Grad Student & Faculty Resources

So many aspects of life as a faculty member are not addressed in graduate school. As someone who has always subscribed to the notion that "sharing is caring" and who strives to "be who you needed when you were younger," this page is dedicated to resources that support graduate students and early career faculty in understanding the hidden curriculum of academia. Most of this advice is not mine, I've just curated a collection of resources and advice that I've found helpful.

Navigating the Academic Job Market:

Other Gems: 

Academic Publishing:

  1. Be explicit about the scope and/or aims of your paper within the first two paragraphs, and then actually do in the paper what you say you were going to do in the paper.
  2. Literature reviews are NOT summaries or intellectual genealogies. They are critical syntheses of the existing literature that demonstrate both your knowledge of the academic discourse (e.g. gaps and shortcomings) and the contribution your paper is making to ongoing research conversations associated with the paper's major topic area(s).
  3. Make sure your argument can be supported WITH the evidence that you provide.
  4. Clearly demonstrate how and why you are using specific theoretical frameworks or interpretive perspectives you present in the paper. This includes describing in clear, accessible terms--appropriate for the journal's audience--how these frameworks support your capacity to accomplish the aims of the paper described in the introduction.
  5. Make a contribution. After reading the paper, I should be clear about the ways your work is ADDING to the knowledge base, rather than simply corroborating what we already know.
  • Responding to invitations to review when you can't by Dr. Amanda Applegate: (Caveat: I work for one journal, so treat all information here as you would in any case where n = 1.)

I work part-time as a journal assistant/copyeditor. The journal I work for definitely has the goal of keeping reviewers and associate editors for the long haul (the marathon, not the sprint). So they want people to preserve their own sanity. This is the kind of journal you want to review for. This isn't the case everywhere, and we're certainly not perfect, but we're legitimately grateful (if not always happy) when people tell us no, and we have intentional conversations about burnout, etc.

  1. If you want editors to like you, the best way to do this is to respond to requests to review quickly, EVEN IF IT'S TO DECLINE. That way they can move on to the next person. We'd much rather get a quick no than wait a week for the request to time-out. If you can suggest others that's great, but the most important thing for us is to go click that no button. If it helps, click no and shout "You're welcome!" in whatever tone of voice suits your mood. Expletives optional, but you might even try thinking "You're f****g welcome!" or "You're welcome, motherf*****s." You can't offend us by thinking it. Do what you need to do.
  2. If you're going to be late with a review, it's usually not a big deal, but let them know. They can adjust your due date so it's not "late" on your "record" in the system, it will slow down the auto-response emails, and if the authors email looking for an update, they can give them a better guess.
  3. You don't have to apologize or justify needing an extension or needing to decline a review. We all know everyone is busy. No explanation is fine, or something like "grant deadlines" or "medical issues" or "childcare issues" is more than enough information. I get 3-5 extension requests a day. I promise you won't be the first. You also wouldn't be the first to write me three paragraphs asking for a two-day extension, but honestly I'd so much rather you put the time into the review (or whatever is keeping you from doing the review. Or making yourself a bowl of ice cream and enjoying it.), not into justifying the extension request.
  4. If you can review but only with certain caveats, talk to the editor about them. A frequent one is "I can review the methods but cannot evaluate the introduction, as this is not my field." Then when you write your review, state clearly what you've read. You don't have to try to become an expert in something that's not your field, but your expertise can still be useful. Editors should be happy to have these conversations. Sample text: "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be able to finish this review on time. I would like to request an extension until June 28." (Requested date is important here, or I'll have to email you back to find out when you think you can finish.)
American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.
- James Baldwin