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cecil b

If they have made this offer to you, then presumably the chances of it being accepted are high. If you already have a number of articles in higher ranked journals, then it's not clear that adding another does much. And it's simply wrong to say that publishing at the lower end of the top 30 journals is worthless.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - sounds like you have an option to get this paper published quickly, which helps you move on to your next article. Who knows how things might go if you shop it around elsewhere. I say take the offer!

Timmy J

‘Another pub in a lesser place is worth nothing’

This is straightforwardly false. When I judge cv’s (which I end up doing at least once a year for hiring purposes at my R2ish job) I count any publication in a journal I’ve heard of as the same as another. So unless the journal is super obscure, it makes no difference to me whether you publish the paper in the place you’ve got a good shot at already or in the fanciest of fancy places.

And I suspect that the number number of places you’ll apply to where journal ranking *does* matter is tiny compared to the number of places you’ll apply to that, like mine, care not a whit about such things.


I think it's really just a matter of balancing your hopes for the paper and your appetite for additional review and review times.

If you've moved on and are working on other things, then go for it. If you haven't, or if you're optimistic that it can land in a significantly more prestigious journal, then don't. If it's the only thing you currently have under review, then that's a reason to aim higher, since you can (presumably) devote more energy to it; if you have several other papers also under review, or in the works and close to submission, then it may not be worth the energy.

James McGrath

There are unfortunately individuals and programs that treat with disdain all but the very elite journals, which due to the limited number of spaces in each issue means that most academics will rarely if ever publish in them. A decent journal is the norm and should not be treated as second rate, much less as something worthy of scorn. That isn’t academic rigor, but snobbery plain and simple.


Thanks all, this is very helpful advice. I probably need to think about this. I certainly don't want to dismiss the journal as it is a reputable one, but it is hard to ignore the constant messaging about publishing in highly ranked places. I also found out a little later that re-sending it to them involves going through the whole peer review process again, so that is a bit of a bummer.

Not relevant, but I am also slightly embarrassed as I hadn't intended to post my real name but it seems that I unthinkingly put it into the name section.


Here's perhaps an additional angle to consider. I have two active two research projects. I find articles to read in four main ways: Phil Papers, Google Scholar, plain Google searches, and scans of the reference lists of papers I'm reading. (Reference lists lead me not just to other papers but also to other scholars working on projects near to or intersecting with mine.) I sometimes find SSRN helpful. I cannot recall the last time I scanned the TOCs of the top journals in my area. With few exceptions, I don't know the reputations of the journals in my areas of interest. I don't tend to notice the publisher until I find an article helpful or interesting and add it to one of my reference lists. When I do find an article in some journal, I'll often then skim a few issues back to see if anything else of interest pops up. To be clear, I'm not saying this is the right or best way to do this. This is just an account of how I do it, and how I might find someone's article, wherever it's published.


OP: if the paper has to go through full review again (rather than being more or less an R&R), then it seems to me that makes resubmitting less desirable, given the givens. It doesn't really save you any work or energy. There's no bird in hand here, so you might as well send it elsewhere. You can always work your way back to this journal.

Santa Monica

Worth noting is that those who have published in non-top journals more often than not readily advise that one should not avoid publishing in non-top journals—not to put too fine a point on it.

Nous & Phil Sci

Santa Monica
Nicely put

curious reader

I'm not sure I understand the meaning or indirect implication of Santa Monica's comment. If it was meant to be a fruitful contribution, I personally would welcome elaboration. Thanks, everyone, for the interesting ideas.

cecil b

I don't understand how Santa Monica has access to the CVs of everyone commenting ... is there some option on this website for seeing this information that I'm not seeing?

Santa Monica

@curious reader: Apologies for the delayed reply - my earlier point was basically that, if there were good reasons to avoid publishing in less prestigious journals, you probably wouldn't hear about them from those who have already taken the plunge, so to speak (which includes some of those giving advice here). This isn't a knock against anyone (lots of very successful folks have published in a wide variety of journals), just an observation on a little bit of pop psychology.

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