Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Initial Results of Thom Brooks' Journal Survey

Thom Brooks reports the initial results of his journal survey here (see his post for an explanation of the methodology, and try the survey yourself here). Here's a quick summary of some of those most relevant to me (i.e. political philosophy):

1. Journal of Philosophy 87
2. Philosophical Review 84
3. Philosophy & Phenomenological Research 83
3. Nous 83
5. Mind 82
6. Ethics 80
7. Philosophical Studies 79
8. Philosophy & Public Affairs 77
10. Analysis 76
10. Philosophical Quarterly 76
10. American Philosophical Quarterly 76
10. Philosophers' Imprint 76
10. Monist 76
10. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 76
16. Journal of the History of Philosophy 75
16. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 75
20. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74
25. Philosophy 70
25. Ratio 70
28. Journal of Moral Philosophy 69
33. Journal of Ethics 66
42. Journal of Political Philosophy 62
49. Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy 60
53. Ethical Theory & Moral Practice 57
56. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 56
57. Political Theory 55
57. Social Theory & Practice 55
57. Economics & Philosophy 55
62. Law & Philosophy 54
66. Journal of Applied Philosophy 53
70. Political Studies 51
71. Journal of Value Inquiry 51
76. Bioethics 48
78. Politics, Philosophy, Economics 47
90. Ratio Juris 38
97. Res Publica 35
109. Review Journal of Political Philosophy 30
114. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 28

As Thom notes in his own analysis, specialist journals (and a fortiori those that aren't really philosophy journals at all, even if they may publish philosophical work, e.g. Political Studies) seem to fare worse than might be expected. I speculate as to why this might be so in my comment:

I had a few goes at this and have one observation that might explain the poorer than expected showing for Political Studies - namely, we were asked to compare two journals *as philosophy journals*.

Had I been asked to compare Political Studies to, say, The Journal of Value Inquiry (which tied in your poll), I probably would have said that the latter is better qua philosophy journal, even if I regard the former as a better journal simpliciter.

Maybe the poll would have produced less surprising results if we'd been asked not to rank the journals as a whole but asked how we'd rank an average philosophical paper in each journal. (Though then I guess someone might complain that there are no philosophical papers in some.)

Also, I'm inclined to think that, when being asked to rank how good some journal is, qua philosophy journal, it's not unreasonable to favour a more general journal, because it will be of interest to a wider range of philosophers.

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