Philosophy & Public Affairs (PP&A) will be welcoming submissions in a range of forms besides the traditional academic article that has dominated its pages during its 51-year history, according to editor-in-chief Anna Stilz (Princeton) and review editor Nico Cornell (Michigan).
The new publication types include “Critical Exchanges,” which involve “the dual submission of pairs of articles in dialogue with each other on a specific issue of public concern or a matter of current debate in ethics or political philosophy”:
Critical Exchanges provide an opportunity for two scholars with different perspectives on an issue to develop their ideas in conversation with one another. The two articles should be submitted at the same time, and they should be flagged in our submission system as a “Critical Exchange.” Critical Exchange articles should meet our formatting guidelines for submitted articles and should normally be under 12,000 words per contribution.
The journal is also, like Res Philosophica, welcoming shorter articles which they’re calling “letters”:
Some ideas are fruitfully developed in very short format. Philosophy and Public Affairs welcomes submission of “Letters,” short articles of 4,000 words or less. Letters should develop a single argument and need not contain as extensive a set of references and bibliographic apparatus one would expect in a full-length article. Short article submissions should be flagged as “Letters” in our submission system, and should conform to our normal formatting guidelines.
Additionally, the editors are hoping to encourage the submission of more “review essays,” which the journal has published in the past, but not much:
Over the years, Philosophy and Public Affairs has periodically published long review essays about new or recent books, or about emerging literatures that are likely to be of interest to our readers. Many essays we published in the past were extremely important contributions to the field in their own right, and we hope to revive our practice of publishing review essays.
We expect that contributors will strive for essays that have more in common with original philosophical articles than with conventional book reviews. For example, rather than provide a comprehensive overview of a book’s contents, a review essay might articulate a philosophical position, either critical or constructive, in response to a central idea or theme in the book, or explore important philosophical implications (broadly defined) flowing from the book’s empirical findings or hypotheses. Just as a review essay will not necessarily provide a comprehensive overview of a single book, a review essay might bring together multiple recent works united around a central idea, theme, or emerging set of findings. Subject matter might include recent developments outside philosophy that deserves philosophical attention. Consistent with the more ambitious intellectual scope of review essays, we anticipate these essays will be roughly the length of typical articles in the journal. In general, 7000-9000 words is a good target. Anything longer faces a progressively higher burden of proof that the argument of the piece justifies (and requires) the additional length.
I asked Professor Stilz a few questions about the “Critical Exchanges.”
Are the critical exchange pieces refereed together, by the same referee?
Yes, I would expect this would normally be the case.
Are the authors expected to/allowed to discuss each other’s article?
Are there special citation rules for these kinds of submissions so as to maintain anonymous review?
The pieces should be submitted as a pair, and cross-references should refer to “Redacted 1” in place of the name of the first author, and “Redacted 2” in the place of the name of the second author. The title of the paired paper can be freely referenced.
Is it possible that only one of a pair of submissions gets accepted?
If the Associate Editors find only one paper promising and think it would work as a freestanding article, they are free to encourage the author to resubmit it in revised form as a stand-alone article.
She adds that, as this is something new, “there will be some kinks to work out.”
You can read more about the new article format submission guidelines here.