Frequently Asked Questions

For questions pertaining to usage, policy, technical or other questions, please contact support at: [email protected].


Who can use PhilPeople?

Anyone is welcome to use PhilPeople.

What is a 'pro' or 'non-pro'?

We divide PhilPeople users into 'pro' and 'non-pro' for the purposes of facilitating finding individuals who are career philosophers with a minimum of credentials. An individual is considered 'pro' if they meet either of the following conditions: a) they have PhD in philosophy or equivalent recorded in their profile; b) they have, associated with their profile, a publication in one of the philosophy journals listed as 'most popular' on PhilPapers. Note that it can take up to 24 hours for a change in these conditions to be reflected in your status on the site.


Who can have a profile on PhilPeople?

While PhilPeople profiles are primarily intended for academic philosophers (whether researchers, teachers, or students), anyone is welcome to create a profile.

What do others see when they look at my profile?

To preview your profile as another user will view it, click the ‘Options’ button on your profile. Select 'Preview as someone else' and you will be able to view your profile as a visitor to your page would. To return to your view of your profile, click ‘Edit mode’ at the top of your profile. You are able to make public or hide the following information via the settings: PhD, email address, events, and demographics. You are also able to make your entire profile private. Your publication metrics, full list of connections, and web analytics are never visible to others.

How do I flag profiles or posts that are inappropriate?

To flag a post, click the three dots on the right side of the post and select ‘Report status update’. To flag a profile, open the profile and select ‘Report profile’ located in the options tab. All reports will be reviewed by the PhilPeople’s team.

I have more than one profile on PhilPeople. How do I get rid of the ones I don’t use?

Mark the profile you don't want as a duplicate. First take note of the URL of the profile that you wish to keep. It should end with ‘/profiles/surname-givenname’. Open the profile you wish to mark as a duplicate, click ‘Options’ and select ‘This is a duplicate’. This will open a pop up. There, type in the name of the duplicate. You should see a list of names appear. Select the name which has the correct ‘/profiles/surname-givenname’. We will merge the deleted profile's publications, events, and other associated information into the retained profile after having verified the request.

What is an unregistered database entry?

An unregistered database entry is a page with information about a philosopher who is not a registered user of PhilPeople. PhilPeople aims to be a relatively complete directory of professional philosophers (akin to standard academic directories), regardless of whether those philosophers are registered users of PhilPapers or PhilPeople. For philosophers who are not registered users, we have relied on data entry from public sources (typically institutional websites) and sometimes on information supplied by departmental administrators. These are unregistered entries typically have much less information than registered profiles. We encourage philosophers in this class to register as users in order to complete their entries and use other features of PhilPeople.

Why am I included in the database if I never registered as a user?

PhilPeople aims to have an entry for every philosopher, including those who are not registered users. Non-registered users have 'unregistered entries'. See the previous question for details on unregistered entries.

How can I 'claim' an unregistered entry as mine?

In order to claim an unregistered entry as yours, you should register for an account. The entry will automatically be associated with your account.


How does following work?

Following somebody will keep you informed about their new posts, publications, events, and appointments through your news feed. The person that you follow will be added to your peer network, which may allow them to view your posts - depending on your posts' privacy settings. Additionally, they will be notified when you begin following them - you can disable this feature by enabling 'Anonymous following' on your settings page.

How does the Radar work?

The Radar feature allows you to see who is visiting a region in the future (and allows others to see your trips to region they use the Radar on). Trips can be created in one of three ways: 1) automatically via PhilEvents (when someone is listed as a speaker for an event), 2) manually by adding a trip to one's profile, and 3) manually by RSVPing (on PhilPeople or PhilEvents) to an event. Each trip (created in any of manners 1-3) can be marked as visible or hidden in your profile. You can also opt-out of automatic radar listings on your settings page.

What does the 'Recommend' button do?

The 'Recommend' button records that you recommend a book or article. Your recommendation will create an update on the News Feed of the people that are following you. It may also be used as part of statistics that we use to recommend or rank content. In principle, anyone can see anyone's recommendations.

What does the 'Like' button do?

The 'Like' button records that you like something. It creates an update in the News Feed of your followers telling them that you like the item. In principle, anyone can see anyone's likes.

What does the 'RSVP' button do?

The 'RSVP' button records your intent to attend an event. This creates a News Feed update in your followers' feed as well as a Trip in the Radar. In principle, anyone can see anyone's RSVPs.


What does the Feedback Sessions feature do?

Feedback Sessions allow you to share comments on a paper with on-screen, shared comments and discussion threads. A session can be based on an existing PDF from PhilArchive or a new PDF uploaded for the session.

How do a create a Feedback Session?

To start a new session, go to the Feedback Sessions section in your profile and click add. You will be asked to select either an existing paper or upload a new one. After this you will set the end date for the session and select the users who you want to participate in the session with you. All of your active and past sessions will be available in your profile under 'Sessions'.

Can other users view a session?

This depend on who you select to participate in the session with you. If you select an invitation only session, it is private to only those users invited, other cannot see or search for them. If you select mutual followers for your session these are the users who will be able to participate in the session. If you select peer-network for your session these are the users who will be able to participate in the session. For the mutual followers and peer-network the session will appear on their news feed as well as in their profile under 'Sessions'.

Where can I see what sessions I am a part of or that I can join?

All of your active and past sessions will be available in your profile under 'Sessions'. Sessions which you can join will appear on your news feed as well as in your profile.

Searches and listings

Who is included in the PhilPeople database?

The PhilPeople database includes everyone who has signed up for a profile on PhilPapers or PhilPeople, and everyone employed in departments of philosophy above a certain size (with a lower threshold leading to heavier coverage in Anglophone countries). We estimate that it includes well over eighty percent of Anglophone professional philosophers, but it still has many gaps (including retired philosophers, philosophers at small institutions, and those employed outside philosophy departments). If you notice someone missing, please encourage them to sign up for a profile. Note that while anyone can sign up for a PhilPeople profile, only people meeting certain 'pro' criteria (Ph.D. in philosophy or relevant publications) are listed by default in the 'Find Philosophers' search results.

What are the ordering criteria in the search options?

Individuals and departments can be ordered by a) name, b) location, c) citations, d) publication volume, or e) downloads. A faculty count option is also available for department searches. We offer topic-specific versions of criteria c-e when a topic is selected.

How is demographic information collected?

All PhilPeople users are encouraged (but not required) to submit their demographic information as part of their profile. We are also grateful to the UPDirectory for allowing us to use their information to invite members of under-represented groups to add their information to PhilPeople. Except for gender, demographic information has only been used when directly confirmed by profile owners. In some cases, gender information is added automatically to profiles based on names.

How do topic filters work?

Topic filters are based on publication records. An individual is included only if there is a publication attributed to them that is classified in the topic on PhilPapers.

How are the featured profiles selected?

Featured profiles are randomly selected among profiles that are complete and have strong associated publication records (with a boost given to profiles with a declared gender identity of 'female' or 'other').

News feed

What are the post privacy settings?

You can choose to make your post visible to everyone, your peer network, or your mutual followers. Your peer network is the union of: people that you follow, people that are followed by 3 or more people that you follow, and people that you cite.

Who can see what I like/recommend?

Likes and recommendations are public. When you like or recommend something, it will appear in the news feed of people who follow you.

What does "available from publisher" mean?

This label is used for publications when we know that corresponding downloadable documents are hosted on the publisher's website. Often the documents are behind a paywall; we attempt to use your institution's proxy or the one you have manually configured on your settings page to navigate through it.

Books and articles

How do I add a book or article?

Go to the 'publications' section of your profile, then click 'Add existing' or 'Submit new', as appropriate. The first option is for publications that are already listed on

How are the paper databases on PhilPapers and PhilPeople related?

All works submitted to PhilPeople are automatically part of PhilPapers, so long as they are not flagged as non-philosophical. Conversely, works submitted to PhilPapers are automatically added to appropriate profiles on PhilPeople so long as the submission on PhilPapers comes with sufficient information for us to make the appropriate attributions.

What sorts of books or articles can I submit?

Any book or article that you have authored or co-authored. You can even submit works that you don't considered philosophical, so long as most of your other works are philosophical. However, make sure to indicate that you are submitting a non-philosophical work when prompted. This will exclude the work from listings on PhilPapers.

Hidden to public

When information is hidden to public, other users will not see it on your profile page. Press the 'Preview' button to see how your profile appears to the public.


What do you to protect my private data?

The PhilPapers Foundation (Phil*) is committed to maintaining your confidence and trust, and accordingly maintains the following privacy policy to protect your personal information. We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as demographics and emails), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for 'https' at the beginning of the address of the Web page. While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment. We do not sell your data or personal information. This website contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.

Do you use cookies on your sites?

This site uses cookies only during the log in session and for Google Analytics. Please see our terms & conditions for details regarding the privacy implications.

Who counts as a 'research affiliate' for the purposes of data sharing?

Only a few individuals that work closely with the Centre for Digital Philosophy staff on research projects and that have agreed to keep all data we share with them confidential.

What is your data retention policy for third party apps used on the site? e.g. Facebook, Zoom

Information about you is collected from third party or public sources or that we receive from companies that partner with us to provide our services. In general, we will retain your personal information for the length of time reasonably needed to fulfill the purposes (including for as long as need to provide you with the services), unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law. We will also retain and use your information for as long as necessary to resolve disputes and/or enforce our rights and agreements. You can request the removal of this data at any time.

How do I close or delete my profile and data?

Please send all closure or deletion requests to our ticket system here

Web analytics

What hits are included in Web Analytics?

All hits to your PhilPeople profile and your papers' pages on PhilPapers (record pages and downloads) are included except hits from crawlers and repeat hits, both of which we exclude to the best of our ability.

Why are some universities not disclosed?

We hide the names of small universities in order to protect the identity of visitors from these universities.

Why do some hits show 'unknown location'?

This means that we cannot reliably guess the location of the viewer from their IP address.

Personal statistics

What does 'top 1%' (or '2%' or '3%') mean in publication metrics?

In the case of general (overall) publication metrics, this means that you are among the top 1/2/3% of all pro users (pro users are already a relatively small subset of all PhilPeople users). In the case of topic-specific metrics, this means that you are among the top 1/2/3% of users who have published something on the topic (according to the PhilPapers classification of your and others' papers).

What does 'Q1', 'Q2', 'Q3', or 'Q4' mean in publication metrics?

These are quartiles. The higher quartiles include larger numbers. For example, individuals in the 4th quartile for citations have more recorded citations than departments in the 3rd quartile. Personal publication quartiles are relative to the set of pro users for general metrics, and relative to users with relevant publications for publication-specific metrics.

What does "[n]th percentile" mean?

This is a percentile rank. The higher percentiles are better. For example, individuals in the 95th percetile for citations have more citations than 95% of people in the relevant comparison set. Personal publication percentiles are relative to the set of pro users for general metrics, and relative to users with relevant publications for publication-specific metrics.

Institutional statistics

How is faculty publication volume calculated?

This metric is the number of the publications by regular faculty members at the institution, weighted by publication type (book, article, review, etc).

How are faculty citations calculated?

This metric is the sum of the citations of publications by regular faculty members at the institution. This metric is not entirely reliable. Our citation data come from PhilPapers, which only tracks citations to PhilPapers works (so no citations in non-philosophical works), and the PhilPapers data are still beta quality and very incomplete.

How are volume of publications means calculated?

The mean volume of publications for an institution if the mean value of the volume of publication metric among regular faculty members at that institution.

How are the trailing five-year figures calculated for volume of publications?

The trailing five-year figure represents the volume of publications that are forthcoming or have been published during the past five years.

How are the trailing five-year figures calculated for citations?

The trailing five-year figure represent citation counts for works that are forthcoming or have been published during the past five years.

How are citation count means calculated?

The mean citation count for an institution is the mean value of citation counts among regular faculty members affiliated with a philosophy department at that institution.

What does "Q1", "Q2", "Q3", or "Q4" mean?

These are quartiles. The higher quartiles include larger numbers. For example, departments in the 4th quartile for citations have more recorded citations than departments in the 3rd quartile.

What does "[n]th percentile" mean?

This is a percentile rank for a given statistic among all institutions. For a metric such as citations, an institution that is ranked 95th quartile has more citations than 95% of institutions.

For institutional or departmental administrators

Which sorts of administrative units should be listed on PhilPeople?

In general, only units that correspond to traditional departments should be listed. This excludes broader units such as faculties and narrower units such as centers or programs. However, it is up to members of each university to determine what is the best match to the prototypical department in their institution. Sometimes, it might be a unit called an 'institute', 'center', or 'program'. As a guideline, a department would normally be expected to have its own course scheduling or hiring process.

Which departments should be listed on PhilPeople?

Administrators have the ability to create new departments. This should only be done for departments that contain a large proportion of philosophy-focused members. At many universities, the only such department will be called simply 'the department of philosophy'. At some universities, there might be additional relevant units, such as an institute for the philosophy and history of science. Sometimes, the most relevant unit is a mixed one, such as a department of philosophy and religion.

What counts as regular faculty?

We leave it to departments to determine exactly what counts as a regular faculty member for them. As a guideline, a regular faculty member should normally be someone with a tenure-track, tenured, or similarly long-term appointment who has a broad range of responsibilities (teaching, research, service). PhilPeople has other categories for individuals that have appointments that are more focused (e.g. teaching staff, researcher) or more short-term (e.g. postdoc, visiting scholar).