Publishing with Philosophy Compass

I’ve recently taken over as the Logic & Language Section Editor for Philosophy Compass. Before taking over the post, I had no idea what the process for publishing in Philosophy Compass was. Are articles commissioned, or can authors submit proposals for articles? Who oversees the editorial process — the Editor in Chief, the Section Editor, or a member of the Editorial Board? Today, I’ll answer some questions about the process.

Process for Publishing

Philosophy Compass aims to publish high quality peer-reviewed survey articles aimed at non-specialists to get up to speed with current issues in contemporary philosophy. The process for publishing in Philosophy Compass goes as follows:

  • Step one: the topic and scope of an article is agreed upon by the author(s) and the relevant Section Editor. This can happen in various ways. Often, an article is commissioned by the Section Editor, who approaches the author(s) with an idea, which is then turned into a concrete proposal. But, authors are welcome to contact the relevant Section Editor with proposals too. I very much welcome proposals (more on this, including what such a proposal should look like, below). Whether a proposal ends up commissioned is entirely the discretion of the relevant Section Editor. Also, commissioned proposals are not guaranteed to be published — once written, they must still go through peer review.
  • Step two: once the topic and scope of the article is set, a deadline is set for the initial submission, which is usually 6-12 months.
  • Step three: the initial submission should be prepared for anonymous review. Once received, the Section Editor will send it to two peer reviewers for feedback.
    Sometimes, reviewers will call for minor or substantive revisions; sometimes, reviewers will reject the article outright, although I have been told this happens with less frequency than at other journals, partly because of the vetting that has already taken place up to this point.
  • Step four: if the article is accepted by the reviewers and Section Editor, it goes to the Editor in Chief for final approval before being sent out for typesetting.
Proposals for Articles

Proposals for overview articles on topics not currently covered in the Compass database are welcome! We aim for articles to be around 5,000 words or less, written in a manner accessible to undergrads and scholars outside of the relevant subfield. Sometimes, longer pieces can be broken up into two parts, as with Conceptual Ethics I and II.

A proposal should be a few paragraphs describing the topic, structure of the proposed article, and rationale for its inclusion in Philosophy Compass. It will also help if you attach any relevant work you have done on the topic so that the Section Editor can evaluate your fit. Sometimes, there will be back and forth between author(s) and Section Editor at this point, as the scope and structure of the article are worked out.

Also, thankfully, final articles can be submitted as .tex + .pdf.

Ideas for Articles

There is already an impressive array of excellent overview articles within Logic & Language. However, there are also some major gaps to be filled. A few areas that come to mind include:

  • Experimental work in philosophy of language and logic
  • Social/political philosophy of language (incl. speech and harm, microaggressions, issues about free speech, social meaning, propaganda, subversive speech, gender, ideology, disability, sexuality, consent, methodology).
  • Topics on conditionals (incl. conditional logic, counterpossibles, connections to causality and decision theory)
  • Semantic frameworks (incl. inquisitive semantics, dynamic semantics, truthmaker semantics, situation semantics, event semantics, inferentialist theories of meaning, non-standard starting points for semantic theory [speech acts, imperatives, etc.]).
  • Metasemantics (incl. methodology, interactions with meta-ontology, the metaphysics of words and languages, etc.).

I’m happy to answer further questions in the comments below!

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