PPJ Style Guide and Submission Guidelines

Our Mission

What distinguishes the Public Philosophy Journal is its mission to do philosophy with the public by creating an inclusive space in which community voices are recognized, heard, and supported as vital to the practices of public philosophy.

As an activity, public philosophy is responsive to public concerns and rooted in deliberative reflection. We nurture the creation of content, whether text-based or multi-media, that brings our philosophical commitment to enrich the world to our practices of publication.

We thus ask composers to submit content that speaks in a register that attends equally to the following style criteria: relevance, accessibility, intellectual coherence, and scholarly engagement.

As the review process unfolds, we ask peer reviewers to consider these four criteria throughout the review process, even as they offer other considered advice about how to improve submission under consideration.

Submissions have relevance when they are timely and responsive to an issue of public concern.

Submissions are accessible when they connect with the public at large and resonate with publicly engaged individuals and organizations. This may require unpacking technical terms and concepts.

Submissions demonstrate intellectual coherence by reasoning for and providing evidence to support claims, as well as by identifying theoretical concepts that amplify understanding of the public concern under consideration.

As examples of scholarly engagement, submissions are aware of and receptive to pertinent, ongoing dialogues within and beyond the academy, whether encountered in literature or other mediums of scholarly conversation.

Formative Peer Review

Our unique developmental review process is designed to cultivate habits of inclusive scholarly practice in which communities and academics work together to create scholarship that is accessible to, relevant for, and shaped by the public.

If our call for relevance and accessibility is to be more than an abstract ideal, we must facilitate and nurture structured opportunities for mutual dialogue between theory and tangible social concerns. Such dialogues require us to cultivate a communicative register for each submission that is attuned to the situation with which it is concerned. Because the proper register for a given public cannot be determined in isolation from that public, we have created a developmental review process that invites community members into our practices of scholarly communication. The limitless modes in which public philosophy can be performed requires us to learn how to engage with one another even and perhaps especially when they have backgrounds and perspectives disparate from our own.

Guiding Questions for Authors & Reviewers

Some questions to consider as you attend to the register of your submission to the Public Philosophy Journal include:

  • Does your submission address an issue of public concern?
    • What issue of public concern is it addressing?
    • Why precisely is this of interest to the public?
  • To which audiences are you addressing your submission?
  • What organizations and individuals are engaged in public initiatives associated with the questions or issues addressed by the submission?
  • Does the work open doors to constructive communication with others who share interest in the topic but who might not be directly engaged with it?
  • Are the disciplinary terms that frame the submission accessible to a broad audience that might not be familiar with the specialized usage in an academic community?
  • How can the more technical, academic framing be refined to deepen a broader public’s understanding of the topic without undermining the academic credibility of the submission?
  • How will the submission be recognized by the academy as excellent scholarship?
  • How will the submission be recognized by the public as compelling and important?

Help Us Create an Inclusive Public Forum for Philosophy!

We at the Public Philosophy Journal recognize that what we are asking is difficult, but we remain convinced that, with practice, it is possible. In this we take comfort in the following playful analogy:

Just as we should be able to cook food that both tastes good and is healthy, so too, we ought to be able to create scholarship that is both publicly accessible and academically excellent.

Submission Guidelines

The Public Philosophy Journal (PPJ) reconfigures the relationship between the academy and the public by creating and cultivating material that speaks to both audiences. The stylistic consistency of submitted material helps ensure that this mission is realized. As such, original submissions and citations of curated material should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

Please refer to the remaining sections of this style guide for additional specifications for submissions to the PPJ Current.

Formatting Original Content

Due to our digital platform, the PPJ is able to accept textual, graphic, and audiovisual submissions without a minimum or maximum required length. The length of each submission should be in line with its scope and intended audience.Revisions may be requested for submissions that are overly long or brief.

The following file types are accepted:

  • Text: .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt
  • Audio: .aiff, .m4a, .mp3, .wav
  • Images: .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .tiff
  • Video: .avi, .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv

Please keep the PPJ mission statement in mind when selecting the tone of your submission. This community is intended to draw increased public attention to existing work. The language of projects submitted to the Current should reflect this mission, meaning that the use of specialized technical vocabulary should be minimal, and that its use should be accompanied by explication and contextualization, whenever appropriate, in the body of submitted projects.

Naming Convention for Submitted Files of All Types

When uploading a file, please avoid using apostrophes and quotations marks in the filename.

Submitting Text Files

Per the guidelines set in the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, the margins for text documents submitted to PPJ should be set to 1” on all sides. Text should be set in a readable 12-pt font, preferably Times New Roman, Garamond, or Palatino.

The standard rules of academic style apply. Insert a single space after all punctuation. Text should never be bolded or underlined; italics may be used for emphasis, though sparingly.

The PPJ uses endnotes, rather than footnotes. The majority of these notes should be citational; except for in extraordinary cases, discursive and biographical notes should be implemented into the body of the text or omitted. Authors are encouraged to use the Insert Note function on their word processor to append these notes to the text.

When referring to the same source several times over the course of a paper, please provide the full citation for its first appearance, followed by a shortened citation in subsequent uses. Shortened citations need only to include the author's name with the page number of the citation, unless citing multiple works by the same author; in those cases, the title of the work should be substituted for the author's name in the shortened citation.

Authors who wish to thank colleagues or institutions for their support should submit acknowledgments as the final footnote to their text.

Submitting Audio Files

The PPJ does not require transcription for submitted audio files. However, in keeping with the journal's mission and general accessibility guidelines, transcripts are strongly encouraged and appreciated.

Submitting Image Files

Images of any size or resolution may be submitted. However, since wider images display better in the Current, the recommended image width is 2000 pixels at a 16x9 ratio.

Submitting Video Files

As noted elsewhere in this style guide, there are no file size restrictions for submitted video files. However, best practices suggest uploading videos to an outside video hosting site (YouTube, Vimeo etc.) and linking to or embedding that content whenever possible. Submitters who choose to submit video content in this way should follow the workflow to submit a URL to the Current, rather than original content.

Completing Submission Forms in the Current

Please fill out every field on the submission form when uploading a new URL or original content to the Current.

The system automatically creates an author name widget for each name entered in the External Authors field. When entering multiple authors, remember to insert the cursor after each name widget so that authors remain in alphabetical order.

Treat the Description field as an opportunity to submit a brief (500-character) abstract for your submission. There is no need to submit an additional abstract for submitted content.

Select the keyword or keywords that best match your submission. Keywords assign submitted content to the nine broad conversations in which PPJ community members are currently engaged: Food Ethics, Activism and Outreach, Arts and Culture, Education, Equality and Justice, Ethics, Identity and Diversity, Information and Technology, Science. You may select multiple keywords to match your submission.

You may also type additional tags in the field provided to identify the unique topics, methodologies, or approach that differentiates your project within your selected keyword(s).

Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition to complete the Citation field. The required information varies by the source type, but in general citations should include the last and first name of the author(s), the title of the work, the publisher, and the date of publication.

Indicate the copyright holder of all submitted content. Copyright information should be formatted as: Name of Copyright Holder, Year of Copyright.