Submitting a Proposal

An editor should first submit a draft proposal to Christia Mercer and then (upon her recommendation) to Peter Ohlin, philosophy editor at OUP, who will have it peer-reviewed (Peter [dot] Ohlin [at] oup [dot] com).

Proposals should include:

  • A summary of the goal of the series. This will help referees in assessing the proposal. Editors can either use the Main Goals of the Series (see above) or compose their own version.
  • A provisional summary of the volume, including predictions about its focus and arc. In effect, this is a preliminary version of the introduction. In most cases, 2-3 pages will suffice. This is the trickiest and most important part of the proposal. It needs to inform both the contributors and the outside readers about the volume’s focus before the details of the volume are in place. Questions to address are: what debates does the concept engage and what problems is it supposed to solve? Some concepts shift in meaning and centrality. Do the problems that the concept is supposed to solve change significantly? Try to offer some predictions about the overall arc of the volume and a series of questions that articulate its main concerns. The questions will keep the contributors focused. See Models (related web document) for examples of successful proposals.
  • A list of contents, including a brief abstract of each chapter (3-5 sentences) and a bio of each contributor 1-2 sentences). Attention should be paid that these are internally consistent and summarize the point of that chapter and its relation to the questions posed by the editor.
  • Ideas about 3 or 4 Reflections. These suggestions may be very preliminary.
  • Ideas about the desirability of a Lexicon.
  • Time-line, including proposed deadlines for chapter drafts, workshop, and completed manuscript.

Editors should feel free to contact the series editor, Christia Mercer, with questions.