Oh, the wiki

When I went on the job market for the first time two years ago, I was advised not to consult the economics job market rumors forum. Given that I had no idea what it was, I immediately went and consulted it, only to have my spirit broken by the rank misogyny, stress, and trolling that dominated the forum. EJMR is still full of a lot of that crap, but it’s growing up in a way that I think has the potential to be beneficial to economists and the economics profession.

In particular, EJMR this year redid “the wiki”, or the crowd-sourced table of calls made to applicants on the job market each November and December. The redesign, and incorporation into the EJMR framework, has actually been incredibly user-friendly and informative. Yes, it sucks to hear that Dream University XYZ called someone and didn’t call you, but it’s really nice not to be waiting for them to call anymore. It’s anonymous, but usually updated incredibly rapidly. I’ve received emails or phone calls and went to check the wiki within minutes and seen it updated already.

More proof that EJMR has grown up a bit comes in the form of the recently added journal wiki, which I think is absolutely brilliant. Economics, from what I know, suffers from one of the longest (and most excruciating) publishing cycles in academia. My astrophysicist friends complain that their papers take eight months to get out and my eyes pop of my head. Try two years. Or three. The wiki itself is still kind of a jumble of information and lacks a good way to aggregate data. For instance, it would be useful to be able to find mean and median response times and see the number of entries for a given journal. The data is easily copied and pasted into Excel, so one could feasibly take all the information for a given journal and perform those quick data summaries oneself. Though it would strip away some of the anonymity, it would also be nice to know where those papers were eventually published. But perhaps I’m asking too much.

The journal wiki is similar to the jobs wiki in that it’s anonymous, crowd-sourced, and voluntary. The big difference is that while one school made 20-30 phone calls and only one person had to post the outcome, each journal submission and rejection is separate. You can’t rely on another person’s entering your rejection. The journal wiki poses a larger free-rider problem because each of piece of information is only controlled by a single individual (or author group). I imagine that despite the collective action problem, it will still gets high levels of participation. In fact, it’s already quite filled out and has only been up a few days.

I’m all for more information. I’m all for making publishers and referees more accountable. I also wonder if it won’t push some better papers to lesser known journals. With a clear time-to-publication advantage, lower-ranked journals could attract better papers and upset the hegemonic closed circle that tends to dominate the highly ranked, very slow to publish journals. It could also damn those papers to obscurity, but it will be interesting to see if it has any effect on overall response times and time-to-publication.

Advertisements

Job lising of the month

I’m wrapping up my job-applying, at least for the big pre-December 1 deadline push, and am now mostly in the process of looking back at jobs I didn’t apply for in places I’d really like to live. Unsurprisingly, Denver is one of the places, and despite an apparent hiring spree by Colorado schools this year, I’m not a particularly good fit for the faculty positions that are open.

I’m curious, though, if there’s actually anyone who fits this University of Denver opening for an assistant professor of Economics: “Must show promise of distinction in research and publications in the fields of the Chinese economy, environmental economics, and feminist economics.” (emphasis mine.)

Not just heterodox, but feminist, examining questions of environment, and concentrated in an area where those that run the economy are largely indifferent to both feminist and environmental concerns. It kind of boggles the mind. I’m really curious to see who they end up hiring. In fact, I’d like to meet her; she sounds like a rockstar.

Who wants to work in Silicon Valley: Economist’s edition

I’m not sure if this is an entirely new phenomenon or I’m just more aware of it, but I’m incredibly intrigued by the proliferation of tech firms–start-ups, established big guys, gaming companies, and more–that are seeking to hire economists this year in various research roles. Maybe it’s not new, but rather what’s new is their move to advertise in the two established aggregated job listings that economics candidates are likely check these days.

Today’s job listing comes from Google, who is looking for someone to work in the are of Knowledge. With a capital K.

The area: Knowledge

There is always more information out there, and the Knowledge team has a never-ending quest to find it and make it accessible. We’re constantly refining our signature search engine to provide better results, and developing offerings like Google Instant, Google Voice Search and Google Image Search to make it faster and more engaging. We’re providing users around the world with great search results every day, but at Google, great just isn’t good enough. We’re just getting started.

It just sounds so much sexier than the academic jobs, no? Who doesn’t want to further knowledge?!

CSWEP Mentoring Breakfast at ASSA/AEA

This arrived in my mailbox this morning from my advisor. This is a great opportunity for junior economists to network and ask questions of senior economists at a variety of institutions.

The Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP) is hosting its inaugural mentoring/networking breakfast for junior economists at the ASSA meetings on Sat., January 5 from 7-10 am. Senior economists (predominately senior women) will be on hand to provide mentoring and networking opportunities in an informal setting. A light continental breakfast will be provided.

Junior economists who have completed their PhD in the past 6 years or graduate students who are on the job market are encouraged to attend this event.

The event is an informal meet and greet affair in which junior participants are encouraged to drop in with questions on topics such as publishing, teaching, grant writing, networking, job search, career paths, and the tenure process. Senior economists who have committed to attend at least one hour of the breakfast are affiliated with institutions such as Duke, Texas, UCLA, Cornell, NY Federal Reserve, NSF, Lafayette College, UC-Santa Barbara, UC-San Diego, Iowa State, Maryland, Kentucky, Kansas, Agnes Scott College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Tufts, UT-Dallas, Missouri-St Louis, Indiana, and Colorado.

We are now accepting registration for junior participants.  To  pre-register, send an email to terra.mckinnish@colorado.edu with the subject heading “CSWEP breakfast” containing your name, current institution and position title, year and institution of PhD.

Sincerely,

The Committee for the Status of Women in the Economics Profession