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Philosophy - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science | Synthese – incl. option to publish open access (Societies)



An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science

Editors-in-Chief: O. Bueno; C. Dutilh Novaes; W. van der Hoek

ISSN: 0039-7857 (print version)
ISSN: 1573-0964 (electronic version)

Journal no. 11229

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We welcome Special Issue Proposals

What is a Special Issue?

Special issues are usually initiated by members of the philosophical community, often in association with a significant conference or workshop. As such they reflect the present interests of the community and take the pulse of philosophy today, so to speak. They give young researchers an opportunity to gain experience as editors, often in cooperation with more senior members of the field. They might help in obtaining sponsorship for conferences, encourage serious contributions to conferences, and lead to further development of ideas presented in professional meetings. In a sense, they give the philosophical community partial ownership of its journals. To further enhance this feature, we will open all new special issues to submission by anyone in the community.
We would like to add that in Synthese there is no, there has never been any, competition between general submissions and special-issue submissions. A general submission article is NEVER rejected because there are too many special-issue articles to leave room for it. Each submission to Synthese, either general or special, is accepted or rejected on its own merits.

How to propose a Special Issue?

Please download
- The Special Issue proposal form
- The Special Issue Guidelines for Editors
You can find both documents on the right side of this webpage below the heading FOR AUTHORS AND EDITORS
Please take into account these important criteria for special issues:
(i) Special issues are initiated by members of the community through a formal proposal that includes a detailed description of the proposed topic, justification of its value and relevance, evidence of the readiness of guest editors, a list of committed contributors, and abstracts of their papers.
(ii) Each special issue will be accompanied by an open call for papers, so that anyone in the community can contribute to a special issue. Guest editors will distribute the call for submissions widely. In response to these calls, potential authors will have five months to submit their manuscripts to a special issue. We aim at gender balance in our special issues. In preparing an application for a special issue, please take this goal into account.
(iii) The acceptance process is subject to high standards, both in terms of the quality of the contributions and their diversity.
(iv) All submissions undergo a double-anonymous review. Two acceptance recommendations by qualified reviewers are required for an acceptance recommendation by the guest editor.
(v) Junior guest editors are encouraged to team up with more senior guest editors and vice versa.
(vi) The final decision on each article approved by the guest editor is made by the editors in chief.

What can you expect if your Special Issue is accepted?

All submissions to the SI and all communication with reviewers and authors should be done through Synthese’s electronic editorial system (Editorial Manager, EM).
Papers in an SI need to undergo the same review process as any other submission to Synthese. This means that at least two referees will review them, and acceptance for the journal requires two independent acceptance recommendations from reviewers. Papers can, and often do, go through more than one round of reviews before they can be accepted for publication. Please note that “minor revisions” is not the same as “acceptance”, and a paper that receives the former recommendation still needs to be sent back to the reviewers. When the two reviewers you invite come up with contradictory recommendations (“reject” and “minor revisions” or “reject and accept” being typical cases), a third reviewer needs to be invited to break the tie. Prior to the review process, there is no guarantee that any paper will be accepted.
Note also that papers that receive a “major revisions” and a “rejection” recommendation are typically rejected; papers that receive a “minor revisions” and a “major revisions” recommendation typically receive a “major revisions” decision; papers that receive an “acceptance” and a “minor revisions” recommendation receive a “minor revisions” decision. Of course, throughout this process the content and details of the particular reports are crucial.
Whenever a reviewer recommends “accept”, but has suggestions for further improvements, this recommendation should be treated as “minor revisions”. After receiving the revised version of the manuscript, you should either check by yourself whether the suggestions have been adequately dealt with or send the paper back to the reviewer before making your final recommendation.
The quality of the reports is equally decisive. In particular, reports that are too short (e.g. just a few sentences long) and/or that fail to engage with the content of the manuscript do not carry much weight. In this case, an additional, more substantial report needs to be secured.
Each SI has a corresponding Editor-in-Chief from Synthese, who will work with guest editors to answer any questions they may have about the review process and who will ensure that the journal’s refereeing procedures have been properly followed. The publication of the papers in an SI, as with any paper in Synthese, is subject to a final deliberation by the Editors-in-Chief. Please inform authors who submit to your SI that the final decisions regarding their contribution is made after the completed review process. In other words, your decision in the Editorial Management system (EM) is interpreted as a recommendation, not a decision. (The corresponding Editor-in-Chief for an SI is typically the one who conveys to guest editors the acceptance of their SI.)
Guest editors can submit a manuscript to the SI they are editing. These manuscripts will need to be reviewed. To avoid conflict of interest, the corresponding Editor-in-Chief from Synthese will be responsible to identify suitable reviewers and make a decision on guest editors’ manuscripts. When you submit a paper of your own to the SI, please notify your corresponding Editor-in-Chief.
Guest editors will also typically submit an introduction to their SI. Please treat this in the same way as a contribution of yourself: submit the introduction through the Editorial Manager system and notify the Editor-in-Chief when you do. The Editor-in-Chief may send the introduction to a related expert for comments. Make sure that you submit your introduction before the last paper for the issue has been processed, since otherwise we run the risk that the SI will appear before the introduction is considered.
Note further that only original articlesarticles that have not been and will not be published elsewhere by the authors and have no significant parts that fall under this categoryare accepted for publication in the journal. The originality of all articles should be verified by the guest editors before they are sent for review. In case of doubt, the guest editors should consult the Editors-in-Chief right away.
Finally, please note that papers including offensive, discriminatory or intolerant language, impolite tone, personal attacks, libel, defamation, grossly unfair criticism, or deliberate misrepresentation are excluded from all issues of Synthese. If there is a possibility of an appearance of any of these in any of the articles included in the proposed SI, such an article must be flagged by the guest editor who has to notify the Editor-in-Chief in charge of the SI before the paper is sent for review.

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    Synthese is a philosophy journal focusing on contemporary issues in epistemology, philosophy of science, and related fields. More specifically, we divide our areas of interest into four groups: (1) epistemology, methodology, and philosophy of science, all broadly understood. (2) The foundations of logic and mathematics, where ‘logic’, ‘mathematics’, and ‘foundations’ are all broadly understood. (3) Formal methods in philosophy, including methods connecting philosophy to other academic fields. (4) Issues in ethics and the history and sociology of logic, mathematics, and science that contribute to the contemporary studies Synthese focuses on, as described in (1)-(3) above.    

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