La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Getting your paper accepted at APSA

Henry over at Crooked Timber has some excellent advice on submitting successful paper proposals for the annual APSA meeting. Much of the advice is useful, and logical if you think about the incentives faced by program organizers.

This was the first year that I had been part of a panel proposal that was not placed on the program. We had three papers from Assistant Professors at diverse institutions and a fourth from a Big Name from a Top School. The discussant an Associate Professor (and future Big Name) from a Mid-ranked School. Granted, our paper proposals were pretty mainstream, so that may explain the outcome. Someone suggested that the proposal got lost between the Divisions. I would be interested to know if this ever happens.

In this case, I doubt it because my colleagues at CIDE had also organized a panel proposal with a couple of Big Names that was not accepted. Both of our panels were probably not accepted because they weren't compelling proposals. On the other hand, I noticed at least one panel with 4/5 papers from one Ph.D. granting department, which doesn't demonstrate a lot of diversity.

Therefore, though I'm certain that Section Organizers like Henry are super conscientious and do their best, I'm not certain that there's still not a little bit of randomness in an imperfect process. This should be heartening for those that don't get to participate every year.

My mistake was not submitting a separate paper proposal independently as a back-up. If you have more than one paper in the hopper, that would be my advice. Try to submit both as parts of panels or at least one.

posted by Michelle @ 4:01 PM,


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