Thom Brooks alerts us to a new moral and political philosophy journal, Public Reason.  The journal looks to be noteworthy for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it is an open-access e-journal, following the recent (and I think wholly positive) trend set by journals like Philosophers' Imprint and the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.  Moreover, back when JESP debuted, there was some excitement over the idea that philosophy had its first journal (or one of its first journals?) that was willing to consider papers that are simultaneously under submission elsewhere.  As was noted at the time, this policy loses some sizzle if it is the only journal willing to do this.  Apparently now that is no longer the case, though: Public Reason will also consider simultaneous submissions, so there are at least two journals to which those working in moral/political/social philosophy can simultaneously submit.

For philosophers concerned with various timetables that increase pressure to publish, this will no doubt be welcome news.  It will be interesting to see how interested parties, particularly referees, respond to this development.  (Some have been bothered by the idea of simultaneous submissions of book proposals.)  As a referee, I don't think I'd be too bothered to learn that I had been working up a report for a paper that was withdrawn from the journal I was working for because it had been accepted elsewhere.  But I also think it would be nice if authors took advantage of this opportunity–and thus of referees–only when they are under some sort of career deadline or other unique pressure to publish.

In related news, and again like JESP, Public Reason will be publishing discussion notes, in addition to regular articles and book reviews.

5 Replies to “A New Era Begins: Multiple Submissions

  1. My understanding is that the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, a pretty nice journal for legal theory and political philosophy, also at least is willing to consider submissions submitted elsewhere. (I assume that this is to let it get some articles that would otherwise only be submitted to law reviews.) Details should be checked, of course, but it’s a nice journal and worth keeping in mind.

  2. You’re right, Matt, the CJLJ states:
    The Journal does not disallow multiple submissions (typically) from the USA, but the editors wish to be informed.
    I assume this is just an awkward way to say that the Journal allows multiple submissions!
    As I’m sure you know, law journals typically do allow multiple submissions. (JESP has had some papers submitted that were simultaneously submitted to law journals, but so far we have not accepted any.) It will be interesting to see whether JESP and Public Reason get any simultaneous submissions, and if so how many.

  3. It’s great to see another open-access journal! I think the idea of accepting submissions that are also under review elsewhere is a good idea. However, the need for this would be greatly reduced if more journals had the kind of quick decision process that, e.g., The Imprint reports.
    Thanks for posting the info.

  4. “It will be interesting to see how interested parties, particularly referees, respond to this development.”
    Are referees really “interested parties” in some relevant sense?

  5. Fritz, you ask:
    Are referees really “interested parties” in some relevant sense?
    The idea was supposed to be that evaluating simultaneous submissions will require simultaneous refereeing. Assuming that at least some of that simultaneous refereeing is done by distinct referees, there will be (even) more refereeing work to be done. And assuming that at least some of the simultaneously submitted manuscripts will be accepted, some will be withdrawn from consideration, presumably in some cases after the referee has started working on the manuscript. As I mentioned, while I don’t really have a problem with it, in the linked post attached to “Some” in the original post Michael Rosen wrote, regarding book manuscripts: “Reading a manuscript for a publisher is time-consuming, difficult, often dispiriting (no one likes having to say negative things) and very poorly recompensed. Those of us who do it do so because we think we owe it to the profession. The idea that some other poor schmuck is doing the same thing at the same time on the same manuscript is hard to bear.” Whether or not you agree with this, the more basic thought was that having more work, and new work that might be for naught, creates an interest.
    (Of course, I’m using “interested parties” in the colloquial sense, not as a term of art.)

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