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Instructions for contributors

Journal of the American Philosophical Association

Editorial policy

The launch of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association affords a unique opportunity for philosophers around the world to participate in the birth of not simply another philosophy journal, but a preeminent philosophy journal. The editors are committed to the following:

• Publishing papers that go out on a limb, papers that start trends rather than merely adding epicycles to going trends.
• Publishing papers from early-career philosophers as well as established philosophers already recognized for their work.
• Publishing papers on topics that draw from and appeal to diverse philosophical constituencies and traditions.
• Publishing readable papers that can be appreciated by philosophers not already steeped in the subject matter.
• Providing a quick turnaround for submissions and the timely publication of accepted papers: no backlogs, no embargos.
• Providing comments to authors aimed at improving papers and not merely singling out reasons for rejection.

Some existing journals satisfy one or more of these conditions, but few, maybe none, satisfy them all. The editors are dedicated to the idea that the world does not need yet another philosophy journal; the world needs a philosophy journal that serves philosophers by providing a venue for fresh, innovative, accessible scholarship. 

The Journal of the American Philosophical Association will consider manuscripts on any philosophical topic. APA membership is not required for submission or publication. The Journal does not accept book reviews. 

Although the Journal aims to publish papers reflecting the diversity of scholarship in philosophy, our mission precludes publishing papers concerned chiefly with pedagogical matters or papers that address concerns in the profession. This is not because we doubt the importance of pedagogical and professional issues, but because we are endeavoring to provide an open venue for scholarly work in philosophy.

The Journal rarely accepts discussions of articles originally published in other journals.

1. Submissions
All submissions must be made through the Journal’s Scholar One (Manuscript Central) site:  

General enquiries may be sent to the Editor-in-Chief, Professor John Heil. 


Papers must be no longer than 10,000 words including footnotes and references.

The Journal operates with a policy of ‘triple anonymity’: referees and editors assigning papers to referees do not know who the author of a paper is, and the author does not know the referee’s identity. 

Papers should be accessible to readers outside the author’s specialization, so authors should refrain from unnecessary technical flourishes, gratuitous deployment of symbols, and reader-unfriendly abbreviations.

Our aim is to review papers quickly (within 12 weeks) and fairly and to encourage succinct, constructive reports. 

Submission of a paper to the Journal will be taken to imply that it is unpublished and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Upon acceptance of a paper, the author will be asked to assign copyright (on certain conditions) to the Journal.

Accepted papers will appear online as soon as feasible (the target is 6 weeks after acceptance).

The Journal cannot consider more than one paper at a time from any one author, whether as author or as co-author. So, until a final decision to publish or reject as been made on one paper, its author(s) will not be eligible to submit another paper for consideration.

2. Manuscript preparation

Articles submitted to the Journal must be double-spaced, 10,000 words or less (including footnotes and references) with pages numbered throughout consecutively.

In addition to discouraging discursive footnotes, the Journal regards split infinitives and grammatical infelicities inconsistent with Fowler’s Modern English Usage (2d ed) as aberrations that will not survive copy editing.

Articles should be submitted as Word files, not as PDFs. Although multiple word processing formats are supported by ScholarOne, we recommend saving your text documents in .doc or .docx format, if possible. The Journal will accept LaTeX files. If your paper includes symbols, be sure they are created with a Unicode font.

Articles must be accompanied by an abstract of up to 150 words. Keywords will be requested during the article submission process.

All articles should be in English.

Articles must be prepared to allow for anonymous editorial review; acknowledgements and materials that would allow identification of the author should be removed prior to submission. 


Articles will be checked and copy-edited for journal style and US English. Unless the notes below suggest otherwise, please follow the Chicago Manual of Style.


Footnotes should be used sparingly and, where possible, avoided altogether. The journal style does not allow for endnotes. Notes should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals.


Contributors should use the author-date system (‘Harvard system’) with a list of works cited at the end of the article under the heading 'References'. The following style should be used: 

In text: 

(Allison 1983: 201) 

In Allison (1983: 201) 

In reference section at the end of the article:

Works cited should be set out in alphabetical and chronological order in the following format: 

Allison, Henry E. (1983) Kant's Transcendental Idealism. New Haven: Yale University Press. 
Korsgaard, Christine M. (1989a) ‘Morality as freedom’. In Yirmiahu Yovel (ed.), Kant's Practical Philosophy Reconsidered (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers), 23-48. 

Matthews, H. E. (1969) ‘Strawson on transcendental idealism’. Philosophical Quarterly, 19, 204-20. 

Please note that where a passage is cited reference to a page, or sequence of pages, should always be given.

The Journal encourages authors to ask themselves whether there might be significant but under-recognized papers or books by women philosophers, or philosophers from other under-represented groups, that were overlooked in the course of writing their papers and/or assembling their bibliographies.

Tables and diagrams

Tables and diagrams should generally be included in the Word file. However, any complicated images or diagrams should as far as possible be submitted as high resolution tiff or eps files and their approximate position within the text should be indicated in the Word file. References in the text should take the form 'Table 1' for tables and 'Figure 1' for other forms of illustration.

3. Proofs
Contributors should keep a copy of the typescript for correcting proofs. The first named (or otherwise designated corresponding) author will be sent an email with a web link to download their proof. First proofs must be checked carefully and any corrections sent to the Editor without delay (within 7 days of receipt). Corrections may not be accepted if received after the deadline.

Typographical or factual errors only may be changed at proof stage. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for correction of non-typographical errors.

4. Offprints
First named (or otherwise designated corresponding) authors will receive a PDF of their contribution to the Journal, for their own use and distribution to any co-authors. 

 5. Open Access policies

Please visit Journal of the American Philosophical Association and Open Access for information on the Journal’s open access policies, compliance with major funding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository. The Journal complies with all of the mandates on Open Access issued to date, including AHRC’s requirements with respect to REF2020.

(Revised 20 March 2018)