Monday, October 11, 2010

Miscellaneous Observations About the JFP

1. There are a bunch of instances of nonconsecutive ads for the same school, which I find maybe more annoying that I should. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't find it at all annoying.

2. The NYU campus at Abu Dhabi: still funny.

3. They responded to our demands that the numbering system be changed, and changed the numbering system. Unfortunately they changed it in a way that makes no sense. Now the "web-only" section of JFP #187 starts over at 1, rather than continuing from the print version. Although this is different from before, it is different in a way that is not at all helpful. It would be much, much better if each ad were given a unique number, so that way you could know at a glance whether you'd already read this ad already. Instead, it seems to me that all of the first 50 and several ads randomly placed between #54 and #75 are duplicates.

I mean, you gotta wonder what the point of numbering the ads could possibly be if they're going to do it this way. There's nothing especially significant about the order of the ads. It's not a way to uniquely identify the ads, since the same ad can have different numbers and the same number can (now) be assigned to different ads (interpreting, as the APA does, the "web-onlies" as an extension of the print issue). And it's not a way to ascertain how many ads there are, because there are so many duplicates.

4. Didn't they used to alphabetize the ads by school name in the regional categories? Why did they stop?

5. I found a little over 30 jobs I will apply for. This is pretty similar to what was happening last year at this time. Which is very, very bad.

--Mr. Zero


Xenophon said...

Let's assume that ads are individuated by the positions they are designed to fill. Then one way of referencing them would be to have a name for each ad. But the APA seems to name each mention of the ad instead.

So I guess they want us to compose cover letters as follows:

"Dear University of X: I wish to apply for the Assistant Professor position in Philosophy, AOS: Philosophy of Time, which is advertised by the American Philosophical Association as JFP 187-245 (=JPF 187-Web-61), (=University of X HR website # 6000098), (=Chronicle of Higher Education 10/8/10, unnumbered), (=HigherEdJobs 10/9/10, unnumbered).

Maybe they're being nice. They think that we don't have anything much to say in our cover letters, and they're trying to give us one substantive paragraph. Or maybe they've got odd views on the metaphysics of job searches. Or maybe they're just $%&%$#@$.

Anonymous said...

#105: "Benefits provided by the university include housing, furnishing allowance, employer-paid comprehensive health insurance, educational allowance for children, annual airline tickets for the employee and family members and an end-of-service gratuity based on years of service." I'm not so sure about employment practices in other countries, but I find it a little hard to wrap my head around the idea of an academic getting a gratuity.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the Pitt HPS cock-up noted by Leiter, there's now this gem of an ad:

120. UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK. Philosophy department. Tenure-track Assistant Professor, beginning Fall 2011. Ph.D. prior to appointment. AOS: Philosophy of Science. Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies. Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Ancient Philosophy: Pre-Socratics Grade 7: 28,983 - 35,646GBP per annum (as at 1 August 2009). Applications are invited for a fixed-term Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Ancient Philosophy, to work on a project entitled Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies, which is hosted by the Faculty of Philosophy, and supported by the European Research Council. ...

Someone really needs to get fired. (And, by the way, the links don't work.)

IswearIdonotworkfortheAPA said...

So I just noticed a new and very useful feature that the APA added here -- and no, I'm not being sarcastic!

After each ad, they include the editions in which the job has appeared. So, if you look at Job 41 in JFP 187, you'll see (SW10), (187) after the ad, meaning that it's in both the summer ads and in 187. They also mark the duplicates in 187W with (187), (187W).

Good for them!

Anonymous said...


That feature has been in the JFP for several years.

Anonymous said...

"I just noticed a new and very useful feature that the APA added here."

That's not new. They've been doing that at least as long as I've been on the market (3 years).

IswearIdonotworkfortheAPA said...

Well, damn. And here I've been going back and forth between versions for the last few years to determine whether it's a new job. I guess I'd just never paid attention to it before.

Xenophon said...


I did a random sample of one, and found that the same ad (Xavier) appears in 187 with the notation (187), and in the web supplement of 187 with the notation (187W), but NOT 187. I'm a little disinclined to do a more thorough survey right now, but the system only inspires confidence if it's accurate. Maybe I found the one exception, but odds are I didn't. It's also possible they've got two open positions with identical ads (after all, at Catholic schools pretty much all jobs are AOS: History of Philosophy and AOC: Medieval), and they relied on the APA's full-proof system to make this clear, but I doubt it.

(The comment about Catholic schools was a joke, by the way. But there are good reasons they want to teach Medieval.)