Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy Journals

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A blog reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

This comment is intended to further discussion of the long thread on Leiter about the status of research and teaching (at the Ph.D. level) of Chinese philosophy in the U.S and the West.

Over the decade during which I’ve been doing research in philosophy (dating from the time I finished coursework in grad school), I have spelled my research projects in the Scottish Enlightenment with periodic research projects in other areas. Last year I finally published a book on my main research topic. Not wanting to get burned out in that area of specialization, I decided to return to some earlier interests in ancient Chinese philosophy and write a few papers.

Two are finished and prepared for submission to journals that publish in East Asian philosophy in English. My hunch was that Philosophy East & West (PEW) was heads and shoulders above the other journals in that family, including Dao, Journal of Chinese Philosophy (JCP) and Asian Philosophy (AP). But a colleague mentioned to me that she thinks Journal of Chinese Philosophy is best. I looked online and found no discussion of the quality and rankings of these journals. This surprised me a bit, but I still had a means to decide where to send my papers. I checked the latest editions of the big red Directories (American & International) published by the Philosophy Documentation Center to find these journals’ acceptance rates. Here is what I found:

Asian Philosophy
It is edited by someone in a theology program. No acceptance and revision rates were released.

Dao
Unlisted in the 23rd edition of Directory of American Philosophers (2006-7). Perhaps it is there and I missed it, but I doubt it. I find this very curious since it dates from back in 2001.

Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Listed (p. 354) and published acceptance and revision rates: 50% of papers are accepted and 50% of those require significant revision prior to publication. Refereeing is not blind.

Philosophy East & West
Listed (p. 369) and published acceptance and revision rates: 15% of papers are accepted and 25% of those require significant revision prior to publication. Blind refereeing.

First, thanks should go out to the editors at PEW & JCP for being willing to publish their acceptance rates. That kind of transparency itself increases the reputation of journals in my opinion. The results confirmed my personal ranking of the journals based on articles I’ve read in them. What surprised me was (i) just how high JCP’s acceptance rate is, (ii) that Dao is unlisted, and (iii) Asian Philosophy doesn’t published its rates.

Typically acceptance rates are a good predictor of the quality of a journal’s published articles. But perhaps this is not true in Chinese philosophy journals. Since I don’t consider myself part of the culture of Chinese philosophers, I’d like to know how these and other journals are appraised by people who are. In short, for someone who aspires to publish the best work in Chinese philosophy, where ought she submit? Where ought she not submit?

These seem like fair questions — or do they? Comments are welcome.

Author: Manyul Im

University of Bridgeport

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