In response to the editorial issues I have previously highlighted at Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Oxford University Press and those running the journal have committed to editorial reforms.
OSAP posted the following on the journal’s Facebook page:
After several months’ discussion and deliberation, we are pleased to make an announcement about the editorial structure, process, and personnel at Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy.
One of the key aims is to reduce significantly the wait times for initial review and time to final decision. OSAP will be adding an Associate Editor, who will participate in all the processes and in the normal course of things will succeed the Editor at the time.
Rachana Kamtekar (Cornell) has enthusiastically agreed to serve as the first Associate Editor of OSAP. Since the current editor, Victor Caston, has already served for six years, he will only stay on one year more, in order then to hand over to Rachana as Editor.
The Associate Editor will be in charge of the initial review of submissions and deciding whether they will be sent out to referees or receive a desk rejection. The Editor will handle the referees’ reports and decisions, as well as the preparation of the volumes for publication.
OSAP has rigorously used double anonymous review for over six years: referees do not know the author’s identity, and authors do not know referees’ identity. (Guesses are politely ignored.)
With the addition of the Associate Editor, we will now make the initial review anonymous as well: the identity of the author will be masked by a research assistant until the Associate Editor has rendered her decision.
With this division of labor, we aim to complete initial reviews within 2 months of submission; to expedite the process further, desk rejections may receive little to no comments. Papers sent on to referees should receive a decision within 4 to 6 months of submission.
Any inquiries about submission status will be directed to a research assistant.
The junior philosophers who recently shared their open letter wrote to signatories saying:
We’re writing to thank you for publicly supporting our efforts to improve OSAP and for helping us to feel comfortable in this subfield that we love.
We are pleased to tell you that, shortly after learning of the open letter, OSAP publicly committed to a new submission review system, in which a research assistant will handle correspondence concerning submissions, an Associate Editor who does not initially know the identity of the authors will make desk rejections and referee assignments, and the Editor will make final publication decisions based on referee reports. (We hope, though this is not specified, that the Editor’s decisions will be made without knowledge of the identity of the authors.) OSAP also outlined a timeline on which desk rejections will occur within two months and initial decisions on refereed submissions will occur within four to six months of submission.
We also feel grateful to those senior faculty who, after hearing our concerns or independently having the same concerns, over the last couple of months spoke with the leadership at OSAP, both privately and publicly, to support this outcome.
— Anonymous junior ancient philosophers