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Journal Policies


Editorial Oversight | Peer Review Process | Organization and Governance | Business Practices | Symposia |

Editorial Oversight

New Editors and Co-editors are selected by consensus among existing Editor(s) and Co-editors. Political Philosophy does not employ 'guest editors' except in rare cases of submissions where the Editor and Co-editors are all conflicted; in such cases the Editor chooses a substantively appropriate person from among the Associate Editors or Editorial Board to handle the submission. The Editor, Co-editors, Associate Editors and Editorial Board members are all appointed for 5-year terms, which are renewable.

The Editor is responsible for liaising with the publisher, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), and for making initial decisions on all submissions, whether to desk-reject them or to assign them to himself or one of the other Co-editors for handling. Whomever is assigned a submission to handle is responsible for either desk-rejecting the submission or choosing peer reviewers for it. Each editor is solely responsible for coming to an editorial decision on submissions that they have been assigned to handle.

Articles are only accepted after double anonymous peer review. The Editor or Co-editor who has been assigned to handle the submission decides whether or not to accept it on the basis of peer review reports and that editor's own reading of the submission in light of those reports. In rare cases a guest editor is appointed to handle a submission because the Editor and Co-editors are all conflicted. In those cases, the guest editor is solely responsible for either desk-rejecting or arranging for peer review of the submission and for deciding whether or not to accept it for publication. This is reached on the basis of those peer review reports and the guest editor's own reading of the submission in light of those reports.

Political Philosophy cultivates a broad and experienced Editorial Board that contains members from across different nations, academic institutions, genders and demographics. Potential board members are approached by the editorial team while keeping this diversity in mind.

Peer Review Process

The Editor screens all submissions for quality and fit. Submissions that pass those tests are assigned to a handling editor (the Editor or one of the Co-editors), who either desk-rejects or sends to referees (usually two) for advice.

When the handling editor is inclined to desk-reject a submission but is not sure, they sometimes send the article to a single referee for quick advice—just to the editor, without comments for the author necessarily—as to whether it should be desk-rejected or sent to referees for full review.

When referee reports have been received, the handling editor makes a binding editorial decision on the basis of those reports and their own judgment as informed by the reports.

Polictical Philosophy operates a two-stage, double-anonymous peer review process. The author and reviewer should be anonymous at all stages of the review.

The journal does, however, allow referees to waive anonymity if they want to do so. In such cases the editor(s) inform the author of the referee's identity and leave it to the author to make contact, if they so desire.

In some fields it is almost inevitable that anyone with the expertise to referee a submission may recognize the author. In those cases we ask referees to proceed just so long as they can give the paper a fair reading despite having an idea of who wrote it.

Peer reviewers for Political Philosophy are sought primarily through personal contacts and the editorial team's knowledge of the field, supplemented sometimes by keyword searches on PhilPapers.

Political Philosophy does not allow for authors to suggest peer reviewers, nor will the journal use peer reviewer suggestions offered by the author as this is considered a manipulation of the peer review process.

The entire anonymized submission including any accompanying files designated as 'for peer review' are sent to potential referees when asking them to referee it.

According to its double-anonymous peer review policy, Political Philosophy does not publish peer review reports alongside articles, or the names of the peer reviewers who have undertaken review of the article. Anonymized peer review reports are held securely and privately in the journal’s publishing platform for the author to access whenever they choose to.

Instructions for Peer Reviewers

Reviewers should refer to the information set out in their review task issued through the journal's publishing platform for assistance with their report. Essentially, we are interested in your views as to whether the article meets the journal's standards of scholarly excellence and analytic rigour in its content, structure, langauge and argument.

We ask reviewers to provide the author with comments and suggestions for improvement of the article. They may also add comments to the text of the article and upload the annotated document, if they see fit.

Organization and Governance

Political Philosophy is overseen and governed by an editorial collective consisting of its Editor and Co-editors. That group collectively sets journal policy and decides collectively on the appointment and reappointment (every five years) of both its own members and of Associate Editors and members of the Editorial Board.

Political Philosophy was launched in 2024 with the OLH by a team that had spent the previous 30 years editing a similar journal, The Journal of Political Philosophy, first for Blackwell and then for Wiley.

Business Practices

Advertising

This journal does not permit any advertising on the journal’s website and will never consider requests of any kind from other parties wishing to advertise in the journal or on its webpages.

Direct Marketing

This journal does not engage in any direct marketing practices.

The publisher, OLH, employs a Marketing Officer who undertakes general marketing activities for the publisher including the promotion of its journals. The Marketing Officer does not, however, engage in direct marketing for any OLH journals and this does not affect the editorial decisions of OLH journals in any way.

Other Revenue

This journal is funded by OLH’s Library Partnership Subsidy Model.

The journal occasionally receives one-off subventions, either from home institutions or from research grants. These enable the journal to run conferences that may generate submissions for the journal. Any such subventions are, however, rare one-offs and are not on-going.

The journal also comes with a modest endowment, consisting of previous honoraria. The small amount of interest on this endowment is used only to assist with funding necessary resources that the journal requires.

None of those streams of additional revenue this journal receives affect the editorial decisions of the journal in any way.

Symposia

Political Philosophy does not publish special issues. However, the journal does occasionally publish 'Symposia' that are wholly contained within ordinary issues of the journal.

Ordinarily, 'Symposia' consist of 3 or 4 substantively related articles that have been independently submitted and subjected to the journal's ordinary peer review process. Occasionally, the editors might invite a group of related papers from a conference or workshop to be submitted; and if enough if them are accepted after the ordinary peer-review process has been applied to each submission, they may form a themed 'Symposium'.

The Editor or one of the Co-editors will always be assigned to take direct responsibility for overseeing the editorial processes relating to 'Symposia' in the same way as for ordinary research articles.