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03/29/2015

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Elisa Freschi

Thanks, Marcus, interesting. From a different geographical perspective (see this post for my notes on the important of projects in European Academy: http://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2014/02/what-are-your-colleagues-in-europe-doing-writing-applications.html), I would agree on the importance of publications, on the minor importance of teaching (basically, one class per semester is more than enough) and I would add some further items, in the following way:

1) publications (books, peer-reviewed articles, articles in a language different than your native one ---in this order)

2) projects funded (including how much budget one managed to secure and how many people one has been able to coordinate)

3) international cooperation (you must be able to show that you are part of an international network of researchers)

4) PhD students supervised (much less important than the previous items)

5) teaching experience (Habilitation, if you are in a country which prescribes it, see the link above)

Sources of my classification: Criteria used for the assignment of European project-grants (ERC) and for further national grants.

Axel Gelfert

I agree with much of what you say, Marcus. The obsession with publications in top-ranked general philosophy journals is something of a myth, and your data appears to confirm that the effect on hiring is minor. At the very least, it shows that productivity is more important than getting published in journals whose main claim to superiority is their absurdly high rejection rate. Indeed, given that past productivity is probably the best indicator of future productivity, hiring committees would be well-advised to go by the overall track record in terms of publications, rather than by ranking candidates according to the highest-ranking journal that each candidate has published in. I would add one caveat, however, to your recommendation to "Publish, and publish...everywhere--in top-ranked journals if you can, but also in lower-ranked journals." The caveat is so obvious that I'm sure everyone will agree: students should be advised AGAINST publishing in dubious venues such as journals that charge publication fees (even if they claim to be 'open access') or in journals that lack peer review and editorial oversight. Some of these predatory journals engage in sophisticated email campaigns, inviting submissions on the basis of conference presentations etc. -- some students may be flattered by such personalized invitations, but a publication in such a journal, in my opinion, would be a 'kiss of death' as far as one's chances with hiring committees is concerned.

Josh Mugg

@ Axel-

I would add (for those who do not already know) that you can check whether a low-ranked journal is actually a predatory journal via Beall's List: http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/. This list was invaluable to me after I started getting bombarded with emails from these journals.

On a positive note, I really like the push for open access, since I do not think that the high cost of journals is necessary (as we philosophers do basically all the work: submitting, refereeing, editing...(well, not always proof-editing)). There are a number of journals that are doing great things for the profession (Philosopher's Imprint, Thought, and Ergo come to mind). Does anyone know of a list of reputable open access journals? Perhaps we could start one (and maybe call it the Cocoon List?).

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