Thursday, April 26, 2007

Teaching academia

Vegreville linked to a good post about 12 tips on how to review a journal article. I read it yesterday, but today the link does not work. Hopefully later it’ll come back, because I want to comment on the specifics.

I think Ph.D. programs ought to introduce the mechanics of academia to graduate students in a systematic way, either through a class or through seminars of some sort. For professors, it’s easy to forget how obscure the process can seem—writing articles, reviewing articles, doing job talks, publishing a book, even balancing service, teaching, and publishing once you land a job. Maybe even effective ways of networking. Being taught such things by someone who already has tenure would put graduate students in a better position to succeed, both in terms of getting and keeping a job.


Experimentador 9:13 AM  

One of the best grad school classes I had was planned along these lines. It was a Latin American Politics class, but instead of having to write response papers and a 10/20 pp. final paper, all the assignments were meant to mirror real assignments:
. a book review
. an essay review mirrored after the ones LARR publishes.
. an article review.
. a proposal.

Although this wasn´t a specific class or seminar on the issues Prof. Weeks mentions, it was definitely helpful. I think it would be good for most grad school classes to follow this example and avoid repetitive and time consuming (and usually anything but insightful) response/reaction papers...

Anonymous,  10:01 AM  

The course is an excellent idea.

There have been a few articles in high profile economics journals with titles like 'The young economist guide to the job market,' and 'The young economist guide to refereeing and professional behavior' and so on.

Greg Weeks 11:55 AM  

I think such a course is relatively rare--I think those skills are much more important than writing a 20 page paper (which is mostly what I did in graduate school).

Steven Taylor 8:22 PM  

It would be quite nice if Ph.D. program taught their students some of these practical matters--having to learn them on the fly is tricky and can take years.

I had relatively little exposure to such things. I did have a few classes that touched on some of these issues, but never in a systematic way nor in a way that made it clear what we should expect to have to deal with once we finished our studies.

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