About the Journal
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.
Where to Find…
This page deals with legal and technical information. Follow these links if you want to find out:
- Where and how to submit your work (Submission Information / Author’s Guidelines)
- How to become a Reviewer / Our reviewing philosophy
The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy was founded by, and is currently owned and managed by Alfredo Mac Laughlin, Ph.D. We are currently in the process of creating a U.S. based non-profit organization, which once created will hold ownership of the Journal.
Funding and Institutional Support
The Journal receives no funding from any institution, except for occasional grants (specifically St. Ambrose University’s Baecke Grants, 2019). Server and domain registration costs are covered by the owner. The Journal receives no monetary gifts from publishers.
All work (editorial, artwork, reviewing, publication and proofreading) is gifted. The Journal wants to thank our generous scholarly community for all it does and has done!
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.
There are no fees for authors publishing in the Journal.
Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. By submitting to this journal, you acknowledge that the work you submit has not been published before.
Articles and any other work submitted to this journal are published under an Attribution / Non-Commercial Creative Commons license; that is, by virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use – with proper attribution – in educational and other non-commercial settings.
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. 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.
Articles published in the Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy are indexed in the Philosopher’s Index, the premiere bibliographic database covering worldwide research in all subject areas of philosophy.
Articles published in the Journal are additionally uploaded to and indexed in PhilPapers.org, a comprehensive index and bibliography of philosophy maintained by the community of philosophers.
Archiving and Backup
Backup copies of articles are uploaded to PhilPapers.org as a way of preserving access to the journal content in the event the journal were no longer published.
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. 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). Even if an article is not found suitable, we try to provide useful feedback to authors, and suggestions for revision.
(2) If an article moves to the Review Phase (often after being revised a few times), it is then 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.
Reviewers are invited to use our Standard Review Form but are not obligated to use it. You can look it up here if you want to know what criteria Reviewers use.
(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 found to be its mismatch with the Scope and Aims of the Journal). If the article is accepted for publication, the Editor will determine whether the article will be included in the “Yearly Theme” section, or in the “General 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.
Our reviewing philosophy is based on working with our authors to publish high-quality articles; you should expect abundant feedback and suggestions from our reviewers and prepare yourself for some additional work! Articles are very rarely published in the exact shape in which they were submitted; they normally undergo an intense process of revision and editing.
Make sure to check out the Author Guidelines for additional information.
|Yearly Theme||The Yearly Theme section contains peer-reviewed articles on subjects that match the Journal’s Yearly Theme at the time of approval for publication.||YES, double-blind|
|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. General articles may address any philosophical themes found in SF stories, discussing them through an analysis of the corresponding story, and furthering the understanding of a philosophical topic in this manner, or they may discuss in more depth the relationship between SF as a genre and Philosophy as a discipline.||YES, double-blind|
|Book Reviews||The Book Reviews section 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 a topic through the use of SF stories, or that examine SF as a genre (providing significant philosophical commentary), or of books that analyze the ideas and legacy of an SF author or movement.|
See our Book Review Wishlist for more information.
|No, but require editorial approval|
|The Education Station||The Education Station contains non-peer reviewed essays written in a more conversational style, documenting ways in which SF has been used in the philosophy classroom. It is intended as a resource section for philosophy teachers.||No, but require editorial approval|
|Response Essays||Response essays are short pieces of scholarly literature (1-4 pages) responding to philosophical issues in current or past journal articles, or to previous responses. They are not peer-reviewed, but are subject to editorial approval and added to the current volume’s contents. They may focus on very specific elements of a published article, providing the opportunity to clarify, criticize, support or debunk with technical expertise, but without the burden of writing a full-fledged article to that effect. Authors may use this feature too, to clarify or defend, or to acknowledge an accurate criticism and modify their views, as any good conversation is expected to do.|
This section is somewhat of an experiment in academic discussion, attempting to take advantage of our online format to generate a more fluid discussion of article contents.
|No, but require editorial approval|
|Editorial Notes||These comprise the Editor’s introduction to a volume’s contents, along with some reflections and background on the development of the Journal.||No|
The Journal adheres to the Core Practices developed by the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE, 2017).
Allegations of misconduct can be brought up to the Editor, Assistant Editor or any member of the Editorial Board. The Journal takes such allegations seriously and will designate two members from the Editorial Board to handle such allegations.
If allegations are brought up pre-publication, the Journal will consider delaying publication if needed, but will attempt to be expedite in the resolution of the complaints.
If allegations after publication are found to be sound, the full Editorial Board will vote on the case, with the Editor’s vote counting double if the decision is split. In allegations concerning problematic content, the Board will have authority in determining whether retraction or correction are required. In allegations concerning plagiarized material, the Board will also consider the possibility of removing the article entirely from the Journal’s website and publishing an apology to the original author(s).
If an article needs corrections, a new version will be posted and backups will be uploaded. The new version will need to indicate, in its first footnote, the nature of the corrections. Retracted articles will be kept in the site, but marked as “retracted” in the links, and with a “retracted” watermark in the article’s pdf copy.
Sources of allegations will be kept confidential. In no case will any of these actions be taken without a direct discussion with the author(s), or documented attempts to contact the author(s).
- The work must be original; that is, it must be the creation of the author, and must not have been published before, or be a simple copy or a slight variation of work previously published by the author.
- Authors must be transparent, disclosing sources of funding, if any, and potential conflicts of interest to the Editor. If necessary, a note on conflicts of interest will be added to the proofs, but no such notes should be in the original manuscript if their presence would jeopardize the double-blindness of the reviewing process.
- Authors must ensure the double-blindness of the reviewing process by excluding any identifying information from the manuscript, obscuring references when needed. These references should be communicated to the Editor in a separate note.
- Authors should make a good faith attempt to meet the agreed deadlines for publication.
- Authors must not spuriously add references to the manuscript with the intent of increasing the visibility of themselves or other parties.
- In cases of multiple authorship, authors should agree before submitting a manuscript on who will be the corresponding author. Final decisions on the ordering of the names will rest on the corresponding author. The Editor will contact the other authors directly at some point, to ensure that the manuscript is being legitimately attributed to them. Each author may contribute individually a short bio for the article’s page.
Editorial Team’s Conflicting Responsibilities
Any member of the Editorial Team (Editors, the Board, Reviewers, Proofreaders) may submit articles to peer-reviewed sections of the Journal, as long as the double-blindness of the process can be maintained. While the peer-review process is taking place, conflicting responsibilities will be suspended (e.g., reviewers that are authoring an article will not be asked to peer-review during that time). Editors may submit a manuscript for consideration if it can be handled by another designated editor without jeopardizing the peer-review process.
In the case of non-peer-reviewed sections of the Journal, normal responsibilities will continue (e.g. a peer-reviewer or member of the Editorial Board may send manuscript for consideration into the Book Reviews or Education Station sections and continue with their Journal duties as usual). The Editor may publish Editorial Notes on their own, but must work with a co-editor (who will have the final say) in order to publish in other non-peer-reviewed sections.
Sources of Support
Art / Covers
Covers for Volumes 1-4 have been designed by Alfredo Mac Laughlin. We hope you like them!
The Journal of Science Fiction is an open access journal launched on July 1st, 2017.
ISSN assigned on July 14th, 2017 (2573-881X)
Volume 1 (2018) published on June 1, 2018.
Volume 2 (2019) published on July 1, 2019.
Volume 3 (2020) published on March 30, 2020.
Journal accepted for inclusion in the Philosopher’s Index on March 13, 2021.
Volume 4 (2021) published on June 1, 2021.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
The Journal is free and open access; subscribing or registering is not necessary for readers. Subscribing to the Journal (using the email-subscribe form or clicking on the “Follow” button) will allow you to receive notifications regarding new articles, the publication of a new volume, or calls for papers. There is only a small number of such notifications each year.