Journal of Peace Research is an interdisciplinary and international peer-reviewed journal, published and owned by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Over the past decade, it has regularly been ranked among the ten most cited journals in international relations and political science. In 2014, JPR was rated as 6/157 in Political Science and 5/82 in International Relations by the Web of Science ‘Journal Citation Reports’. Journal of Peace Research is published bimonthly, and its second number of the 51st volume, dedicated to its 50th anniversary, was released in March.
JPR was established by Johan Galtung, the founder and first director of PRIO, in 1964. Galtung edited the journal for the first 12 years and laid out JPR’s vision of being multidisciplinary and international, and encompassing a broad conception of peace. He contributed strongly to the rapidly increasing prominence of JPR, and his articles ‘The structure of foreign news’, ‘Violence, peace and peace research’, and ‘A structural theory of imperialism’ are among the most cited and downloaded JPR articles of all time. In 1983, Nils Petter Gleditsch took permanent charge of the Journal of Peace Research, and over his 28 years of editorship (1976–1977, 1983–2010), JPR made its way to the core of international relations research. Henrik Urdal took over for Gleditsch in 2010 and is the current editor of the journal. During his time as editor, the number of submitted articles to JPR has increased greatly, from 280 in 2010 to 400 in 2013.
Thematically JPR is broadly oriented. As stated on the cover of the journal, it ‘encourages a wide conception of peace, but focuses on the causes of violence and conflict resolution. Without sacrificing the requirements for theoretical rigour and methodological sophistication, articles directed towards ways and means of peace are favoured.’ Over the years, the journal has developed some thematic niches, most notably articles on the ‘liberal peace’ and on the relationship between environmental change and conflict. Other more specialized niches include the history of peace research, the economics of military spending, human rights, and nonviolence.
JPR is explicitly multidisciplinary and committed to methodological pluralism. The journal has, however, become a profiled leader in the quantitative analysis of peace and conflict. JPR regularly publishes key datasets under the banner ‘Special Data Feature’. Four of the ten most influential ‘JPR articles’, as measured by citations, are special data features, including the Polity III dataset (Jaggers & Gurr, 1995) and the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset 1946–2001 (Gleditsch et al., 2002). JPR has also contributed to developing norms for data sharing in international relations and political science. Since 1998, authors of JPR articles have been required to have their replication data files posted on JPR’s replication page.
For an overview of the history and orientation of the Journal of Peace Research, see also Henrik Urdal, Gudrun Østby & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2014), Journal of Peace Research, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 26(4): 500–504.