The Journal of Controversial Ideas welcomes articles on a wide range of topics, and from a variety of disciplines, provided they address issues that have implications for society at large. The aim of the journal is to enable people to publish ideas that they reasonably expect will be regarded by some as offensive, immoral, or dangerous, and to provide them with the opportunity to do so using a pseudonym, if they so choose. Without such an opportunity, some potential authors might be deterred from publishing ideas or arguments that could improve our understanding of issues of great moral, political, or social significance.
The journal is neutral with respect to moral, political, philosophical, religious, and social views. Papers defending ideas commonly considered controversial by liberals or progressives, and those defending ideas considered controversial by conservatives or libertarians, are equally welcome.
We are seeking papers that propose ideas that are original, interesting, exciting, and likely to promote the advancement of knowledge. Our criterion for the acceptance of a paper will not be whether the editors or reviewers believe the claims of the paper are true, but whether they judge the paper to be sufficiently well-argued to contribute to our understanding of the relevant topic.
The papers will be subject to blind peer review, and we expect to have at least two reviewers for each paper. There will be an initial review by the editor-in-chief that will determine, among other things, whether the subject matter of a submission is appropriate for publication in the Journal of Controversial Ideas or is instead better suited to a different journal. The decision to accept or reject a paper will be made by the editors and will be based primarily on the comments and judgments of the reviewers, though the three editors will also ask for advice from appropriately qualified members of the editorial board.
The editors will consider publishing commentaries or responses submitted to the journal after publication of an article, and will sometimes invite commentaries or responses before publication.
Articles submitted to the journal should address ideas, and should avoid denunciations of individuals or groups. A critical attitude towards ideas is welcome, but criticism must be articulated in a civil manner, and should not be expressed in the form of an attack on any individual or group of individuals.
The journal will not accept papers revealing information that could pose a material danger to individuals or to society, such as instructions for creating biological weapons. Academic freedom does not require us to make this kind of information public. What does and does not count as dangerous will be determined by the editors, in consultation with the editorial board and, if necessary, external experts, on a case-by-case basis.
Authors interested in publishing their articles pseudonymously can do so by submitting their papers through the submission system. The editors will do their best to make sure that the real names of the authors publishing pseudonymously remain hidden, but they cannot be held legally responsible for publication of this information if, despite their efforts, such information is made public, either through accidental leaking of information by the authors themselves, or through attacks on our online publishing system.
Papers will be considered for retraction only on the grounds specified by the Committee on Publication Ethics (available at this link: https://publicationethics.org/retraction-guidelines).
The Journal of Controversial Ideas is owned and published by the Foundation for Freedom of Thought and Discussion, Inc., a registered charity in the State of New Jersey, and accepted by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as eligible for tax-deductible donations.