Guidelines: How to Prepare, Submit and Revise a Proposal


At minimum, each proposal must contain the following information:

  • Exact wording of proposed question(s). If your proposal includes questions previously asked by ANES, please include the exact wording of those questions and a reference as to when the question was asked.
  • An explicit argument about why the proposed question(s) merit inclusion in the ANES survey.
  • An explicit argument about the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the question(s).
  • Evidence about the empirical performance of such questions. Such evidence will make a proposal much more persuasive.
  • An explicit argument about the type and range of statistical analyses that the question(s) allows and the benefit of such analyses to science (and society). Clear presentations of modeling frameworks, power statistics, or analogous analytic concepts will make arguments more persuasive.
  • Evidence that the proposed way of asking the question(s) yields better data than obvious alternate ways of asking the same question(s).
  • If the proposal advocates asking a question that ANES has asked in the past, the proposal will be more persuasive if it includes explicit evidence about the breadth and depth of the question’s previous usage and impact in the scholarly literature. Please, do not assume that others already know about prior uses of the questions or will research prior uses on their own.

We also ask that you include five keywords that we can use to categorize your proposal.

How long can a proposal be?

Proposals are limited to ten pages with font no smaller than 12 point, one-inch margins, and double spacing.


Send proposals by email to “” in Adobe PDF (recommended) or Microsoft Word format. For consistency and security reasons, ANES staff members will post your proposal on the Online Commons for you. Proposals sent in Word format will be saved in PDF format by an ANES staff member.

To expedite the processing of your proposal, please ensure your proposal is formatted correctly and attached to the email, in Adobe PDF or Word format. Be sure to indicate whether your proposal is for the 2016 Pilot Study or the ANES 2016 Time Series Study.

Your name will not appear with the title of your proposal. If you want your name known, please post a comment identifying yourself as the author and we will add your name under the title.

How will I know that you have received my proposal successfully?

If it is the first time you have sent an email to the email address, you should receive an auto-response email that your proposal has been received. An ANES staff member will also send you a personal confirmation when they begin processing your proposal, whether you received the auto-response or not.

If you are submitting your proposal toward the end of the proposal submission period, there may be a delay in acknowledging and processing your proposal. However, as long as you submitted your proposal by the deadline, it will be considered received on time and posted as soon as possible. If you are submitting your proposal at the last minute, please save your “Sent” email to assist us in verifying that you submitted it on time, in case there is a technical issue and we do not receive it.

If you do not hear from us within one full business day of submitting your proposal, please contact us by email at and/or by telephone at 734-764-5494 (United States) to verify that we successfully received it.


After a proposal is posted, it can only be revised during an official proposal revision period. The proposal revision period is usually one week in length, and begins the day after the comment period has ended. To find out the proposal revision period for the study that you are interested in, click on the “Calendar and Deadlines” link for that study in the header of the Online Commons pages.

Limiting proposal revisions to the official proposal revision period is primarily for the convenience of readers, as it limits the number of times persons have to read each proposal.

How do I submit a proposal revision?

During an official proposal revision period the ANES staff will post a final, revised version of your proposal for you. In this revision, you can consider comments that were made to your proposal and any other feedback you received. You can make any changes at that time. Receiving comments is not required in order to revise your proposal.

To submit a proposal revision, follow the same guidelines you did at the beginning and email the revised proposal to Make sure to refer to the original proposal title and list all of the usernames of the authors. The only difference is that when you submit a revision, please note in the email that it is a revision of an existing proposal.

Is there any way to revise my proposal before the official proposal revision period?

Prior to the official proposal revision period for a study, you may post comments on your own proposal indicating what changes you intend to make when the official proposal revision period begins.

You can use the comment function to describe how, in your forthcoming revision, you will address any comments that were made about your proposal. You can use the comment function to mention typographical errors that you intend to fix. And you can use the comment function for anything else you wish to mention regarding a forthcoming revision.

Use of the comment function saves Online Commons users from having to re-read your entire proposal again if they are only interested in what has changed since they last read it. Use of the comment function also encourages discussion of the changes you are describing.

Once the official revision period arrives, you can prepare and submit your revised proposal with these changes incorporated, and we will post your full, revised proposal at that time for you.