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I'm not sure why philosophers and scientists favour publishing in different journals. But I can think of three reasons:

- If you publish in different journals, you show that you are able to convince different editors/different "clusters" of referees that your arguments are solid.
- Perception of quality/prestige is different from a person to another. If you publish in different journals, you might be able to convince more people that you have published in "high quality" journals.
- Some journals have a "one submission at a time" or "one submission per year" limit. If you publish in one journal only, you slow yourself down.

If these considerations are unconvincing, I see no reason not to publish in the same journal repeatedly.


Early on, all my pubs were in the same top specialist journal. I worried that search committees would think I wasn't able to publish anywhere else (a worry I internalized), so I started trying to publish in top generalist venues, too. It doesn't seem to have made *any* difference to my job market outcomes (which were uniformly bad).

I still submit to that journal, because it's great. And I still submit to generalist venues, because I can and now I have the confidence to do so. I also submit to the other top specialist journal in my subfield, but so far they've rejected everything.

So anyway: I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think it's desirable to have a mix of journals on your CV, but having lots of the same journal, especially if it's a good specialist venue, seems totally fine. Desirable, even, since that's presumably where the bulk of the conversation in your subfield is taking place.

What would look weird, to me, is if someone had lots of publications but none in their subfield's main venues (say, the first couple tiers or so).

Bill Vanderburgh

Publish where your papers are part of the conversation. (Caveat: As long as it is a good journal; doesn't have to be a top journal.) There's a built-in audience, which means more readers and (consequently) more chances your work will be cited/discussed. I'd rather be in a specialist journal over a "top" journal any day.

Newly Dr

I suspect this will depend very much on how many publications you are talking about. And how highly regarded this journal is.

If you are talking about having 10+ papers in only one journal and no papers in any other journal I think you should really worry. That would look very suspicious to me (do you have some kind of in with the editors?).

If you are talking coming out of a PhD with 2 or 3 papers in total all in the same well regarded journal (on the level of Ethics, or BJPS) then that sounds fine. If you've only got 2 or 3 papers then it doesn't seem so suspicious they are all in the same venue.

I also suspect that if most of your papers are in one journal, but you have at least some reasonable proportion (ballpark 20%) in other journals then that would be fine too. That would indicate a strong preference for that journal, but if it is a good journal that is no problem. And it would show that you can get published in other places.

grateful op

OP here. Thanks for all the advice!

I'm also very grateful to have this blog, where I can ask these kinds of mundane but nagging questions and know that I will get thoughtful and helpful answers. Cheers all.

anonymous faculty

I have heard worries that haven't been mentioned here about being well-connected to the editors, associate editors, or prominent members of the editorial board. I would check those connections if I were evaluating someone. But I've published in the same (well-respected) journal three times (and I don't have too many more publications than that) and have been informed by my tenure mentors that it is no problem at all.

recent search committee member

I would suggest submitting to (highly regarded) generalist over specialist journals. People on search committees may not know how to evaluate the quality of a specialist journal, but everyone knows the top generalist journals.

best of luck everyone

It sounds to me like you work in Ancient Greek Philosophy (just guessing that 'egregious, well-documented' is OSAP; they are also historically egregious on the 'we don't do blind review' front). Anyway, I think my experience will generalize, at least for history specialists: 1) almost all of my papers are with two journals, and not the very top two. No one has objected because I have stayed in the top four, with a couple of general history papers. I am not at a Gourmet school, but I am at a very well-respected university; 2)make sure your colleagues know that OSAP or its equivalent is a notorious mess, not only for speed these days (it used not to take so long to get desk rejection), but also for (at least historically with OSAP) playing gatekeeper and essentially being an edited volume instead of a journal. Show them the links to the complaints if necessary. 3) Depending on what kind of work you do, explain the difference between papers that are more 'history/scholar' and papers that are more 'argument.' If you don't publish history/scholar-heavy papers, let your colleagues know that you will be mostly shut out of some journals for that reason. 4) if you are on the TT, make sure all your suggested letter-writers are the sort of people you know will communicate the state of the field and what counts as productivity. 5) more generalist journals are publishing good history these days--Ergo, Imprint--and they are fast.

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