American Philosophical Association’s Press Release

Mellon Foundation Makes Grant to Support Exploration of Publication Ethics in Philosophy

Fairfield University has received a $75,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a code of ethics for publishing in the field of philosophy. The project team, which includes APA executive director Amy Ferrer, will work with philosophers and publishers on publication policies, best practices, and recommendations for a code of publication ethics. The goal is to create a resource that journal editors, publishers, and professional societies both in philosophy and in the humanities more broadly can use and adapt.

Of the project, Ferrer said, “Recent publishing controversies, as well as a more general awareness of diversity issues in the field, have brought increased attention to publication ethics in philosophy. This project aims to explore the intersection of these topics and develop guidance that scholars, editors, and publishers alike can use to ensure that they produce scholarship that meets the highest ethical and intellectual standards. I am proud to be a member of the team working on this important project, which has the potential to make the discipline better for generations to come.”

Some of the issues that the initiative will address include evolving forms of scholarly misconduct, diversity in citation and engagement practice, varieties of plagiarism, and implicit bias in research, peer review, and editorial practices, as well as correcting the scholarly record when missteps occur. In order to address widespread disagreement about these issues, the grant will bring editors, scholars, and publishers together to develop a set of explicit and clear guidelines.

The project team includes lead PI Kris Sealey, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Fairfield University; along with co-PIs Amy E. Ferrer, Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association; Rebecca Kennison, Executive Director and Principal at K|N Consultants; Yannik Thiem, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Studies at Villanova University; Adriel M. Trott, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Gender Studies Steering Committee at Wabash College; and Kyle Powys Whyte, Timnick Chair in the Humanities and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.

Said Sealey, “It’s an honor to be working on this project with my esteemed colleagues. We all understand philosophy to be not only a site out of which bodies of knowledge are produced, but—more importantly—a site out of which producers of knowledge are legitimized as such. So what professional philosophy does within its confines has implications for the broader world. It is therefore crucial that philosophers attend to the ethical standards that ought to apply to editorial decisions, review and citation practices, and publication decisions within the profession. It’s particularly important to do so, given the challenges of diversity, representation, and equity that professional philosophy has historically faced.”

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