philosophy meta-forum

Worst application error?

Jose

15 day(s) ago

For those of you who are or have been on a hiring committee, what is the funniest application fib you have come across?

Pyotr

14 day(s) ago

A list of journal articles on the CV where the journals themselves are unidentified; upon investigation the "articles" turn out to be op-eds in local newspapers.

Thoralf

14 day(s) ago

not exactly funny, maybe, but:

- a candidate who claimed to have his PhD in hand when in fact he was ABD without a scheduled defense date

- a candidate who claimed to have a PhD in philosophy when in fact it was in another, not-obviously-related field

- all sorts of fishiness under 'publications' on CVs, e.g., making invited book chapters look like they're peer-reviewed publications and a host of other half- or outright lies (disturbingly common)

- egregious errors or lies in summarizing teaching evaluations, e.g., summarizing an 'overall effectiveness' rating by averaging the average of many courses with vastly different Ns

Bhimrao

14 day(s) ago

Listing submitted papers as publications.

Marquis

14 day(s) ago

So if an applicant teaches a 200-student lecture and a 20-student seminar, you think the former's average should be weighted 8x heavier than the latter's? That sounds at least debatable.

not exactly funny, maybe, but:

- a candidate who claimed to have his PhD in hand when in fact he was ABD without a scheduled defense date

- a candidate who claimed to have a PhD in philosophy when in fact it was in another, not-obviously-related field

- all sorts of fishiness under 'publications' on CVs, e.g., making invited book chapters look like they're peer-reviewed publications and a host of other half- or outright lies (disturbingly common)

- egregious errors or lies in summarizing teaching evaluations, e.g., summarizing an 'overall effectiveness' rating by averaging the average of many courses with vastly different Ns

Thoralf

Marquis

14 day(s) ago

I can't do math. 10x

Thoralf

14 day(s) ago

If you have a 200-student lecture and your average rating in that course is 1/5 and you have a 20-student seminar and your average rating in it is 5/5, your average student rating sure as shit ain't arrived at by averaging 1 and 5 to get 3/5. That's the type of thing I've seen.

Marquis

14 day(s) ago

But that assumes that your educational importance to a random student in a large lecture is equal to your importance to a seminar student. I don't think that's obvious.

Thoralf

14 day(s) ago

Fair enough, but at least on the three hiring committees I've been on, we didn't have much doubt that the vast majority of applicants will be able to please students in seminars taught in their areas of expertise. No, we wanted people who will attract people to Phil courses by wowing them in Intro to Philosophy. An average of evaluations that is deemed a *course* average is very different from an average of evaluations that in effect says, "This is what the average student of mine thinks of me." The issue is more nuanced than I suggested in my original post, but the way candidates sometimes present their course evals is misleading, I think - especially in cases where the good evals are in upper-level courses and the not-so-good evals are in lower- and intermediate-level courses.

Marquis

14 day(s) ago

No, I can appreciate where you're coming from. I'm TT, so I'm free from worrying about this,

but I made that mistake without even thinking about it. At the very least it's a lot easier to do the math that way.

Fair enough, but at least on the three hiring committees I've been on, we didn't have much doubt that the vast majority of applicants will be able to please students in seminars taught in their areas of expertise. No, we wanted people who will attract people to Phil courses by wowing them in Intro to Philosophy. An average of evaluations that is deemed a *course* average is very different from an average of evaluations that in effect says, "This is what the average student of mine thinks of me." The issue is more nuanced than I suggested in my original post, but the way candidates sometimes present their course evals is misleading, I think - especially in cases where the good evals are in upper-level courses and the not-so- good evals are in lower- and intermediate-level courses.

Thoralf

Branislav

14 day(s) ago

not exactly funny, maybe, but:

- a candidate who claimed to have his PhD in hand when in fact he was ABD without a scheduled defense date

- a candidate who claimed to have a PhD in philosophy when in fact it was in another, not-obviously-related field

- all sorts of fishiness under 'publications' on CVs, e.g., making invited book chapters look like they're peer-reviewed publications and a host of other half- or outright lies (disturbingly common)

- egregious errors or lies in summarizing teaching evaluations, e.g., summarizing an 'overall effectiveness' rating by averaging the average of many courses with vastly different Ns

Thoralf

Branislav

14 day(s) ago

How does one make a book chapter look like a peer-reviewed article? I list my publications all together, because I don't have very many, but it's not a mystery what is a book chapter and what is an article ... is this a no-no?

Thoralf

14 day(s) ago

Sorry. I see I should have been clearer in my original post. I didn't have in mind what you do, Branislav. I meant outright lies - the heading on the cv is "Peer-Reviewed Publications" or some such thing, and then the invited book chapters or book reviews are listed under that heading.

I'd get input from others before taking my advice, but I'd say if you're listing all your pubs together, you should make clear which are and which aren't peer-reviewed, perhaps with parenthetical indicators. I'd say that's best if you don't have enough of each kind of publication to list in different sections of your cv.

Thoralf

14 day(s) ago

Because some book chapters ARE peer-reviewed and others are invited, and once invited are sure to get in the book, no matter their quality.

Merab

14 day(s) ago

Listing an AOC in a trendy topic when there is no evidence whatsoever in your application to back it up.

Nemesius

13 day(s) ago

- egregious errors or lies in summarizing teaching evaluations, e.g., summarizing an 'overall effectiveness' rating by averaging the average of many courses with vastly different Ns

Thoralf

It would never occur to me to think of this type of thing as either an error or a lie. On the other hand I don't see what the point of an 'overall effectiveness' rating is or why it would even be included in an application. Charitably though, this seems a natural way to do an average course rating.

Curt

13 day(s) ago

People posting book reviews in decent journals under "publications"

bell

13 day(s) ago

People posting book reviews in decent journals under "publications"

Curt

+1. This is so egregious, yet lots of people do it who should know better.

Saul

13 day(s) ago

Clearly folks here distinguish "publications" from "publications* ", where the latter are taken to be something less than the former if they are "book reviews in decent journals" than peer reviewed articles in journals, irrespective of those journals' place in the discipline as being influential or important.

Yet as clearly some publications* contribute more to philosophy than many publications, using these terms as suggested. Publications* in front-line journals reviewing and criticizing books by what are taken to be important figures certainly contributes in many cases much more than many publications in lesser venues. Running over that distinction roughshod as has been done here is without any reasonable basis whatever.

Øystein

12 day(s) ago

Yet as clearly some publications* contribute more to philosophy than many publications.

Saul

SOMETIMES, sure, but rarely. And rarer still in the case of junior members of the profession are their reviews either more impactful than their peer-reviewed publications or indeed impactful at all. Where are these 'many cases' you mention, and yet failed to give a single example of?

Elihu

12 day(s) ago

I admit to not really getting it. How does it matter exactly where one lists these things? A book review *is* a publication. It's not a great or very interesting one, but as a member of a search committee, I could look under "publications" and see "ah, this person has three peer reviewed articles and a book review." Unless the book review is listed in a way that obscures what it is, I don't see the problem. Unless search committee members are simply

*counting* publications as a way of weeding people out. It's not a misepresentation. At most, it's a disagreement about how important book reviews are.

IMO, they are important. I read book reviews often. They are a service to the profession. They take time to do well. It shows a candidate is engaged with the profession in certain ways--presumably, an editor reached out to them bc of their work, or they were recommended by someone. So I don't mind seeing it under "publications".

Henry

12 day(s) ago

Let's hear the ludicrous ones. I've heard of local pastors applying to jobs.

Joseph

12 day(s) ago

Oh, yes. I've seen many applications from pastors. Some chairs ago many were hired as adjuncts. . . .

Miranda

12 day(s) ago

Oh, yes. I've seen many applications from pastors. Some chairs ago many were hired as adjuncts. . . .

John

12 day(s) ago

I admit to not really getting it. How does it matter exactly where one lists these things? A book review *is* a publication. It's not a great or very interesting one, but as a member of a search committee, I could look under "publications" and see "ah, this person has three peer reviewed articles and a book review." Unless the book review is listed in a way that obscures what it is, I don't see the problem. Unless search committee members are simply

*counting* publications as a way of weeding people out. It's not a misepresentation. At most, it's a disagreement about how important book reviews are.

IMO, they are important. I read book reviews often. They are a service to the profession. They take time to do well. It shows a candidate is engaged with the profession in certain ways--presumably, an editor reached out to them bc of their work, or they were recommended by someone. So I don't mind seeing it under "publications".

Elihu

Ok, so book reviews go under 'service'. Fwiw, that makes a lot of sense to me. But it is false that they are all solicited. I did mine as a grad student by approaching the editors. Nothing could have been simpler.

Zou

12 day(s) ago

I am serving on a search committee this year. And whenever we come across an application that lists book reviews or submissions alongside peer-reviewed articles (which happens often), we simply throw it in the rubbish bin. We have no time to waste on people who lack basic professional skills, or that feel the need to disguise a lackluster publication record.

Themistius

12 day(s) ago

I'm now somewhat concerned about my applications that I've sent out this year. I'm a newly minted Ph.D., and I have four regular publications (in good journals) and one book review. I put them all under "Publications", because it seemed silly to create a new category for a single book review. (I would never have even thought to put it under "Service" until reading this thread.)

Will search committee members really throw out an application like mine (which I think is otherwise quite strong) for such a trivial reason? It's obvious on my CV what's a book review and what's not.

Cora

12 day(s) ago

I am serving on a search committee this year. And whenever we come across an application that lists book reviews or submissions alongside peer-reviewed articles (which happens often), we simply throw it in the rubbish bin. We have no time to waste on people who lack basic professional skills, or that feel the need to disguise a lackluster publication record.

Zou

You're a big man, professor.

Mahavira

12 day(s) ago

If you have published just four or five items it’s fine to have a single list of “publications”, provided it’s clear what type of item each is. Don’t listen to the idiots on here. They’re probably just gradflake trolls.

Mir

12 day(s) ago

I admit to not really getting it. How does it matter exactly where one lists these things? A book review *is* a publication. It's not a great or very interesting one, but as a member of a search committee, I could look under "publications" and see "ah, this person has three peer reviewed articles and a book review." Unless the book review is listed in a way that obscures what it is, I don't see the problem. Unless search committee members are simply

*counting* publications as a way of weeding people out. It's not a misepresentation. At most, it's a disagreement about how important book reviews are.

IMO, they are important. I read book reviews often. They are a service to the profession. They take time to do well. It shows a candidate is engaged with the profession in certain ways--presumably, an editor reached out to them bc of their work, or they were recommended by someone. So I don't mind seeing it under "publications".

Elihu

Agreed. A book review is a publication, and it belongs under a "publications" heading in the CV. The problem is when reviews are buried in an undifferentiated list of publications -- discussion notes, research articles, invited (and non-peer-reviewed) book chapters, invited (and peer-reviewed) book chapters, invited (and non-peer-reviewed journal articles), and invited (and peer-reviewed) journal articles. A little more fineness of grain in presentation goes a long way here towards signalling that the candidate is indeed aware of these distinctions and a professional. I recommend, at the very least, splitting (non-invited, peer-reviewed) articles off from everything else. Otherwise, it often *looks* like a candidate is trying to inflate their research accomplishments.

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