The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) is a free online encyclopedia on philosophical topics and philosophers founded by James Fieser in 1995. The current general editors are James Fieser (Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee at Martin) and Bradley Dowden (Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Sacramento). The staff also includes numerous area editors as well as volunteers.
The IEP is a non-profit organization that receives no funding. The mission statement of the IEP is as follows:
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy was founded in 1995 for the purpose of providing detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy. The IEP is free of charge and available to all internet users world wide. The present staff of 25 editors and approximately 200 authors hold doctorate degrees and are professors at colleges and universities around the world, most notably from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. The submission and review process of articles is the same as that with printed philosophy journals, books and reference works. The authors are specialists in the areas in which they write, and are frequently leading authorities.
According to the IEP, the quality of its articles is "at the same level as that of the best multi-volume encyclopedias of philosophy which appear in print." This is achieved primarily by recruiting well-qualified contributors and using a peer review process that is "rigorous and meets high academic standards". The encyclopedia uses a traditional, closed procedure for commissioning and refereeing its permanent articles (comparable to that of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: see peer review), but sometimes uses material from public domain resources to create temporary stop-gap articles until permanent articles are completed.
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