Focus and Scope
What we publish
Philosophy of Science aims to publish the best original work in philosophy of science, broadly construed. This work will advance the discussion in some area of philosophy of science or the philosophy of a particular science in a way that is of direct interest to experts in the field, and in a way that explicitly acknowledges and responds to existing work in the area. All submissions are peer reviewed.
Submissions that do not take into account the existing literature on the topic of the paper and related topics are not publishable in Philosophy of Science.
Articles make novel contributions to current research and debates in contemporary philosophy of science and locate this new work in relation to existing literature in the field.
- Articles are limited to 9500 words all inclusive (title, abstract, footnotes, citations).
- Authors may have no more than one peer-reviewed submission (article or discussion note) under consideration at any time.*
- Authors who have published an article in Philosophy of Science (not including book reviews or discussion notes) in the past 12 months may not submit another article until 12 months after the date of acceptance.*
- Authors may submit no more than one article every 6 months to the journal. Co-authored papers with different first authors may also be considered at the discretion of the Editorial team.*
*Note that these rules do not include submissions related to the PSA biennial meetings, which are handled separately by the PSA Program Chair and do not count against ordinary article submission quotas.
Discussion Notes, more restricted in scope than articles, engage with and provide focused commentary on a recently published article, or result, of high interest to the philosophy of science community. We encourage Discussion Notes that give attention to recently published articles from the journal.
- Discussion Notes are normally limited to 4000 words all inclusive (title, abstract, footnotes, citations).
- Authors may have no more than one peer-reviewed submission (article or discussion note) under consideration at any time.
- Authors who have published a discussion note in Philosophy of Science in the past 12 months may not submit another until 12 months after the date of acceptance.
- Authors may submit no more than one discussion note every 6 months to the journal. Co-authored discussion notes with different first authors may also be considered at the discretion of the Editorial team.
Book reviews provide helpful summary and brief discussion of a recent book publication for the journal‘s readership.
- Book reviews are solicited, but members of the PSA may offer to review books.
- Book reviews are normally limited to 1500 words.
- Book reviews are checked by the Editorial team, and modest revisions are frequently requested. Book reviews are subject to approval by the Editor.
Essay reviews, longer than standard book reviews, critically engage with the content of a recent book publication. Essay reviews may also sometimes focus on a cluster of related works or themes that are of interest to the journal‘s readership.
- Essay reviews are solicited, but members of the PSA may suggest topics for essay reviews.
- Essay reviews are normally limited to 4000 words.
- Essay reviews are checked by the Editorial team, and modest revisions are frequently requested. Essay reviews are subject to approval by the Editor.
Peer Review Process
The Decision-Making Process
Submissions that are appropriate for the journal are sent to two referees for blind review. The Editor may, at their discretion, seek additional reports. Final decisions regarding publication are made by the Editor in consultation with Associate Editors.
Referees are selected at the discretion of the Editor and Associate Editors.
Time to decision
Editorial decisions are made soon after receipt of all reports from referees. Since April 2009, we have typically returned a first decision within two months of initial submission.
Submitting To The Journal
All submissions must be made through the Philosophy of Science Editorial Manager website.
Please read these guidelines carefully to help avoid delays with your manuscript.
The submission should not have been previously published and should not be currently under review by another journal. Submissions should be double-spaced. The manuscript should include an abstract of approximately 100 words. A paper may not exceed 9,500 words, including abstract, footnotes, and references.
Manuscripts must be prepared for anonymous review. Please see the section 'Preparing Your Paper for Anonymous Review' on this page.
Consult the formatting guidelines to prepare your paper for publication. Exact adherence to the guidelines is not mandatory at the review stage, but you will be asked to reformat your paper if it is accepted.
When you submit your paper on the Philosophy of Science Editorial Manager website, the paper will be built as an Adobe PDF which you must view and approve. When you view the file, make sure that it has all figures, illustrations, references, footnotes and the bibliography. The submission will only be forwarded to the editor after you have approved the submitted files.
Acceptable submission formats are determined by the Editorial Manager software. Editorial Manager must be able to build an Adobe PDF from your files. As noted, you will be required to preview and approve the built file before the submission is complete.
File formats must be PDF (for submission only), Microsoft Word, TeX, or LaTeX. If you are using TeX or LaTeX, please ensure that your source file can be compiled using only standard libraries.
Figures and Illustrations
We strongly prefer that graphics be incorporated into the main file wherever possible. If you send us figures in a separate file, please make sure that:
- There is just one figure per file.
- It is very clear where the figures should be inserted into the text.
- The figure is print-quality. Scans are not normally print-quality.
- You have permission to use any figure that you have taken from another source. (Beginning January 2022, Philosophy of Science will be published by Cambridge University Press. Please obtain permissions that will allow publication with Cambridge University Press.)
- The file is in a standard, widely readable, format for graphical files — JPEG, GIF, EPS (Encapsulated Postscript), or TIFF.
Preparing Your Paper for Anonymous Review
As a step toward avoiding bias in the review process, the journal makes every effort to review papers without communicating the author's identity to the reviewers. To this end, please ensure that your paper does not contain information that communicates your identity to the anonymous reviewers. We will be unable to begin the review process until we feel that this has been suitably accomplished.
To prepare your paper for anonymous review, please follow these guidelines:
There is no need for a title page. The first page of the paper should contain the title, immediately followed by the abstract, immediately followed by text of the paper. Your name should not appear on this page as the author.
Generic references to 'I' or 'me' (or other first-person pronouns) are permitted, unless they appear in conjunction with evidence that would lead the reader to infer to whom the pronoun refers.
"In this paper, I will show that adaptationism is a grave sin."
"My argument in section 2 applies here as well."
"As I have argued elsewhere..."
Correction: "As Jones (2001) has argued..."
"As I argue in (Jones 2001)."
Correction: "As Jones (2001) argues."
"This argument is fleshed out in my (2001)."
Correction: "Jones (2001) makes this argument in more detail."
Check that the paper has no running headers or footers with your name
Omit acknowledgements or references to personal communication with other academics.
How to Submit
Registration and login are required to submit papers to Philosophy of Science and to check the status of current submissions. Registration and submission are done through the Philosophy of Science Editorial Manager which can be accessed at https://www.editorialmanager.c...
Manuscripts should be submitted to Philosophy of Science with the understanding that upon publication an exclusive license to publish will be granted to the Philosophy of Science Association. The author will retain the right to put an electronic pre-print copy of the paper on a personal web site, as well as the non-exclusive right to reuse their paper in any future work authored or edited by themselves.
Philosophy of Science publishes five issues per year, four regular issues, dated January, April, July, and October.We also publish a December issue containing the Proceedings from the most recent biennial meeting of the PSA.
Open Access (OA) is the practice of making published research freely accessible to all. Philosophy of Science is what is known as a hybrid journal, meaning that although the journal itself is available via subscription, individual articles can be published under an Open Access model, at the author’s choice. Although there are many models of Open Access publishing, the most commonly considered are Green OA, which primarily concerns manuscripts prior to copyediting, and Gold OA, which primarily concerns the article in its final published form, otherwise known as the Version of Record.
The information below is provided to help you understand your options when submitting to and publishing in Philosophy of Science. For more detailed information, please see Cambridge’s page on Open Access policy, our Hybrid Open Access FAQs and the publishing license for Philosophy of Science.
Authors publishing in Philosophy of Science retain the non-exclusive right to reuse their article in any future work authored or edited by themselves.
A preprint is an early version of an article prior to the version accepted for publication in a journal. This journal allows preprints to be posted anywhere at any time, including before submission to the journal. For more information, see our full preprint policy.
Articles published by Cambridge University Press in Philosophy of Science automatically fall under the Green Open Access policy. In brief, this policy stipulates that authors retain the right to re-use and deposit the version of their manuscripts accepted by the journal. This version can incorporate changes that result from revisions and peer review, but before the article is copyedited and typeset. Authors can post the manuscript to a personal webpage, department or institutional repository, or subject-area repository (for example, PhilSci-Archive) at any time after the article has been accepted. However, authors are not permitted to post the manuscript to a commercial repository or social media site, such as ResearchGate or Academia.edu; instead, authors are encouraged to post abstracts and a link to the item on Cambridge Core. In all cases, authors must link to the article on Cambridge Core when available, and state that the manuscript is available for private research and study, not redistribution.
Additionally, Philosophy of Science allows authors to post the final, published Version of Record to a personal webpage, department or institutional repository, or subject-area repository 12 months after publication.
Under Gold Open Access the author can publish under a Creative Commons license, enabling anyone to access and redistribute the content and, depending upon the license, re-use the content in new or derivative works with attribution. The terms of re-use for Gold Open Access content are stated in the copyright line of the article.
Gold Open Access is supported by an article processing charge (APC) typically paid by the author’s funding body or institution.
Find the APC for this journal in our full list of APC charges.
Read and Publish agreements to support Open Access. Authors at participating institutions may be eligible for waivers or discounts, depending on the deal. See Cambridge Core Read and Publish agreements to find out more.
Cambridge Core Share allows a read-only version of a final published PDF (the Version of Record) to be shared and easily accessed by anyone. Core Share links, and Core Share PDFs containing the links, can be freely shared on social media sites and scholarly collaboration networks to enhance both the impact and discoverability of research.