Journals specializing in animal issues

19 Apr 2018

Researchers in animal issues wanting to make a difference for animals with their work often face the question of where to publish the results of their research. This sometimes proves to be a complicated task, due to speciesist biases among editors and reviewers. Because of this, it can be very useful for researchers concerned for animals to know which journals specialize in animal issues.

In addition, knowing this can be useful for those wanting to find good sources of information about issues concerning animals. This can be helpful for those who just have an interest in this, but especially for animal activists.

We’ve compiled a list of journals specializing in animal issues in different fields. There are other journals where papers concerned with animals can also be published and found, but the journals in the list below focus on that. Unfortunately, most of those that aren’t about animal ethics itself but about sciences or the law and nonhuman animals tend to publish work displaying speciesist attitudes. It still can be useful to know them, however, for the reasons mentioned above.

Note that some of these journals are open, while others are not, though they can often be accessed through university locations or from sites using proxies. We’ve only included journals to which it’s possible to submit your work (not newsletters or journals just presenting the views of those belonging to a certain organization, though there are some of them in the footnotes).

Philosophy and ethics

A well-known journal in animal ethics and animal philosophy, which has been active for several decades, is Between the Species (on its website you can also read the journal Ethics and Animals, which was active during the 1980s).

The Journal of Animal Ethics began publishing several years ago and focuses on issues in moral theory and animals.

Another journal that addresses different issues concerning philosophy and animals is Relations: Beyond Anthropocentrism.

A more recent journal focused in the field political philosophy is Politics and Animals.

A philosophy journal that does not specialize in animal ethics or animal studies but which still covers many topics highly relevant among animal issues, such as animal exploitation, veganism, and animals in the wild is the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics (despite its name unrelated to animal ethics).

Finally, a journal recently introduced under the name of Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research hasn’t published any issue we know of yet.

To look for specific papers it may also be useful to look at the section on animal ethics in PhilPapers.

Social sciences

In social sciences, the journal Society & Animals has been active for several decades.

Another journal created more recently is the Animal Studies Journal.

There are other journals, including Animals, Humanimalia, and for undergraduate students Sloth, which publish different kinds of research on animal issues. Many of the articles they publish come from fields other than social sciences, such as life sciences, and sometimes philosophy. But many papers have been published in these journals in social sciences too.

Other journals such as Anthrozoös and Animalia focus on examining the relationships between humans and nonhumans from an anthropological viewpoint. It’s important to bear in mind that these journals don’t question the use of animals, and often publish papers that not only describe the ways nonhuman animals are used (so information can be acquired about that), but do so in a way that expresses implicit or explicit approval of them, and this should be rejected.

Although not limited to social sciences issues and publishing a lot in philosophy, the Journal for Critical Animal Studies also publishes a great deal in this field from a critical approach.

Law

There are also several animal law journals, which don’t necessarily publish work in disagreement with the current legal status of animals. Of those journals published today the first to appear was the Animal Law Review.

The Global Journal of Animal Law, which began publishing within the last decade, has an international editorial team from diverse countries.

The Animal Law e-journal has been active for over two decades.

The Mid-Atlantic Journal on Law and Public Policy, despite its generic name, publishes papers in animal law.

Some journals run by law students have been published in the past but are on hiatus or no longer active, so while they may be useful for finding information, you shouldn’t consider them an option to submit your work. They include the Stanford Journal of Animal Law and Policy and the Journal of Animal Law and Ethics. Another journal that similarly discontinued its publication is the Australian Animal Protection Law Journal.

Michigan State University publishes a journal formerly titled the Journal of Animal Law, which has since changed its name to Journal of Animal and Natural Resource Law (a name which clearly conflicts with the idea that nonhuman animals are sentient beings totally different from natural nonsentient entities or resources).[1]

Life sciences

The number of journals in life sciences is huge, as can be seen in the section on animal sciences and zoology at the Scimago Journal Ranking. Many are about gaining general knowledge about animals without that implying any concern for what happens to them and mainly publish research based on animal experimentation, and sometimes conservationist research in which animals have been harmed.

Some life science journals take a different approach which is focused on the interests of nonhuman animals. Animal Sentience focuses on life sciences from an approach concerned with the interests of animals and also includes philosophical and social sciences issues.

Other journals publish work about how animals could be harmed less, as well as general assessments of the ways they can suffer, though the authors publishing in them don’t necessarily oppose the use of animals, and quite often they support it. These journals include Animal Welfare, the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, and the smaller journal of the Animal Welfare, Science, Ethics & Law Veterinary Association (the AWSELVA Journal). Others publish mainly papers by scientists who use animals, although they often publish useful information concerning animal sentience and related issues, such as the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science and the Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Welfare.

Finally, though not about animals themselves, other journals such as AATEX (Alternatives to Animal Testing and Experimentation), ALTEX: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, ATLA (Alternatives to Laboratory Animals), or Toxicology in Vitro can be mentioned here as they’re focused on the development of methods of research not involving the use of animals. There are other journals we haven’t included in this list that focus on how to best perform animal experiments or how to best maintain the animals used in experiments.

Journals in other languages

There are also journals in other languages. A long-term journal in French, which includes some papers in other languages including English, is the Cahiers Antispécistes.

In Spanish and Portuguese there are the journals Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Críticos Animales and Revista Brasileira de Direito Animal. There’s the Journal of Animal Law & Interdisciplinary Animal Welfare Studies, which publishes mainly in Spanish but also in English. The journal Animot is published in Italian,[2] in Finish, with some works published in English, there is the journal Trace, and in German TierstudienZeitschrift für kritische Tierstudien, which sometimes publishes in English too, and TIERethik.

Notes

[1] Note that there’s also a Journal of Animal Law, formerly known as the Journal of Animal Welfare Law, that belongs to the UK Centre for Animal Law.

[2] There are two other journals in Italian called Animal Studies: rivista italiana di antispecismo and Liberazioni: rivista di critica antispecista although they don’t currently have websites or email accounts where papers can be submitted.