Contributing to journal special issues?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader writes:

Are journal special issues worth anything?

I have just seen a call for papers for a special issue of a journal. I have a paper in preparation that would fit exactly into this special issue. However, the journal is somewhat lower ranked than I would optimally hope to publish in (I know journal rankings are probably mostly bullshit, but I need a job).

So, is there any advantage to publishing in a special issue? And is this advantage big enough to accept say a 10 ranking drop in journal ranking?

These are good questions, and I’m curious to hear what readers think. One reader submitted the following reply:

I think where you place your paper really matters. People read and cite my work that is published in Philosophy of Science and Synthese more than they read and cite my work published in more obscure journals. Further, journal ranking matters because it is one “short cut” people use in deciding which of the many new papers in their area they should read.

This seems to me a common view, but I’m not so sure about it. Some of my most-cited pieces are in relatively obscure journals. Also, it may be worth considering what the special issue as a whole looks like. For example, I was recently invited to contribute to a special issue in a journal that I hadn’t heard of before, but it was an attractive invitation not only because I had a piece that I really wanted to write on the topic, but also because the special issue editor and other contributors are excellent, well-known philosophers. So, even though it’s a journal that I hadn’t heard of, I expect it will probably get read by people interested in the topic. But these are just my thoughts. What are yours?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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