If you’re in academia, you know Fall is the season for submitting applications (graduate schools, internships, faculty jobs…..). Though I am no longer sending out applications for any positions (it’s nice to have a job), the steady accumulation of a collection of requests for letters of recommendations on my desk is surely a reminder that many others are. Here in our department, we’re looking to fill an Assistant Professor position in Counseling Psychology. A website that I’ve found useful in the academic job search process in the past has been a wiki for psychology academic jobs. The website address has changed from year to year, but I found it pretty easily by googling something along the lines of “psychology academic job wiki”. If it is actively used by a large pool of applicants, it can be an effective way to keep abreast of the status of positions that you may have applied to. Having been on “the other side” of this for a number of years now, I know departments can sometimes fall behind on notifying applicants of their application status in a timely manner. Good luck to all on the job market this year!
Came across an interesting article in the New York Times a few weeks ago about new directions in the peer review process. Traditionally, academic articles go through a “peer review” process before publication. This ensures the accuracy and quality of published papers by putting the submitted manuscripts through a series of review by other experts in the field. The NYT article describes an experiment by the journal Shakespeare Quarterly to open up the review process to the public and online. Having been a reviewer for a number of journals, and also having submitted manuscripts for consideration in academic journals, it is clear that there are flaws to the current peer review system. Some of the problems can be addressed by experimenting with a hybrid system involving both experts and non-experts in the review process. Such a system need not threaten the expertise of those in academia, nor does it mean we are democratizing the production of knowledge. The question regarding the value of opening up the peer review system is an empirical one, and it’s worth finding out.