First tier includes: American Political Science Review, International Organization, International Security, World Politics, Signs, American Journal of Political Science, Political Theory, Social Forces, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science.
Second tier includes all those peer-reviewed journals listed in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Citation Index Databases that are peer-reviewed, and others, according to the criteria below.
Third tier journals are peer-reviewed journals published by state professional associations or academic departments.
If a peer-reviewed journal is not listed in the ISI Citation Indexes, it could still be placed in any of the three categories, pending submission of relevant data bolstering its claim. With regard to criteria for placement in the second category, the faculty member submitting the form should provide FEC with information on the following factors. FEC should consider some combination of these factors when determining whether the journal should be ranked as second tier or third tier.
- Whether the journal is listed in abstract indexes relevant to its field, i.e. Urban Abstracts, Peace Research Abstracts, International Political Science Abstracts, Historical Abstracts, Social Science Abstracts, etc.
- Whether the journal is published or sponsored by an established publishing company or a national or regional professional association. If not, e.g., if it is published or sponsored by an academic department, a center at a university, or a state professional association, it probably belongs in the third tier.
- Whether the journal has a consistent record of regular publication.
- The Carnegie research levels assigned to the affiliated institutions of the journal's editorial board.
- Other sources of possibly relevant data include the journal’s acceptance rate and its ranking in reputational studies.