Ethica – The Lancaster Journal of Undergraduate Philosophy

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Do you want to contribute your writing to an academic journal but don’t know where to begin? Why not give Ethica a go?

What are we?

We are a student-run journal that publishes high quality, peer-reviewed undergraduate essays and philosophical reviews in an annual edition of Ethica. We appreciate academic philosophy is a crowded space that is difficult to break into and, as a result, undergraduates often don’t get a chance to share their innovative ideas. We want to provide a platform for the exposure of these ideas and to share them with a wider philosophically minded audience. We hope that this eventually provides dialogue and discussion over an array of philosophical themes, helping to foster a community that propagate high-quality undergraduate philosophy.

What can I submit to the journal?

You can submit two types of paper to the journal – a formal essay and a philosophical review. A formal essay would be a paper that makes an argument along a philosophical theme. These should be papers that provide interesting and original perspectives on a subject and should strive to reach their conclusions via solid reasoning. These should contain references to all reading the essay writer has done and should show a solid grasp of the philosophical themes and theories within this reading. Ideally, these should be 3000-6000 words long.

As for reviews, this should be a summary of a philosophical work with a commentary on the importance of this work within the field and on the context surrounding it. It needs to contain the author’s comments, criticisms and or personal suggestions. This should be 1000-2000 words long.

 What do I do if I’m interested in writing for the journal but I’m worried about my work not being complete enough to submit?

First of all, it’s fantastic you are interested in contributing! If you have got an idea on a philosophical topic, then we would urge you to start planning your essay! Second of all, we’d urge you not to panic: if you’ve got an idea you are passionate about, we would love to see it put into an essay. Worst case scenario, our experienced and talented peer-reviewers will get back to you and suggest some changes you should make in order to help you develop these ideas. In the case your essay is not chosen for publication, then you are welcome to try again next year. If your piece is well structured, clear and well-researched, to the best of your ability, and, most importantly, you are excited about it, then we want to see it.

 How does the submissions process work?

 You should submit work during the submission window: this year this will be March 1st – 15th April. After this, your work will be anonymously peer-reviewed by one editor and one reviewer with expertise in the area you have written your work in. After roughly four weeks, you should receive feedback on your work. This will take the form of 1-2 pages of feedback –both positive and negative – on your piece. The editor and reviewer must reach an agreement on the status of the submission, which will be one of 5 responses. These will be communicated back to the author:

 1.   Accepted as it is (only if excellent, to be confirmed by editors-in-chief);

2.   Accepted with minor changes (a few sentences): this means the submission will necessarily be accepted, provided that the author makes the minor changes. Hence, the changes the editors ask for must be specific;

3.   Accepted with major changes (paragraphs): same as with the minor changes;

4.   Revise and resubmit: the feedback given should still help the author know what to change, but with this response we are not committing to publishing that entry;

5.   Reject: this should be done for entries that are too low quality to be accepted even after major revisions, or if there are too many better submissions (this last condition can be assessed by editors-in-chief).

 After this, you should be aware if your submission has been accepted for publication!

Contacting us

We are available on @ethicajournal on Instagram and Facebook and are available via email at ethica.journal@lancaster.ac.uk.

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