A trivial trio for the new year

Tue 01 Jan 2008 02:45 PM

Three items related to papers and publication:

Preprint, postprint

Christy Mag Uidhir and I had talked about coauthoring a paper on the ontology of musical performance and recording. I even listed the planned collaboration on my faculty activity report a couple of years ago, but we never got it together. The would-be coauthored paper was always too diffuse.

Last year, he published something like what his contribution would have been in the British Journal of Aesthetics. I wrote a response, which is now forthcoming. I had discussed the paper with Chris, but I had not put a draft on my website.

When I blogged about putting draft papers on-line last year, I had overlooked this complication: Almost all journals explicitly allow authors to have preprints of papers on-line during the submission process. Virtuous journals also allow authors to place postprints on their websites, but there is usually a waiting period. BJA requires "that public availability be delayed until 24 months after first online publication in the journal."

If I had put a draft on-line a month ago, it would have been a preprint and I could leave it up. I did not, and the paper was accepted; so a copy now would be a postprint and must wait until two years after publication. I could post it and pretend that I had done so a month ago, but I think the lesson is clear: Post drafts on-line simultaneous with submission.

Regardless, it will be published. And that is good.

Journal impact

Gregory Wheeler has posted data at Certain Doubts suggesting that the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Science are among the top five journals in the profession. These rankings are based on journal impact, the number of citations that point to articles in those journals, and so should be taken cum grano salis. They reveal as much about citation patterns by specialty as they do about prestige: Linguistics and Philosophy is rated number one, and the Journal of Philosophy is only ranked ninth.

Regardless, they have the scent of objectivity to them. I will gladly cite data like this when I am up for tenure, given my string of publications in BJPS. (Alas, BJA ranks in the 40s.)

Webpage overhaul

My philosophy papers page had long ago grown too long. I was using java script to hide and reveal parts of it; although it looked nice, it was hard to use and harder to update. So today I stirred some HTML together with some PHP to bake up a more straight forward site. Each paper is one line on the main page with details on its own sub-page. This makes it easier for me to link to multiple versions and allows visitors to read abstracts before downloading PDFs.

UPDATE one day later: I just discovered that some lingering, malformed java script made the sub-pages invisible in any browser besides Firefox. It should be fixed now.