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06/16/2023

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a postdoc

One thing I've tried a couple of times is submitting a paper that has a companion piece with a brief mention of this in the paper. This has resulted in reviewer complaints about the issue covered in the companion piece needing more coverage in the submitted paper, though similar complaints didn't arise on other occasions when I submitted those papers without mentioning their companions.

Another thing I've tried is submitting a companion piece as a supplemental document as a proof of its existence in connection with a response to reviewer comments. In that case, the second round of reviewers was different.

The ultimate verdicts were rejections in all these cases, but I don't recall any comments indicating that the companion piece moves were important factors in those verdicts. So I'd be inclined to try these strategies again.

Two many things to say

OP here: perhaps it will help to clarify (in light of these helpful comments) that the reason I think it would be advantageous to do this as a two part paper is that I am worried that the first part will get rejected based on not engaging with the extant objections. I don’t think I can do that well before getting the whole view on the table, but we philosophers do love to object to premise 1 before we even know what the premise 2 is, let alone the conclusion.

So I guess I am interested in specifically what the case where the fact there are two parts is used to allay the fears of the reviewers. Which doesn’t sound like it has gone well for a postdoc at least.

good luck

I would do one of three things (I had a two-part paper published using the first strategy):

1. Find a way to frame both papers relatively independently of each other. It's not easy, but it's usually doable. In the second paper in my own case, I had a section of ~3 pages where I gave a streamlined version of the argument from the first paper, and then cited it (in a redacted way).

2. Find a way to fit it all into one paper (perhaps long-ish one). I think we're all prone to thinking that unnecessary parts of our papers are in fact necessary (from the level of the sentence to the level of the section even). You could do a practice draft where you get everything down to 12k words, just to see how you would do it. It might reveal that that section you thought was absolutely vital could be made a footnote.

3. Email the editor of a journal you're eyeing and ask if you can submit two papers at once, given that they're related. I've seen journals publish two papers at once, or back to back, where it is very clear (sometimes explicitly so) that the two papers are one project.

Similar

I've had papers that fit together in ways quite similar to what the OP describes. I would love to hear if others have had success with the third strategy mentioned by "good luck," because that sounds great. But assuming that's not an option, my suggestion is to find a way to make each paper stand on its own. Maybe you could try to publish Part 2 first, but reframe it by saying: here is this mounting set of criticisms against these extant views, which show that we need a new view that has features x, y, z. And maybe: here are some especially exciting further upshots of such a view, but developing the details of the view itself is too much for the present paper. Then you can write what you were calling Part 1, citing the other paper as though it's not your own (for blind review purposes) and showing how your view does have features x, y, and z. Or, you could just argue for the view in Part 1 on its own, and then maybe address 1 or 2 of the objections you think reviewers will wonder about. If it's a strong paper and you get the right referees, hopefully you'd get an R&R where they ask you to respond to a finite number of other objections.

r53

I followed good luck's #3 once, with a good specialist journal, and received a helpful reply from the editor. They suggested to flag up in the submission that and why I feel I need to go over their word limit. Reviewers would then be asked to assess whether double length (or whatever) is warranted. I took this to mean that the editor/reviewers wanted to see the whole thing first and only if they liked all of it, deal with how to split it up (if at all). I didn't go for it (for unrelated reasons), but if I were in the same situation I'd asked the editors again.

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