Editor Interview: Dialogue

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Philosophical papers

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: Our journal is open to students and non-professional philosophers. Contributors cannot have doctorates in philosophy or other areas.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Submit original work that has been carefully edited for content and style. Submit work to colleagues for examination.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The paper should have a specific claim and careful argument to support the claim. If critiquing another view, carefully examine that view and be clear what you are examining.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: Students may often present a summary of work by others; the paper should not be just a summary. It should contain original work that may well critique other work, but it should not simply summarize.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: A cover letter is required. Basically, we want to know where the person attended school, the person's philosophical interests, and future plans for study or work. Few students have previous publications, but we may list them if information is provided.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: The Editor will have to answer that. When I was editor, I read the whole paper, though I could tell after a few paragraphs that some student submissions were obviously not acceptable.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: Our editor is a full-time faculty member, so his time is not totally devoted to the editing. When I was editing, I was also the Executive Secretary for Phi Sigma Tau and could not devote my full time to editing and selecting papers.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: We do encourage electronic submissions (the only kind we have had for some time). We do like to publish our journal in hard copy for the benefit of students, especially for the authors. Publication in Dialogue is likely their first publication.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: We probably do more extensive editing than some journals as our authors are all non-professionals--most are undergraduate students. We will not provide substantive editing, but we do editing to make essays more readable, to simplify complex sentences, to avoid gender-exclusive language, to correct punctuation and spelling, and to correct grammatical errors. Occasionally, we do consult the author before a final edit, but we only do that if we have questions about meaning.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: No.