New Journal: Review of Analytic Philosophy
Review of Analytic Philosophy (RAP), a new open-access, peer-reviewed, English-language philosophy journal based in Japan, has just published its inaugural issue.
RAP is “designed to provide a forum for people working in analytic philosophy broadly conceived. It publishes high quality original research on any area of analytic philosophy, including Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Science, Logic, Normative Ethics, Metaethics, and History of Philosophy.” It will be published biannually.
The editor-in-chief of the journal is Masaki Ichinose (Musashino University; also professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, Japan). The associate editors are Chen Bo (Peking University, China), Alan Hajek (Australian National University, Australia), Graham Priest (City University of New York, USA), and Nick Zangwill (University College London and Lincoln University, UK).
To cover its expenses as an open-access journal, RAP charges authors a publication fee (payable upon acceptance). The fee is JPY 40,000 (approximately $365). The journal notes that “a discount is available if the first author is not employed full time.”
You can check out the first issue here.
(via Nick Zangwill)
Okay, I am afraid that the response to this can’t be ambiguous. Charging $365 for an accepted paper is an absolute disgrace. This is not the way forward, and it is not a welcome addition in any way.
Obviously there is a problem with ‘who should shoulder the burden’ in philosophy publishing. Open access journals like Ergo and Phil Imprint are working hard to offer something other than the Springer/Wiley model. Phil Imprint charges at most $20. Even *that* was contentious.
This new journal charging $365 for an accepted paper is indefensible; I would say that we should all boycott this journal, however, I think the invisible hand will probably lead to that result anyway! Shame on this! (And surprising given the various esteemed folks involved with it).Report
They say that discounts are possible for unemployed philosophers, which is good. For many of us who are employed, our universities should allow us to use research funds to publish, so long as we can demonstrate that the journal is not predatory.Report
I agree with Joshua Mugg.
Phil Imprint actually charges (or really, asks for) $10 for a *submission*. Last year their acceptance rate was 4%, so they got $250 per paper published. So this new journal is asking for more, but not a whole lot more — and I like the idea that you pay only if they publish the paper.
We have to figure out how we (big ‘we’, all of academia I guess) are going to fund open access publishing. If, as JM hopefully speculates, we can get the employers of individual scholars to do it, that’s going to make the costs of publication less, and likely more equitable in the long run. For now RAP stands out as a publication venue with a really high author price tag, but, well, someone has to go first.Report
To add to the agreement here, $250/paper means we’re actually running at a loss at Imprint. We’re doing this because we had inadvertently run a small profit, and this is a bit of a way to give it back. In the long run, our costs are probably north of $365/paper. Though perhaps a better way to put it is that our costs end up around 5 cents/word, so if papers come in around 7000 words, $365/paper is fair.
There are three plausible models for funding open access journals.
Originally, option 1 was the big hope. And it still seems to make sense to me in principle. But it hasn’t worked in practice, and I’m not sure that it ever will. Maybe if a journal had a PhilPapers style nag screen if you accessed it from a rich university that didn’t ‘subscribe’, we could make some $$ that way.
In philosophy, the next move was to option 2. But there’s a good case that option 3 is fairer; it means the costs are borne by the people getting a benefit out of the publication. At the very least, I don’t think option 3 is morally worse than option 2.
And note in a way that $365/paper is a bargain. If you publish something in a commercial journal, and want to take that paper open access, the fees can run into the thousands of dollars. If you want to publish a book open access with one of the biggest presses, you can be looking at a fee of over $10,000. Even with most of the costs being borne by volunteer labor, the system costs money to run, and that money has to come from somewhere. Publication fees are a not awful ‘somewhere’, at least relative to the currently feasible alternatives.Report
As Jamie and Brian point out, there are some fiscal realities here about which it is important to be mindful. It is not possible to run a journal cost-free. And given that Brian’s option 1 just isn’t happening, and, arguably, isn’t going to happen, the choice is between his options 2 and 3. Let me explain why I think that option 2 is far better than option 3. First, Brian says that in option 3, the costs are borne by those who get a benefit from the journal. But I think that even those whose papers are rejected get a non-trivial benefit. Having one’s paper professionally reviewed is itself a benefit; the comments that are given to at least many whose papers are rejected are a substantial benefit; and having a reasonable chance of having one’s paper accepted for publication is a benefit as well. In addition, the suggestion that authors can simply take the cost of publication out of their research budgets ignores many of the facts on the ground about the profession. Many who teach at R1 universities have substantial research budgets, but even there, many do not. And, more importantly, those who do not teach at R1 universities very frequently do not have research budgets, and are not paid in a manner that would make a $350 publication cost something that is easily borne. So I think there is a real advantage to spreading the costs here among all who submit their papers for publication. A $10 fee per submission, or something in that ballpark, easily covers the costs of running the journal, and it is reasonably accommodated into the budget of all who submit their papers for review. This is, I think, far superior to charging a very large fee to all whose papers are accepted for publication.Report
I’m not sure whether 2 or 3 is better, although Prof. Kornblith’s points here resonate with me. Not many will be able or willing to pay the fee at this journal — I certainly would at the moment, since I have European grant money and regularly pay 2400 Euros to satisfy open access requirements on the research the grant funds. (Once the grant is over, I wouldn’t pay this, and I doubt I would pay 350.)
In any event I am glad to see this journal, even if the fee suppresses submissions from many. Charging some fee seems to be required for open access journals (like Ergo and Imprint), and I wish we had a few more of these around.Report
I completely agree with Hilary Kornblith,Report
What proportion of papers submitted to Phil Imprint actually get a referee’s report with comments?Report
I think there’s still a lot of hope and progress toward wider adoption of (1), Brian. It’s going more slowly than one would want — and that we all really need. That said, (1) isn’t just about individual academic libraries extricating themselves from the Big Publishers title by title; there are excellent consortial models out there for libraries to collectively support OA journals, including flips to OA in addition to the creation of new journals. I’m sure you’re aware of this! I really see models like the Open Library of Humanities as a viable way forward for durable open-access journals, and they’re already seeing much success.
Another model altogether would be for the academic institutions themselves to combat the problem rather than merely leaving it up to libraries, which are chronically underfunded and subject to pressures to maintain unfair licensing agreements with legacy publishers who are increasingly gaining control of the whole publishing ecosystem, from infrastructure to analytics. (See the approach taken in Latin American universities, where publishing belongs to the former rather than the Big Publishers — and it’s all non-commercial and not based on APCs.) But I think at the institutional level, at least in North America, something will only give in a meaningful way when tenure and promotion policies change such that they are not so dependent on these legacy systems, and especially on what counts as a scholarly contribution and how those contributions are measured. (I digress!)Report
On option 1, see the fairly stable and successful functioning for almost 10 years of the Open Library of the Humanities, which gets libraries to pay to support a Consortium of numerous small open-access journals.
This means that all of their journals have full peer-review typesetting and so on like any regular journal, but no author fees at all, either at the submission or publication stage.
A new philosophy journal committed to no author fees could join the OLH consortium (whose member-journals currently draw mainly on linguistics, cultural studies, and literature).Report
I cannot see why “you pay only if you publish the paper” is preferable. (1) those who submit but do not publish still draw on a lot of resources, both editorial and reviewers’ (2) the RAP system lets off people who submit frivolously, or to get feedback, or just submit bad work, and makes the entire cost be borne by the people who actually produce the work that makes the journal worth publishing and (3) as noted elsewhere the RAP model makes publishing unaffordable for many philosophers, even those with full time employment. $365 is easily 0.7% of an asst prof’s take home pay. Publish three papers and you’re up to $1,000, or quite possibly 2%. That is significant as anyone who has managed a household budget can tell you. Not to mention authors from less wealthy countries, where $365 will represent an even higher fraction of income.
How about this? A very modest submission fee (like the $10 Phil Imprint fee, or go up to $15 to cover costs) and a still modest publication fee (an extra $50, say). With room for discounts based on income thresholds.Report
Michael Kremer and Hilary Kornblith are saying that paying per submission is going to be much more manageable than paying per publication, for philosophers who have to pay the fees themselves. I guess with a very small number of open access journals charging, that could be right. It would be like funding the journal by selling lottery tickets, and Hilary and Michael could say, that’s affordable for each ticket purchaser. But lotteries don’t benefit ticket-purchasers as a group, financially. Charging per-sub rather than per-pub isn’t going to benefit authors as a group financially, for the same reason.
As a general model that we might be moving toward, it just couldn’t be that the per-pub fee “makes publishing unaffordable for many philosophers, even those with full time employment,” unless the per-sub fee makes submission unaffordable for many philosophers. Authors collectively will pay the same under either model; the only question is whether more of the financial burden will be borne by the philosophers who are more successful in their submissions, or more by those who are less successful.
We want these fees to be seen by colleges and universities as research expenses. The way is paved, since that’s how it works in the sciences, where money for publishing is included in grant funding. I wonder whether publication fees would be more readily seen by a college as something they could reasonably be asked to pay for – I was thinking yes, but that’s just speculation.Report
Jamie Dreier, I believe your argument depends on the assumption that every paper that’s submitted is eventually published (after some number of submission attempts), or at least that the large majority are. I wonder what the statistics are on this.Report
I don’t see how it depends on that assumption.
Suppose, as you said, that the per-publication fee makes publishing unaffordable for many philosophers, even those with full time employment.
I guess you are agreeing that the per-submission fee will make submission unaffordable for many philosophers unless there are a lot of papers that get submitted but never get published. Is that right?
But I don’t see how that would make any difference. Authors collectively pay the same amount, whichever sort of fee journals use. If those who get published pay less, then those who don’t pay more.Report
This will almost certainly not be true for the many precariously employed early-career scholars who increasingly depend heavily on publications as a way of getting serious attention on the TT market.
RAP, if you’re reading: consider a fee waiver for early-career academics (not-TT) as well. As long as I’m non-TT, I won’t think of submitting, because—absent some sort of academic GoFundMe—I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay the publishing fee, were I lucky enough to get an acceptance.Report
Especially interesting, I think, is this: “We will also pay an honorarium to all reviewers.”
We might finally get to see if cash will:
1) make it easier to get referees in the first place
2) make a difference to quality of reports
3) make a difference to time to complete reviews
I wonder what they will be paying…Report
I suppose that it may make things worse. There are two scenerios: (1) reviewers are paid symbolically which changes nothing exept increasing costs, (2) reviewers are paid non-sybmolically which increases the likelyhood of agreeing to review a paper when one does not feel sufficiently qualified to. But the time will tell…Report
The honorarium is around U$40. I didn’t know it was subsidised by publication fees when I reviewed for them (I probably would have done so regardless). Come to that, I didn’t realize they paid an honorarium because I skimmed the email. I did read the paper carefully!Report
Unless there is some way to overcome international transaction fees, the amount received by overseas reviewers will be near nonexistent.Report
I’m an overseas reviewer. It was paid (IIRC) in the form of an amazon voucher.Report
Some prominent studies, cited in books such as Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational and Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy, suggest that small payments may be counterproductive. The usual interpretation is that (1) payment undermines the duty people previously felt to the common good (here, to the profession) and (2) a small payment does not compensate for the time spent. Thus, in these studies, people worked less, not more.
I don’t know if this would apply here (or if these studies can be replicated), but something to think about.Report
This is great. The sooner philosophers commit to open access as the standard and refuse to referee for journals where publishers profit from their gratis labor, the better.Report
$365 is about 25% of my annual research budget.Report
Many of us don’t have a “research budget.”Report
“No doubt.” 🙂
I’m not complaining about my situation. Sorry for leaving that impression. I am curious about research funding levels and how this pay-to-publish practice might limit the options of some active researchers in the field. I was hoping others might add their information (as you did) for what that would be worth. Perhaps DN can set up a poll.
I wonder how many philosophers with full-time jobs have no support, some support, or more support, whatever those levels might be. (Full-time seems to be RAP’s dividing line.) I imagine that I’m in the low or low-middle part of the range but I have no idea if this is correct.
Jeremy above suggests a broader approach to fee waivers, to include waivers for early-career (and NTT?) scholars. This seems reasonable but it doesn’t likely track salary or research or other support. I have a slight preference now for the Phil Imprint model because it presents less of a barrier for those with less or no research support. Even in that case, though, a sliding scale might be preferable (e.g., waivers, $10, or $20, depending on salary/support).Report
It is pleasing to see a journal of great potential like this that is based in a non-Western country. Give me your list of the top 50 journals in philosophy and all, or almost all, of them will be based in countries dominated by Western Europeans. The same was true of the top science journals 100 years ago, but a century of internationalization has had its effect and now the elite institutions of science better spread across the globe. I want to see the same happen in philosophy and this journal is a good step in that direction.Report
Concerns with the funding model aside, I think it’s great to see a new open access journal in philosophy! I do wish this journal would not require transfer of copyright to the publisher. It may seem inconsequential since the articles will then be licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY); however, this is in tension with one of the main reasons to support open access: author-rights retention. When possible, authors ought to retain their rights under copyright. I’d be interested to hear why the journal made this decision, as perhaps there’s a good reason.
Here’s the issue from my perspective as a librarian who works on open-access issues, in case anyone isn’t very familiar with how CC licenses work. With CC licenses, the rightsholder applies the CC license. So the rightsholder is the licensor. The licensor retains their rights under copyright in addition to sharing some of those rights nonexclusively with others. Absent some side agreement, this makes the author of the article merely a licensee. That may not be too bad for some, since the articles are free to read and re-distribute (and in this case, much more due to the CC BY license in particular). But it’s odd to me that one of the principal benefits of open access–retention of copyright for authors–is not conferred with this new journal.
What’s important is not the mere fact this journal doesn’t have all the features I’d want to see in an OA journal (including a different funding model); it’s what, exactly, copyright transfer could mean for the author, even in light of the fact that the work ends up CC licensed anyway. Under the terms of CC licenses, the licensor is able to enter into separate agreements (i.e. independently and without recourse to the CC license that covers the work in question). So, the licensor independently of the author could even enter into non-OA agreements concerning the work, and absent some side agreement, the author would have no say. I’m not saying the journal would do this, and I have no reason to think it would, but it’s unfortunate that this is even a possibility.
Open access is supposed to afford more security to authors than traditional publishing does; this copyright/licensing policy provides less than it could — though it is, unquestionably, far and away better than the policy of a typical closed-access journal that takes an author’s rights and doesn’t re-grant anything remotely as permissive as a CC license does (and certainly doesn’t confer such rights to non-authors!). Unless I’m overlooking something, it seems to me the journal could easily make the fix: just allow authors to retain all rights under copyright and have them agree to the CC license (i.e. be the licensor).Report
Maybe we should also open universities where teachers pay to teach next?Report
Did Privatdozenten ever have to pay fees to use the classroom? Might have been done…Report
I am entirely unacquainted with the organization of professional publishing, so interpret this question as a question from a uninformed position: How could it be so expensive for a journal to be run?
Urls/website & contracted graphic design are a pittance over time; the editors and reviewers typically work for free. Some journals even get an academic to serve as a ‘managing editor’ to cover administrative tasks beyond those of the editor. Copyediting/formatting has got to cost some amount, but nothing near $365 per paper in the modern marketplace, especially once you establish the standard format. I assume there must be some considerable cost for liability insurance (I know some journal’s ‘home universities’ provide legal services, such that it doesn’t really cost the journal much), but I’m not sure what else comes into play. Are journals paying some insane amount of money for a double blind review system, when a gmail might serve the same purpose?
I am sure I am missing something, so would really appreciate some edification.Report
There are clearly some infrastructure costs, more than just basic web-hosting. You’ll want your journal to outlast the enthusiasm of its founders, so you will need a solution that will provide permanent access to content, DOIs, etc.
Labour costs will be substantial. This is obvious if you hire someone to manage the editorial process. But even if you try to run a journal with no dedicated staff, the academics involved in your journal will need teaching relief or something to free up the time for their editorial work. (Maybe some editors still try to just add editorial work to their other responsibilities, but my sense is this is increasingly difficult, hence rare.) Some institutions still have discretionary funds to support professional service like this, but those pots of money are fast disappearing. So a journal that wants a good editor is going to have to contribute funds to purchase some fraction of that editor’s time from their institution. [Disclaimer: this is based on some acquaintance with the finances of the AJP, don’t know if other journals have similar arrangements with their publishers.]Report
Copyediting and typesetting are not at all cheap. The quality of the copy journals get from authors is often awful. Unless we want publications where quotations are said to be on pages that are outside the page range of the article being cited, or where a high proportion of the names of people being cited are misspelled, we need to pay copyeditors.
Typesetting would be cheap if you could simply provide a template and everyone could use it. But (a) it would have to be constantly updated, which costs money, and (b) you’d spend just as much effort on tech support for people who either can’t use it, or have found edge cases where the template runs out, as typesetting something yourself.
One way to get a sense of what modern typesetting is like is to look at the instructions for Pandoc. The PDF version runs to 140 pages. And almost everything covered in the instructions is something that one author will do one way in the submitted copy, and another author will do another way, and your typesetter has to get into a standardised format.Report
Thanks, Brian. I guess I assumed that there was a really liquid contract labor market for these kinds of tasks by now. When I helped run an undergraduate research journal, we found graphic design students or people Fiverr who we’d form a relationship with, formatting our issues using Adobe InDesign. After someone in the first year put in the intensive up-front work of actually creating the ‘standard format,’ a lot of the formatting year-on-year consisted mostly in copying and pasting raw text, with a bit of extra time to format tables or graphics. The designers would accept reasonable rates per hour, and it was really really cheap to do.
I take your word, though, that there is some reason this experience differs from the typical professional, scholarly journal’s experience.
I am also sympathetic to those who think investing so many resources into formatting all the articles as if they were going to be printed in a physical journal is a little anachronistic. Maybe we should just have amazingly formatted, paginated digital free flow text (well-formatted Medium posts, for instance, are a pleasure to read). There does seem to be something off-putting about incurring such prohibitive costs in order to preserve classical typesetting when it may no longer be necessary.Report
Non-profit but professional Open Access journals report production costs of $300-500 per article IIRC. That would be largely payroll.Report
I just attempted to read a 10 page article from a journal my library can no longer afford to subscribe to and was informed that it would cost me $42 from Wiley. I’m sure none of that goes to the author, I’d be shocked if much went to the referees. We have handed over our journal system to large publishers who charge ridiculous sums to libraries and individuals. In the end the sums charged to library comes out of the pocket of students in debt and, if they are lucky, their parents. No one seems to care much.
Books are one thing, they cost money to produce and edit. But journals — I know how much they cost and they don’t cost this! Journals are central to what academics do and yet academics actively take part in this exploitative system which becomes cheaper and cheaper for publishes — due to moves online — and more and more expensive for libraries and individuals. Once again kudos to the Review of Analytic Philosophy for trying to construct a decent model.Report
How much would it cost annually to run a journal which publishes everything of high quality it receives, pays reviewers, pays authors, pays its editors, all reasonably but not extravagantly like the book presses, has beautiful type-setting, and does everything it needs to be archiveable and open access? If you take that number and multiply it by 20, that’s the endowment you would need to fund it at 5% annual spending. Would it cost $250,000? $300,000? I know many endowed chairs at fancy U that costs more than that. And this would be a service to the entire field. And far more people would hear about the Paul E Newman Journal of Philosophy over time than any of these endowed chairs. I’d venture plenty of you would publish in the Charles Koch Journal of Political Philosophy if it meant shutting down Elsevier. I wonder why we as a field aren’t fundraising for such things, and then eventually just close down all the for-profit journals.Report