How Should Journals Instruct Referees?

“How, then, can philosophy become more inclusive and less boring?” Over at the Philosopher’s Cocoon, Marcus Arvan suggests that one way might be to have journals give referees different instructions from what they typically do.

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10 years ago

I liked this sentence: ‘I almost don’t want to say it, but I have a hard time reading some “top” journals these days. Some of them seem so narrowly focused, and certain debates so far down a deeply mistaken garden-path, that I find the work completely boring. There, I said it.’

I couldn’t agree more. Some of these top journals seem to do little but preserve the professional status quo and do nothing to advance knowledge and understanding. Which may be why there’s never any news in them. I don’t know why they don’t just keep recirculating the back catalogue and save themselves the print costs. Perhaps it’s the refereeing that’s responsible, but there is also the quality of submissions to take into account.