Thursday, January 21, 2010

Posting Paper Drafts on the Web

I notice a lot of people post paper drafts on the web. Is this a good way to get helpful feedback on one's work? How long do you wait around with the papers up there, waiting for feedback? Then, when it's time to send them out, do you leave the papers up, or do you take them down? I guess I'd be worried about the referee googling the paper title, finding out what a loser I am, and then rejecting the paper on that basis. Thereby extending the vicious cycle of loserdom.

--Mr. Zero


Anonymous said...

I post paper drafts on the web. I rarely get any feedback although I have had unpublished stuff that I posted cited. I do it because I'm interested in getting stuff out there for better or worse and they do get downloaded. I don't take papers down and, if things go well, eventually replace the draft with the published version. I have some drafts that I have lost interest in, although think have some useful ideas, that will never appear anywhere but my web site.

You are, however, right to be concerned about your anonymity being at risk during the refereeing process. As a referee, I find it very tempting to google the title. After a couple of lapses several years ago when this first became a possibility I have managed to restrain myself until after submitting my review. Given the temptation I would be very surprised if there aren't a significant number of referees who succumb.

Anonymous said...

This is totally off-topic, but I was wondering if anyone had the skinny on the Pac APA drama? I received an email from one of the strikers from the hotel (as I assume many did) asking to honor their strike, and claiming that many of the APA statements that were passed around to Pac APA participants were fallacious. Does anyone know what is going on?

I have sympathies for workers not getting the pay and health care they need. But, hey, at least they have a job. I on the other hand do of yet. I could use the Pac APA to help me in that endeavor if--as is looking likely--I will need to rely on one-year and VAP interviews, which sometimes take place at the pacific. Any (accurate) information about what is going on?

Anonymous said...

I used to post drafts too, but I now think it's a bad idea. The only way it's actually useful is that it allows you to send someone (say, a colleague) a link instead of an attachment when you send them the paper by email, and allows you to post new versions in the interval before they actually read it (assuming they ever do). Apart from that, it just outs you to curious referees and make public the timeline to publication.

Anonymous said...

Two papers that I posted online have been published as a result. In each case someone (different people) contacted me and asked if they could publish them. They have not ended up in the most prestigious publications in the world, but they might not have been published at all otherwise.

Clayton said...

I worry about anonymity. I've found people googling things from papers to trace them to my blog, webpage, or CV. Now I tend to post them only once the cat is out of the bag (e.g., the piece is something given at a conference, it contains elements already posted on the web). Rarely do I receive feedback, but Michael Conboy and John Turri have both sent me really detailed and wonderful comments completely out of the blue on long, tedious papers that needn't some help. Also, you will sometimes get requests for copies of papers and that helps a bit with networking. So, mixed bag. I think my acceptance rate has gone up since I've gone away from posting everything online, but I've also been playing more online 2-Player battle Tetris so it could just be that I'm much smarter than I used to be.