APA APA Paper Submission Guidelines

APA Paper Submission Guidelines

Paper length and limitation to one submission

APA members may submit papers to the program committee of any division, and proposals for poster sessions to the Pacific Division. Papers and poster sessions in any area are welcome. (Please note: this includes topics in the pedagogy of philosophy.) Submitted papers may be either colloquium papers (maximum 3000 words, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography) or symposium papers (maximum 5000 words, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography).

Each author is limited to one submission, either a paper or a poster session proposal (maximum 750 words), for a given meeting. This includes co-authors: a person who is a co-author of a submission may not also submit another paper or poster either as the sole author or as a co-author.

Each author is limited to one submission, either a paper or a poster session proposal (maximum 750 words), for a given meeting. This includes co-authors: a person who is a co-author of a submission may not also submit another paper or poster either as the sole author or as a co-author.

The Eastern Division allows a paper to be submitted as a colloquium, symposium, or poster. Authors may not choose to have a paper considered as both a colloquium and a symposium, but colloquium and symposium submissions may be considered for poster sessions. The submission options are colloquium, symposium, poster, colloquium/poster, and symposium/poster.  

The Central Division allows a paper to be submitted in both colloquium and symposium versions; in such a case, if the paper is accepted, the program committee will specify in which version it will appear on the program. Authors should be aware that only a few papers are selected for presentation as symposium papers.

Each paper should include the word count, excluding endnotes, footnotes, and references, beneath the title (i.e., the first instance of the title, whether it is a title page or the first page of the paper). In addition, each submission must include at least one and as many as five levels of categorization; there is a field in the submission form for this purpose.

Membership requirement

All submitting authors and co-authors must be members of the APA at the time of submission. Those who have not paid dues for the current membership year may join or renew in order to submit a paper.

If joining or renewing online, this must be completed by one business day prior to the submission deadline to be guaranteed access to the submission system before the deadline.

If joining or renewing in hard copy (fax or mail), membership materials (dues payments and membership application or renewal forms) must be received no later than two weeks before the deadline in order to guarantee access to the submission system before the deadline.


For the Eastern and Central Divisions, colloquium papers must be accompanied by an abstract of not over 150 words, and symposium papers must be accompanied by an abstract of not over 300 words.

For the Pacific Division, all submissions, for both papers and poster sessions, must be accompanied by an abstract of up to 150 words and a synopsis of up to 750 words. In the case of paper submissions, the 750-word synopsis should be on the first pages of the uploaded document; both the synopsis and the start of the paper itself should be clearly labeled. In the case of proposals for poster sessions, the 750-word synopsis constitutes the submission (the poster itself is not submitted).

The rationale for the Pacific Division’s required 750-word synopsis is as follows: in recent years submissions to the Pacific Division have doubled to upwards of 700 papers and posters. To make it possible to referee a pool of this size, the division permits referees to recommend declining a paper on the basis of a reading of the synopsis. Accepted papers are always read in full. A separate abstract of 150 is also required for publication on the conference web site.

The abstracts of accepted papers and posters will be published on the APA’s web site prior to the meeting, and authors must grant the APA permission for this publication at the time of submission.

References and diversity

The Pacific Division encourages authors to ask themselves whether there might be significant but under-recognized papers or books by women philosophers, or philosophers from other under-represented groups and cultures, that were overlooked in the course of writing their papers and/or assembling their bibliographies.


The deadline for Eastern Division submissions is February 15 prior to the meeting; for the Central Division, June 1 prior to the meeting; and for the Pacific Division, September 1 prior to the meeting.

Submissions for each division open at least a month before the deadline. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday during which the national office is closed, then the deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

All three divisions now only accept online submissions through the APA’s web site. Given the very large volume of submissions and the relatively short time available for the process of reviewing them, the program committees are unable to provide authors with comments.

Declaration of authorship

As part of the submission process, authors must certify that the paper or poster that they are submitting is entirely their own work and that it does not defame anyone or infringe anyone’s intellectual property rights. This step is included in the online submission system.

Anonymous review

Submissions must be prepared for anonymous review: the author’s name or other identifying information should not appear anywhere in the paper itself or in the abstract. Footnotes or bibliographic references that identify the author should not appear. Authors should not include a title page with author information as the first page of the paper; they should not include the author’s name or the names of graduate advisors, etc., in acknowledgments at the end of the paper; they should not include their names in page headings or underneath the paper’s title on the first page. Any paper that includes author-identifying information may be rejected for that reason.

Repeat submissions

No division will consider a paper or poster session that has already been included on a past or future program of another division or of the same division. However, papers or poster sessions rejected by one division may be submitted for consideration by another division.

Publication of papers

Papers or posters that have already been published at the time of submission will not be considered.

In submitting a paper to the Pacific Division, its authors grant to the American Philosophical Association the non-exclusive worldwide right (in the event that the paper is accepted) to post a preprint of the paper on the APA website, in the form in which it was submitted, for up to four months prior to the meeting at which it is to be presented, unless, at the time the paper is accepted, the author or authors notify the Pacific Division in writing that they do not wish it to be published.

The Central and Eastern Divisions request consent to publish online prior to the meeting, but these requests are sent only to the authors of accepted papers (usually in September or October prior to the meeting for the Central Division, in May or June prior to the meeting for the Eastern Division).

Prohibition on double appearance on main/divisional program

No one may appear more than once in a speaking role (i.e., speaker, commentator, author in an author-meets-critics / book symposium session, etc.) on the main/divisional program at the same meeting. The Eastern and Pacific Divisions further prohibit appearing on the main/divisional program as session chair if one is also on the main/divisional program in some other capacity (including another appearance as session chair). Affiliated group sessions and APA committee sessions are not subject to these restrictions.

Graduate student stipends and prizes

Graduate student authors whose papers or posters are accepted for presentation will be awarded graduate student travel stipends if they provide the APA with documents verifying that they are graduate students in good standing in an MA or PhD program in philosophy. To be considered for these awards, the author must request a graduate student stipend. This is to be done by checking the relevant box on the online submission form. The author must also supply a letter from the author’s institution that shows that the author is a graduate student in good standing; it must be formatted on departmental stationery and signed by the department chair or graduate advisor. For the Eastern Division, this must be done between the date of acceptance and August 1; for the Pacific Division, between the date of acceptance and December 1; and for the Central Division, between the date of acceptance and October 1. Instructions will be sent out shortly after papers and posters have been accepted. Co-authored submissions are not eligible for graduate student travel stipends unless all authors are graduate students and have supplied the necessary documentation. Papers or posters for which a graduate student stipend has been requested will not be identified to the program committee as such while they are under consideration. A travel stipend will be awarded for any paper or poster written by a graduate student (or students) that is accepted by the program committee in its normal, anonymous review process. The amount of the stipend is $300 for the Eastern and Central Divisions ($100 for Central Division posters), $400 for the Pacific Division
The Eastern Division also awards the William James Prize to a graduate student or recent Ph.D. for the best submitted paper in traditional American philosophy. Visit the William James Prize page for more details. Additionally, at the 2017 Eastern Division meeting, the Marc Sanders Graduate Student Prize, funded by the Marc Sanders Foundation, will be awarded to each of the three best graduate student papers in the area of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, or ethics. Other sources of support include the Travel Assistance Fund for Philosophers of Color, the Diversity Institute Alumni Fund, and the Fund for Assistance to Overseas Philosophers.The APA also offers free meeting registration to those who volunteer to work a shift at the meeting.

Dates of notification

Authors will be informed of acceptance and rejection decisions for the Eastern Division in May or June following submission; for the Central Division, in August following submission; and for the Pacific Division between September 1 and mid-November.

Communication with authors

Authors agree to provide accurate email addresses as part of their contact information and must notify the secretary-treasurer of the division to which they have made their submission of any address changes that may occur between the time of submission and the meeting. (Note that, for historical reasons, each division has its own database, which is also separate from the member database maintained by the APA National Office. The APA is working to combine these databases, but for the time being, it is important to communicate any post-submission changes to contact information or affiliation specifically to the division to which one has submitted.)

Paper acceptance rates

Acceptance rates for submitted papers vary somewhat from year to year and division to division. Below we have provided the average acceptance rates for the most recent five years of APA meetings (2015–2019).
Five-Year Average Paper Acceptance Rates
All Divisions 25.3%25.4%14.8%

Acceptance rates for poster sessions are widely variable, both year to year and division to division, and because of the way poster submissions are considered, calculating acceptance rates is not straightforward. For those reasons, we are not able to provide poster acceptance rates at this time.

Invited program

All three divisions also accept proposals for the invited portion of the program. For further information, see the following pages:

Submission site

You can access the submissions website by selecting the appropriate meeting at http://papers.apaonline.org. This submission site is new as of 5/1/2018, and APA members can log in with the same username/password they use on this site.
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