PPJ Community Ethics

Core Values

The PPJ community acknowledges that the habits and practices that produce scholarship directly influence whose voices will be heard, valued, and amplified. Too often, our scholarly practices have reinforced bias and exclusion rather than amplifying the diversity of composers, readers, and issues that make up public communities. Revising outdated ideas of who counts as a scholar and what counts as scholarship requires collective re-envisioning of how knowledge is developed, evaluated, and circulated through peer review and post-publication processes. This demands a close look at the roles and responsibilities of those who curate and superintend academic domains, including publishing practices.

The state of rapid and intense flux, which characterizes today’s academic institutions, presents exciting opportunities to change the rules and rebuild scholarly infrastructure from the ground up. To replace gatekeeping practices that discourage and exclude diverse voices working together to create new, more relevant, and engaged ways of knowing, the PPJ allows composers easy access to the means of scholarly production. The Journal’s primary ethical and political responsibilities include openly valuing the particular experiences, interests, needs, and expertise of individuals whose intellectual and activist pursuits find them in various publicly engaged settings. Facilitating access to the means of scholarly production, rather than simply the outcomes, helps mobilize philosophical publics that thrive on commitments to mutual respect, care, and trust, which can work toward repairing injustice in the world.

These are the aims of the PPJ’s code of community ethics. We seek to redistribute the control of scholarly production more broadly to those whose work obscures conventional boundaries between scholarship and activism. Nourishing a new “culture of public scholarship” means not only reforming the culture of publishing for those working within and beyond academic institutions, but correcting habits of binary thinking to focus on the goals and visions that connect us as intellectual activists, regardless of formal academic affiliations. In place of over-valuing credentials, we maintain a thick sense of collegiality, which encourages us to share hard truths in ways that can mutually deepen and advance the impact of each other’s work.

Thick collegiality means that all PPJ activities offer ample opportunities for participation, whether by engaging in Formative Peer Review as composers, peer reviewers, or review coordinators, curating content for the Current, joining conversations on our public forums, becoming a Field Editor, or connecting with our developing Learning Network.

Our commitment to thick collegiality also means we must continue to advance equitable representation within the PPJ community to redress overrepresentation of certain groups and interests. Therefore, we aim to model and promote citation practices that reflect careful consideration of whose voices are being credited. We want citation to strengthen public understanding of particular social and philosophical issues and so favor crediting those for whom the issues discussed are of central concern.

As a community-driven project founded in the spirit of thick collegiality, the PPJ urges open dialogue about our engagement strategies for public outreach and service. All are invited to pose questions, concerns, and suggestions using the public comment forums, tweeting to @PubPhilJ, commenting on our Facebook or Humanities Commons pages, or emailing the editors directly. Insofar as the PPJ is defined by how it facilitates publicly shaped scholarship and its vision of scholarship as a as a series of collective acts toward advancing a just world, it is the greater public itself to which the PPJ owes accountability.

Ethical Conduct

We reject all forms of discrimination based on the race, color, gender orientation, sexual orientation, abilities, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, religion, culture, age, education, and institutional or organizational affiliations of PPJ colleagues. We ask that everyone who participants in the PPJ community demonstrate respect for the perspectives, experiences, and rights of others by practicing habits of constructive communication while also understanding that all are equally encouraged to share their truths openly.

Please notify the editors (editors@publicphilosophyjournal.org) of any incidents that violate these community ethics standards. In cases of major or multiple violations, the editors reserve the right to remove content pertaining to the violations, to discontinue individual involvement in the PPJ activity in which the incident occurred or individual involvement in any and all PPJ activities, and/or to prohibit use of and access to community platforms. Major violations include, but are not limited to,
  • discriminating against, attacking, threatening, harassing, or silencing others;
  • posting discriminatory content or content that, if distributed, would expose its composer(s) or any others persons named therein to potential harm;
  • sharing or taking credit for original ideas or content without receiving consent from or giving appropriate attribution to the creators.
Violations are considered minor when they do not involve any of the actions highlighted above but otherwise conflict with the values of the PPJ community. Minor violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis, beginning, whenever possible, with conversations that support clear, mutual insight into how the action under consideration conflicts with one or more of our community values.

Learn more about copyrights, licensing, liability and indemnity, and our take down policy here: http://publicphilosophyjournal.org/about/terms-and-permissions/

Terms of Editorial Review

The PPJ Formative Peer Review platform may be used for submissions seeking publication neither in the Journal nor in another scholarly venue (e.g., grants, action letters, and seminar papers on which students seek informal peer feedback). Submissions seeking publication in the Journal are sent to Formative Peer Review when they align with the PPJ’s publishing interests, style criteria, and submission guidelines and when composers both have agreed to the terms of submitting and tendered a brief engaged scholarship statement.

The purpose of this statement is to encourage composers to articulate how their submission reflects the PPJ’s fourth style criterion: engagement with scholarly dialogue. Submissions are excellent examples of this criterion when they demonstrate awareness of, deep engagement with, and proper citation of the arguments, experiences, or findings of individuals working within the communities to which the issues under consideration are of particular relevance and concern. Submissions must demonstrate excellence in meeting this criterion to be considered for publication in the Journal.

Later-stage drafts prepared for Formative Peer Review are expected to exemplify this criterion at the time of submission, and engaged scholarship statements should provide specific explanations of how the submissions represent engaged scholarship. Statements accompanying earlier-stage drafts should indicate composer reflection on instances where this criterion is satisfactorily or excellently met and areas in need of improvement, as well as commitment to improving engagement with scholarly dialogue as the review process unfolds. Writing this brief statement helps to advance the scholarly and ethical integrity of the work under consideration.

In cases where submissions seeking publication in the Journal meet all PPJ community ethics standards except for that of substantial engagement with pertinent scholarly dialogue, and/or when composers have not tendered a community ethics statement, it is at the discretion of the editors whether to invite composers(s) to revise and resubmit.

Upon submitting original work for Formative Peer Review, composers will be prompted to acknowledge their understanding and acceptance of the terms of submission. For more information about these terms, please visit http://publicphilosophyjournal.org/our-guidelines/.