I have heard from a friend that someone is circulating, in media to which I don't have access, the rumor that I publish - note the use of the present tense - in Chris Sciabarra's "Journal of Ayn Rand Studies." In reference to peer-reviewed media, "publish" would mean that I'm still submitting original articles for publication in JARS. (I understand, from comments, that some may be tempted to replace this meaning of "publish" by other meanings that this word has in other contexts; and then twist the result into a contradiction - and accuse me of dishonesty or incoherence, on the basis of equivocations thus manufactured. In this note, I am using "publish" in the one specific sense stated above, where "He publishes in Journal X" means "He submits his original articles for publication in Journal X.") I have not submitted an original article to JARS for years, and I have no intention of doing so, ever. The rumor is false.
In my early, pre-tenure years at my university, beginning in the 2000-2001 academic year, I did some research on the origin of the parallels between the schemata of knowledge representation in Ayn Rand's Objectivist epistemology and in object-oriented programming languages. JARS was a new journal that had just published its first volume, and its charter - to document Ayn Rand's influence on the history of ideas and culture - fit my research. I submitted my article on the origin of the parallels, and it was published. I noticed the poor quality of Sciabarra's editorial process, but I ascribed this to the "teething pains" of a new publication. I communicated my concerns about editorial laxness to Sciabarra, and I expected the quality of his editorial policy to improve.
Sciabarra's editorial policy did not improve. By 2006 he had published several articles of such low quality that they were clearly counterproductive to his stated goal, of getting Ayn Rand's intellectual and artistic influence to be taken seriously in academia. I communicated with Sciabarra at length, and I suggested changes that, had they been made, would have turned JARS into what, according to its published charter, it should have been. Sciabarra discussed the changes that I had suggested to him with his editorial board, but no changes were made. JARS continued to publish articles that were, in my judgment, unscholarly, intellectually disreputable rubbish. It was at that point that I decided never again to submit an original article for publication in JARS.
About a year later, JARS published a couple of articles on Objectivism and religion. My notes on those articles evolved into commentary that, in my judgment, needed to be aired. When I publish an article that may invite commentary, I expect that commentary to appear in the same journal, where I will see it and where I can reply. This is standard academic practice, with which I agree. While I would not submit an original article to JARS, it was and remains my judgment that my commentary was productive and useful. Therefore I followed normal practice, and sent my commentary to the journal that had published the articles that I was commenting on.
There was also an article that I submitted to JARS back in May 2005, and which was accepted for publication after being reviewed, by a peer reviewer whose work with me was unusually productive and well-informed (especially for JARS!) and continued well after the article was accepted. Peer review work is unpaid and anonymous; the reviewer's only payment is in the quality of work published in the journal to which the reviewer contributes her otherwise un-renumerated work. I participate in the peer-review process of a broad range of meetings, journals, and granting agencies. If a paper I had worked on were withdrawn after acceptance, for any reason short of its author repudiating the content, I would judge this as a breach of trust, the work I had worked having been wasted and unpaid-for. Therefore, I would not consider withdrawing an already accepted article, whose content I still stand by, as an ethically justifiable option. This last article was recently printed, bringing all association that I've ever had with JARS to a final close. (I have been told that the person who started the rumor - that I still submit articles to JARS - had prior access to the full text of the article, and should have read in the top footnote that it was submitted in May 2005, but only mentioned that the article was printed recently - not that it was originally submitted 5 years ago.)
I agree, after long scrutiny, with everything Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff have written about the principle of moral sanction. I find nothing in this principle, or in Ayn Rand's own actions on this principle, that would mandate more than I have already decided and done. I have no proof that the failure to disclose the May 2005 submission date of the article, which I deduce is what started the rumor, was deliberate; and therefore I am not ready to judge its moral import.
The quality of JARS has continued to fall, so I'm not likely to find another of its articles worthy of comment in the future. I've let my subscription expire years ago (although, as is standard for refereed journals, I did receive an author's copy of the recent issue.) In the present, the rumor that I publish in JARS is false.