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Marcus Arvan

Hi Helen: I think your journal has instituted a *great* policy here.

I've had to trim my reference-list on more than a few occasions to fit under journal word-counts. And although I make a real point of citing inclusively, this has absolutely prevented me from citing lesser-known figures in some cases.

Although it's always possible that authors could go overboard under your journal's policy (viz. overly long works-cited pages), my general sense is that people tend to under-cite more than they over-cite. So I think your journal's policy is likely to be very beneficial, and hope more journals consider adopting it!

non-Leiterific grad student

I think this is exactly the right approach. That said, it's not clear to me how *implicit bias* is responsible for denying underrepresented people citations for relevant work. Insofar as bias is at play, it seems to be prestige bias ("where did they publish, and are they a big name?"), and it's a rather explicit bias. Of course, prestige bias can negatively impact underrepresented groups, but even in those cases, prestige appears to be doing the heavy lifting.


One worry I have with this, is that allowing an unlimited list of references while still counting footnotes in the word count, is people will mindlessly write down titles to show they are being "inclusive." This, in turn, creates a list of references which no one will care or notice - and yet there is some sort of credit for "citing" even when the work is not engaged with. However, if you are cited, you can still include this in your google scholar count or other icky ways that scholars keep tracks of these things. I know someone who whenever they write a paper on topic, "X", they see if there is a SEP article on "X" or related topic. If there is, they basically cut and paste the reference list into their article. This, of course, results in many more people being cited, but something about it strikes me as, well, less than scholarly ideal.

Helen De Cruz

We did consider this worry but overall thought the benefits of this policy would outweigh the downsides. Hence we put the proviso in about encouraging authors "to cite work that has meaningfully played a role in the ideas of their paper" (so not hopefully endless laundry lists of citations that they did not read themselves!) In some disciplines like psychology, it's the custom to cite lavishly (all relevant papers to a topic, not just things people use), which is perhaps not too bad of a problem there.

William Peden

Another benefit of allowing for more citations is that it can help readers become more familiar with the geography of the field, or just some cool obscure papers. Some of the most important things (for me) that I've read in philosophy were due to a little citation on a fairly incidental point that revealed to me some obscure philosopher's fascinating but neglected work. For example, Israel Scheffler had some good and original ideas in the philosophy of science, but he dropped out of the literature on most issues because he was a late logical empiricist.

It's also a good reason for reading book reviews: the reviewer might have great work on the book's topic. That's how I came across Henry Kyburg's work (via his review of David Stove's "The Rationality of Induction") which formed the basis of my PhD thesis.

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