Philosophy research culture


Academic philosophy is a discipline with a rich variety of objects of research, theoretical approaches, and intellectual traditions. Our discipline therefore has a large number of sub‐disciplines, which are often clustered into three discrete domains, namely the history of philosophy, theoretical philosophy, and practical philosophy. Sub‐disciplines include aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, social philosophy, and political philosophy. Some of these have strong interdisciplinary relationships with the humanities (literature, linguistics, (art) history), the social and behavioural sciences (e.g. political science, sociology, cognitive psychology), the formal sciences (mathematics, informatics) and the natural sciences (physics, biology). This is also reflected in their research culture. The Dutch Research School of Philosophy OZSW is the platform for cooperation and communication between the various domains and sub‐disciplines in philosophy.



Academic philosophy in the Netherlands has a strong international orientation, while also being wellconnected to national public debates and professional practices. Communication among our international community of researchers takes place chiefly in writing by means of academic journals and books. With the general public there is often lively interaction via magazines, newspapers, books, collections, blogs, public debates, etc. In the field of ethics there is much collaboration with professionals, especially in the area of health care and engineering, which takes place through various channels including professional education, reports and conferences.



  • Academic publications usually take the form of monographs, articles in international philosophy journals, collections of essays, and contributions to handbooks or encyclopaedias. In some subdisciplines of philosophy, such as logic, published conference proceedings are also important.
  • Journal publications are mostly written for specialist areas of research and, as such, journals may have a certain profile corresponding to a specific approach in philosophy or an intellectual tradition.
  • Translations of original work are an important practice in the use and transfer of knowledge for certain fields of philosophy.
  • In some areas of philosophy products may have a hybrid character, reflecting a need to focus on both academic and general audiences.
  • In the history of philosophy editorial work is an important part of our research, often resulting in new editions of earlier works.
  • English is the language most often used in our international publications such as journals and books. In some areas, however, it is also important to publish in the language of the philosopher being studied e.g., to publish about Kant in German and about Merleau‐Ponty in French and in other areas of philosophy Dutch language publications are relevant.


Review process and authorship

  • Peer review processes are of great importance for the academic rigour of national and international publications, in the form of editorial review or (double blind) referee review. This holds for articles in journals, monographs, collections of essays, etc.

  • The most common form of authorship of written output is the single‐authored publication (though co‐authored publications are on the rise). This applies both to journal articles and books (monographs) which usually have a longer throughput time than multi‐authored publications in other disciplines.

  • Unlike many other sciences, in philosophy co‐authorship requires that a substantial part of the actual writing was done by the co‐author and so discussing, commenting upon, and suggesting revisions for articles written by PhD students and junior colleagues usually does not result in coauthorship.


Domain-specific aspects

Collaboration with professionals and communication with the general public often takes the form of hybrid (book) publications, participation in public debates, contributions to magazines and blogs, and through reports for professional organisations and the government.


Status of quality indicators

The quality indicators specified in the document “Quality Indicators for Philosophy” have been compiled by a panel consisting of the chairs of the three chambers of the OZSW (History of Philosophy, Theoretical Philosophy, and Ethics and Practical Philosophy) and the chair of the OZSW board. These indicators were discussed in the three chambers. More than OZSW 75 members participated in this process. The indicators were authorised by the board of the OZSW in September 2018. Indicators authorised by panels of other disciplines may be relevant for philosophy in the case of interdisciplinary research.


Relevance of quantitative indicators

Bibliometric indicators such as citation analyses and H‐indices can only be used for those parts of philosophy that aim for publications that are properly indexed in the Web of Science or Scopus. For the remaining parts of philosophy these indicators are rarely useful, even if they are based on Google Scholar, because not all publication channels are indexed and current reference practices are often too diverse.


We refer to the OZSW website for a description of the quality indicators for philosophy and for the current lists of journals and publishers with an explanation on how to use these.