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Is this a certification that is meaningful? Does anyone know anything about it?



Is it usual/acceptable to switch to another research area for a grad student after finishing their thesis? Is it a good idea to mention it in one's research statement?

early career

Recently, I found myself wondering not just how or when other philosophers read, but where they read. My dissertation supervisor once told me he did all of his reading in bed. I know plenty of folks who read at their desks. Personally, if there is something that I need to read, yet know that it is sitting on my desktop as a PDF and I haven't printed it out yet, then I'm not inclined to read it that day. I don't think I absorb material from the screen, sitting at my desk, as well as I do from the printed page sitting on my couch or in the park. But maybe others have good reasons why reading from the screen at the desk works for them.

So, I'm wondering: Where do you read and why is that your preferred spot?


Let's say I'm writing a paper where I defend a claim P. P is not the main thesis of the paper but a premise in the main argument. I often find myself giving two or three independent arguments for P, each of which I take to be sufficient. In my mind, this makes a stronger case for P. Even if you don't find one argument compelling, you might find the other ones compelling.

But then what often happens is that referees object to *one* of these arguments for P, and the paper gets rejected. This makes me question this strategy of giving more than one argument for some claim. I wonder if others had a similar experience or have thoughts about this strategy.

grad student

I don’t meet a lot with my committee members and they’re quite hands-off but I know some people that meet theirs very regularly. I feel like I’m falling behind a lot, and I want to meet them more but I’m slow at putting out work to show them. So I’m wondering how often did you meet with your supervisor and other committee members, and how often do those on committees want us to meet?


Perhaps this is a silly or trivial question, but I've been wondering about it since a thread came up a few weeks ago. My practice has always been to basically acknowledge anyone who gave me feedback on a paper, even if it was just a brief conversation that gave me something to think about. For that reason my acknowledgements section in my papers is usually pretty long—now that I think about it, probably considerably longer than most papers I read.
I always included everyone just since on the other side, it always gives me a nice feeling to see my name in an acknowledgements section and I assumed it was costless for me to just include people. But it occurred to me that perhaps not only is this not the done thing, but maybe it makes it look like my papers are more 'crowdsourced' than they are, which isn't a good look.

early grad student

Hi there! I'm wondering how to decide whether to referee a paper. I just got my first request, and from what I can gather from the abstract, this doesn't seem like an editorial call I'm particularly qualified to make. Would appreciate any thoughts.


I am wondering what the proper thing to do is in the following situation. A person was assigned as a commentator on my paper at a conference, and in their comments they summarized the main argument of my paper in premise form. The form was implicit in my argument, but now that I am revising the paper, I would like to include the argument in premise form. What is the right thing to do around using either their summary, or maybe a slightly altered version. Should I state in a footnote something like 'thanks to x for suggesting the following formulation'? Should I do that even if I change it somewhat? Or should I just thank them at the end in the acknowledgements and in the places where they suggested a given objection to a part of my argument (I will do both of these either way, of course)? The main thing that is confusing me is that the argument was there already in the original, and so a thing of my making, but not explicitly in premise form, and so a thing of their making. But then if I had gone through the trouble of making it more explicit, then I would have likely arrived at something very similar to their end product. So, what to do?

Newly Dr.

Are journal special issues worth anything?

I have just seen a call for papers for a special issue of a journal. I have a paper in preparation that would fit exactly into this special issue. However, the journal is somewhat lower ranked than I would optimally hope to publish in (I know journal rankings are probably mostly bullshit, but I need a job).

So, is there any advantage to publishing in a special issue? And is this advantage big enough to accept say a 10 ranking drop in journal ranking?

Norm McQuestion

What are the current norms about COVID and travel reimbursement? For example, suppose one gets invited for an in-person talk and the host promises to pay. But due to COVID, the trip had to be cancelled, the talk had to be given online, and some travel arrangements are unrefundable. Should the host pay? Or, for example, suppose one is traveling using university money, but again the trip had to be cancelled, is it still okay to submit the unrefundable travel costs for reimbursement?

Pleasantly surprised by reviewer 2

I have a paper that was rejected from a journal, but with an unbelievably helpful referee report that is instrumental in rewriting the paper. How do I acknowledge this anonymous reviewer when I resubmit the paper to a new journal? Is it odd to acknowledge a reviewer from a previous journal's review process in a new submission?


I hope I can pose a neurotic and basically trivial question. I'm a junior academic in the UK whose official job title is 'lecturer' but it is a permanent position. Is it wise or appropriate to explain on my CV or website that the position is equivalent to what is called 'assistant professor', which it is what it is called at some other UK institutions and the closest thing to the position in most of the rest of the anglophone world?

no response from journal

Here's a(nother) question about dealing with unresponsive journals:

I submitted a paper last summer (2021). It is with a good journal in my subfield and is one of my better papers. It initially received a 'revise and resubmit, no commitment to publishing' in November '21, and I resubmitted in December '21. The paper has been untouched since then (i.e., for about seven months). The editors have not responded to two emails asking whether the paper is still actively under review.

When do I pull out? At the nine-month mark? The one-year mark? I would of course like to publish with them, but continuing to wait could lead to problems for my career. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Measuring success at a career stage?

I know the mere thought of measuring success in philosophy might be unacceptable to some, but here’s where the question came from, at least to me. I just started my first job, a non-TT job. I have under 50 citations from 5 publications in leiterian journals. My brother-in-law, who has a non-TT job in one of the STEM fields, on the other hand, has over 30 publications and 200 citations. This is not coming from him, he’s totally a nice guy, but from the elders at the family table, belittling me because of my publication volume and citation count.

So generally, what would be a decent publication volume and citation count for philosophers? I know the answer will vary according to sub-disciplines and the “quality” of the publications. Or rather, how can one explain on the dining table that one’s doing ok-ish in research?


I don't know if this is the place to ask, but I wonder if there is some bias against innovative research in our profession, including publication. Do you have the impression that oftentimes the more interesting research has a harder time of being published than a very polished but a little boring paper? I have gone through a few rounds of grad student admissions, and I found that many colleagues are more sympathetic towards all-round okay candidates than those who appear to be very innovative but not so okay in some respects. I judge the latter to have a higher intellectual ability but the former seems to be standardly preferred. Sorry about the ranting---I am not sure if it makes sense to anybody besides me.


I am an international student who applied to PhD programs in the US this past application round. I was rejected by all schools except for one, which put me on a waitlist of six in mid-April with me being “high on the list.” Yet to this day there is no final word on my application, neither via email nor through the application portal. I emailed the DGS two months ago for an update but didn’t hear back. My question is: is it all too common to have an application pending at this time of the year? Thanks!

Bill Harrison

At my university (in Australasia) administrators have claimed that students are customers or clients, using terms like "stakeholders" to describe not only current enrollees but also school leavers we are "targeting" for "marketing purposes." A few years ago I read a comprehensive article that argued why we shouldn't believe that students are customers. I'd like to hear from readers of the Cocoon whether they agree or disagree with my administration's sentiment, i.e., that students are customers and that we faculty are contractually obligated to provide them with a product (a degree?) or service (learning?). Second, if readers have recommendations for where I can find arguments like this (either for or against the aforementioned thesis), I'd appreciate them sharing the URL or source. Thank you!

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