About the Journal

Focus and Scope

HPS publishes high-quality undergraduate research in the fields of history and political science as well as in other related fields including (but not limited to): anthropology; Canadian studies (and other area studies); cultural studies; environmental studies; geography; gender and women's studies; health studies; Indigenous studies; law; philosophy; psychology; public policy; and sociology, provided that there is substantial overlap with history and political science.

Interdisciplinary dialogue is increasingly important in a world of accelerating complexity, and each discipline benefits from being in contact with other fields for this reason. New ideas are often the result of unexpected and unconventional combinations of perspectives and streams of thought, and HPS provides a format through which this can occur.

We welcome well-written submissions from undergraduates in all years of study that are well-researched and/or well-argued. Additionally, we will accept submissions from recent graduates, provided that the paper was submitted for grading in an undergraduate course during the previous 365 days at the time of submission. We accept up to two submissions per author per submission cycle; however, only one paper may be selected for publication.

Submission instructions

Submissions must be no shorter than 12 pages (double-space with standard margins and exluding references) and may be as long as 25 pages in length. Please send all papers and abstracts in Word format (.doc or .docx). The version of your paper that you submit does not need to be the same one that you submitted as part of your undergraduate coursework; you may make any change you see as necessary, such as to lengthen/condense to adhere to HPS guidelines. You may submit papers that have been published elsewhere or have been previously presented e.g. at a research fair; however, please note that preference is given to unpublished authors. You may also wish to consult other journals' cross-publication guidelines, as many will not accept previously published material. If your paper has been published elsewhere, is under consideration at another journal, or is planned to be submitted to other journals, please indicate this when you submit your abstract in the body of your email. It is the Author's responsibility to ensure that there is no violation in the terms of other publishing agreements and HPS will not be held liable should this occur.

To begin the submission process, ensure that all of the guidelines are met. Papers that do not adhere to the guidelines will be returned. When you submit, a) send your 250-word abstract to HPSJournal@hotmail.com, and b) set up an account on the Journal website through which you will be able to upload your paper to begin the editorial process. Important: to ensure blind review, do not include identifying information such as your name and affiliation in your abstract document. Include this information in the body of your email.

Peer Review Process

Step One: Submitting Your Essay

The publication process begins with ensuring your submission meets the submission requirements. Once your paper satisfies these requirements, you may then proceed to upload it onto the site. Once your it has been submitted, your essay will be given a confidential number so that your name remains anonymous throughout the evaluation process. The only individual who will know your name throughout the publication process will be a coordinator who does not evaluate submissions.

Step Two: Undergraduate Assessment

Once your essay is submitted, it will be circulated between a number of undergraduate students. First, your essay will be reviewed to ensure it satisfies the submission requirements, as well as identify grammatical, format and structural errors. The undergraduate editors will also assess the argument’s strengths and weaknesses. The last responsibility of the undergraduate editors is to investigate citations and ensure the essay is academically credible. Corrections and suggestions will be made directly on your electronic submission, and in addition, you will be provided with a critique summary.

Step Three: Graduate Assessment

This phase is very similar to the undergraduate assessment, except the editors will be graduate students who are familiar in your submission topic. We trust them to bring their expertise and provide a much more comprehensive review due to their higher level of training in comparison to the undergraduate assessment. You will follow the same procedures for re-submission as in step two. If your essay passes this final stage, then your essay will be eligible for final selection and publication. All final assessments are made in respect to the expected skill level of a student. Hence, there will be a higher expectations for fourth year submissions in contrast to first year.

Although this process can seem intimidating to some, we assure you that our goal is to be a resource for undergraduates, and so if you show dedication throughout this process, and a willingness to improve your essay, then it will be more likely your essay will get published.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Reasons to Participate

DEVELOP  SKILLS – HPS provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to further develop their writing skills. Each submission will enter a vigorous assessment process, in which the author will be given feedback from multiple editors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to further develop their submission. Students should not miss this opportunity to develop their writing skills beyond the classroom.

CONTRIBUTE TO A BETTER YORK – By publishing your essay in the HPS Journal, you will be contributing to a useful public resource. University is a competitive institution. For first year students especially, stress can be overwhelming due to the limited ability to gauge the writing level of their peers. By displaying your own writing capabilities, future students will be able to contrast your publication with their own writing, thereby providing some guidance and hopefully alleviating stress. Furthermore, the sharing of intellectual ideas within the student body helps to create an atmosphere of scholarly curiosity  that should characterize every university.

POSITIVE EXPERIENCE – HPS is a student-friendly resource for undergraduates to gain confidence in publishing their work, particularly for undergraduates who have not published before. By publishing your essay at HPS, you will be brought past the initial barrier of inexperience, giving you greater confidence for future publication opportunities. Of course undergraduates who have already published their work should still submit to the journal, as publishing numerous essays will not only strengthen your character and skills, but it will also strengthen your résumé.


Footnotes & Bibliography Guides – APA, MLA, Chicago: http://researchguides.library.yorku.ca/styleguides

MLA Format: http://www.wisc.educ/writing/Handbook/DocMLA.html

Chicago Format: http://www.chicagomaualofstyle.org/home.html

APA Format: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

Writing Center for Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies: http://www.yorku.ca/laps/writ

York’s History Department: http://www.yorku.ca/uhistory

York’s Political Science Department: http://www.yorku.ca/laps/pols

Undergraduate Political Science Council: upsc@yorku.ca

Undergraduate History Student’s Association: uhsa.york@gmail.com


Department of History, Department of Political Science, York University

Sources of Support

York Federation of Students