Should Philosophy Journals Get Rid of “Revise And Resubmit”?

A philosopher writes into Brian Leiter arguing that journals should straight up accept submissions, with suggestions for improvements preferred in a final draft, or outright reject them in order to free up referees to read more papers and to prevent time wasting counter-productive scenarios like this one:

a very prominent journal gave me an R&R, writing ” we find the paper a promising one, and we hope that you will be willing to revise it… we would not be inviting resubmission this strongly if we were not optimistic about finding a subsequent version acceptable for publication.” They enclosed two reader’s reports with minor suggestions. The journal then sent my revised paper to two entirely new referees, one of whom didn’t like it. After two rounds of revisions–bloating my paper with attempts to satisfy the one critical ref– the piece was rejected. I have heard many similar stories from others. No one wins in this scenario, and I can’t see that it contributes either to the pursuit of truth or to the efficient functioning of our profession. R&Rs ought to be abolished.

Overwhelmingly, Leiter’s readership is (so far) rejecting the idea, read their thoughts and contribute your own by going to Leiter Reports.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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