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How does a philosopher publish a paper? Does it work as in natural science where the steps are:

  1. Find an appropriate call for papers
  2. Submit a paper within a deadline
  3. Receive anonymous peer-reviews
  4. Send a final version for publication in the proceedings
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    In BOTH natural sciences and philosophy, your eyes should be on journal articles NOT conference papers. Often the first issue of the year describes instructions for applicable content and how to format it. You can ask people what are the decent journals in your subspecialty (and will over time learn their flavors from looking at them.) – guest Feb 3 at 17:47
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    @guest, this actually differs by field. In CS, for example, conferences are extremely important and they are where things both happen and are developed. Whether it is like that in philosophy or not, I have no way of knowing. – Buffy Feb 3 at 18:32
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    CS is unusual in that aspect (versus either natural sciences or classical subjects like philosophy). I realize that stack exchange has a very CS bias in the participants, but when you look at academia overall...it's not the norm. The question from the reader was "does it work as in the natural science". Not CS. – guest Feb 3 at 18:53
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    My daughter, the philosopher, suggests that in philosophy, it is in journal articles that you make your reputation. – Buffy Feb 3 at 21:04
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    Journal articles or books (book chapters). – FuzzyLeapfrog Feb 3 at 22:15
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The main difference with the publication process in the humanities is the emphasis tends to be far more on single-author works, and the primary publication venues are journal articles, book chapters in collections, and monographs (i.e. a book). The heavy difference is in the tilt towards books in many humanities fields, sometimes referred to as a "book culture", but this is not universal across fields (or even sub-fields). Journal articles are still pretty typical fare, even in book cultures - the main difference being "can an academic in that field get tenure without a book or two or three".

But yes, there are indeed philosophy journals, and this page gives a nice quick overview of what are considered a few of the top ones. As a general idea of the publication process, check the memo to authors for The Journal of Philosophy, or the Instructions to Authors for MIND.

These are not so much calls for papers, as they are open to submissions to whatever is considered on-topic and relevant/good for that journal (read the journals guidelines/author guide for starters, and if it seems of interest you'll want to read through previous proceedings of that journal to see if the type of work published there suits you). Calls for papers on more specific topics would be more expected of special editions that some journals put together on occasion.

But yes, looking over the author guidelines you see its all pretty standard fare in terms of process. Most use some form of blinded review (usually at least the reviewers don't know who submitted the paper), and some use triple-anonymous where even the editor doesn't know who submitted the paper. The rest of the process is pretty standard - the editors can desk-reject what the like, the remainder of interesting papers get sent out to reviewers and send back the reports, the editors review the reports and then decide on a course of action, there may be revision rounds, etc. If the paper is ultimately accepted they work it up and publish it in according to their schedule, which is usually once every X months.

Journals are less driven by deadlines in terms of submission periods, because of course if you miss the date for X proceedings there is always X+1. But overall, the humanities have a publication culture that is at least not completely alien to those of us who have most of our experience in the "other culture" (to reference C. P. Snow's formulation of two cultures, though in practice there are far more than two).

  • What about the process to publish a book? – Bob Feb 15 at 19:47
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    @Bob Books are quite a different beast entirely, but generally the formal process starts with a book proposal: katelynknox.com/writing-first-humanities-book/… Its a part of the academic world I have no first-hand experience with, and I haven't even talked much with fellow academics about the process of books (I do know that 'popular' and 'academic' books work quite differently, but that's about it). It's sufficiently a unique process that you'd need to make a separate question, and hopefully someone more personally acquainted can say more. – BrianH Feb 15 at 21:11

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