Friday, February 22, 2013

Can You Contact Helpful Referees, and How?

An anonymous Smoker writes,

I recently received a real nice set of comments from a journal referee. Although the editor rejected the paper, the ref recommended R&R, and spoke very highly of the paper's potential and the theories and arguments I defend, even if it needed some substantial revision and repackaging. I suspect that I might know the identity of this referee, based on certain context clues and the suspect's status as one of the major figures in the area. This referee's comments have led to substantial improvements in the paper--they were really tremendous. Here's the thing: I would like to get in touch with this referee, in order to a) let the person know how grateful I am, and b) ask for feedback on the changes. Is this appropriate at all? What procedures should I follow? It would be really weird to just email the suspect, right? Would it be just as weird to contact the journal? Would doing this irritate the journal staff? Would they think I was wasting their time?

I'm not sure about this one. I've never done anything like this, although I have, on occasion, received comments that were so helpful that I wished I could have expressed my gratitude to the reviewer. I definitely think it would be a bad idea to just email the person and ask if he or she was the referee: it would be weird if you were wrong, and incredibly weird if you were right. I'm not sure about asking someone at the journal. They might get annoyed--I don't know. But I guess it couldn't hurt. (Could it? Could folks with experience working for journals weigh in here?)

Or, you might just email the person without revealing your referee-related suspicions, and ask him or her to read a draft. Of course, if you're like me (i.e. a nobody), then unless the person recognizes you as the author of that high-potential paper he or she R&Red a while back, there's every chance that the message will be ignored. Whenever I have contacted people I don't know for feedback, I never hear back from them. Even if we have a lot of mutual friends on Facebook.

What say you, Smokers?

--Mr. Zero

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Things to do in New Orleans?

I've only been to New Orleans once, and that was before Katrina--10 years ago or so--and I didn't get to spend much time. My impression was that while the French Quarter has its moments, it's mostly touristy and horrible, and that the surrounding areas are potentially very dangerous. But, obviously, things could be very different now.

What should people not miss in New Olreans?

--Mr. Zero

Friday, February 15, 2013

Leiter Jobs Thread up. Congratulations to the winners, and please let me have a seat at your table sometime.

--Mr. Zero

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I might have chased a couple [philosophy jobs] around...

...but all it ever got me was down.

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I've had some grading, then I had some family stuff, and I'm getting very close to the end of a project I've been working on for a very long time, and it has been getting almost all my spare attention.

How are you doing?

--Mr. Zero

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Two-Body Problem.

On another thread, Anonymous asks:
When is it appropriate to ask a potential employer if accomodations can be made for a significant other?
And, if one's significant other has a campus visit in the vicinity of one's own campus visit, should both partners make this known during the in-person interview as a way of indicating their respective interest in the jobs?
To answer the first question, it's appropriate to ask when you get a job offer. Some schools, due to factors like location, might volunteer this information during a fly-out. Mine does. And they have a pretty good accommodation record, but it's important to know -- and this is probably especially true in the current economic and educational climate -- that a spousal accommodation can take many forms. It will not necessarily be another tenure-track job. I know of several couples who got SAs at my school -- for both male and female spouses, BTW (all with MAs or PhDs). Some of them are VAPs. Some are instructors. Some have jobs in admin, or elsewhere on campus.

Second question: I think it would probably be inadvisable to mention that at an interview. But others might have different opinions. What say you, smokers?