Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Let people change their minds

Everyone does it. Some people do it several times a day. Others, weekly, monthly, or even just a few times in their lives. We would be suspicious, and rightly so, of someone who claimed never to have done it. Some have even become famous for doing it. Making a public show of it can make […] The post Let people change their minds appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesHow fake things can still help us learnHow women can support each other to strive for gender equalityThe remarkable life of philosopher Frank [More]

Are Philosophers Using Publons?

About four years ago in a post about getting credit for refereeing articles, I mentioned Publons, a site that allows you to “track your publications, citation metrics, peer reviews, and journal editing work in a single, easy-to-maintain profile.” At the time, not many philosophers or journals appeared to be making use of Publons, but there have been increasing mentions of it, and now a number of philosophy journals are listed on it (some of which have “partnered” with the Publons, as indicated on its lists by a blue checkmark). The philosophy journals with the most reviews as of the time of this post are: Still, people have questions about it. One reader wrote in: Are people using Publons? Journals are offering to give me recognitions, via Publons, for review work and I just have no idea whether it’s something worth doing. I don’t particularly care about me being recognized, but I do think it’s good if our profession can come up with ways to incentivize timely, quality reviewing. Does Publons actually do that? Discussion welcome, especially from reviewers who use Publons or have thought about it but don’t, and editors whose journals make use of Publons. The post Are Philosophers Using Publons? appeared first on Daily [More]

Flipping the System: One Possible Solution to the Publishing Odyssey (guest post by Felix Bender)

In the following guest post*, Felix Bender (CEU / Amsterdam) surveys some proposed solutions to our current time-consuming, backed-up, overcrowded system of publishing academic articles, as well as some problems with them, before offering up an interesting solution of his own.   Flipping the System: One Possible Solution to the Publishing Odyssey by Felix Bender 1. The Problem We all know the dreadful journey our papers must take until they are not only received positively by an editor, but sent out to review, received (somewhat) positively by the reviewers and the reviews receiving somewhat positive responses from the editor. Often, there is a second iteration of this whole process. Even more often, however, a paper’s journey ends before any of the latter steps: they are simply desk rejected. In Political Philosophy this seems to be a huge problem. The acceptance rates of some journals are very low[1], making them much lower than the acceptance rates in other academic disciplines. For scholars this often means that they have to go through many, many submission processes until they find a journal that is at least as interested in their paper as they are in publishing in it. Researchers often wait weeks, if not months for even the first editorial decision on a manuscript, and then have to iterate the same procedure for many times for each journal, often being rejected on grounds such as fit or simply the mere preferences of the editors. This results in an [More]

Editorial and Advisory Board of Journal Resign En Masse

“We recount our small act of resistance here because we think there may be lessons for the wider academic community.” That sentence is from a blog post by the former editors-in-chief of the European Law Journal (ELJ), Joana Mendes (Luxembourg) and Harm Schepel (Kent), announcing their resignation, along with the resignation of all eight members of the journal’s board of editors and all ten of the journal’s advisory board members. They are resigning over conflicts with the journal’s publisher, Wiley, regarding how the editors of the journal should be chosen: In 2018, Wiley sought to appoint Editors-in-Chief without as much as consulting the Board of Editors and the Advisory Board, in a process both unfair to the prospective, excellent, new editors and in complete disregard of the integrity and autonomy of the academic community gathered in the Boards. The new editors withdrew, and the Boards resigned in protest. Wiley finally relented and agreed on an open competitive process administered by a committee of Board representatives leading to an appointment by mutual consent of the publisher and the committee. In the end, our recent negotiations with Wiley broke down on our one necessary if insufficient condition for agreeing to new terms: to simply have this process formalized in our new contract. It is a modest point, but one of vital importance: it clears the way to a model where Editors respond to the Board, not to the publisher, and where [More]

The BJPS Referee Of The Year Award

The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (BJPS) has a “Referee of the Year” award. The editors of the journal selected Kenny Easwaran, associate professor of philosophy at Texas A & M University, as the winner of the award for 2019, praising him “for his willingness to act as a referee, for the timeliness of his reports, and for the very high quality of those reports.” The idea for the Referee of the Year award appears to have initially been floated by Marc Lange (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) in a blog post at the end of his term as an associate editor of the BJPS: After reading a particularly useful referee report, I sometimes thought that BJPS should consider giving an award to the ‘Referee of the Year’ or ‘Most Valuable Referee’ (or something like that)—a referee who does something especially outstanding, such as refereeing a paper on an especially short deadline, or looking at draft after draft of the same paper and shepherding it along to ultimate success, or carrying out an enormous volume of refereeing chores. There might be a fair degree of agreement on likely award-winners among the journal’s editorial staff. From what I can tell, the award was first given out last year, for work during 2018, to Adrian Currie (University of Exeter). About the award, the editors of the journal write: Referees who give papers great care and attention, and respond in the spirit of moving the conversation forward, perform a great [More]

Free Philosophy Book for Swedish Students

All third-year high school students in Sweden can claim a free copy of Alternative facts: On Knowledge and Its Enemies, by Stockholm University philosophy professor Åsa Wikforss. The book (in Swedish: Alternativa fakta. Om kunskapen och dess fiender) was published in 2017, and addresses questions in epistemology with an eye towards critical thinking, knowledge resistance, the media, disinformation, and propaganda. The publisher, Fri Tanke, explains why it is offering students free copies of the book: Threats to knowledge are a growing problem in large parts of the world, even in Sweden. After the 2016 US presidential election, many caught the eye of how dangerous and effective it can be to use fake news and to highlight “alternative facts”. To base our perception of reality on facts is crucial and when knowledge is threatened it has consequences. We see how the measles spread again as a result of vaccine resistance, how climate deniers delay important efforts to counter global warming, and how the new technology is used to spread propaganda and undermine democratic society. The book, Alternative Facts, can be a tool for tackling development and helping students discern lies from truth.  The book is not party-political at all. It takes a stand for knowledge, facts and objective truth. It takes a stand against post-truth, ignorance, disinformation and propaganda. The initiative is funded by the publisher along with two of its executives, banker Sven Hagströmer [More]

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