On Facebook, Jason Stanley writes:
I'm reviewing Kieran Healy's citation data, and it reminds me again how weird journal acceptance is. My book *Knowledge and Practical Interests* is the fifth most cited work of philosophy since 2000 in Phil Review, Mind, Nous, and the Journal of Philosophy (book or article). Yet the book itself is the result of three revise and resubmits, and finally a rejection from Phil Review. One of those drafts was also rejected from Mind, and also from Nous. All of those journals have accepted papers discussing, in many cases very centrally, a work those very journals have deemed unpublishable.
It is a familiar issue: the extent to which peer reviewing really does track quality. As has been noted before in discussions prompted by Healy’s data, in terms of publication venues, we are a highly conservative discipline, one where publishing in the ‘Healy Four’ – Phil Review, Mind, Nous, the Journal of Philosophy – is often viewed as the ultimate goal to be pursued. The assumption seems to be that publishing in these journals is a necessary and perhaps even sufficient condition for philosophical excellence. However, at least two of them have notoriously problematic refereeing practices (though it seems that efforts were made on that front); those that do have a reputation of fair refereeing practices end up overburdened and often need to call for a moratorium on submissions. All of them end up with minuscule rates of acceptance, much lower than in some of the top journals in other disciplines (such as Science and Nature).