Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA
A print publication since 1981, Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly began its second life as an online open-access journal in Spring 2013 when the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy was chartered by George Mason University. The institute’s mission to bring “philosophical analysis--the examination of values and the clarification of concepts--to the discussion of pressing issues in public policy” and to complement “empirical research from the natural and social sciences” is expressed in articles written “in a style accessible to a broadly informed public and typically fewer than 5000 words.” Examples of the public policy questions posed by institute include “What does ‘environmental protection’ mean beyond a concern with human health, safety and welfare?” “Who should own and control the personal and sensitive information made easily available by technology, and for what purposes?”
The current combined issue, no. 3 and 4 (2014), covers some of these questions. One article, “Some Scalar Issues in Climate Ethics” considers how the process of globalization has limited the ability of nations to respond to climate change and discusses the shift from states to individuals “as the kinds of agents most suited to respond to climate change.” It also presses for a more careful examination of “the levels of organization and scales of analysis that make sense in the context of global challenges.” In “Political Leadership and the Social Value of Privacy” the author considers the close public scrutiny endured by candidates for public office and discusses the “cost of exposure” which may scare off good candidates. He argues “that an appeal to the social value of privacy does not extend to the political sphere because it must assume what it proposes, namely, that facts about a leader’s private life are not relevant to a candidate’s fittingness to serve.“ The articles are well-written and have passed a double-anonymous review process; the editors aim for a decision within three months after submission.
Mason Publishing, a service of the Digital Programs and Systems Division of the George Mason University Libraries, publishes Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly using Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open source journal management software developed by Public Knowledge Project (PKP). The platform is a locally operated journal management and publishing system to streamline the tasks associated with editing and publishing a journal. The software addresses needs of readers and scholars, who can submit their manuscripts. The journal policies also explain copyright, which includes: “Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. . .Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g. post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledge of its initial publication in this journal.” Recommended for academic libraries for linking on relevant subject guides.