Fairfield University Receives $75,000 Grant to Help Develop Best Ethical Practices in Philosophy Publication
Fairfield University has received a $75,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the “Conduct Unbecoming: Toward a Code of Publication Ethics in Philosophy” initiative. Enabled by this support, the project team, led by Fairfield University associate professor of philosophy and co-director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program, Kris Sealey, PhD, will spend the next several months engaging with the philosophy publishing community on the development of best practices of and recommendations for a code of publication ethics that journal editors, publishers, and professional societies both in philosophy and in the humanities could adopt and adapt.
The grant funds a 7.5-month engagement with the academic philosophy community that will involve structured focus groups and collective and in-depth discussion geared toward identifying and addressing issues such as evolving forms of scholarly misconduct, diversity in citation and engagement practice, varieties of plagiarism, implicit bias in research, peer review, and editorial practices as well as the mechanisms and practices (both existing and desired) for rectification of the scholarly record.
In light of a lack of agreement about such issues across much of the discipline, the goal of the grant is to develop, with the input of the philosophy publishing community (editors, publishers, and scholars), a set of explicit and clear guidelines for publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, and authors.
Dr. Sealy will be joined by a group of collaborators that includes editors of philosophy journals, university presses, and members of key American Philosophical Association committees that work on issues of publication, diversity, and inclusion., including Amy E. Ferrer, Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association; Rebecca Kennison, Executive Director and Principal at K|N Consultants; Yannik Thiem, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Studies at Villanova University; Adriel M. Trott, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Gender Studies Steering Committee at Wabash College; and Kyle Powys Whyte, PhD, Timnick Chair in the Humanities and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.
“It’s an honor to be working on this project with my esteemed colleagues,” said Dr. Sealey. “We all understand philosophy to be not only a site out of which bodies of knowledge are produced, but also — more importantly — a site out of which producers of knowledge are legitimized as such. It is 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,” she said.
Said Dr. Thiem: “Being a part of this project is particularly exciting, given Fairfield’s commitment to the liberal arts and social justice, to work together on an initiative where we as humanists can advance publication ethics in philosophy and hopefully contribute to the larger efforts in ensuring that scholarship meets the highest ethical standards.”
“Through its Jesuit mission, Fairfield University is committed to endeavors that ground scholarly pursuits in a foundation of social responsibility and diverse learning communities,” said Dr. Sealey. “To this end, our project is well suited to find its home at Fairfield.”