Lisa Bortolotti (Birmingham), who took over the editorship of Philosophical Psychology following a publication controversy in 2020, and who announced some changes to the journal last year, writes in with an update about their implementation and results.
Progress at Philosophical Psychology
by Lisa Bortolotti
In this post we are going to update you on the progress of a philosophy journal publishing interdisciplinary research, Philosophical Psychology (Taylor and Francis), after some substantial changes implemented by the editorial team. When starting our new adventure a year ago, we aspired to make the journal more inclusive, diverse, and engaged, and to enhance the quality and efficiency of peer-review. How much progress did we make?
The editorial team solicited a wider range of book reviews (we went from 3 submissions in 2021 to 22 in 2022) and also planned some symposia on topical books that will promote interdisciplinary exchange: Joseph LeDoux’s The Deep History of Ourselves (Penguin 2019), Neil Levy’s Bad Beliefs (Oxford University Press 2021), and Anneli Jefferson’s Are Mental Disorders Brain Disorders? (Routledge 2022).
In the editorial team’s vision, symposia and book reviews facilitate debate across disciplines and can also be of interest to the well-informed public. Taylor and Francis are fully supportive of the editorial team’s mission to increase inclusivity and engagement and will make all book reviews published in 2023 free to access for six months after they are assigned to an issue.
The desire for wider engagement motivated a series of calls for papers (the CFPs on understanding bias and affordances are still open). Thanks to special issues the editorial team can encourage submissions in certain areas of interest and seek the contributions of excellent scholars belonging to underrepresented groups in the profession.
Another great initiative to address bias is the launch of the Lex Academic essay prize, for the best essay on the understanding of linguistic discrimination, made possible by the generous sponsorship of Lex Academic. The deadline to submit a paper is the 28th of February, 2023.
The journal experienced a steep increase in submissions of research articles (from 190 in 2021 to 290 in the first ten months of 2022) and, partly due to the growth in submissions, the journal acceptance rate for original research articles plummeted (from 22.5% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022 for research articles—this may be different from the figure you see in the journal’s website because the published one covers all types of submissions and not just research articles).
The current acceptance rate suggests that the peer-review process remains rigorous and supports authors in publishing the best work they can produce. The peer-review process in the last 12 months has also been significantly faster than in the past two years: on average, authors receive a post-review decision on their submitted articles within 50 days.
Philosophical Psychology is now on social media, utilising platforms like Mastodon, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote new content and further communicate with readers. In the last 12 months, full article downloads have increased by 40%. Starting in 2023, authors of accepted articles will be invited to provide a mini-abstract of their work that can be widely used for promoting it. This will contribute further to meaningful engagement with potential audiences.
The improved speed of peer review and the commitment to promoting published content widely makes Philosophical Psychology a more attractive venue for the work of early career researchers and for conceptual and empirical work whose publication is time-sensitive and potentially impactful.