I’m curious what people think about the specialty ethics journals – which ones do you read? Which ones do you think are good? Which ones do you think other people read and think are good?
There is Ethics of course, but I think there are reasons for junior
ethics people not to submit their papers there. After getting past the
referee stage, papers have to pass a vote of the associate editors, and
papers evidently fail that vote around half the time. So it’s highly
possible to spend a year satisfying referees only to end up having to
start from scratch with a new journal. (Not that I’m speaking from
personal experience or anything!) That’s risky for someone with a limited amount of time to build a tenure case. (Not that this sort of thing can’t happen at other journals, but it’s less likely.)
After that, there’s Philosophy and Public Affairs, and then a whole bunch of others that are more obscure. Brian Weatherson did a survey a while back that provides a bit of guidance.
1. Ethics 8.5
2. Philosophy and Public Affairs 8.3
3. Social Philosophy and Policy 6.0
4. Utilitas 5.8
5. Journal of Ethics 5.5
6. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5.0
7. Journal of Social Philosophy 4.9
8. Journal of Value Inquiry 4.8
Since the survey, the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy started up; no applied ethics journals (eg Environmental Ethics) were included in the survey. SPP is thematic and (I think) invite-only.
Do these rankings seem accurate? I like Utilitas, and think it’s roughly as good as Ethics or PPA. I have a hard time distinguishing, quality-wise, between the Springer/Kluwer journals (JE, ETMP, and JVI), though I usually find more interesting stuff in ETMP I guess. JESP seems promising, but it is early. My impression (which might be totally mistaken) is that papers published in anything below PPA in Brian’s survey are unlikely to be read by many people (except utilitarians reading Utilitas). So I’ve been pretty reluctant to send papers to any of them lately.