Specialty journal rankings? (2022)

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Specialty journal rankings? (2)

Philosophy of Science:

Tier 1 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Science

Tier 2 - Studies in History & Philosophy of Science, Synthese, European Journal for Philosophy of Science

Tier 3 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science

(Synthese might be reasonably classified as generalist, but their subtitle is "Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science")

Would be curious to hear from others!

Posted by:Io Saturnalia |12/23/2021 at 12:35 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (3)

How do you figure it out? By reading widely in the subfield, and noticing which journals publish lots of content in that subfield, and which publish consistently really good and interesting work in the subfield. As your professional network develops through conferencing, you'll start to get a sense of where people are publishing, where they're trying to publish, how hard it is to get work into various journals, what each journal's idiosyncracies are (some seem to prefer certain topics or methods), etc. And as you start looking at the CVs of people at different career stages in your subfield (which you should be doing!), you'll start getting a sense for where people are publishing at those different stages.

As for Marcus's question:

In aesthetics, I'd say that the consensus is that the British Journal of Aesthetics (BJA) and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (JAAC) are our top venues. Some people might prefer one over the other, but I don't think you'd find much consensus on which one edges out the other.

Historically, my sense is that the second tier was occupied by the Journal of Aesthetic Education and the Journal of Value Inquiry. But I think that consensus has been thrown into disarray over the last while by journals like Estetika: The European Journal of Philosophy, Rivista di Estetica, Philosophy and Literature, Evental Aesthetics, Debates in Aesthetics, the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, and the Journal of the Philosophy of Games. Then, of course, there are more regional venues like the Nordic Journal of Aesthetics and the Polish Journal of Aesthetics, among others.

I guess that if you wrench my arm and ask me to put them into tiers, I'd come up with roughly the following (on the undertstanding that being in T3 is no knock against those journals at all--there's a lot of really great work across all of them, and I'm happy to read work in any of them):


T2: Estetika, JAE, JVI, P&L, RdE


That's my sense, anyway. Outside the first tier, things are messy and in flux. For my part, I'd happily publish in pretty much any of them. If I were in a position where prestige of venue were important to my prospects, however, then I'd stick to the first tier and to the T20ish generalist journals.

Posted by:Michel |12/23/2021 at 12:45 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (4)

This is the list of journals ranked by specialty that Dan Korman put together on his "Making the Most of Philosophy Grad School with an Eye to the Job Market", which can be found on his website. And Dan attributes this ranking to Leiter (though I've never been able to find it on Leiter's site).

Metaphysics, Epistemology, Phil Language, and Phil Mind
• Excellent: Philosophical Review, Mind, Journal of Philosophy, Nous
• Good: Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Synthese, Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy & Phenomenological Research, Analysis,
• Also Notable: Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Erkenntnis,
Linguistics & Philosophy, Mind & Language, Behavioral & Brain Sciences, Journal of Consciousness Studies, American Philosophical Quarterly, European Journal of Philosophy, Ratio, Journal of Philosophical Logic.

Phil Science, Biology, and Physics
• Excellent: Philosophical Review, Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science,
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
• Good: Biology & Philosophy, Synthese, Erkenntnis, Philosophical Studies, Nous
• Also Notable: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science

Moral, Political, Legal
• Excellent: Ethics, Philosophy & Public Affairs, Philosophical Review, Journal of
• Good: Nous, Journal of Political Philosophy, Mind
• Also Notable: Political Theory, Legal Theory, Law & Philosophy, Oxford Journal of
Legal Studies, Analysis, Economic & Philosophy, Utilitas, European Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Ratio, Philosophical Quarterly.

• Excellent: Phronesis, Philosophical Review, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy
• Good: Classical Quarterly, Apeiron, Journal of the History of Philosophy
• Also Notable: History of Philosophy Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, Ancient
Philosophy, Archiv fur Geschicte der Philosophie.

History of Modern
• Excellent: Philosophical Review, Journal of the History of Philosophy
• Good: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly
• Also Notable: Archiv fur Geschicte der Philosophie, Journal of the History of Ideas,
Review of Metaphysics.
• Note: there are various specialty journals here, many quite reputable among experts
(example: Hume Studies).

• Excellent: Journal of the History of Philosophy, European Journal of Philosophy,
Philosophy & Phenomenological Research
• Good: History of Philosophy Quarterly, British Journal for the History of Philosophy
• Also Notable: Continental Philosophy Review (formerly Man & World), Review of
Metaphysics, Inquiry, Archiv fur Geschicte der Philosophie, Journal of the History of Ideas.

Posted by:sisyphus |12/23/2021 at 12:51 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (5)

I agree with Saturnalia ranking - but only for general phil sc. If by phil sc we include also other subfields such as philosophy of biology, I think that Biology & Philosophy shluld be included - it's really an amazing journal.

Sisyphus: I know you are just reporting these rankings, but saying that Phil Review is a top journal for phil sc is very wierd...with the exception of some classic papers from the 1980s, I dont think I remember any groundbreaking paper in phil sc. But I may be wrong!

Posted by:Weed lover |12/23/2021 at 01:21 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (6)

My subfield is Indian Philosophy. In my opinion, one problem with rankings for this sub-discipline, is that the few specialist journals in which we are publishing are not easily comparable. For instance, two of the top journals are Philosophy East & West and the Journal of Indian Philosophy. But the former is much broader than the latter (anything “East” as the title suggests) and the latter has typically more historical/textual bent. I would not want to rank these two against each other. (Disclaimer: I am a book review editor at PEW.)

For other journals in Indian Philosophy, see discussion of journals at the Indian Philosophy blog, though several years ago now, in 2016 (http://indianphilosophyblog.org/2016/04/24/journals-for-indian-philosophy/). It discusses some of the places where people working in Indian philosophy (comparatively, constructively, historically, etc.) publish. These vary widely, from history journals to generalist journals which are receptive to cross-cultural work to specialty journals which include other disciplines like religious studies.

A 2017 blog post (http://indianphilosophyblog.org/2017/11/15/contemporary-indian-philosophy-and-its-fortunes-and-misfortunes-in-european-and-angloamerican-journals/) discusses changes in journal publishing with regard to Indian philosophy, which are described in more detail here (https://digressionsnimpressions.typepad.com/digressionsimpressions/2017/01/the-disappearance-of-modern-indian-philosophy-from-mind-and-the-philosophical-review.html).

Posted by:Malcolm |12/23/2021 at 02:04 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (7)

@ Weed lover: Agreed. It's a weird list. Just happens to be the only one I've run across that does a comprehensive specialty ranking, as per the OP. Also agree that Biology and Philosophy belongs on a phil sci list even though it only does phil bio. Excellent journal.

Posted by:sisyphus |12/23/2021 at 03:58 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (8)

For what it's worth, I find the Korman listings of ancient journals via sisyphus above to be a bit misleading but not egregiously wrong. From my discussions with other ancient people, I would say that the top four ancient-specific journals are roughly (1) 'Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy,' (2) 'Phronesis,' and (3 tie) 'Apeiron' and 'Ancient Philosophy.'

In any case, I highly recommend the 'Endoxa' blog to any interested in information and data on publishing in ancient philosophy journals who are not yet aware of it:


Posted by:ancient person |12/23/2021 at 06:19 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (9)

@ancient person

I would agree, but add that the three major general history of philosophy journals (JHP, BJHP, and Archiv) are roughly between Phronesis and Apeiron/Ancient Philosophy.

I have no idea why someone would list PhilReview as a top ancient journal and I was also a bit surprised about how high CQ and HPQ landed. Both are good journals, but I would have thought a paper in Apeiron would be considered more prestigious.

Posted by:Palaios |12/23/2021 at 11:23 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (10)

@Palaios, yes, agreed on all points.

Posted by:ancient person |12/24/2021 at 11:43 AM

Specialty journal rankings? (11)

I guess I took the question to be about *specialty journals*. We all know that top generalist venues are great, but I'd struggle to fit them into a ranking of specialty outlets precisely because while it's nice to publish in them, most almost never publish in aesthetics (or, as Palaios indicates, Ancient, etc.). It's too hard to balance out those considerations, IMO, except to stipulate that the top-tier specialty journals are on a footing with roughly the top twenty or so generalist journals, even if the specialty venue is often the more desirable venue.

Everybody has a good sense of the relative value of those generalist journals, especially across subfields. The more valuable information is how each subfield sees its own specialty journals. After all, how many ancient philosophers have a sense of the aesthetics ranking, or how many 20th c. continentals have a good sense of the ranking for logic and philosophy of mathematics?

Some subfields, of course, have more specialist outlets than others. Aesthetics has a lot, but LEMM doesn't really. So some subfields may not really have a top tier, and instead replace that with a subset of the top generalist venues.

But... yeah. I took the question to be about specialist venues, which is why the inclusion of generalist venues like PR, PPQ, Noûs, Mind, AJP, CJP, etc. seems weird. An interesting but separate question would be which generalist journals are generally friendly outlets for work in a given subfield. (Wher eby 'generally friendly' I mean that it publishes work in that subfield regularly, rather than only occasionally.)

Posted by:Michel |12/24/2021 at 12:28 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (12)

For general history (modern, ancient, etc), JHP is clearly top. I’d rank ‘Archiv’ above HPQ, and equal to BJHP. (Also, my eye is twitching at all the misspellings of ‘Geschichte’. :) ) I’d also rank Review of Metaphysics and Epoche as ever so slightly below HPQ. I also think some of the above lists are missing some more recent, important journals and some on the up and up. So:

A+: JHP, Phil Review
A: BJHP, Archiv für GeschicHte der Philosophie, Phil Imprint
A-: HPQ, Ergo
B+: Epoché, Review of Metaphysics
B: Inquiry, Journal of the History of Ideas

Posted by:History is the best. |12/24/2021 at 01:00 PM

Specialty journal rankings? (13)

Philosophy of religion:

Tier 1 - Oxford Studies in Phil Religion (though it’s semi- invite only which sucks), Faith and Philosophy

Tier 2 - Religious Studies, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, European Journal for Philosophy of Religion

Tier 3 - Philosophia Christi, Sophia

The tiers above are ordered.

I have heard of these but mostly ignore them - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, The Heythrop Journal

Inactive - Philo

Posted by:Religion grad |12/27/2021 at 02:53 AM

Specialty journal rankings? (14)

@History is the best: I agree with your ranking. Not sure why HPQ is so high. Though I would put Inquiry in at least the A- range (for me it's clearly above HPQ, Review of Metaphysics, Epoche).

Posted by:another historian |12/30/2021 at 08:01 PM

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