ETHICAL THEORY AND MORAL PRACTICE REVIEW POLICY
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (ETMP) aims to publish the best work produced in all fields of practical philosophy, regardless of the traditions or schools of thought from which it derives. The contribution of the reviewers that assist us each year is vital for achieving this aim.
ETMP follows a double-anonymous peer-review process. This document provides some guidance to support reviewers in their important work, drawing on the British
Philosophical Association / Society for Women in Philosophy-UK Good Practice for Journals.
The peer-review process aims to determine whether any particular paper advances the field sufficiently to merit publication in ETMP, and whether there might be ways in which the paper (and the engagement it might receive) could be enhanced. While the ultimate responsibility for reaching a decision on any particular submission rests with the journal’s editorial team, reviewers have their own responsibility both to their field and to the authors who are trying to advance this field. This responsibility includes helping authors improve their papers and, if necessary, improve on their research more widely. It is therefore advisable that reviewers clearly indicate whether the main issues they raise concern the presentation of the specific argument in the paper or the underlying research (or some of its assumptions).
The ETMP editorial team is committed to ensuring that all colleagues involved in the review process – authors, reviewers, and editors – partake in a stimulating, constructive, and supportive experience. The reviewer’s role is not only that of an examiner but also, and most importantly, that of a mentor. Even when a reviewer recommends rejecting a paper (and over 80% of submissions are rejected), the message should be conveyed respectfully. It might be very difficult to know how best to advise the author of a paper that looks particularly weak. But in these cases, the respectful tone of the review is as important as its content. It is also important that the report considers the specificities of the paper. Reviewers are not there to suggest the kind of paper they would want to read (or write), but to see whether the actual paper they are reading has some potential and how it can be improved on its own terms.
Because reviewers are invited as experts in their field, it is quite common that they have written on topics close to those addressed by the paper they are reviewing. If a reviewer thinks that some of their own published works can be beneficial for improving the paper, they may refer to it. However, self-promoting references should be avoided. Last but not least, a helpful report is detailed but concise.
To ensure that the peer-review process remains double-anonymous, we ask reviewers to refrain from searching paper titles online and to alert the editors prior to refereeing a paper if they know or have a strong suspicion about who wrote it.
The ETMP editorial team is responsible for ensuring that these good practices are followed as closely as possible throughout the review process. Prospective reviewers may contact the editors [link] with any question or comment about this document.
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