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Academics Anonymous - Profs Using Pseudonyms for Publishing Purposes?

November 13, 2018
by Susan Dutca
Academics Anonymous - Profs Using Pseudonyms for Publishing Purposes?

Scholars will launch an interdisciplinary journal next year, called The Journal of Controversial Ideas, where authors will be able to publish their academic work under pseudonyms due to "recent threats against polarizing academics." There will be no restrictions on academic disciplines, and "both left-wingers and right-wingers" are welcome on the editorial board.

Academics in favor of this initiative agree that there is a "need for more open discussion," especially given the "greater inhibition on university campuses about taking certain positions for fear of what will happen." The journal does not yet have a confirmed publisher, but it will reportedly be "open access," from a "reliable and well-established" source.

Published works will go through a peer-reviewed editorial process by an editorial board that is "diverse, ideologically and otherwise." While there "will be no restrictions on academic disciplines," the most submissions are expected to come from researchers in the humanities and social sciences. "Natural sciences submissions also are welcome," with possible ideas to include "moral issues in research on weapons technologies and animal experimentation." The goal is that for any work published, the board wants "some member of the editorial board who is from a background or tradition whose members would object to that article."

Some have questioned the premise of author pseudonyms, but the co-founders doubt [they] would publish pseudonymously; he stressed that other academics need options, regardless. In your opinion, should scholars be publishing their works using noms de plume? Why or why not?

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