Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
From The Logic Museum
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) (ISSN 2161-0002) was founded in 1995 as a non-profit organization to provide open access to detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy. The Encyclopedia receives no funding, and operates through the volunteer work of the editors, which consists of editors, authors, volunteers, and technical advisers. At present the IEP is visited by over 500,000 persons per month.
Most of the articles in The IEP are original contributions by specialized philosophers; these are identifiable by the author’s name at the foot of the article. Others are temporary, or “proto articles,” and have largely been adapted from older sources. They are identifiable by the inclusion of the initials “IEP” at the close and will in time be replaced by original articles.
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of the IEP is to provide detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy. The Encyclopedia is free of charge and available to all users of the Internet world-wide. The present staff of 25 editors and approximately 300 authors hold doctorate degrees and are professors at colleges and universities around the world, most notably from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. The submission and review process of articles is the same as that with printed philosophy journals, books and reference works. The authors are specialists in the areas in which they write, and are frequently leading authorities. Submissions are peer reviewed by specialists according to strict criteria.
The peer review process is rigorous and meets high academic standards. Authors submit their articles to a specific IEP area editor, who reads through the article and makes an initial judgment about its overall quality. Many submissions are rejected at this stage. The area editor then sends the promising submission to qualified referees. Usually there are two referees per article. The area editor evaluates the reviews from the referees, makes a decision whether to publish, and sends a recommendation to the authors. Most submissions are then revised, in either their form or substance. In some cases more rounds of revision are required, and we sometimes must reject entries because of inadequate revision. More commonly, any problems with entries are fixed with revision – as one might expect when well-qualified people are recruited to write entries. This is a common pattern for scholarly journal articles and reference works.
The encyclopedia claims the quality of our articles is at the same level as that of the best multi-volume encyclopedias of philosophy which appear in print. However, an article published in our Encyclopedia surveys its field and so is not equivalent to a journal article that advances the field. Nevertheless, it is also the case that journals from time to time publish or commission review articles that do not necessarily have this function and that IEP articles can be considered as comparable to such review articles.