Street Epistemology Blog Submission Process
The Street Epistemology Blog is a place for people engaging in Street Epistemology to share their stories and lessons with a wider audience. Anyone can submit a post for consideration!
Read over some existing blog posts to get an idea for what we publish. A typical good first post would relate the story of your experience doing Street Epistemology, how you've failed and succeeded, and what you've learned in the process that you can turn into advice. If you are unsure if your post idea is suitable for the blog, send us an outline for the post and we'll give you feedback.
- Submit your post by emailing a plain-text email or a link to an editable Google Doc to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Attach a subject image to use as a thumbnail for your post. Ideally, provide one square image (1:1 aspect ratio), and one horizontal banner image (4:1 aspect ratio).
- Register an account on streetepistemology.com/signup. Your post will be linked to your account username. If you don't want to post under your real name, choose a pseudonym or "handle" for your username.
- Provide a short 2-sentence bio to introduce yourself to readers.
- You may also provide a link to your own website or social media profile.
After your post passes peer review, you will be invited to also make an audio recording of your post to appear on the Street Epistemology podcast.
You retain copyright on your post, but agree to provide it under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
We generally don't accept for publication material that has already been published elsewhere. You are of course free to repost your work anywhere else after it appears on the Street Epistemology Blog.
Within one to two weeks a peer reviewer will reply by email with a review of the post and request major or minor revisions to make in a second draft. The reviewer may attach a shared Google Document with the text of the draft. There they make direct edits that don't affect the meaning, Suggested Edits for smaller changes that may alter the meaning, and leave comments for you to make larger changes. After the post passes peer review and editing, our web team will format and publish it.
We also review the epistemology of the post. For ordinary claims, go ahead and relate personal experiences, refer to common knowledge shared with readers, and present other claims by citation from reliable sources in the form of a quote, paraphrase or summary. Deliver advice or lessons derived from your experiences or sources, with the caveat that it's up to the reader to test your advice. If you make any new general claims, don't state them as firm conclusions but as tentative, testable hypotheses.
Here are some of the comments that peer reviewers tend to make on posts when requesting revisions. Do these upfront, and you will have less to revise!
- When giving advice on how to do SE, use examples of from your own dialogues, and say what the results were.
- Quote, paraphrase or summarize a reliable source with citation when describing an idea or claim drawn from psychology, philosophy or other field of expertise.
- Don't reinvent ideas that are already out there in the literature, cite them.
- Keep the post to about 800-1600 words - see Medium on the 7-minute post. Longer is ok if justified by the subject matter and the writing is concise.
- Explain any SE jargon, such as "defeasibility tests" and "spider moments" (see the list of acronyms).
- Be prescriptive: don't just tell the reader to do something, explain how to do it.
- Present your main message in the introduction, and restate it in the summary.
- Make it concrete: give the reader an example and make it real.
- Avoid vague negative phrasing: "x is not y" does not tell the reader what x is.
- Keep it simple: don't use a long word when a short one will do.
- Present your experiences and views in the first-person using "I".
- Address the reader using "you", or in the imperative mood like these instructions.
- Avoid the passive voice ("The interlocutor was asked...") and especially the impersonal passive voice ("It is said that...").
- Use full paragraphs and present exactly one key idea per paragraph.
- Make the key idea of the paragraph clear in the first line.
- Avoid short fragments that just state an idea without justifying or explaining it.
- Tell your story. Share your experiences, dialogues, outcomes, what you learned or understood, where you failed, how your perspective has changed.
- Include a transcript of the critical part of a real SE dialogue to illustrate your advice in action.
- Write for an audience of Street Epistemologists, not for believers or the general public. Address their interests, development, burning questions and challenges. Keep in mind, however, that believers and critics of SE will also likely read your post.
- Hone your main message: the one thing that you want the reader to take away. Make every paragraph contribute to your message. Avoid mixing messages in one post.
- Avoid the op-ed style that explains why an issue is important without saying what to do about it.
- Avoid using phrasing that could have connotations of an adversarial stance (e.g. war analogies), or of manipulation of emotions.
- Attribute any quotes, summaries or paraphrases from your sources.
- Check that you have the right to reuse any images or media in your post.
- Do not copy content wholesale (paragraph or longer) from elsewhere.
- Link where relevant to non-promotional online content and other SE blog posts
Reasons for rejection
These are some of the reasons we might request a second draft or reject the original concept for the post:
- The first draft requires too much editing to correct structure, lack of clarity, or other issues. We point out the main issues and request a second draft.
- The submission is not on the topic of Street Epistemology, but about some broader topic that SE draws on. We suggest writing a second draft built around the advice that's relevant to Street Epistemologists.
- The submission pitches some new idea or change of course to the SE community. We suggest posting in the private Facebook group to hold the lively discussion around the idea and returning to report the key outcomes and practical steps for the reader.
- The first draft is much too short or too long for what it delivers. We request a second draft that explains ideas but does so concisely: one paragraph per key idea.
- The submission attempts to deliver multiple messages. We suggest picking one message for a focused post where each paragraph contributes to the message.
- The submission is an op-ed (opinion-editorial) to persuade readers that some issue matters. We suggest a rewrite that focuses on explaining what to do and how to do it, with no more than an intro paragraph describing its importance.
- The submission deals in hypothetical scenarios and speculation. We suggest focusing on things that have actually happened. A brief speculative tangent is fine if explicitly called out as speculation.
- The submission tries to explain or rederive theories in psychology or philosophy. We request a rewrite focusing on delivering practical advice. If any theory is needed as background or to justify the advice, deliver it by summarising a reliable source.