Journal of Controversial Ideas

The Journal of Controversial ideas allows publication under a pseudonym, but submissions under the real name of the author are encouraged.

The submission button is the same whether or not you wish to be identified as the author. In the course of the submission process, authors will find the instructions for how to proceed using a pseudonym.  Authors who do not wish to be identified will only be asked to provide an email address, and if their paper is accepted for publication, the journal will assign a pseudonymous author name to it.

How to prepare a manuscript

  • Manuscripts should not have been previously published or accepted for publication, and should not be under review at any other journal.
  • Manuscripts should be no longer than 12,000 words (including references). 
  • In addition to the manuscript, authors should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, as well as 3 to 6 keywords.
  • Acknowledgements can only be published if written consent of each person the author wishes to acknowledge is provided.  
  • Manuscripts should be written in English. Technical language and jargon should be avoided to the greatest extent possible.
  • Identifying information should be removed for the purpose of blind peer-review even if the authors do not wish to publish pseudonymously. Specifically, authors’ names, affiliations and references to previous work should be removed from manuscripts prior to submission. (For example, references to the author’s previously published work should read “[Author’s name] has argued…” rather than “I have argued…”] References to unpublished work and to names of people who have commented on a draft of the manuscript or sent personal communications should also be removed.
  • Manuscripts should be in 12-point font with a 1-inch margin, and double spaced (including footnotes and quotations).
  • Submitted manuscripts may use any style of referencing.  If a paper is accepted, the author will be required to meet the journal's reference style, which is to provide references in footnotes, numbered sequentially, beginning with 1 in superscript, throughout the manuscript. (An alphabetical list of references at the end of the document is not required.)

Pseudonymous Submissions 

Prior to anonymous submission, metadata (information embedded in a file which is not part of the text) should be removed from all files that the author intends to submit. (Please note: this procedure is not the same as the removal of identifying information (see above), which is a standard procedure.)

Depending on the software the authors have used (e.g., Windows or Apple, older or newer version of Microsoft Office), the procedure to follow in order to remove metadata from their files may vary.   

For (WINDOWS) Microsoft Word 2010, 2013, 2016:

  • Go to “file”
  • Select “info”
  • Click on “check for issues”
  • Click on “inspect document”
  • In the "Document Inspector" dialogue box, select the checkboxes corresponding to the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected
  • Click "Remove All"
  • Click "Close"
  • Save the document

For (MACS) Microsoft Word:

For the latest version of Word (2015/2016):

  • Go to the “Review” tab
  • Click the “Protect Document” tool
  • Click “Remove personal information from this file on save”

For older versions:

  • Go to “Preferences”
  • Click on “Security”
  • Select “Remove personally identifiable information from the file on save” and “Warn before printing, saving or sending a document that contains tracked changes or comments”

Authors may submit their files without providing a name, but they will be required to provide an email address so that the editors can update them about the status of their submission.

Authors should set up an email address to use exclusively to communicate with us. The email address should not include any reference to the author's name or other personal details. We recommend using an encrypted email service, such as ProtonMail. Authors should regularly check the email address while their manuscript is under consideration, since it will be the only means we have to communicate with them, and to provide updates as to the status of their manuscript. We strongly recommend using an email address that is not provided by a third party, such as an employer, that can claim a right to read the content of the author’s emails.

Authors may wish to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service in order to hide their IP address at the moment of submission, though this is not necessary.

In submitting a paper to the Journal of Controversial Ideas, authors agree that they will not hold the Journal, the Editors, the Editorial Board, or the Foundation for Freedom for Thought and Discussion legally responsible for the publication of any information pertaining to their identity if, despite their best efforts, such information is made public, either through accidental leaking of information by the authors themselves, or through attacks on our online publishing system.

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