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06/04/2020

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Derek

I have seen Analysis publishing survey articles every now and then too, wondering whether those are commissioned or not.

Greg Stoutenburg

This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but Philosophical Papers has a "re-reading" section, which features papers that take a close look at some past influential work and provides some critical discussion of it. See the guidelines here: https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?show=instructions&journalCode=rppa20

I had one published. I contacted the (then) journal editor with my idea, which they were interested in, then set a draft later (if I recall correctly). It took a couple of rounds of exchanges with the editor.

JR

Medicine, Health Care & Philosophy publishes review articles (I think that's the same thing).

Tim O'Keefe

Is there really a need for this? There is a vast number of "Handbooks and Companions to X"-type volumes out there, with chapters which are supposed to give introductions to their topics in a way that's informed by the recent literature.

Marcus Arvan

Hey Tim: good question. Here are two related reasons to think there may be a good reason to have journal venues like this:

(1) In contrast to Handbook and Companions to X type volumes, which typically contain a variety of chapters on X, a journal survey article may provide a far more concise overview of the relevant literature.

(2) Sadly, I have a sinking feeling that most books in philosophy are never read. A few years ago, I published a chapter in a volume addressing a particular topic, and despite it being published with a top-5 press, the book to my knowledge never received a single review and has more or less fallen 'stillborn from the press' (to use Hume's famous quip). At least anecdotally, journals seem to be much more widely read--and I suspect this is especially true for survey articles (indeed, I suspect that for quite a lot of people, Phil Compass articles may be the first thing they read when they want to learn about a particular area).

Anyway, just some food for thought.

contributor

Marcus
I am with Tim on this. I think Companion articles are read - I have done some for Routledge volumes and I know they are read in the hundreds of times.
I think companions by Routledge, Oxford and Cambridge, for example, are held by libraries, and often in e-copies where single chapters can be easily accessed and downloaded.

anonymous person

1. I believe that anyone can contact the editors of Philosophy Compass and propose a piece. But you're right that the point is not "unbiased" introductions to a topic. I personally think any introduction to a topic is biased, though, and applaud them for being intentional about it (I think it makes for better, more readable, more interesting pieces).

2. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy accepts suggestions and proposals for entries they don't have. But also, if your piece is on a topic they already cover, I'd echo others' question about whether this is what we really need. People might not read Handbooks or Companions (though I think they do), but they definitely read SEP articles, which are for the most part extremely good.

Michel

The SEP also publishes surveys, of course, though (IIRC) not unsolicited.

I'm afraid that the only places I can think of where I've seen surveys are the SEP, PhilCompass, and edited volumes and companions.

 J. Giordano, Editor-in-Chief, PEHM

The BioMed Central/Springer journal Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (PEHM; www.peh-med.com) will consider survey and review papers relevant to its focus and scope in philosophical, and ethical issues in biomedicine, and topics on biomedical humanities.

Alexander Guerrero

Just seeing this now, but as EIC of Philosophy Compass, I thought I'd comment briefly to correct one common but mistaken view about the journal.

We actually do welcome short proposals for potential Philosophy Compass articles.

Our website currently says this: "Please note that submissions are only accepted on an on-commission basis. Should you feel you have a manuscript suitable for publication in PHCO then please refer to the editorial board and contact the appropriate section editor to discuss publication."

Each Section Editor manages these unsolicited pitches differently, but all appreciate a short email that details (a) the proposed topic and scope of the article, (b) a few sentences about who you are and the basis on which you have the relevant expertise to write the article (referencing relevant publications, ideally). (We are working on standardizing this process a bit more, and will then update the language on the website accordingly.)

For these initial pitch emails, I would keep things short: maybe a paragraph about (a) at most, and a separate short paragraph or CV for (b).

Also, please do check to see what we've already published in the area (which you can see in the right side-bar section sorting on our webpage), and think about what Section Editor makes the most sense to reach out to here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/17479991/homepage/EditorialBoard.html

If you are uncertain about any part of this, feel free to email me directly.

Also, FWIW, SEP also allows unsolicited proposals for topics:

"Contributions to the Encyclopedia are normally solicited by invitation from a member of the Editorial Board. However, qualified potential contributors may send, to editors@plato.stanford.edu, a preliminary proposal to write on an Encyclopedia topic (i.e., a one-page ‘pre-proposal’ that describes the topic and the literature that needs to be introduced), along with a curriculum vitae.

By qualified, we mean those persons with accredited Ph.D.s in Philosophy (or a related discipline) who have published refereed works on the topic of the proposed entry.

By refereed works we mean either articles in respected, peer-reviewed journals or books which have been published by respected publishing houses and which have undergone the usual peer review process prior to publication. (Notes in newsletters, proceedings, unpublished dissertations, etc., do not count as much.) However, if a member of our Editorial Board is familiar with the work of the potential contributor, the latter may be certified as qualified.

By Encyclopedia topic, we mean a topic that is appropriate for a reference work in academic philosophy and is (a) either listed in our Projected Table of Contents or (b) falls within the area of expertise of one of the members of our Editorial Board. Since the Encyclopedia currently does not yet have subject editors for every specialized area of philosophy, some topics suitable for a reference work in academic philosophy might fail condition (b) -- we reserve the right to determine whether such preliminary entry proposals (in specialized areas for which the Encyclopedia lacks subject editors) should be pursued at this time.

The members of the Editorial Board reserve the right to compare the qualifications of any person submitting an unsolicited request with those of other potential authors who would be qualified to write the entry in question."

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