Penn State, Michigan State win $236K Mellon grant for Public Philosophy Journal

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Public Philosophy Journal, an innovative open access, open peer review online publication in philosophy, has received a one-year, $236,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The grant will support the development of the journal, which, in addition to accepting traditional submissions, also will search the Web each day for content at the intersection between philosophy and issues of public interest in order to identify digital conversations that might be developed further for scholarly publication.

''The Public Philosophy Journal is designed to re-envision the relationship between the academy and a wider public by creating an open space for accessible but rigorous scholarly discourse on issues of public concern,'' said Christopher Long, professor of philosophy and classics, and associate dean for graduate and undergraduate education in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts, and one of the co-principal investigators of the project. "Our intent is to create a journal that will perform public philosophy as its mode of publication.''

Working with the Matrix Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State, the Public Philosophy Journal staff will read the Web each day, looking for potential content to be collected, curated and invited into a developmental peer review process. 

''People posting relevant and compelling content on Facebook, Twitter or their own website, could be invited to be an author in the journal,'' said Mark Fisher, co-principal investigator and director of teaching and learning with technology in the Department of Philosophy.

The Public Philosophy Journal is a project of the Humanities in a Digital Age initiative in the College of the Liberal Arts. Long explained, ''Technology gives us the opportunity to crawl the Web and listen to the public in a robust way, and then to engage the public in rigorous scholarship and collaborative publication.''

The journal is also designed to offer philosophy graduate students at Penn State and Michigan State experience in new practices of digital scholarly communication. Critical to the success of the journal will be its ability to cultivate a community of scholars, citizens, advocates and activists willing to engage in digital scholarship in the open Web.

Those interested in joining this community are invited to visit the website and to follow the Journal on Twitter @PubPhilJ.

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Last Updated October 24, 2013