Friday, December 3, 2010

Thom Brooks's Advice for Referees

The Smokers are probably familiar with the guide to publishing that Thom Brooks wrote a few years ago and revised last year. (If not, here it is.) What you might not know is that he has recently written a guide to refereeing papers for journals. (Or maybe you do, if you read his blog or Leiter.) It contains a brief overview of the academic publishing industry, a guide to selecting the right standard for acceptance, and a guide to writing your report. It's good, and it's here. Thanks to Professor Brooks for putting it together.

--Mr. Zero

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Prof. Brooks. I'm a grad student who has recently begun sharing my shitty work with journals. No successes yet, but I'm getting closer. I've had some helpful referee reports. But over half of the reports I've received (4 of 6, I think) have been either uncharitable in the extreme, lazy, or just downright douchey. Even if the papers were ultimately unpublishable, this kind of thing is depressing, and by many accounts pervasive.

I wonder if the perpetrators are the kind of self-assured, pretend-busy folk who would never take advice on their refereeing anyway. I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Can't access it. Can I get a copy?

Anonymous said...

i am feeling nauseaous at the prospects of failed job applications. what should i do? throw up, smell peppermint oil, or kill myself?
how can i use the existential angst induced by the job market that is not self-destructive? any tips?

Anonymous said...

Why are people abandoning all hope? Isn't it still way earlier? I've only had about 5 (of around 50) schools I applied to appear on the wiki.

Mr. Zero said...

Anon 5:13 is right. It is way too early to abandon all hope. The next ten days or so are going to be big. Don't worry if you don't have anything yet; worry if you don't have anything a week from now.

Anonymous said...

If you're still in grad school and are suffering a great deal of stress about your job prospects, two things.

First, seek professional help. Chances are you get free sessions with a mental health professional. They can work wonders in dealing with stress and situational depression. Best thing I ever did, can't recommend it enough.

Second, know that your options are much broader now than they will be in the future. Honestly, law school is not a bad idea. I wish I did it years ago, now I feel too old and I'm in that cycle of looking for good jobs and just getting by on crap jobs from year to year.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Mr. Zero about worrying a week from now. Based on my (quite limited) search committee experience, I think there's good reason to believe that the increased number of applicants per job this year will slow committees down a bit, at least in many cases. Worry on December 20.

Anonymous said...

But for goodness sakes, don't worry now!

CTS said...

For any number of gods' sakes, do not consider law school unless (a) you have tons of money and (b) really want a degree in law, whether or not you get to practice, or (c) have delusions of becoming a law prof.

Law school grads are finding it very difficult to get work. They also have far more debt than any phil grad should have. And there really are not that many more law prof jobs out there.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone apply for one of the jobs at Belmont University in Nashville? The university just fired an expectant mother for being gay.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, last year, 80% of my Eastern APA interviewing committees didn't contact me until the week of the 14th (i.e. the third week of December).

Anonymous said...

Will freshly minted PhDs or wiley veteran teachers and researchers be favored in this tough job market?

Anonymous said...

People on the market shouldn't be worrying quite yet. Many requests for interviews at the APA come later in December. I'm sure mine didn't come until like a week or so before the meeting, and I know some people who got contacted only a day or two before then. Faculty may be busy right now getting ready for finals and doing their last grading and stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to second the kudos to Thom Brooks for this valuable contribution to the profession.

Thanks alot Professor Brooks!

-A worthless, jobless, and soon to be homeless loser on the market

The Brooks Blog said...

I really can't thank many of you for your kind words about this essay. It is actually highly, highly surprising that things such as refereeing advice is so hard to find. I am very glad that this has been seen to be useful, as was (I hope) the publishing advice.

Please do let me know of any corrections - and any other topics for possible future essays - either through my blog or at the APA-Eastern.

Anonymous said...

I was considering applying to Belmont but didn't in the end. I was wondering whether I made the right decision, but not anymore after reading the article linked to above. Thanks to anon 4:55 for pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice, thank you very much Prof. Brooks! What I still can't fathom is (and this may be slightly off topic) why some journals take months to find a referee, whereas others are quick and efficient about it (as Prof. Brooks seems to be). It can't just be bad luck, because the journals that find quick refs are always the same, and those that report after a polite inquiry after 6 months that they're still looking are the same. Perhaps there should also be an "Advice for Editors"....

The Brooks Blog said...

An "advice for editors" would perhaps be very long, indeed... In any event, I've tried to address this by relaunching the Association of Philosophy Journal Editors (APJE) with Carol Gould last year. We'll be meeting again at the Eastern for a roundtable on electronic publishing. Roundtable members will include Julia Driver, Gary Gutting, and a Blackwell rep.

Thanks again to all for your kind words of support!