Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy is a peer-reviewed, online, open access journal that aims to foster the appreciation of science fiction as a medium for philosophical reflection. It focuses on the analysis of philosophical themes in science fiction in all formats, and on their use for the discussion, teaching, and narrative modeling of philosophical ideas.

The journal invites submissions from any discipline in philosophy, including both analytic and continental approaches. It aims both to serve as a medium for academic dialogue and to attract and introduce a non-academic public to philosophical discussions.


Section Policies

Editorial Notes

The Editorial Section contains communications by the Editor, commenting on developments on the Journal and providing an overview of current articles.

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Yearly Theme

The Yearly Theme Articles section contains peer-reviewed articles on subjects that match the Journal's Yearly Theme at the time of  approval for publication.

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General Articles

The General Articles section contains peer-reviewed articles on topics suitable to the Journal's Aim and Scope, but that do not quite fit the Yearly Theme.

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Response Essays

The Response Essays section contains short (1-4 pages) essays responding to philosophical issues in current or past journal articles or to other Responses. The section provides opportunities for continuing philosophical discussion on topics brought up in published articles.
Response Essays are not peer-reviewed, but are subject to editorial approval (i.e., must be submitted through the regular submission process, and must be approved or reviewed before publication).

Response Essays are short pieces of scholarly literature. To be considered for publication, a Response Essay must clearly identify the article it is responding to, and must address the topic with the technical focus and quality of writing expected of a scholarly article, except that it may dispense with preliminaries (if addressed in the original article) and may focus on very specific terms and pronouncements. Terms and positions must be properly explained and developed, and references must be included if necessary.

Response Essays may have their own title, after which will be added (if not included in the submission) "A Response to... [Article Title + Volume Information]."

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Book Reviews

The Book Reviews contains exclusively reviews of books on science fiction and philosophy. JSFP does not review science fiction narratives (SF short stories, novels, etc.); only books that provide a philosophical analysis of SF as a genre, or of specific SF narratives, or books that analyze the ideas and legacy of an SF author or movement.

Because there is some "catching up" to do, there is not at present a limitation on how new a publication should be; JSFP accepts new reviews of "old" books, as long as the review is original and previously unpublished.

Single-author / monograph reviews should provide a fair and accurate presentation of the book's theses, arguments and methodology, and include a critical evaluation of the book reviewed, not limited to a summary of its content. Review of books containing a collection of essays from various authors may instead focus on providing an overview of the book's contents, but should at least include a brief commentary of the perceived value of particular essays to guide a reader.

Book reviews are not peer reviewed, but must be undergo editorial approval and revision/copyediting. Criticism should be respectful in tone, promoting further understanding and discussion of the book's ideas. Reviewers must state that there is no conflict of interest (i.e., personal relationships, gifts, etc.) that might compromise their objectivity in reviewing the book.

The suggested length is 1000-2400 words (1.5 to 4 pages). Reviews should begin with a bibliographical entry, including: with a bibliographical entry for the book that follows the following format:  author (or editor), title, publisher, date, number of pages, price (paperback if available, otherwise hardcover, and electronic), ISBN. We recommend contacting the Editor if you are unsure about the suitability of a specific title.

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Peer Review Process

All articles submitted to the Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy are peer-reviewed according to the following procedure: the Editor evaluates them for suitability of content and topic; if acceptable, the article is examined by at least two reviewers in a double-blind process; reviewers send their recommendation to the Editor, who makes all final decisions regarding publication. The ideal is to finish the review process for each article in under two months. Note that during particular busy times (grading finals, publication deadlines, &c.) we may be unable to keep to that schedule, so feel free to contact us at any time for an update.

In greater detail:

(1) The Editor evaluates each article within two weeks of submission, to determine if its topic and content are suitable for consideration. If it is clear that it does not meet the minimum criteria, the article will be returned to the author with an explanation within two weeks of receipt. (This is in the best interest of the authors, who can then decide whether to correct the problems and resubmit or whether to look for a more appropriate venue, avoiding delays from a lengthy review process that would nonetheless lead to rejection).

The author may return the article for revision at this stage, if the article is not properly prepared for a blind review process (i.e., if the identity of the article is revealed in the text or file's properties in such a way that it cannot be easily modified to mask it.)

(2) The article will then be examined by at least two reviewers under a double-blind peer review process (where both the referees and the authors are kept anonymous). Referees are asked to evaluate the article based on its relevance to the Journal’s scope and aims, and its adherence to academic standards of originality, rigorous argumentation, sound references and clarity of exposition. Reviewers are asked to complete their reviews within one month, and send their recommendations to the Editor

(3) Based on the reviewers’ comments, the Editor will make the final decision on the publication of the article: whether to publish the article as it is, publish after revisions for formal issues, recommend revisions with regard to the content (in which case the article may have to undergo a second review depending on how extensive the revisions), or decline the article, with the possible recommendation to submit elsewhere if the main issue with the article is a mismatch with the Scope and Aims of the Journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the Editor will also determine whether the article will be included in the “Yearly Theme” section, or in the “Additional Articles” section.

(4) The Editor will communicate the decision to the author/s within two weeks of receiving all recommendations from the reviewers, along with useful comments from the reviewers, and the expected date of publication.

Make sure to check out the Author Guidelines for additional information.


Publication Frequency

The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy publishes one volume each year. Each volume is originally published during the Spring, and is kept open for publication as articles become available until the following volume is prepared. Each volume displays a collection of articles around a "yearly theme," plus assorted articles that match the scope and aim of the Journal, but do not fall within that theme.

The yearly theme is selected at the beginning of each calendar year and the new call for papers is made public when the previous volume is published (i.e., April/May). Review of papers centered on the yearly theme continues until December of that year. Due to the open access, online nature of the Journal, authors are encouraged to submit articles year-round. An article that misses the deadline for a theme may still be published, as a late addition to the theme collection, or as a "general article" in the next volume.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.