De Ethica
A Journal of
Theological and
Applied Ethics


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General Guidelines

In order to enable a speedy review process, authors should comply with the following guidelines:

  1. The manuscript must be prepared for blind review. This includes making sure that references to the author(s) are removed from the file properties.
  2. Manuscripts should be between 4,000 and 8,000 words in length. Longer and shorter manuscripts will be considered, provided that they are accompanied by a justification for deviating from the word limits.
  3. References should appear in footnotes (not in endnotes or the main text), and all sources should be listed in a bibliography at the end of the article. While we allow for stylistic flexibility at the submission stage, we encourage authors to stay as closely to De Ethica's style of referencing (see below) as possible.
  4. The manuscript should be in .doc- or rtf.-format. Submissions should only be sent to the following email address: If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the author will be asked to submit the finished version in .doc-format.
  5. The submission email should include two separate files:
    • An author information file containing title and subtitle of the paper, name(s) and affiliation(s) if any of the author(s), contact information, an abstract consisting of between 150 and 200 words, and five to six key words.
    • The manuscript itself, with abstract and key words, with all identifying references removed (including information in the file properties).
  6. Submission of the manuscript is taken to imply that it has not been previously published elsewhere. It is also taken to imply that the manuscript is not and will not be under review elsewhere until the Editors of De Ethica have reached a decision.
  7. Legal responsibility for the content of a submission and a published article lies with the author. This means, inter alia, that the author is required to obtain permission to use previously published material where necessary, and that they must credit all of their sources in an appropriate manner.
  8. Our ambition is to keep the review process as short as possible. If the author has not received any reply after three months, they may contact the Assistant Editor. Please do not contact any of the other Editors, as this will compromise blind review.


It is our aim to facilitate intellectual exchange across disciplinary boundaries and across the gaps between different philosophical and theological traditions. Thus we ask authors to avoid jargon, and to bear in mind that assumptions that are widely accepted in one discipline or one particular tradition may not be accepted universally. Technical terms and abbreviations should be explained. Manuscripts will be evaluated not simply in terms of their content, but also in terms of how clearly and concisely the author presents their argument.

We accept manuscripts in both British and American English, if used consistently. Contractions (such as 'can't' and 'I'm') are acceptable as long as their use is appropriate in an academic article. Formalized language (for instance, 'P iff (Q and R)') should generally be avoided, unless it facilitates the accessibility of the article.

Abstracts can be published together with a German translation, as a commitment to Societas Ethica's multilingual constituency. Authors may arrange translation of their abstracts into German by themselves.

The main text, footnotes, abstract, and keywords should be set in Times New Roman 11 p. or 12 p. All text should be left-justified and double-spaced.

De Ethica has only two levels of headings. The first level uses bold text preceded by two empty lines and followed by one empty line. The second level uses only italics, and is preceded by one empty line. Within the text, italics should be used only for emphasis, foreign words, and book and journal titles. Do not use bold text.

Standard abbreviations (e.g., i.e., etc.) are acceptable. Self-styled acronyms (such as "CP" for "Community Principle" or "TJ" for A Theory of Justice) are also acceptable, but only insofar as they enhance the readability of the text. All acronyms should be clearly defined at their first occurrence in the text, e.g., "John Rawls' Theory of Justice (henceforth TJ)."

Acknowledgements should not be included until the manuscript is accepted; otherwise the information in the acknowledgement might compromise blind review. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, acknowledgements should appear in a final footnote at the end of the manuscript.

Figures or graphic models should be submitted in separate files, in appropriate resolution and in one of the common formats. Only black & white/gray scale is accepted.

Footnote References and Bibliography

All references should appear in footnotes; and should also be listed in a bibliography at the end of the main text (under the heading 'Bibliography'). Please do not use endnotes, and please do not insert references into the main text.

The preferred format for entries in the bibliography is as follows:


Rosen, Michael. Dignity: Its History and Meaning. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012.

Walzer, Michael. Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality. New York: Basic Books, 1983.

If the book is a later edition, this should be stated as well as the original publication date.

Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government, edited by Peter Laslett. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988 (1690).

Walzer, Michael. Just and Unjust Wars. A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations, fourth edition. New York: Basic Books, 2006 (1977).

Book Chapters

Lorberbaum, Menachem. ’Making and Unmaking the Boundaries of the Holy Land’, in States, Nations, and Borders: The Ethics of Making Boundaries, edited by Allen Buchanan and Margaret Moore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 19-40.

Rawls, John. ’Social Unity and Primary Goods’ [1982], in Collected Papers, edited by Samuel Freeman. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999, pp. 359-387.

Journal Articles

Berg, Laurie and Jenni Millbank. ’Constructing the Personal Narratives of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Asylum Claimants’. Journal of Refugee Studies 22:2 (2009), pp. 195-223.

Sen, Amartya. ’Elements of a Theory of Human Rights’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 32:4 (2004), pp. 315-356.

For sources without named authors, list the organization or institution responsible for the publication. For sources with more than one named author, all authors should be listed.

Internet Sources

Irish Council for Bioethics. Biometrics. Enhancing security or invading privacy? Opinion (Dublin 2009). Online at (accessed 2011-04-18).

Noonan, Harold. ’Identity’. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Winter 2011 Edition, edited by E. N. Zalta. Online at (accessed 2013-02-17).

The date when a website was accessed should be given in the ISO 8601 Date Format (YYYY-MM-DD).

Footnote References

The first reference to a particular work in the main text should include the complete bibliographical information for that work, as outlined above. However, in order to enhance the readability of the text, references in footnotes should start with the author's first name rather than the family name, and without full stops within particular references. For instance:

Michael Rosen, Dignity: Its History and Meaning (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 80-89.

John Rawls, ’Social Unity and Primary Goods’, Collected Papers, edited by Samuel Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999), pp. 359-387, at p. 365.

Further references to the same work should be shortened to the general form "[author/institution], [title], [chapter/page/paragraph]." For instance:

Walzer, Spheres of Justice, ch. 2.

Locke, Second Treatise of Government, ch. VI, para. 52.

Rawls, ’Social Unity and Primary Goods’, p. 365.

Berg and Millbank, ’Constructing the Personal Narratives’, pp. 196-198.

Irish Council for Bioethics, Opinion on Biometrics, Appendix A.

If the sources include two or more authors of the same last name, in shortened references, these should be differentiated by the initials of their first names, e.g., 'M. Smith' and 'J. E. Smith.' If one source has more than three named authors, the authors may be listed as '[main author] et al.' in the footnotes.

In shortened references, subtitles of books and articles may be dropped, and long titles may be appropriately shortened.

As a general rule, the references in footnotes should contain all information necessary to clearly identify the passage quoted/referred to, and thus they need to be unambiguously linked with a full citation in the bibliography; but the presentation of this information should be as concise as possible.

Common abbreviations that may be used in references include:

Ch., Chs.chapter, chapters
p.,, pages
para., paras.paragraph, paragraphs; this would typically only be used in references to works that are traditionally published with numbered paragraphs, such as Locke's Two Treatises or Hobbes' Leviathan.
cf.confer, compare
et alia, and others
ibid.ibidem, the same place; this should only be used when referring to a source that was referred to in the preceding footnote.

The Review Process and Publication

De Ethica is committed to a double-blind review process. The submitted manuscript will first be screened by De Ethica's Assistant Editor in order to ensure complete anonymity of the text. The anonymized text will then be sent to the Editors and, if approved by the Editors after a charitable reading, to two independent reviewers. After conclusion of the review process, the author(s) will be informed whether their submission is accepted or rejected, or they may be asked to revise and resubmit the manuscript in light of the comments and suggestions from the reviewers; usually the latter will be the case.

If the manuscript is accepted, the author(s) will be asked to make sure that the manuscript adheres to the stylistic and referencing guidelines of De Ethica. They will also be requested to sign a Licence Agreement. De Ethica uses Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International ( (others may freely read and distribute your work and build upon it, but they must acknowledge you and cannot benefit commercially). After copy-editing by a member of the Editorial Team and proofreading by the author, the article will be published at De Ethica's website and assigned a DOI-number. The author is then free to archive the copy-edited version of the article at his or her web page, or at their university's web page, and to use it and to distribute it as he or she sees fit.