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PhilPapers <>, a combination index to the philosophical literature and Open Access repository, is a resource of growing importance to professional philosophers. Founded by philosophers David Chalmers and David Bourget in 2009 and based at the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for Digital Philosophy, PhilPapers relies on WebCrawlers and volunteer editors to populate its rapidly expanding set of searchable and browsable records. While its ambitions are admirable, its reliance on crowd-sourced indexing and categorization of records has resulted in spotty coverage, many indexing errors, and metadata that, through its refinement or lack thereof, reflects the professional research interests of the volunteer editors. Moreover, problems with the PhilPapers search engine makes accessing the indexed literature difficult. This review highlights the potential for PhilPapers to become a world class index as well as an ideological echo-chamber, while pointing out some of the better and more problematic aspects of the resource. It concludes with suggestions for improvement.

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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