The following criteria apply to both traditional and purely electronic journals.
It is understood that there is no generally accepted ranking of philosophical journals across the discipline. In subfields where official rankings of journals do exist, however, those rankings should be considered authoritative for journals within that subfield. Even in subfields where no formal rankings exist, however, not all journals are equal. The characteristics of a quality philosophical journal, regardless of subfield, include, but are not limited to, the following:
- a high number of annual submissions
- a low acceptance rate
- a high impact factor, in subfields where such measures exist (it is understood that, particularly in smaller subfields, even the most influential journals will not have a significant impact factor)
- an editorial board composed of established senior scholars in the relevant specialization(s)
- reviewers with expertise in the relevant specialization(s)
- a rigorous and lengthy review process
- affiliation with a learned academic society
While journals that engage in blind review of submissions are generally preferred, it is understood that some top journals in some subfields publish only invited articles. In addition, journals committed to blind review may also publish special editions featuring invited submissions, or a combination of invited and blind-reviewed submissions.
Given that the typical length of journal articles varies significantly by philosophical subfield, it is inappropriate to simply count pages as a measure of a scholar’s output.