Paper Award FAQs


What do I win if my paper wins?

The respect of your peers. Also, cash money.

Can my submission be under review for other things (publication, other conferences, etc.) simultaneously?

Yes. There are no restrictions on simultaneous submission.

Can I pay for someone else’s submission? Anonymously?

Yes, and yes. There are details on the submission form / fee payment workflow.

Are the organizers eligible to submit?

Unfortunately, no.

Why are there are limited number of submission slots?

To induce artificial scarcity. Just kidding: it’s to make the logistical workload manageable for the part of the work that is uncompensated labor. If we figure out a way to make it work, we’ll try to raise the submission cap. Submitters who know they want to submit a paper are encouraged to reserve a submission slot as soon as possible. Normative philosophy broadly construed is a big area with a lot of researchers.

Is there a word limit? Any other requirements?

7500 words, including notes (not including references). Papers should be prepared for blind review, in PDF format, and named according to the following convention: “Name of Paper.pdf”. Do not put any identifying information in your paper title or in the paper itself. You will ruin blind review and be disqualified (just kidding, we’ll catch it, but it’ll make our job much harder).

Will I receive any feedback on my submission?

Yes. You will receive all the raw rubric scores and any written feedback (anonymized) from the referees.

Aren’t referee scores hopelessly subjective?

We recognize the subjective dimension of assessing written work, especially in a domain as diverse as philosophy. But we hope that referees will act to fairly review their peers’ papers in exactly the way they would want their own papers to be fairly reviewed. This hopefully turns what would otherwise be an insoluble problem for fair assessment of any kind into a large-scale coordination problem the solution for which requires that people act conscientiously. We therefore ask that referees be conscientious in their assessments of others’ work.

What happens in the case of a tie (for the initial scoring round)?

Ties will be broken by random selection. For example, in the unlikely event that 4 papers are tied for 5th place after the initial scoring round, each paper will have a 1/4 chance of moving on to the CR.

What happens in the case of a tie (for the Condorcet round)?

Ties will be broken by a second round of Condorcet polling between tied papers.

What happens in the case of a tie between n papers (for the previous tie-breaking round)?

We roll an n-sided dice.

What happens if I want my money back?

Since everyone is being asked to referee two papers, once papers are submitted there are no refunds.

Aren’t all prizes in philosophy hopelessly subjective?

This can be read as a version of the question, above, about subjective assessments of philosophical work. If it helps, you can think of the submission fee as a conference submission fee, the amount of the total Prize Pool as a happy accident that is strongly correlated with the total number of submissions to the conference, and the winners of the Prizes as extremely lucky conference attendees. 

What happens if my paper is selected in the Final Scoring Round but it turns out that, for whatever reason I can’t present my work at NEN5?

You can still win an award if you can’t present, but we ask people to please not submit if they know at the time of submission that they can’t present. This is enforced by the honor system.

Can I see a copy of the scoring rubric?

Yes, it’ll be available in December for public comment.

Can I see it right now?

No. It’s not done.

Is this legal?

We think so. (If you know otherwise, please get in touch.) This is not a lottery. The value of prizes received by winners is, of course, subject to local tax requirements and in the United States is reportable (and taxable) as income. Other tax jurisdictions may have other tax reporting requirements. The organizers of the workshop have zero financial stake in any of this, and are doing it all as volunteers. I repeat: this is not a lottery.

Where are the funds being held while the contest is in progress?

The funds are being held in an FDIC insured checking account. The total value of the prize pool will regularly be updated on the website throughout the submission window.

It’s called the “Northeast Normativity Workshop” and all three organizers work primarily on abstract questions. What hope do I have submitting a paper on more concrete questions in normative ethics, political and social philosophy, AI ethics & safety, bioethics, and so on? 

As described in the description of the award, none of the organizers play any role in deciding winners. No organizer has a “thumb on the scale” at any point in the process.