Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gloomy in New York

The APA was the real-world equivalent of a Lars Von Trier film (I mean one of the ones that don't suck)-- completely devastating for anyone not lucky enough to be in a position which allows one the comfort of blocking out the surrounding tragedy.

More on that in a later post. For now, I call attention to a nice post about the insane prices that were being charged at the second smoker. Here's the solution that some of us have been doing anonymously and in secret for years, but now should be practiced openly as a matter of principle: Everyone sneaks in a six pack and shares. Done.

A further thought about the stupid smoker and the asinine way in which job candidates are forced to schmooze and kiss ass. I had a student on the market who had his interview on Wednesday morning. I also know that other candidates who interviewed on Tuesday were invited to visit the department's table. So whatever the additional face time was worth, this opportunity was not made available to all candidates. This seems to me unacceptable.

Anyway, I'm out for winter break. Fuck the new year.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

The APA was the real-world equivalent of a Lars Von Trier film

I'd like it very much if this meant that people were going around acting like they were mentally retarded, especially if this were done to get out of paying for food or perhaps drinks at the smoker.

Anonymous said...

Are you allowed to smoke at a smoker? I bet not...

729 said...

Have a great break. I'm out as well. I had my own hotel room made vodka and tonics the whole time that second night. Walked right in with the cup in hand. That wasn't water I was drinking. Fuck the Smoker, while we're at it.

Anonymous said...

Any stories from the smoker?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know which department emailed a PFO letter on Christmas Day? That's the holiday spirit.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I've had a paper at Phil Studies for months and they still haven't found a referee for it. I emailed to check and the assistant said that he'd prod the editor to find referees, but still nothing. I know this isn't due to the backlash against Springer, it took under a week for Synthese and Erkenntnis to find referees. Is anyone else having this problem? I don't want to have to write off Phil Studies, but this is just silly.

Anonymous said...

Re: 11:01, it took three months for Phil Studies to find a referee for my submission (submitted last spring). So, you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

After previous publishing with Phil Studies, I recently had a very bad experience. They couldn't find a referee, then found ONE who, after five months and constant prodding, gave a 'reject' verdict without any report or explanation. I rec'd an apology from the editor with an offer to return to the field looking for referees. I instead put the paper to another well-regarded journal and had it accepted within 8 weeks. I won't submit again to Phil Studies until I hear that these issues are resolved.

Anonymous said...

On Phil Studs:
I don't get this. I'm sure they use more or less the same referee list as other journals. If they have trouble finding a referee, that must be because a bunch of their invitations have been turned down. But I don't see how that could be the journal's fault.
Maybe I'm missing something. Can someone explain how the very long times taken to find a ref show that there's a problem with the journal?

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure they use more or less the same referee list as other journals. If they have trouble finding a referee, that must be because a bunch of their invitations have been turned down. But I don't see how that could be the journal's fault.
Maybe I'm missing something. Can someone explain how the very long times taken to find a ref show that there's a problem with the journal?"

If we were to assume that they used the same ref. pool as other journals, wouldn't the natural explanation be that there's a problem with the journal? I can't think of any reason why refs who ref for other journals would be inclined to turn down invitations to ref for Phil Studies. (As 11:01 noted, this isn't a Springer problem in 11:01's experience since they were finding refs in about a week.)

Two hypotheses as to why it is taking a particularly long time to find refs at Phil Studies.
(a) They aren't drawing from a large enough pool of referees. (I've refereed for six journals and refereed for a few of those more than once. A few of them better than Phil Studies. I've never been asked by Phil Studies to referee. I've also never published in Phil Studies after numerous attempts, but my Phil Studies rejected papers almost always get published in similar or better places.)
(b) They are using the same pool of refs but it is taking longer for the editor to look for refs than other journals.

I don't know which of these hypotheses is true, but if either of these hypotheses are true it suggests that the refereeing process at Phil Studies could be better. (Interesting comment over at Smoker: here

tom said...

If we were to assume that they used the same ref. pool as other journals, wouldn't the natural explanation be that there's a problem with the journal?

Well, it could be just a sampling error (that is, maybe there's nothing particularly wrong with Phil Studs at all).

As to (a): could be, but there's no independent reason to think so. (It would be a very bad idea to generalize from your self-sample n=1.)

As to (b): that's possible, but Stewart Cohen has a very good reputation as editor. I would be more inclined to blame the Springer staff, but as you say the problem seems to be confined to Phil Studs.

Here's a possibility (c):
Phil Studs gets more submissions than almost any other journal. They therefore have to call on referees more often, given that they have the same pool of referees. And that means any individual ref is more likely to decline on the grounds that s/he's reffed for them recently.

Anonymous said...

I estimate that Phil Studies gets about 35 submissions per month. (I look at my manuscript numbers and the time between submissions to get the estimate.) I get roughly that number for Erkenntnis and Synthese using the same technique. My guess is that this isn't that different from PPR, AJP, or EJP. I've never had submissions sit without referees at Phil Studies at journals that use electronic submissions. I like Stewart Cohen's work and people I've met who I like are fond of him, so I'm not writing this to slag him off. I don't think Phil Studies does as good a job placing things with referees as the other journals I've had experience with and if my experience is becoming more common I think something should be done to fix their problems, whatever their cause.

As for (a), I don't want to generalize from a sample size of 1. I checked the CVs of a few friends (I now have a sample size of 3!), and they had refereed for some pretty good journals but hadn't refereed for Phil Studies.

Anonymous said...

I know a good number of senior people who used to referee quite a bit for PhilStudies but no longer do so. I'm one.
We also no longer referee for Synthese, Erk... and other journals from that group. Of those, we used to referee most of all for PhilStudies.
In my case, and others I know of, the target certainly is not the editor -- it's the publisher.

Anonymous said...

Senior people refusing to referee for Springer journals might be part of the explanation. But you can add me to the data, for an n=4. I have refereed for AJP, Mind, Nous, PPR, PQ... but never been asked by Phil Stud.

Anonymous said...

I've reviewed for Phil Studies a number of times. Never for any *other* Springer journal, but that isn't too surprising.

Anonymous said...

It is not surprising that there are people who do review for Phil Studies. The question is: is there a significant number of people who are worthy of reviewing for comparable journals (or better) but not on Phil Stud's radar? And, if so, does this indicate that their pool is too small (smaller than comparable journals)?

Anonymous said...

Is Philosophers Anon dead? Why the dearth of activity lately? It can't possibly be because everyone has a job now.

Dustin said...

To Anonymous 3:21 - I think Spiros is on winter break. But I know, I miss the doom too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could petition Spiros to start blogging again. Here, I'll start:

NAME............POSITION
Anonymous.....Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Great quote from the previous thread, "APA Smoker Don'ts" by Anonymous Dec. 28th, 2:01pm:

"For the candidate, [the smoker] is nightmarish and Hobbesian."

Its funny 'cause its true; and, to add extra charm, its couched in a philosophical expression!