I had a meeting with a graduate student today about preparing for the job market. It was illuminating in the usual way: students often go very far in their graduate education before considering the realities concerning employment, salary, teaching loads, geography, and such.
Anyway, I think this issue has come up before, but I'm curious about whether others would agree with a bit of advice I gave. The student has been invited to contribute an essay to an edited collection and she asked whether she should accept the invitation. I told her no.
Now, let me make clear that although the edited collection is not coming out with Oxford, and it not being edited by some world famous philosopher, it is not a Pop Culture and Philosophy volume, either. I take it that an invitation to contribute to a collection edited by a leader in one's field for a major university press is a no-brainer: accept. I also take it that a fluff piece edited by a marginal scholar in a silly and embarrassing series for a vanity press is also a no-brainer: pass.
But what about an invitation from a decently recognized scholar for a volume of with a decent line-up for a decent press? I still say no. Any paper that would be good enough for such a project would be better placed in a peer-reviewed journal. Views? Too old school?