Survey: What Makes a Good Philosophy Journal?


What makes for a good philosophy journal? A new survey is underway to help answer that question.

A few years ago Boudewijn de Bruin (Groningen, Gothenburg) conducted a study that led to a journal ranking published last year in Synthese and discussed here.

With his colleague at Groningen, How Hwee Ong, he is now conducting a follow-up study to gain an understanding of the attributes philosophers believe quality journals should possess, to gain insights into philosophers’ opinions on the peer review system in philosophy, and to gather information that could be used to establish a ranking of philosophy journals based on procedural quality and integrity.

He says that the survey is designed such that no identifying information (name, affiliation, etc.) is requested, and should take 10-15 minutes to complete. You can access the survey here.

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Amad
Amad
1 month ago

What makes a good journal is reasonable turn around times and clear communication. Desk rejections should be under two weeks. Review never longer than 6 months. A good editor will contact two reviewers and a third to have on standby

Faisal Bhabha
Faisal Bhabha
Reply to  Amad
1 month ago

Surely the quality of the work also matters?

Chris
Chris
Reply to  Faisal Bhabha
1 month ago

The survey doesn’t ask about this!

Curtis Franks
Reply to  Amad
1 month ago

An editor will typically contact six or more reviewers before one agrees to provide advice. Those first five or so will often not decline the assignment for several weeks after being invited. If despite this an editor is able to get two reviewers to sign on in the first three weeks, it’s a great feeling that only lasts until neither of them report in by the agreed upon deadline. Apologies for the “owners’ lament,” but maybe it rounds out readers’ perspectives.

Neil Levy
Neil Levy
Reply to  Curtis Franks
1 month ago

Beat me to it. What authors want from journals most are things that journals have little control over. What needs to change is the prevailing norms in the profession. Other disciplines have different norms.

Mat
Mat
Reply to  Curtis Franks
1 month ago

Genuine question: why do you think there is variation among otherwise similar journals? Just statistical variance?

Neil Levy
Neil Levy
Reply to  Mat
1 month ago

Anecdotally, specialist journals are better. Perhaps a sense of community? I’m not convinced there’s a great deal of variance among the better known generalist journals (there are some journals that are badly run, among some of the lesser known journals).

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

Such a limited number of journals in the survey – zero philosophy of science or specialty ethics/value or history etc. journals. I guess they’re only surveying “generalist” journals”. It meant my survey results weren’t very helpful because I rarely submit to generalist journals.

efz
efz
1 month ago

The survey asks about the number of reviews on the basis of which a decision is made. It makes a difference though whether the decision is rejection or r&r/acceptance. It’s reasonable to think that it’s ok to reject on the basis of one competent review, but not ok to accept on the basis of one such review.

Mahmoud Jalloh
Mahmoud Jalloh
Reply to  efz
1 month ago

I didn’t put much argument behind assuming a risk-symmetry between false positives and false negatives, but you and others may be interested in the case for single reviewers.

Michael Kremer
Reply to  Mahmoud Jalloh
1 month ago

I made this proposal two years ago in a comment here: https://dailynous.com/2022/02/21/how-to-fix-the-referee-crisis-in-professional-philosophy-guest-post/

So I can’t agree more.

Glad to see it worked out in detail!

Stephen Downes
1 month ago

I took the survey but found that the question is asked from within a very narrow range of possibilities, i.e., they have already decided what a good philosophy journal looks like, and they are asking irrelevant questions like the amount of time to submit reviews or whether a person can edit more than one journal at a time.

John Alspector Finney
1 month ago

Three words: LOW ACCEPTANCE RATE.

Sam Duncan
Sam Duncan
Reply to  John Alspector Finney
29 days ago

So this is the best journal in philosophy?

https://www.universalrejection.org/

Raoul
Raoul
27 days ago

Not sure how “academic publisher” is defined if Springer counts…

Ryan
26 days ago

Is a philosophy journal good because search committee mandarins say it’s good, or do search committee mandarins say it’s good because it’s good?

Getting an order explanation out of this implicit biconditional is perhaps ,,the question,, facing professional philosophy today 😉