PPJ Submission Guidelines

Submitting to the Current versus the Journal

All original pieces must be submitted through the Current. All are visible to the public as soon as they are approved for posting by an editor. There are three possible pathways from there:

  1. Post to the Current (without Formative Peer Review, FPR). This yields a non-peer reviewed publication that should be treated as a blog post.
  2. Post to the Current with FPR only for improving the piece (without being considered for publication in the Journal). This yields collegial, high-quality suggestions for improving the piece. The composer may request multiple rounds of FPR and revision. Upon withdrawal from FPR, the composer may submit the piece elsewhere.
  3. Post to the Current with FPR for considered publication in the Journal. This is the only pathway that could end in a peer-reviewed publication in the Public Philosophy Journal proper. Together, editors, composers, reviewers, and review coordinators decide how many rounds of FPR and revision are needed before the editors have enough information to accept or reject a piece (Summative Peer Review).

Our 4 Style Criteria

Pieces submitted to the PPJ for FPR and possible publication will be assessed according to these four style criteria:

  1. Accessibility: Connects with the public at large and resonates with specific, publicly engaged individuals and organizations. This usually requires unpacking technical terms, linking to source and related materials, providing transcripts for audio and video, and providing alt-text for images.
  2. Relevance: Timely and responsive to an issue that concerns a specific public community.
  3. Intellectual Coherence: Compelling and well-ordered according to the genre of the piece.
  4. Scholarly Dialogue: Cites and considers related dialogues within and beyond the academy, whether encountered in peer-reviewed literature or other mediums of scholarly conversation such as blogs, magazines, podcasts, galleries, and listservs.

Guiding Questions for the 4 Style Criteria

Some questions to consider as you prepare your submission include:

1. Accessibility

  • How much can you replace technical terms with ordinary language?
  • When used, are technical terms made accessible to a broad audience?
  • How is the piece made available those who are hard of hearing, have vision impairments, or are otherwise differently abled?
  • How are all genders treated equitably in the piece?

2. Relevance

  • To which specific audience(s) (communty(ies)) are you addressing your submission?
  • What organizations and individuals are engaged in public initiatives associated with the questions or issues addressed by the submission?
  • Why is this specific issue of interest to this specific community?

3. Intellectual Coherence

  • For pieces that make an argument: Can readers, listeners, and viewers follow the reasoning?
  • For pieces that express through art: Can readers, listeners, and viewers absorb the intended message?

4. Scholarly Dialogue

  • Does the work open doors to constructive communication with others interested in the topic but not directly engaged with it?
  • How will the submission be recognized as excellent scholarship?

Submission Guidelines

Format and Citation Style

Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. In essays, footnotes should be used for citations and expansions.

Abstracts or descriptions for each piece should range between 100-150 words.

File Formats

Our digital platform allows the PPJ to accept textual, graphic, and audio/visual submissions. The following file types are accepted:

  • Text: .html (Instructions for converting a .docx to an .html are here).
  • Images: .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .tiff (up to 2 MB*)
  • Audio: .aiff, .m4a, .mp3, .wav (up to 2 MB*)
  • Video: .avi, .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv (up to 2 MB*).

*Larger files must be uploaded to an online service and submitted as a URL to the Current.

Do not use apostrophes or quotations marks in the filename when uploading any type of file.

How to Request FPR During Submission

When submitting original content through the Current, you can check a box to request FPR. This will open three more required fields:

  1. Where are you? We expect this submission to be sufficiently developed to allow for meaningful feedback. Briefly explain its stage of development.
  2. What do you need? What kind of feedback are you most interested in receiving from reviewers? What concerns you?
  3. Community Ethics Statement: This brief statement requires 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.

Composers submitting larger audiovisual files using the URL submission form must submit their answers to these questions to editors@publicphilosophyjournal.org at the same time as submitting the form to the Current.

Reviewer & Composer Confirmation Letters

PPJ Formative Peer Review requires much more engagement between composers and reviewers than is traditionally part of academic scholarship. We encourage its recognition as an intellectually rigorous process, just as we encourage recognition that works published in the Journal are strong contributions to their pertinent fields and to public philosophy more broadly. The editors are happy to provide confirmation letters for inclusion in packages for tenure and promotion reviews, applications for graduate study, and applications for academic or non-academic employment. If your work is published in the Journal or is currently under review, you may request a letter by contacting editors@publicphilosophyjournal.org.