Peer Review or Perish: The Problem of Free Riders in Philosophy (guest post by Elizabeth Hannon)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 23/05/2018 - 12:00am in

“Here’s a radical suggestion, using the only weapon/motivational device editors have: If someone fails to fulfill their duties as referee, the journal will not accept submissions from that referee.”

The following is a guest post* by Elizabeth Hannon (LSE), assistant editor of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (BJPS), regarding “bad behavior” by referees. It puts forth for public discussion a proposal about how to address such behavior—the proposal has not yet been adopted as an official journal policy. (A version of this post first appeared on the BJPS blog, Auxiliary Hypotheses.)

Peer Review or Perish: The Problem of Free Riders in Philosophy
by Elizabeth Hannon

As any journal editor will tell you (at length, possibly via the medium of rant), the trickiest part of the job is not the papers, not the authors, and not even the typesetters. It’s the referees. It is no mean feat to secure referees who are, first, reliable in their academic judgment, second, responsive to emails, and third, willing to return reports when they say they will. But the frustrations of editors aside, the far more pressing concern is for the career prospects of early-career researchers. Jobs and funding can depend on timely decisions. Indeed, whether an early-career researcher gets to become a mid- or late-career researcher can depend on whether a decision is made in a reasonable amount of time.

Common bad behavior from referees includes (but is not limited to!):

  1. Failing to respond to invites in a timely fashion (where timeliness is calculated in days not weeks), even if it’s only to decline the invitation;
  2. Agreeing to act as referee and to return the report within an agreed timeframe (in the BJPS’s case, four weeks), only to substantially exceed this timeframe (by weeks, sometimes months) and
    a. asking for this substantial extra time for the weakest of reasons*;
    b. not communicating with the relevant editors whatsoever;
  3. Returning a report long past the agreed timeframe, and that report being almost useless;
  4. Not returning the report and not responding to emails enquiring about the report.

Opinions differ on the obligations of academics as referees. Is it unpaid labour, an act of charity towards the community that ought only to be gratefully received? As much a part of the job as teaching and writing? Something in between? Whatever the answer, authors need more from referees than they ever have done; more depends on papers being reviewed in a professional, timely manner. And at the very least, there’s a ‘pay it forward’ case to be made: A paper sent to the BJPS that isn’t desk rejected can be expected to be read by at least six people (and that’s not counting the work that goes into any resubmissions). For every paper an author submits, other people have attended to their work in detail. The author, qua referee, might be expected to return the favour.

I’ve been lucky to witness some extremely productive philosophical engagement between authors and referees. When it’s good, it’s so good. The only shame is that so much of this is hidden. The process viewed en masse—the view one gets as an editor—is primarily one of cooperation and collegiality, and it’s a wonder that puts the lie to the notion of philosophy as anything like an individualistic endeavour.

But what to do about the bad referees, the system’s free riders? Relentless pestering and various forms of emotional blackmail fall on deaf ears. At the BJPS, we operate a flag system for persistent offenders, but all this amounts to is bad referees being asked to perform fewer reviews, while good referees carry more of the load.

So here’s a radical suggestion, using the only weapon/motivational device editors have: If someone fails to fulfill their duties as referee, the journal will not accept submissions from that referee, for some period of time to be determined. The time period should reflect the severity of the dereliction of duties. For instance, agreeing to act as a referee but then disappearing off the radar might warrant the most substantial ban. Delivering a meager report that’s extremely late, and without communicating with the relevant editor about the delay, might mean some shorter period of time on the bench. First-time offenders surely deserve different treatment to persistent re-offenders. And the embargo period will need to be substantial enough to be effective (too short and it will have no real impact; too long and it’s probably not practical due to the changes in the editorial team). The details can be ironed out.

It’s not just badly behaved referees that stand to suffer here. There’s a risk for the journal in question too: bad referees aren’t necessarily bad authors, and we risk losing good papers to other journals by refusing those authors’ papers. But the problem is so rife and its upshot so dire for early-career researchers that maybe something more radical is required to make clear what is expected of referees and ameliorate, at least to some degree, the problem of free-riders. All thoughts on this proposal very welcome!

— — —

* ‘I decided to go on holidays’ and ‘I have other deadlines that I decided to prioritise after agreeing to referee this paper’ are the problems, not the excuse. On the other hand, there are perfectly good reasons to be delayed in returning a report. Not only do we understand, we’ve been there. You are not the droids we’re looking for.

Art: Yelitza Diaz, “Transformation” (installation) (photo by J. Weinberg)

The post Peer Review or Perish: The Problem of Free Riders in Philosophy (guest post by Elizabeth Hannon) appeared first on Daily Nous.

Announcing the new Goldsmiths Press PERC Series

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/05/2018 - 11:00pm in

We are delighted to announce full details of the new PERC book series, which we hope will attract interest from readers and authors for many years to come. We’d welcome any enquiries and submissions – all details are provided below.

The PERC book series sits within the new Goldsmiths Press and is overseen by PERC’s Co-Directors, Aeron Davis and Will Davies. To date, it has featured two titles: The Death of Public Knowledge?  and Economic Science Fictions. A third title, Can Markets Solve Public Problems?: An Expedition into Neoliberal Interventions by Daniel Neyland, Vera Ehrenstein and Sveta Milyaeva will appear in autumn 2018.

Political economy begins from the recognition that economic structures are both the sites and outcomes of political struggles, at numerous scales. With that in mind, this book series seeks to publish work that revives, refreshes and reorients the study of political economy. We are seeking work that is not simply inter-disciplinary, but carves new paths between disciplines and different fields of empirical enquiry, bringing unexpected perspectives to the critical, theoretical and cultural study of the economy. At a time of great political and economic turbulence, this series will strive to illuminate the contemporary, for both academic and non-academic readers.

In keeping with long-standing traditions of Goldsmiths, the PERC series is committed to the cultural examination of contemporary capitalism, and to that end welcomes submissions that draw on cultural studies, economic anthropology, science and technology studies, history of economics, media studies and cultural economy. The series hopes to include critical investigations into (inter alia): neoliberalism, financialisation, management, money, inequality and elites, the platform economy, expertise and the economy of the anthropocene. Yet it also aims to create space for alternative economic futures to be identified, mapped and elucidated, seeking possibilities and hope in the crises of the present.

This series offers authors an opportunity to innovate, both in the content and the format of their publication. It caters both for traditional academic scholarship in the field of political economy (publications are peer reviewed and REF compliant) and for more unusual interventions, that are less easily classified. Due to the small size of Goldsmiths Press and the PERC Series, authors will have the benefit of a close working relationship with editors, which can – should authors wish – support books that break new ground in how political economy is imagined, narrated, visualised and published. All Goldsmiths Press titles are marketed and distributed globally by MIT Press.

About Goldsmiths Press

Goldsmiths Press aims to revive and regenerate the traditions and values of university press publishing through the innovative use of print and digital media. Its publishing cuts across disciplinary boundaries and blurs the distinctions between practice, theory, fiction and experimentation. Its list spans publications of diverse formats, lengths and writing styles.

Goldsmiths Press hopes to create a culture around academic knowledge practices that is more inventive and less constrained. As a unique collaboration between academics, writers, artists and publishing professionals, under the direction of an academic researcher, it is already part of a growing conversation around the future of academic publishing.

Goldsmiths Press is the UK’s first green open access monograph publisher, combining open access with a fair and varied pricing model for print books. Its books are marketed and distributed globally by MIT Press.

Submission Guidelines

If you have a book proposal which is ready and suitable for the PERC Series, please follow the submission guidelines as detailed on the Goldsmiths Press website, clearly indicating in the proposal that it is intended for this Series. The template submission forms should be used.

Alternatively, if you would like to discuss a possible title and explore its potential suitability for the PERC Series, please email Will Davies – w.davies[at] – including as much detail as you can regarding the idea. Will, or a colleague at Goldsmiths Press, will be happy to discuss the possible book with you, and how it might fit within the Series.

The post Announcing the new Goldsmiths Press PERC Series appeared first on Political Economy Research Centre.

Philosophy Has High Rate of Uncited Publications

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/04/2018 - 11:27pm in

A discipline-by-discipline analysis of data from Elsevier’s Scopus database concering over 10,000 pieces of research published between 2012 and 2016 shows that a massive amount of scholarly work goes uncited, according to a report in Times Higher Education

Philosophy has the 9th highest “uncitation” rate—52.2% of work going uncited—based on a study of all types of work published in 2012. The highest uncitation rate on this study is in visual arts and performing arts, followed by literature and literary theory, and then pharmacy.

(image from Times Higher Education)

Once the types of publications are limited to academic articles and reviews, philosophy becomes the discipline with the 8th highest uncitation rate—49.1%—with the highest rates belong to literature and literary theory, visual arts and performing arts, and religious studies.

(image from Times Higher Education)

Disciplines in the sciences tended to have much lower uncitation rates.

More information is here.

Related: “Philosophers Don’t Read and Cite Enough

The post Philosophy Has High Rate of Uncited Publications appeared first on Daily Nous.

The more revisions a paper undergoes, the greater its subsequent recognition in terms of citations

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/04/2018 - 8:00pm in



Is the peer review process simply a means by which errors are identified and corrected? Or is it a process in which a more constructive dialogue can take place and reviewers and editors may actively contribute to the text? John Rigby, Deborah Cox and Keith Julian have studied the published articles of a social sciences journal and found that the more […]

Interview: A Q&A with Ritu Menon, co-founder of feminist press Kali for Women

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 20/03/2018 - 11:27pm in

In November 2017, the shortlist for the DSC literature prize for South Asian Literature was announced at the LSE. Ritu Menon, co-founder of feminist press Kali for Women and one of the judges of the prize, spoke to Rebecca Bowers, co-editor of the South Asia@LSE blogabout the decline of the feminist press in the West, and the challenges facing women in publishing today. 

This interview was originally published on the South Asia@LSE blog. It is being reposted to coincide with the LSE RB blog March 2018 endeavour, ‘A Month of Our Own: Amplifying Women’s Voices on LSE Review of Books’. If you would like to contribute to the project in this month or beyond, please contact us at

Image Credit: Ritu Menon speaking at the shortlist announcement of the DSC literature prize, London School of Economics (Mahima A. Jain).

Rebecca Bowers: As chairwoman of the judging panel for the DSC literature prize, what in your view makes an award-winning publication? What are the ‘secret ingredients’?

Ritu Menon: I think as part of the jury and speaking on behalf of the jury, what we were looking for and I think what we have found is exceptional literary quality, confidence and maturity in the writing, skill, good craft and very compelling stories. I think if you can get that combination then you have very commendable writing, so that’s what I think we have found in the shortlist and as to the winner, well, that will be decided later.

RB: Although female authors are now rightfully coming to the forefront of the literary world, what challenges would you say that they still face today?

RM: I wish that I could say they are coming to the forefront but I’m not sure that they are. They are being published a little more. A little more. They are somewhat better represented as far as reviews go, as far as reception in the market goes, and I suppose as far as a certain degree of visibility is concerned, but I think if one were to look at their representation in awards, they’re still woefully slim. So I’m not sure that they are in the forefront. They are definitely present, but there is a way to go. The very fact that we speak of women writers when we don’t speak of men writers, it makes them other than the norm.

RB: That’s very true. In fact, with that in mind, what do you believe can be done to make literature more inclusive not only in terms of authorship, but also in terms of readership as well?  

RM: Well you see, I think there are several aspects to this. There is a literary establishment worldwide which is male-dominated – I think the power hierarchy is pretty clear. You will find in most of the publishing houses especially in the [global] North – I’m speaking of the West and the North in distinction to the [global] South – the decision-making is in the hands of the male. The publicity and the marketing and the PR is usually in the domain of women. Yes, they are present in editorial, but editorial these days is subordinate to finance and marketing. So the fact that the entire trade market of the publishing industry is still predominantly in the hands of men, means that there has to be a very concerted effort to shift that balance and perhaps to make … and I’m speaking now with the large corporate houses, the smaller independent presses may have a few more women because they function very differently: they have a rather different hierarchy of priorities; they have a rather different economic agenda; they have a different literary agenda quite often, and so it’s a little less, shall we say, predictable in that sense.

As far as readership is concerned in that sense, I’m with a feminist press, and obviously we were told when we first started that there’s no such thing as a reader for our books. Well, we thought half of the world was a fairly large number of readers, and indeed there is a growing readership and there has been a loyal and supportive and reliable readership as far as, let’s say, feminist publishing is concerned. As far as women’s presses were concerned. As far as women writers and readers, and indeed, some of the visibility women now have as readers and as writers, but especially as writers, is because of this groundwork. Because of making visible what was an invisible segment. Not that it was non-existent but it was invisible. So, I would say there is a readership, that readership is sympathetic and supportive, but it’s not to say that the market is more receptive. The market is made up of both, as you know. So of course it would help if there was more critical attention, if they weren’t ignored, if they weren’t dismissed, if there was an active engagement with what they write, if they were not relegated to the domestic and if there was serious attention paid to their experience.

Image Credit: Women browse the selection at Bankim book stall during the 39th Kolkata Book Fair (Biswarup Ganguly CC BY 3.0).

RB: After establishing Kali for Women and Women Unlimited, and obviously we now have Zubaan Books, what would you say the future holds for feminist presses in South Asia?

RM: Well, I would say actually that there are probably better prospects in South Asia than in the North. In the West, there are no feminist presses now, I mean there are less than a handful. So, to the extent that we are still independent and autonomous, we are a little more in control, shall we say. But the prospects for its development or its growth I think are difficult. It’s still a struggle: I think if we were to start today, rather than as we did over 30 years ago, we would find it much more difficult to sustain our activity than we did when we began, and the reason for that was, you know, the feminist presses were not only a part of the women’s movement but what used to be called the women in print movement. And the women in print movement was made up of, of course of publishers, but also reviewers, librarians, book sellers, designers, printers, binders and a whole support group of an international network, that provided not just solidarity but support. And I certainly think that if it hadn’t been for those feminist presses across Europe, the UK, North America, Australia, we wouldn’t have had the same kind of experience that we did, so with the sort of disappearance of those presses, obviously it’s not the same environment within which we are working. So, the prospects are, as you can imagine, difficult.

RB: As an author yourself, you’ve written a lot of literature involving activists’ views and opinions. How might the relationship between activism and literature be better utilised today?

RM: It’s actually quite well utilised. We publish a lot of activist material and that material goes very far, you know, I’m speaking of let’s say pamphlets, and, you know, what used to be called ephemeral material. Posters, diaries, postcards, things that never enter the retail trade at all, but they’re used and disseminated widely by another kind of user who are the groups who are working directly on the ground with large numbers of women. Now that, I’m not sure that we would say that’s a link between activist material and literature, but it is certainly a link between activism and the material we produce, which is part of our overall objective. I mean it’s an essential part of women’s overall experience, so its link with the literary, with the academic, with the non-fiction, with the fiction, is direct. It’s not always evident, but it’s there. Because it’s one end of the spectrum, and that’s at the other end. So I don’t see these as being other than part of a continuum, and so the link is reinforced, I think, with each book that is published. It doesn’t matter which genre it’s in, because it is reflective and reinforces the others that are produced.

Ritu Menon is a feminist publisher and author. She is co-founder of Kali for Women, the first feminist press in India, and founder of Women Unlimited, an associate publishing house of Kali for Women. A recipient of the Padma Shri Award, Ritu has co-authored and authored numerous publications including Borders & Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition (Kali for Women, 1998), and From Mathura to Manorama: Resisting Violence Against Women in India (Women Unlimited, 2007).

Rebecca Bowers is blog editor at the South Asia Centre and a final year PhD student in the Anthropology Department at the London School of Economics. Rebecca’s research explores the lives of female construction workers and their families in Bengaluru, India.

This interview gives the views of the authors, and not the position of the South Asia @ LSE blog, the LSE Review of Books blog nor of the London School of Economics. 

Project to Develop Code of Publishing Ethics for Philosophy Awarded $75k

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/03/2018 - 12:07am in

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $75,000 grant to a a team undertaking the development of a code of publishing ethics for philosophy.

The project is led by Fairfield University associate professor of philosophy Kris Sealey (Fairfield), and includes the Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association (APA) Amy Ferrer, academic consultant Rebecca Kennison (K|N Consultants), and philosophers Yannik Thiem (Villanova),  Adriel M. Trott (Wabash), and Kyle Powys Whyte (Michigan State).

This group, according to a press release from the APA, “will work with philosophers and publishers on publication policies, best practices, and recommendations for a code of publication ethics. The goal is to create a resource that journal editors, publishers, and professional societies both in philosophy and in the humanities more broadly can use and adapt.”

Issues on the table include:

  • scholarly misconduct
  • diversity in citation and engagement practice
  • varieties of plagiarism
  • bias in research, peer review, and editorial practices
  • correcting the scholarly record

The press release adds: “in order to address widespread disagreement about these issues, the grant will bring editors, scholars, and publishers together to develop a set of explicit and clear guidelines.”

Further details here.

The post Project to Develop Code of Publishing Ethics for Philosophy Awarded $75k appeared first on Daily Nous.

New Form of Peer Review At New Philosophy Journal

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/03/2018 - 4:10am in

The Public Philosophy Journal (PPJ) has published its inaugural issue. The editors describe the journal as “an open forum for the curation and creation of accessible scholarship that deepens our understanding of, deliberation about, and action concerning issues of public relevance,” and have instituted a novel form of peer review they think fits better with the journal’s mission.

They call it “formative peer review,” and describe it as “a structured form of peer engagement rooted in trust and a shared commitment to improving the work through candid and collegial feedback” between the persons submitting material to the journal (the “composers”), peer review coordinators, and “complementary reviewers” who “provide feedback to composers and help shape the work for a broader public audience.” During the process,

peer reviewers and composers are able to view and engage each other’s comments in conversation during the review process. Coordinators play an active and vital role in that conversation, ensuring that it unfolds in a collegial and caring way. They stimulate ongoing dialogue between composers and peer reviewers by encouraging composers to respond more thoroughly to reviewer feedback, and encouraging reviewers to provide persistent support to composers as their works advance toward publication.

In an essay in the inaugural issue, co-founder and editor-in-chief Christopher P. Long (Michigan State) writes that the formative peer review process is

designed to create a culture of shared scholarly practice between a composer-nominated reviewer who is publicly engaged with the work addressed by the submission, the composer, and a complementary reviewer identified by the peer review coordinator.

The reviews are structured around four basic concerns: (1) the relevance of the work to the public with which it is engaged; (2) the accessibility of the ideas advanced; (3) the intellectual coherence of the piece; and (4) the extent to which it is connected to the ongoing scholarly conversation within the academy.

Reviewers are asked to bring their best selves to the process and to respond to the work as they would to that of a friend whose success they seek to foster. Structuring the review according to these four registers shapes the work in ways that might resonate with broader public and academic communities. The process cultivates a more responsive and responsible public intellectual activity. In this way, publicly engaged citizens beyond and within the academy partner in practices of scholarship and in scholarly publishing, collaborating in structured ways to ensure that publications enrich public life.

The journal’s website displays a flowchart illustrating the formative peer review process:

There are some further details about the process here.

It will be interesting to see whether formative peer review works as the journal’s editors hope, and if so, whether it (or something like it) could be a model for other journals. This is a question that Claire Skea (Leeds Trinity) takes up in a post at her blog, Philosophical MusingsShe writes:

What I am arguing for here, whether we adopt a system of open peer review, post-publication peer review, or the PPJ’s original ‘formative peer review’ process, is a lifting of the ‘veil of anonymity’ in order to encourage greater dialogue between those writing academic articles and those reviewing them. Fears over bias and review retaliation (this is the concern that negative reviews will be linked to a reduced possibility of tenure, refused grant applications etc.) could not be accounted for if peer review was no longer blind, but academic integrity should prevail over such concerns. The debate over the usefulness of what I refer to here as the ‘veil of anonymity’ rests on what we perceive the purpose of peer review to be, whether it is used as a gate-keeping mechanism, or is informed by a desire to work collaboratively with others in one’s field. Academia is by its very nature characterised by rejection and criticism, but wouldn’t peer review be more educative if it prioritised collegiality and conversation over judgement?

Discussion welcome.

The post New Form of Peer Review At New Philosophy Journal appeared first on Daily Nous.

Do Journals Favor Affiliated Authors?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/03/2018 - 2:20am in

“Do academic journals favor authors who share their institutional affiliation?” That’s the central question of a recent study, which finds evidence that suggests the answer is “yes.”

The study, “Academic In-Group Bias: An Empirical Examination of the Link between Author and Journal Affiliation.” by Yaniv Reingewertz and  Carmela Lutmar (both of the University of Haifa), looks at journals in the field of international relations, but the findings may raise concerns about bias in any field.

The motivation for the study, according to an article about it at Inside Higher Ed, was the thought that “journals published by specific universities might have a slightly lower quality bar for authors who either worked at or earned a Ph.D. from those institutions.”

Here’s how the authors describe the study:

we examine citation counts for articles published in four leading international relations journals during the years 1995-2010. We use a difference-in-differences methodology to compare citation counts for articles written by “in-group members” (authors affiliated with the journal’s publishing institution) versus “out-group members” (authors not affiliated with that institution). Articles written by in-group authors received 9 to 19 fewer Web of Science citations when published in their home journal (International Security or World Politics) vs. an unaffiliated journal, compared to out-group authors. These results are mainly driven by authors who received their PhDs from Harvard or MIT. The findings show evidence of a bias within some journals towards publishing papers by faculty from their home institution, at the expense of paper quality, as measured by citations.

How relevant are these findings to philosophy? Philosophy has some in-house journals, e.g., The Journal of Philosophy at Columbia University, The Philosophical Review at Cornell. Questions had been raised about bias at Philosophy & Public Affairs, which is affiliated with Princeton, in a comment thread on a post here a couple of years ago. The key comment was this:

Philosophy and Public Affairs seems to me to have a real problem with bias. Because I suspected that it had such a problem, I went through back issues last year, looking at volumes 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41, in which there are 57 papers. Of those 57 papers, 17 had at least one author who received their doctorate from the same institution as the current Editor, Oxford. Another 13 were written by authors whose doctorates were from Harvard, where a number of editorial staff work or studied. The next most common place for authors to have received their doctorate is Princeton, where the journal is based. Of the ten papers in those five volumes published by authors who were last year employed by institutions in the western United States, four are by members of the editorial staff, three are by former visitors at Princeton, where the journal is based, and two are by people who were supervised by members of editorial staff. Only one of the ten has an author with no obvious links with editorial staff. It is impossible to be sure, simply on the basis of that sort of data, that there is anything untoward about its editorial policy, let alone anything deliberately so. I suggest though that it places the burden of proof on those who claim that it assesses all submissions in the same way.

(A response to this by Alan Patten, then the editor of Philosophy & Public Affairs, was added in Update 3 to that post. That response is also discussed in the comments.)

If people know of relevant work of this sort on philosophy journals, please share it.

Of related interest: “A Closer Look at Philosophy Journal Practices,” “Guarding the Guardians (or Editors),” “How Journal Capture Led to the Dominance of Analytic Philosophy in the U.S..” “Are Women Philosophers Underrepresented in Top Ethics Journals?” “Diversity in Philosophy Journals,” “Citation Patterns Across Journals,” “Philosophers Don’t Read and Cite Enough,” “Citation Problems in Philosophy—and Some Fixes,” and Kieran Healy’s “A Co-Citation Network for Philosophy.”

(Thanks to Joseph Shieber for suggesting a post on this study.)

Celia Smith, “Swallow” (study)

The post Do Journals Favor Affiliated Authors? appeared first on Daily Nous.

Journal of History of Philosophy Lifts Moratorium on Early Modern Submissions

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/03/2018 - 12:40am in

Late last  year, the Journal of the History of Philosophy (JHP) had announced that it would not be accepting new submissions on early modern philosophy and would be treating “revise and resubmit” verdicts on manuscripts as rejections. JHP editor Jack Zupko (Alberta) has now announced that these measures are no longer in effect.

He writes:

Effective immediately, the JHP is lifting the suspension, instituted on December 1, of consideration of new submissions in early modern philosophy, as well as of new *revise and resubmits*.  Our publication queue is back within acceptable range in all historical periods.

The announcement is also available on the journal’s home page.

The post Journal of History of Philosophy Lifts Moratorium on Early Modern Submissions appeared first on Daily Nous.

Ethics Announces New Editors and Gender Data

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/02/2018 - 1:03am in

The well-known and highly-regarded academic philosophy journal, Ethics, has announced its new editors.

At the end of June, 2018, Georgetown University professor of philosophy Henry S. Richardson will be stepping down from his 10-year tenure as editor (in chief) of the journal. On July 1st, Julia Driver,  professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, and Connie Rosati, professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona, will become the journal’s co-editors (in chief).

Professors Driver and Rosati are currently associate editors at Ethics.

In a statement about the change of editors, Professor Richardson says that “one of the things that they would like to do is to redouble the journal’s efforts to attract work by female authors and authors of color.” To that end, he writes,

I am implementing two steps designed indirectly to aid the cause of reducing gender imbalance in philosophy publishing. First, to increase transparency and general understanding, I here publish for the first time the statistics that we have been collecting, for our internal use, on the genders of our submitting authors and those of the authors whose papers we end up publishing. The second step is to improve the quality of this data so as to facilitate analyses using it. Our determinations of authors’ genders have hitherto rested mainly on first names, occasionally supplemented by internet searches. We have added a required field in which each submitting author will be asked to indicate their gender however they like. By not imposing a list of categories, we will avoid forcing anyone to choose among options none of which they accept and will collect, over time, a set of data that, I am told, will not only be more accurate than what we have been gathering but will also allow for answering the broadest range of queries. Because none of our editors ever sees personal information about any paper’s authors until after the final decision—irrevocable rejection or acceptance—has been reached, it should not alarm anyone that we are collecting such data. Anyone who objects to offering any substantive answer to the gender question is free to answer “not applicable.”

The statistics show that while about three-quarters of the submissions to the journal over the past ten years have been authored by men, there has been a modest increase during this time in submissions by women. Further, the gender breakdown on submissions, averaged over the past ten years, is very close to the gender breakdown on published papers during that time.

The rest of the statistics begin on page three of this document.

The post Ethics Announces New Editors and Gender Data appeared first on Daily Nous.