What Is (Are?) BEARS?

Traditional academic publishing is a slow conversation. A year to get your idea into final form, a year to get it accepted somewhere, a year for it to appear. Then a year for anyone to get a reply into final form, another year for them to get it accepted, another for it to appear. Life is too short.

BEARS is a small response. We propose to electronically publish short but substantial reviews of articles that have appeared in the last six months. By keeping them under 1000 words, they can be easily read by those trying to keep up with recent work. Still, this length allows a substantial critical discussion -- reviews of whole books are often no longer.

Without the need to print or mail anything, we can publish reviews worldwide within days of receiving them. For this reason many reviews will appear much sooner than our six month limit. By appearing so quickly, the discussion can get underway immediately. Authors of reviewed pieces will always be invited to reply.

We’ll solicit reviews, but we also encourage unsolicited submissions, and will publish the best, most useful ones. If this catches on, we may be able to offer fairly comprehensive coverage in our area: moral and political philosophy.

This is a form of scholarship that has not been possible before. It is not a substitute for articles, but neither is it a mere addition to an already undigestible volume of published material. It enhances the value of ordinary journal articles by providing an immediate, high quality, and fully public critical notice not available in any other form.