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Also worried

I think it's impossible to say without knowing what journal you're talking about. Is it a specialist journal? Is it a generalist journal that hardly anyone has ever heard of? Is it a 'top-20' generalist journal by prestige that wants to move into the 'top-10'?

Leaving that aside, I don't see why you wouldn't share the name of the journal. People choose where to submit their work in part on how likely they think it is that their work will be published. If you have some information that can help people maximize their chances of publishing their work quickly, you should share it.

If you have reason to believe the journal doesn't want this out there, it sounds like the editors are up to something mischievous, and people in the field should know about it. If you don't have any reason to believe they don't want this out there, hiding the name of the journal does nothing more than artificially generate insider-knowledge that benefits people with connections and harms people without.

Marcus Arvan

@Also worried: I appreciate your points, but I think the OP was right to share their query here without identifying the journal in question.

This blog is a place for discussing issues relevant to early-career philosophers, provided it is done in a manner that conforms to the blog's mission. Identifying particular parties who don't want to be identified isn't, I think, consistent with that mission. But discussing issues in an anonymized fashion is fine, I think, insofar as it can draw potentially important issues out into the open without casting aspersions toward identifiable parties.

If anyone (including a journal) engages in any kind of malfeasance--and it's not at all clear to me that a journal privately making decisions like these is wrong--then there are other ways (and places) to bring those kinds of things to light.

Overseas Tenured

Journals often publish stats about their rejection rates, and the correlation between prestige and selectivity is rough at best. E.g. I remember that Phil Q and Canadian JP both have a lower acceptance rate than Nous, PPR and JPhil, yet they are less prestigious - probably because there's a lot of self-selection in the latter journals.

I also don't get how a journal can simply decide to become more selective without deciding to publish fewer issues. Maybe a journal with a large backlog of forthcoming papers can do that, but once the backlog is eliminated, they can't become more selective without lowering their output. Am I missing something?


I'm not sure that the strategy would be efficient. So far as I can tell the relative prestige of journals hasn't changed in 20 years. I don't know why that is. My guess is because philosophers rank the prestige of journals in informal ways, reinforced by word of mouth and the occasional blog ranking. But it doesn't seem to me that philosophers use more quantitative methods of ranking (like: accept/reject rates, impact factor, etc.). So changing a quantitative factor like accept/reject rate may not be an efficient strategy for changing relative prestige.

Arctic cat

Hey all
Have you looked at the impact factors of philosophy journals. Even the best is very small. Clearly no one is choosing where to send papers based on impact factors. Note what Tim says - the prestige of journals is quite a fixed thing. Of course there changes, but even an icefield changes if you keep watching it.

David  Coldwell

This is a form of journal predatory practice that we don't hear much about but which is just as insidious and destructive as the predatory practices we hear a lot about such as in Beall's inventory!

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