Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Editorial Policy

Scope and Approach

The Australasian Journal of Philosophy aims to publish contributions of high quality in any area of philosophy and its history. The current balance of the Journal's contents is not prescriptive.

In the first issue of the Journal, the then-editor wrote

The Journal will not be the organ of any particular school of philosophical thought. It will not be made the vehicle for any kind of propaganda. It will not scorn the old fogey in Philosophy, or disdain the new faddist, although it may criticise both. (Francis Anderson, ‘From the Editor’s Chair’, AJP 1(1): 59)

This ecumenical approach to the topics covered in the Journal continues to the present day. Nevertheless the Journal has long been associated with a particular approach to philosophical argument that continues to be exemplified within its pages, and we are mindful of this tradition in our editorial judgments.

Unsolicited Contributions

The Journal welcomes unsolicited contributions of two types: Articles and Discussion Notes, as follows.

ARTICLES

Articles are at least 4500 words long. They are also normally no longer than 8,000 words (in each case, including notes, abstract, acknowledgements, and references). Longer pieces of exceptional significance will be considered, up to a maximum length of 15,000 words (including notes, abstract, acknowledgements, and references). Please note the following points, however.

    • Once a paper is longer than 8,000 words the standard required for acceptance rises; and it continues doing so, the longer the paper is beyond that norm of 8000 words. So, for example, a 10,000 word paper needs to be better than an 8,000 word paper, all else being equal, if it is to be accepted by AJP -- indeed, if it is even to receive an invitation to revise and resubmit. A 12,000 word paper needs to be even better still. And so on, in that vein.
    • A paper’s being longer than 8000 words long will not prevent its being considered, unless we believe that it is clearly needlessly much longer than 8000 words. In that event, either we will reject the paper without seeking a referee’s report, or we will ask the author(s) to shorten and resubmit the paper before it can be sent to a referee.
    • Apart from Discussion Notes described below, the Journal will not consider extremely short papers (for example, of the kind or length published by Analysis and Thought). The minimum length for an Article is 4,500 words (including abstract, notes, and references).

    DISCUSSION NOTES

    Discussion Notes are at most 3,000 words long (including notes, abstract, acknowledgements, and references). They must engage with and/or respond to articles recently published in the Journal. 

    Further Details on Unsolicited Contributions

    • The Journal considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that they have not been published in whole or substantial part already, and that they are not under consideration for publication or in press elsewhere.
    • Both for articles and for discussion notes, any refereeing will be double-anonymised, as described in the Editorial Procedures.
      • Even if submission of a paper has been suggested by persons associated with the Journal, including members of the Editorial Team themselves, all pieces submitted as Articles or Discussion Notes are treated as Unsolicited Contributions and double-anonymously refereed in accordance with the Editorial Procedures.
    • The word counts mentioned in these policies are must be genuine counts of words, exclusive of any formatting codes. Attempts to obscure the true word count will be frowned upon. Word counts include footnotes and bibliography: basically, anything that must be copy-edited and typeset must be counted.
    • The Journal will not consider Articles or Discussion Notes whose primary focus is the criticism of papers not previously (and recently) published in the Journal. Neither will it consider Articles/Discussion Notes which are, in effect, a kind of Critical Notice of a single author—a single non-GREAT author. (Aristotle, Plato, etc.: yes. Even the most prominent contemporary philosopher: no.) Obviously there is room for disagreement on how this criterion applies, but the editor's verdict on such matters will be final.
    • The Editor reserves the right not to proceed with publication of conditionally accepted submissions where the author does not supply a final version conforming to Journal style.

    Limits on Submissions

    • The Journal will not consider more than one submission at the same time from a given author (including when the author is a co-author). Authors must note that, if they have received a 'revise-and-resubmit' verdict from the Editor on one paper, then that paper, for the Journal's purposes, counts as still under consideration until the notified period for resubmission has run out. If an author wishes to submit a new paper after having received a 'revise-and-resubmit' verdict and before the resubmission period has passed, the earlier paper must be formally withdrawn before the newer one will be considered.
    • The Journal will not consider more than two submissions from any one author in any given twelve-month period. This limit includes co-authored papers, but excludes revisions. The journal considers a paper to have been under consideration if it has been given an editorial verdict, rather than a merely administrative verdict. 
    • The Journal will not consider revised versions of previously rejected papers, unless the previous paper had been given an explicit verdict of ‘reject with the possibility of resubmission’. The verdict of the editor on whether a submission is a revision of a previously rejected paper or a new paper is final.
    • The Journal will not consider proposals for special issues devoted to conference (including workshop) proceedings. (This does not preclude the Journal's publication of occasional special issues based on calls for papers.)
      • The Journal has in the past been willing to consider submissions from organizers of symposia (of, say, two or three closely-related papers, to be reviewed en bloc and with referees asked to comment on the merits both of individual papers and of the symposium as a whole). However the pressure of submissions now precludes our considering such submissions.

    Solicited Contributions

    • The Journal will solicit contributions of three types: Critical Notices and Discussions, Book Reviews, and Book Notes (brief reviews). 
    • One of the Book Review Editors will normally initiate the review process, but individuals are welcome to make contact with the Journal so as to nominate themselves as reviewers. No book reviews, book notes, or critical notices are to be submitted without a prior invitation from a Book Review Editor.
    • There is no guarantee of review of any given book, even if a copy is supplied. While we review books from all over the world, we make a special effort (although we do not promise) to cover books authored or edited by philosophers resident in Australasia, provided that the Journal is sent a copy.
    • Book Reviews are to be between 1500 and 1800 words; Book Notes are to be no longer than 400 words. Neither Book Reviews nor Book Notes may include notes. Sometimes, a short bibliography is needed in a Book Review but never in a Book Note. (If a citation is needed within an AJP Book Note -- a combination that is, we stress, rare -- the details must appear in the body of the Note.) Book Reviews and Book Notes are to be submitted in doc/docx format, not pdf format. Reviews and Book Notes will not be externally refereed, but a Book Review Editor and/or the Editor may require changes to a Book Review or Book Note before it is to be published.
    • Critical Notices and Critical Discussions will be of important works in philosophy, and will be commissioned by the Editor. They will normally not exceed 5,000 words (including notes and bibliography), and be anonymously refereed. Members of the Editorial Board may, from time to time, make recommendations to the Editorial Team of books which might deserve a Critical Notice.
    • The Editor reserves the right not to proceed with publication of conditionally accepted submissions where the author does not supply a final version in conformity with Journal Style.

    Feedback to Authors

    While there can be no guarantee which applies to every individual case, it is editorial policy to provide authors with timely decisions and helpful comments. Our team of referees often provide invaluable advice to help authors in improving their thoughts and their manner of communicating them, and we are grateful to referees for their efforts in this regard.

    The pressure of submissions is now such that a significant number of manuscripts are rejected after initial consideration by the editorial team without being sent to referees. In this sort of case comments are often brief, and limited to indicating a key weakness of the submission. It is hoped the quick turnaround compensates authors for less detailed comments. 

    Publication Priorities

    The Editor decides the order of appearance of accepted submissions. Priority may be given to Discussion Notes. In these cases, authors of the materials being commented on might be offered a right of reply (subject to the usual refereeing), on the understanding that timely publication of the Note will take priority over the desirability of including both Note and Reply in the same issue of the Journal.

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    ABN 29
    152 892 272
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