An Invitation Reiterated
Within the field indicated by its title, American Diplomacy has followed an eclectic publishing policy over the past four years of its publishing history, welcoming the submission from readers of scholarly articles, commentaries, feature stories, brief memoirs, book reviews, guest editorials, and announcements. We have had the great good fortune to publish a variety of offerings representing a broad range of views on the issues. We the founders of the journal, when we launched the first issue back in 1996, held as one of our prime purposes that of making the new medium of an electronic journal readily accessible to foreign affairs professionals, active and retired, as well as scholars in the field and the interested public.The reader will gain from the current and previous issues a feeling for the breadth of the journal’s remarkable coverage. These various items, considered at random, have ranged from somewhat lengthy research-based investigations of “‘Americanism’ and Strategic Security: The Pacific Basin, 1943-1947,”1 to commentary on vital questions of strategy, such as “A New Nuclear TRIAD,”2 to a humorous account of diplomatic service at a new post, “My Time Isn’t Always Your Time.”3 The journal has even published the occasional fiction piece related to U.S. Foreign Service life. A recent American Diplomacy issue — Vol. IV, No. IV, Autumn 1999 — featured no fewer than five articles on U.S. relations with China. One of these is a major scholarly study of considerable length, three are penetrating analyses of policy issues, and the fifth, a short but informative memoir by an officer who served in China more than fifty years ago.4 The range of publications and topics addressed within the field of diplomacy and foreign policy, we submit, has been nothing short of remarkable. Most articles have been in English, but we have also published works in French and Spanish.
With this said, perhaps it would be useful to present for our readership in brief but somewhat formal fashion the procedures and editorial practices of American Diplomacy. If questions from potential authors arise about these points, they may contact either the editor () or the publisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) via e-mail.
Given its electronic form, American Diplomacy prefers in most cases the submission of manuscripts by e-mail, either as an attachment or, if fairly short, in the body of the e-mail message. Floppy disks sometimes are acceptable; check with the editor or publisher. Reference notes should be included at the end of the text. Although the editor, publisher, and book review editor all happen to use Macintosh equipment and programs, we can convert for the journal’s purposes most forms of attachment transmissions. Assuming the electronically transmitted text poses no problem of translation, we do not need an additional typed hard copy.
We do, however, readily accept typed or printed-out copy if the author is not deeply into computers. Preferably this should be submitted in double-spaced format with no corrections or insertions that would inhibit electronic scanning. Notes also should be double spaced and should be in form of end notes, not footnotes.
For questions of style and end note documentation, we consult the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.
If authors submit their work by e-mail, they may expect a prompt acknowledgment of receipt. If they send copy through the regular mail, they should include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
The great majority of the items, long and short, published in American Diplomacy have not previously appeared elsewhere. The editor nonetheless is prepared to consider items relevant to the journal’s interests published previously, provided the author has obtained written permission from the original forum for republication.
The editor makes an initial call on manuscripts as to whether they merit further consideration. The most likely reason for rejection at this initial stage would be that the subject matter does not bear upon topics relevant to American diplomacy. If found possibly appropriate for the journal at this stage, the manuscript receives further review, usually in one of these processes:
Original research-based scholarly articles (10,000 to 12,000 words maximum in all but unusual cases) are submitted for “blind” evaluation to two or more outside readers known to be knowledgeable in the field discussed in the submission. Their judgment on the merits of the work will be communicated in general to authors by the editor.
Commentaries on foreign policy issues (generally 5,000 words maximum) receive evaluation, usually blind, by two or more members of the journal’s own editorial review board — not for conformity to any predetermined policy position, but rather for timeliness, appropriateness, interest, and clarity.
Diplomatic memoirs and fiction based on life in the diplomatic and consular services, usually somewhat brief (3,000 to 4,000 words), will be accorded similar review, more often than not by members of the editorial review board who are retired U.S. Foreign Service officers.
General announcements and similar items, usually not more than some 500 words in length, are reviewed and copy edited as appropriate by the editor.
Guidance on the preparation of book reviews has been made available elsewhere by the book review editor and may be sought by addressing him at his email address (email@example.com). The journal does not ordinarily reveal the name of the reviewer to the book’s author before publication of a review. Book reviews, whether volunteered or submitted in response to the journal’s request, undergo revision, as needed, by the journal’s book review editor and the editor. These submissions typically are in the range 1,000 to 2,000 words
(Note that the word length of the items listed above are suggestive, not chiseled in stone.)
The editor, drawing from the findings of outside readers or members of the editorial review board, will decide whether a manuscript will be published. If so, the editor and publisher in consultation will determine the timing of its publication. Either the editor or publisher will make reasonable efforts to advise authors when their work will appear, especially if in contact by e-mail. If after review the decision is that the submission cannot be used, the editor will so advise the author.
The editor may or may not suggest to the author substantive revisions to accepted work. American Diplomacy in addition copy edits text for conformity with its end note form, special terms, capitalization, etc.
American Diplomacy, following the general practice of scholarly journals, is not in a position to offer payment for accepted and published manuscripts.
American Diplomacy as a Web-based electronic journal features illustrations and photographs to enhance the visual impact of articles. We encourage authors to submit pictorial or graphic materials that would serve to further the understanding of their manuscripts, either by mail, on disk, or as attachments to e-mail messages (in JPEG or GIF format, as appropriate). The publisher and editor undertake to return photos and similar materials sent through the mails. The determination of materials of this type to be used will be made by the publisher.
The journal expects that authors will assign copyrights to American Diplomacy on their work published in the journal unless previously copyrighted. The journal then routinely grants permission to authors for subsequent use of their materials, formally transferring copyright thereto if deemed necessary.
All this now having been said, American Diplomacy again extends an invitation to everyone interested and knowledgeable in the field reflected by the journal’s title. Get in touch, send us your commentaries, articles, memoirs, and the like. Let us see the results of your research. Your product will, we assure you, receive our close attention.
~ The Editor, June 2000