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« Coping with perfectionism as a writer? | Main | Resources for mid-career philosophers: should the Cocoon (officially) expand its scope? »

05/10/2024

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Hermias

Ethics of post-acceptance edits.

What are the limits on post-acceptance edits? Presumably it is fine to spell check, add a clarifying sentence or two, etc. Suppose that R2 asks you to address an objection, so you do. But really you think that it’s a waste of space to address this silly objection so you delete it post-acceptance. I assume that in most cases the editor is not paying such careful attention that you would be caught.

responding to referees

When writing cover letters for revised submissions, is there a preference for summarizing each referee comment or copy-and-pasting an entire comment when explaining the revisions made in response? Also, more generally are there any common mistakes or kiss-of-deaths made in response to comments.

Sort of Niche

Is it ever okay to submit a basically-new paper based on a rejected paper to the same journal that rejected the first version? Another way of framing the question - at what point (if ever) does a paper become so different as for it to be acceptable to submit to the same journal it was rejected from?

I had a paper rejected from a journal (rightfully so), and have since basically re-written a new paper with a very similar vibe. Only ~15% of the content is word-for-word from the old version, the thesis/framing are completely different, and the main argument is completely different. However, some of the key moves and examples are the same, and my guess is that it would be pretty easy to tell that this paper was based on the first one if you had read both. Their vibes and spirit are definitely very very similar. Neither referee objected to the vibe or spirit of the paper (in fact, both said that a substantially revised version of the paper could be published and the core ideas were promising).

There are few journals who have a record of being open to publishing in the niche sub-field the paper is in, which means it would be great if I could send it back to this journal. I wouldn't, however, want to do anything that might be viewed as disrespectful or deceptive to the editors of the journal, or submit it if it's standard to desk reject papers that seem vaguely similar to past submissions. Any advice would be welcome!

metrics focused

When should we expect the next PGR? Lots of folks have moved or retired and some programs have shrunk while others expanded, it's feels like the 2021 report is already out of date.

Summer Scholar

Grad student here. I've been fortunate enough to have been selected for a few (competitive, application required) funded summer programs this and last year. These seem significant enough to put on a CV given they represent training outside of normal coursework and success in an academically competitive endeavor. But these fit squarely neither under the traditional sections of "Course Work" or "Grants/Rewards" (unless for the latter one stretches, perhaps a bit too dubiously, a stipend to be a grant/reward -- but this seems inappropriate). I've poked around others' CVs but not found similar sorts of things listed.

Are these sorts of things typically just left off CVs? Do they get squeezed into other traditional sections, albeit with explicit qualifications? Or if one participates in enough of them, do they become their own section?

Future Applicant

I'm planning to apply to PhD programs next year, and my interests are somewhat interdisciplinary across philosophy and law (though not in analytic jurisprudence). I'd happily work with many faculty members who joint appointments between philosophy and law. (Eg, Shiffrin at UCLA, Hershovitz at Michigan, Keating at USC.) I've seen some general advice about the propriety of saying you'd like to work with specific faculty. I wonder how this changes when the faculty have less connection with the philosophy department, but still more than a mere courtesy appointment. Might it be a bad look to list these professors, since it may give the impression that I'm less interested in doing "pure" philosophy? Thank you!

Phil-Theo Student

So many people emphasize publishing articles in prestigious journals, beginning while you are in graduate school. While not denying the importance of this, I am wondering if a holistic publication record is more important for recent PhD graduates. By this I mean, publishing in respectable (if not highly prestigious) journals, having some chapters published, having a few book reviews, maybe some magazine articles, decent conference participation--showing that you are competent and willing to participate in all forms of output. Do people think that this sort of planning/output is a good idea or missing the point too much? (PS: I ask this as one who is less interested in being hired at the best research institutions, but as someone who is interested interested in a more common, though respectable, position.)

A Philosopher Named Slickback

When, if at all, should you quit philosophy?

What if one is four postdocs in? What if someone is only adjuncting and not publishing? What if you have published but have been adjuncting for ten years straight, thus having no hope of landing a TT job? How should new grad students prudently think about their stay in academia if things go wrong (like the norm implies) before going on to something else(consider this question coming from someone who is not independently wealthy and has no financial safety net)?

Sarah

Should I aim at a narrow(er) area of expertise?

I recently secured a tenure-track position, and at this stage of my career, I've observed that most of my colleagues and admired philosophers have a well-defined expertise encapsulated in one or two keywords. However, due to the instability of my career thus far and my broad range of interests, I find it challenging to focus on the same specific topic for an extended period. I often switch to whatever has recently captured my interest or, more pragmatically, whatever receives funding. While I recognize the benefits of maintaining focus on a single topic, such as deep knowledge, networking, or even reputation, I seem to gravitate toward new subjects periodically.

I wonder if others share this experience. How common is it for people to stick to the same topic for an extended period in academic and professional settings? Should I aim at this?

mossy

How are PhDs by prior publication viewed?

I am curious, especially from search committee members, as to how they would view a PhD in Philosophy obtained through prior publications (from the UK or Australia as only these places seem to do this), especially for someone who already holds a PhD in a related discipline. All other things being equal, would a PhD by prior publication simply be viewed the same as a PhD from an unranked department?

associate prof

This site has been very helpful for graduate students and junior faculty. And it's been around long enough that many of us are now tenured.

What are good resources for that middle career range? There are more and different administrative expectations, more and different politics to navigate, and fewer questions about CVs, job applications, and how to get publications. There are also questions about research trajectories, how to mentor junior faculty, how to think about career trajectories, when and whether to pursue promotion to full, etc.

These aren't great questions for this blog unless its scope is expanded. Maybe it's time to do so? (Or have an occasional series on these questions? I imagine early-career folks might appreciate some insight into what's coming, as long as it doesn't overtake the entire blog.)

Martin

How convenient or inconvenient is it to have publications completely outside of one's area of specialization, for a grad student aiming at an academic job?

Nick

I've got two questions:

1) Do you have any general rules of thumb that guide prepping a syllabus for a new course? Suppose, for example, you are teaching X in the Fall, and you have no familiarity at all with X. Do you find someone who has published a lot on X and look for their teaching syllabus on X? Do you look for a widely cited textbook/anthology on X and? And so on.

2) Is it imprudent to contact schools you think you'd be a good fit for and ask if they anticipate hiring anyone in the next academic year? I want to do this for two reasons: a) I'm just really curious, and b) in the event they are, I don't want to i) risk missing their posting, and ii) I want to have time to cater a good job application that fits them well.

Grad student

What has happened to essay prizes (particularly ones for grad students)? Many seem to have stopped. Does anyone know why? Does anyone think this is a good/bad thing?

Noah

Can we get a thread that provides information to those interested in contributing to one of the Oxford Studies journals? The information seems to be not centrally collected anywhere, hard to find, possibly outdated in some cases, and varies between the various journals. Some of the journals accept submissions by email year-round, others publish at least some of their papers from conferences, others publish some from Marc Sanders prize contest submissions, and still others sometimes put out CFPs. Here's what I've got so far from searching:

OS Agency & Responsibility - conference papers [New Orleans Workshop on Agency & Responsibility]
OS Ancient Phil - email submissions [[email protected]]
OS Early Modern Phil - email submissions [[email protected]]; Sanders Prize
OS Epistemology - Sanders Prize
OS Medieval Phil - email submissions [[email protected]]
OS Metaethics - conference papers [Madison Metaethics Workshop]; Sanders Prize
OS Metaphysics - Sanders Prize
OS Phil Mind - has put a CFP on PhilEvents at least once
OS Phil Religion - Sanders Prize
OS Political Phil - conference papers [Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy (but conference is at least sometimes invite only)]; Sanders Prize

I welcome anyone in the know to correct anything above or add missing avenues.

Curious PhD

Does it ever make sense to re-submit to the same journal after desk-rejection?

For context: I recently submitted an article to a leading generalist journal. The article was desk-rejected for reasons of framing -- specifically, they said that my paper is framed too narrowly for a generalist audience. The paper as a whole should appeal to a broader audience than my narrow subfield. (In fact, some friends from other fields want to use my argument in their own research.) But I can see how the abstract (and maybe some of the early language) makes the paper seem too specialist for a generalist journal. Is desk-rejection usually final, even if I change the framing? The journal's editors are switching soon. Would it make a difference if I submit to a different editorial team?

Liz

Dealing with students who lie, and self-absorbed colleagues.

This semester my freshmen philosophy class was the worst I’ve ever had in almost a decade. The main reason for this was the conduct of several students, who enrolled in groups (to be together in class as friends), and spent most of their time in class laughing at me, sneering, hardly interacting with other students and me. Several of them asked for extensions providing very unrealistic excuses, which however I accepted in the majority of cases. I did my best to teach in that class, to be patient and flexible so that they would interrupt the laughing and pay attention. I never singled out any of them in front of the class, and most of the time I even pretended not to notice. I talked in private to one of them to encourage him to do better in class (since he would never do the reading for the day). Now on the teaching evaluations they said that I picked on some students, that I did cold calling, and that I was passive aggressive. Aside from the discomfort of reading these harsh comments when I was being so patient even when their behavior was hurting me, how do people deal with students who clearly fail to respect you in class, and then claim you were the one who didn’t respect them? Also, how do you deal with colleagues who can only speak to you of how impressive they are as teachers, how they transfix students with their teaching, when you experience bullying in the classroom? Full disclosure: this is not the post of someone playing the victim card to avoid dealing with her responsibility as a teacher. I know that I could do better but in that class students never gave me even a chance to be taken seriously. However I tried, including talking to them privately or encouraging them to see me in office hours, or by offering group activities, their attitude to me stayed the same.

Early Career Inquirer

I have questions about miscellaneous things for a CV.

Should conference panel moderating go on a CV and, if so, where?

Should academic journals or articles which are reviewed by the editorial board, but not external blind reviewers, go under the same heading or a different one from blind-peer review articles?

Is it still normative to include personal contact details on a CV in addition to institutional contact information?

Thank you!

AlsoECI

I also have a question about CVs. Should we separate publications out by type (journal article vs book chapter) or by whether they were blind reviewed vs invited? Some folks use the peer-reviewed vs invited distinction but many invited pieces are also peer-reviewed (i.e. go through rounds of revisions and have the chance of being rejected) so I don't find that a helpful distinction...

I wish I knew

I've seen many "What I wish I knew when I started grad school" threads. How about a thread entitled: "What I wish I knew when I started at my first TT job?"

Hermias

Has anyone ever got "in trouble" for freely posting pdfs of their papers on academia, philpapers, etc.?

I guess that there's often some legal contract that I didn't bother reading. I always put all my papers up, since I want as many people to read them as want to read them, and since my guess is that there's zero chance of someone "coming after me," whatever that would look like in this context.

whatever

How do you start a new academic journal?

Who (think: career stage) should start a new academic journal?

Should you even bother...?

Jan

I had a paper I was planning to submit to Philosophy & Public Affairs in the next month—until the recent news came out. It seems like the perfect venue. Should I wait until September or submit it somewhere else-and if so, does anyone have a recommendation for which top generalist journals are most amenable to analytic moral and political philosophy?

Christian Phil.

How are Christian philosophy journals received by the broader community? As examples, The Heythrop Journal, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Faith and Philosophy, Philosophia Christi, Angelicum, Gregoriaum, Res Philosophica, Review of Metaphysics, Review of Politics, etc.?

publishing

I am working on a manuscript (to be submitted for publication eventually) where another author's paper is relevant. However, this latter paper is listed as "provisionally forthcoming" on the author's webpage. Is it okay to discuss and engage with this paper in my manuscript? The pdf that is posted on the authors' webpage doesn't say anything like "please do not cite" or "please cite the published version", it just says that it's provisionally forthcoming.

apa-newbie

Is it appropriate to submit a (slightly) longer version of paper that has been accepted to present at an upcoming APA to a journal for publication?

sahpa

I suppose I have a meta question. On the one hand, the Cocoon is an inclusive and supportive space. On the other hand, much of what goes on here is job market advice. However, the job market is inherently competitive, and so it seems to me that virtually none of the advice can truly scale: if everyone does x, then doing x doesn't give you the edge anymore. So the advice is only good if only some (not all) job marketeers follow it -- but then is this forum really meant to be inclusive of and supportive of *all* job marketeers? Isn't that something of a pragmatic contradiction?

I am putting the question in a rather, well, tendentious manner. But I mean to only be pressing the point in its most serious form, like we do in philosophy. And let me emphasize that I do not doubt the goodwill or intentions of Marcus and everybody else (including myself!) who contributes to discussions here. I suppose what I am really after is hearing how other people think about the advice they're offering in this environment.

citation norms

Is it permissible to cite a talk you went to at a conference, even if, as far as you know, no paper version of that talk exists? How about a paper from a preread workshop? Does it matter the career stage - are the norms different if you're citing a grad student vs. someone very famous? Does it matter if you're citing in agreement or objecting to the view? Assume you're writing with the intent of submitting to journals.

Early Career Grad Student

I have occasionally come across graduate students and/or other early-careers list their "managing editor" experiences, at various journals, sometimes during summers, on their CV. These strike me as potentially quite valuable opportunities -- getting to know how journals run, how reviewer comments are conveyed and responded to, the acceptance, R&R, and rejection rate, etc. (This isn't the position of regular, in-house managing editor like that at Ethics, I assume; maybe it's more "volunteer-ish" in nature -- I'm not sure.)

I haven't seen any reputable journals calling for applications/volunteers, however, for this capacity. Do they just go by invitation, or is this information available somewhere else?

Thank you very much.

Associate Editor

Early Career Grad Student - at my institutions, at least one of the journals we run is ME'ed by local grad students; it's a paid role, and AFAIK, it's open by application, but only to our own graduate students. Other journals we run have MEs that are students from elsewhere in the university, those may be advertised jobs too. I suspect there's some bureaucratic reason to stick to 'internal' hires here, it's often easier to fill part-time roles internally, with students, rather than doing an outside search. I don't know if things work the same way elsewhere.

Long-Winded

I'm trying to publish a paper of about 12,000 words. For reasons I won't go into, I'm not willing to shorten it (any further than I've already shortened it). Does anyone know which of the top generalist journals are most likely to publish a paper this long?

Mahmoud Jalloh

Long-Winded, see: https://www.pjip.org/

This should probably be linked to in the sidebar.

M

I am a tenured, mid-career professor in Europe. I've been asked to write a tenure letter for someone at a teaching institution in the US. I only know the person's research (and I am not familiar with tenure letters, or with teaching institutions). I'm looking for tips about what they expect in a strong letter.

Cookie Cutter

At least once a week, I have an idea that I think could be developed into a publishable paper. But ninety-five percent of the time, the relevant idea has been published already, usually within the last four years. Is this a common experience? Am I doomed to accidentally reproduce others' work on an almost daily basis for the rest of my academic career? Do any of you have advice for generating original philosophical ideas, or for how to quell the ever-present fear that absolutely everything worth saying about philosophy has already been said (or is about to be said, this month, by someone from NYU)?

hopeful

Can there be overlap between a writing sample and a job talk? I have a paper that I want to use as a writing sample in the next cycle. I’m also working on a separate paper that applies the theory worked out in the writing sample to a specific problem, which I think is fruitfully addressed with the resources I’ve developed. Since the application paper relies on the ideas worked out in the writing sample, there will be some overlap in content.

Would it be a mistake to use the application paper as a job talk when I’ve used the general paper as my writing sample?

Of course, I would find different ways to present the ideas (different examples, perhaps different order of presentation), but one section of the talk would clearly be a compressed rehearsal of the conclusions of my writing sample. I’m unsure whether to present work that is new and what I’m currently thinking about or something older but very different to my current project (if I get the chance to give a job talk at all!).

a reader

When I applied for jobs when finishing my PhD, I used my institutional email address and institutional letterhead in my job applications.

Now that I am in a TT position, I am not sure what email address to use (personal or institutional), nor whether to use my institutional letterhead, in my job applications.

What is the general etiquette for application materials when applying out of a professional appointment rather than a PhD program?

Apologies if this has already been answered and I've overlooked it. I can only seem to find a couple of posts addressing this, but from ~10 years ago.

nick

I've had a paper with a journal that has not been able to secure external reviewers for almost four months now.

I know everyone has different tolerances for review times given their career stage, but I'm wondering if there is a general time threshold at which most people should just rescind the paper. I'm also worried this means this journal will simply never find such external reviewers.

feeling violated

So let’s say I just got done spending a few years as non-TT faculty in a department with a history of corrupt faculty: think sexual harassment scandals, forced retirements, etc. Let’s also say I also suspect that my supervisor, also in my historical subfield, of abuse. The supervisor oversaw a failed tenure case of the only other tenure-line person working in our subfield, drove another non-TT faculty member in our subfield out of the profession with bad treatment, has never graduated a PhD student, treated the four students who tried to work with him in abusive ways, and recently sabotaged a former (undefended) student of his in an especially egregious way. The supervisor found ways to make my life utterly miserable in my time there (in ways I don’t want to get into for anonymity’s sake). My guess is that this is a reflection of the desires of the supervisor, who was a spousal hire, to police the subfield and use his power to support his conservative interpretation by wrecking the lives of others. But, of course, I can’t prove intent, only impact.

What should I do? The department chair is sympathetic but not buying my account, as the supervisor is well-liked by people outside of our subfield. To be clear, this is a moral and not logistical question: I have a new job, am out of that place. But working with this person leaves me feeling violated, definitely struggling to be productive, and I’m not sure what the right thing to do is.

How general is general?

As a graduate student working on the History of Africana Philosophy, where do you think would be good venues for me to try to publish my materials in. My sense is that I am past the implicit threshold of 'generalist' and yet must consider trying to publish as 'respectably' as possible for the job market. Any suggestions?

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