in the Behavioral Science & Policy publication agreement. (A waiver is considered only in cases where one’s employer formally and explicitly prohibits work from being copyrighted; inquiries should be directed to the BSPA office). Following publication, the manuscript author may post the accepted version of the article on his/her personal web site, and may circulate the work to colleagues and students for educational and research purposes. We also allow posting in cases where funding agencies explicitly request access to published manuscripts (e.g. NIH requires posting on PubMed Central). No articles may be posted until the conclusion of a brief embargo period to allow for circulation of a press release.

Open Access

BSP posts each accepted article on our website in an open access format at least until that article has been bundled into an issue. At that point, access is granted to journal subscribers and members of the Behavioral Science & Policy Association. Questions regarding institutional constraints on open access should be directed to the editorial office.

Submission Fee

Behavioral Science & Policy charges a $50 fee per submission to defray a portion of the manuscript processing costs incurred by the Behavioral Science & Policy Association. (BSP is waiving this fee during the first few months of operation.)