As editor in chief of Utilitas, it is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of two new associate editors. Dr. Emmanuelle de Champs is Professor of British History and Civilisation at the University of Cergy-Pontoise. She is the author of Enlightenment and Utility: Bentham in France, Bentham in French (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and La déontologie politique ou La pensée constitutionnelle de Jeremy Bentham (Droz, 2008). Dr. Holly Smith is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Her Making Morality Work has just been published by Oxford University Press. So we have now strengthen our editorial roster in both the history of ideas and contemporary moral philosophy.
I would also like to share some information on the journal's “performance.” As I write this in late January, the journal has received 96 articles in the prior twelve months. (This number omits both book reviews and replies.) Our average time from submission to first decision is just under 27 days, and our average time from submission to final decision (including revisions, when authors are given the opportunity to revise) is just over 37 days. Based on my own experiences at other journals, I consider this remarkably swift. Our reviewers obviously receive the lion's share of the credit for this, since I could not turn papers around so quickly unless they were generally quite prompt about completing reviews. But my thanks also go to our managing editor Rachel Carter and her assistant Hani Latif. We do not (yet) have full triple-blind review. However, after Rachel and Hani ensure that papers meet the basic requirements for consideration, e.g. that they fall within our length limits (about which we are unapologetically quite strict), they send me a PDF of the paper from which the author's name is omitted. This allows me to decide whether to send the paper out for review before I become aware of the author's identity. Because Rachel and Hani work on a rolling basis, I can make this decision very soon after papers are received.
In the prior twelve months, our acceptance rate was 18.8%. This is higher than the rates at some journals, lower than the rates at others. But it is appropriate, I think, for a more specialised journal such as Utilitas. Since taking over as editor I have made a concerted effort to bring Utilitas back to its roots as a journal that primarily publishes work that engages in some way with the broad consequentialist tradition. This does mean rejecting papers that fail to engage with this tradition myself, at least unless they really stand out in terms of quality and interest. My impression is that word has gotten out about this, with the result that I receive fewer papers that fall outside the journal's scope than I did previously. That fewer papers are receiving desk rejections means, of course, that the acceptance rate is higher than it would otherwise be.