PPJ Style and Submission Guidelines

Our Mission

The Public Philosophy Journal seeks 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 publication practices. Thus, we 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.

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

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

For more about the PPJl Formative Peer Review process, please visit this page.

Guiding Questions for Composers & Reviewers

Please keep the PPJ mission statement in mind when developing the tone of your submission. The language of projects submitted to the journal should reflect this mission. This means that the use of specialized technical vocabulary should be minimal, and that explication and contextualization should accompany technical terms, whenever appropriate, in the body of the submitted projects. Some questions to consider as you prepare your submission to the Public Philosophy Journal include:
  • What issue of public concern does your submission address and why is this particular issue 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 interested in the topic but not 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?
  • Can the more technical, academic framing be refined to increase a broader public’s understanding of the topic without undermining the academic credibility of the submission?
  • How will the submission be recognized as excellent scholarship?
  • How will the submission be recognized by the public as compelling and important?

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, 17th edition. Please refer to the remaining sections of this style guide for additional specifications for submissions to the PPJ Current.

Formatting Original Content

Our digital platform allows the PPJ 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. The editors may request revisions of submissions that are overly long or excessively 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 avoid using apostrophes and quotations marks in the filename when uploading any type of file.

Submitting Text Files

Per the guidelines set in the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th 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 the Chicago Manual of Style footnotes and bibliography style for citations. Although we expect the majority of footnotes to be citational, composers should feel free to expand on points in footnotes as needed. Composers 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 in the footnotes, followed by a CMS style shortened citation for subsequent references. 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. Please consider the following examples of full and shorted book citations and refer to the Chicago Manual of Style, chapter 14, for a complete explanation of this citation style and additional examples:
  1. Firstname Lastname, Title of Book (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), 1-14.
  2. Lastname, Title of Book, 15.
Composers 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

All new submissions of shared or original content are processed through 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 a composer name widget for each name entered in the External Composers field. When entering multiple composers, remember to insert the cursor after each name widget so that composers 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 upload an appropriate image to accompany your submission.

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

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.