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what next

to the poster:
The important thing is the argument in the paper. That is what you should try to published. So figure a way to place it in another related paper, or some other means of presenting it so that a journal will see it as a general contribution


Consider (a) making it a comparison paper with some other, alternative view, your own or some other author’s, or (b) making it a more general criticism with that as your focal example.


I agree: convert it to something standalone. It takes work, but it's not that hard. Just work on developing a broader point, and use the reply dialectic to help establish that point, rather than focusing on it to the exclusion of all else.

It may well be rejected a few times for still being too much like a reply, but be persistent and it will probably pay off in the end.

FWIW, I had a reply piece that wound up in PhilStudies after seven rejections over four years (including one that said they'd reconsider it if I converted it to a reply piece! =/ ). I'm glad it's a standalone paper now, though, because it's really quite good--and much better and more impactful than it was as a reply!


If memory serves me well, dialectica and erkenntnis in principle allow reply pieces to papers published elsewhere. I don't know whether they hold those replies to higher standards.


You might also fold it into a section of a larger, more substantive paper which makes a broader point. That way you're not just selling a reply paper as a standalone argument.

I must admit I chop up my "going nowhere" papers and re-use parts of them in other papers quite often.

Grateful for everyone's thoughts

I'm the original poster. Thank you to all who've shared your thoughts thus far.

In case anyone's curious, here's what I'm now thinking I'll do: try submitting the paper in its current (reply) form to one or two more journals; then, if those don't work out, I'll probably try reframing the paper somehow and going from there (or perhaps, if I'm feeling ambitious, turning it into the start of a book project).

(For reasons I won't bore anyone with, I think that convincingly reframing the paper into a standalone paper--such that the reframing doesn't just come across as a trick meant to hide the fact that this is really, in its heart and soul, a reply paper--will be quite difficult, if not impossible. Likewise for subsuming the paper within a larger paper that makes a broader point. Unfortunately, some key features of the paper simply seem to me to make these options impractical. But I can certainly see how they're options worth keeping in mind for reply papers more generally.)

Thanks again to all who've shared advice.

Reply author


Converting the paper into a standalone paper is a fine idea, though simply submitting the reply version elsewhere is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I published a reply piece in journal x that was responding to an article in journal y. When I was preparing to submit it, everyone told me that this was simply not done and that it would most likely be rejected, but it ended up being accepted at the first journal I sent it to. So at least give it a go!


Acta Analytica, Philosophia, and Logos and Episteme also publish replies to papers in other journals.

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