PhilPapers and Philosophy Documentation Center Collaboration

PhilPapers and the Philosophy Documentation Center will be working together to expand the amount of information available via PhilPapers and to better manage PhilPapers’ subscription services. PhilPapers has also upgraded its search system. David Bourget and David Chalmers tell us what’s going on and what to expect: 

The Philosophy Documentation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable access to essential resources in the humanities and social sciences. PDC supports scholarly work in many fields with customized publishing and membership services, digitization solutions, and secure hosting. PDC produces Philosophy Research Index, a database of bibliographic information on articles, books, reviews, dissertations, and other documents in philosophy comprising over 1.3M entries. Philosophy Research Index is currently the largest research index in philosophy, with more entries than PhilPapers (1.1M entries) and Philosophers’ Index (540,000 entries)

The agreement between PDC and the PhilPapers Foundation has two main components: First, the Philosophy Research Index database will be incorporated as part of PhilPapers. Second, PDC will become responsible for the management of PhilPapers subscriptions, lending to PhilPapers its extensive expertise with this type of operations.

PhilPapers users can expect PhilPapers’ index to grow significantly over the coming weeks as a result of the integration of PRI. PhilPapers has traditionally been focused on recent publications in English. In contrast, PRI has excellent coverage of older publications and very good coverage of non-English publications. While the PhilPapers team has worked hard to expand the index’s coverage to additional languages and include older material as part of the index, some gaps remain. The incorporation of PRI is expected to make PhilPapers much more complete. It will without doubt be the most complete index of philosophical research available. The joint database will also incorporate thesaurus data that belong to PDC.

There will be no change to PhilPapers’ access policies. The service will continue to be available on the model where non-institutional use is free and only institutions located in high-GDP countries and that offer degrees in philosophy are asked to subscribe. Institutional users will benefit from this agreement by leveraging existing accounts with PDC to manage PhilPapers subscriptions. Additionally, an optional bundle of PhilPapers and other services provided by PDC will be offered.

We are also pleased to announce important upgrades to PhilPapers. Our search system has been upgraded to improve the relevance of search results returned. OpenURL/SFX linking, which enables users to access resources through their institutional libraries, has been improved to be more readily available for users affiliated with subscribing institutions. More upgrades are coming soon.


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