Questioning Philosophy Journals

I just stumbled on a letter by Pat Churchland and Dan Dennett on cronyism and insularity at J Phil and Phil Review, recently posted by Brian Leiter at Leiter Reports.  It is followed by interesting comments by a large number of people.  Reading the thread sheds light on both the way journals work and the serious problems that beset philosophy journals.  The following excerpt from a comment by Steve Hales sums up my view quite well:

“I think that there are many problems with the way in which journals are run–unestablished junior people invited solely on buzz to publish in prestigious invitation-only venues, the mere existence of so many invitation-only “journals,” journals whose editorial policies exhibit extreme insularity or topical bias, journals with clear preferences for famous or well-connected authors, journals that take 2+ years to publish an article after acceptance, journals that routinely make authors wait for a year only to receive a rejection with no comments or unintelligible ones, and so on.”

“It seems to me that as a profession we should decide which of these issues are the most serious and devote our energies to solving the worst problems first.”

There is also an older but very interesting thread on journals by-invitation only at Thoughts, Arguments, and Rants.

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