Previous research has documented how political scientists evaluate and rank scholarly journals, but the evaluation and ranking of scholarly book publishers has drawn less attention. In this article, we use data from a survey of 603 American political scientists to generate a ranking of scholarly publishers in political science. We used open-ended questions to ask respondents to identify those scholarly publishers (1) to which they would submit “a very strong book manuscript” in their area of expertise, and (2) that they “read regularly or otherwise rely for the best research” in their area of expertise. Based on these results, we created rankings of scholarly presses based on publication and reading preferences. We find that certain high-profile university presses constitute a clear first tier in American political scientists' preference orderings, followed by a mix of university and commercial presses that represent the second tier and beyond. Moreover, we confirm the validity of our approach by comparing the results of our rankings (based on open-ended questions) with results from previous research based on respondents' evaluations and derived from close-ended lists of scholarly presses. Our results demonstrate that the rankings of scholarly publishers are similar for both approaches. These rankings can be used to guide political scientists as they decide where to send their best book-length work.
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