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Trends in Production and Consumption of Political Science Articles

Data are from five prominent political science journals: APSR, BJPS, Perspectives, PS, and World Politics.

Table of Contents:

Some Results

The data show that till well into the 1960s, the average article published in the APSR was solo-authored. Today, co-authored papers are the norm.

No. of authors over time

Over the past 100 or so years, article length has shown marked variability. There is a marked see-saw pattern in the average length of the article, but unlike top economics journals we don't see a marked trend towards longer articles. It is very likely, however, that the length of online appendices has grown substantially.

Number of views an article or abstract has received follows the familiar power law distribution with most articles receiving very few views.

Get the (Meta) Data

All the data are from journals published by the Cambridge University Press (CUP). CUP has a single publishing platform for all its journals with the link differing only by 'JID'. For instance, to scrape meta data and abstract for all APSR articles from CUP, use ( The JIDs for various journals are easily found. They can also be scraped from the CUP page listing all the journals that it publishes.

To scrape the data, use The script depends on urllib2. To run the script, python


  • Name of the output file. Specify FINAL_OUTPUT_FILE on line 11 of
  • Column names. Specify HEADER on Line 18 of

Note: The script allows for interruption. If interrupted, it will restart from where it stopped. And it will append the results to the existing output file.


Each row in the csv is a separate article. And the columns are:

  • article.url
  • issue.year
  • issue.volume
  • issue.pages
  • article.title
  • article.abstract
  • article.pages
  • 10 colums e.g author1, institution1, etc, ...,author1, institution1
  • article.abstract.views
  • article.full.text.views

Analyze the Data


Released under CC BY 2.0.


Production and Consumption of APSR, BJPS, Perspectives, PS, and World Politics Articles




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