Monday, October 09, 2006

IR Rumor Mill Discussion

As part of a broader housecleaning effort, we're moving posts related to the IR Rumor Mill itself here. So post away.

Note: we've moved the discussion of the issues involved in revealing/not revealing oneself as an interviewee from the "rumors" discussion to the comments section of this post.

44 comments:

IR Rumor Mill said...

[moved from rumors]

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something? There are references to a chart/table, but the only one I can see is from last year's market.
9:09 PM, October 07, 2006

Anonymous said...

Ah! I was using Firefox and the table wasn't showing for some reason. Internet Explorer works though.
9:18 PM, October 07, 2006

Anonymous said...

It shows up fine for me in Firefox. Did you try reloading the page (i.e., clearing the cache)?
5:07 AM, October 08, 2006

IR Rumor Mill said...

[moved from rumors]

Discussion of the issues involved in keeping one's name (as an interviewee ) confidential for as long as possible.
-----------

Anonymous said...

I know "Subject of the Penn Rumor" probably would not want to answer the following question, but perhaps somebody else can speculate: why would you not want your name/affiliation to be posted?

-If you are a grad student with this interview, then having an interview at an Ivy League institution is a good thing and is likely to make you appear more attractive to others (whether they consciously admit it or not).

-If you are faculty somewhere else and trying to keep your interview secret, then I'd suggest, "Good luck with that." Interviews go public at some point despite anybody's best effort, and your department is likely to resent you more for having tried to be secretive.

To be clear: I believe it is absolutely your prerogative to ask that this information be kept private, but I am curious as to the motive.

I've seen the job market from both sides at this point, and I think, in most cases, you'd be helped more than hurt by having this information out there. Just my .02.
6:42 PM, October 09, 2006

Anonymous said...

Re: 6:42. Very good points. If subject of Penn rumor is faculty, it could be that he/she just wants to make sure his/her chair knows (out of common courtesy, if that's the departmental norm) before it hits the blogs. I have no idea who this person is, but this could explain why he/she wrote "at this point..."
8:25 PM, October 09, 2006

Anonymous said...

While I admit that it would be nice to know who is being interviewed at Penn, all I really care about is whether candidates have been contacted (and it seems that they have). The strength of this site, for me, is that it allows me to cross places off my list of hopefuls. If it accomplishes that, even if I get no other information, then that is OK...
2:12 AM, October 10, 2006

Anonymous said...

I agree with 2:12. The ability to "cross-off" is a very useful function of this blog. Otherwise, I really couldn't care if somebody I probably have not heard of (or even someone I have heard of) is interviewing at a given institution.
6:29 AM, October 10, 2006

Anonymous said...

The "cross off" function is essential. The real value is in knowing that people are being interviewed or that an offer has been made - if that invitation to interview or the job offer was not extended to you, does it really matter who got it?
7:23 AM, October 10, 2006

Anonymous said...

Yes, if said person is also interviewing at other places where you are.
9:07 AM, October 10, 2006

Anonymous said...

I agree that names are beside the point. It is the STATUS of the search that most of us are interested in, particularly since there is a propensity on these IR blogs for discussions to degenerate into sniping, personal attacks, etc. -- I can't believe FILL IN got the offer, FILL IN's work is useless! -- that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Penn job talks have been set.

Anonymous said...

9:07 - as a practical matter, are you going to behave any differently if you have the names? If X and I both apply for jobs at Harvard and Yale, and X gets an interview at both, it's not going to change my approach to my interview at Yale. It's only important for gossip purposes.

Anonymous said...

12:05 PM, and what about when one starts getting offers from some places but not others, and is being cajoled into taking a job by place X, although one suspects one is candidate number 2 at place Y where Ms Z got a job offer... but Ms Z also has job offers at departments...

I know we're not there yet. But we will soon be.

IR Rumor Mill said...

[Moved from new job market rumors]

Anonymous said...

You're the Deciders!

1:50 PM, October 12, 2006

Anonymous said...

Is this the new rumors thread, or a thread about rumordom? The link to the right goes to the now old? rumor thread, and the IR rumor mill discussion link at the top right goes to an old thread. Thanks for laying down the law.
3:37 PM, October 12, 2006

IR Rumor Mill said...

This is a new rumors thread. The link problem should already be corrected. If not, let us know.
4:09 PM, October 12, 2006

IR Rumor Mill said...

1:50 -- Our job is to decide. That's our job.
4:10 PM, October 12, 2006

Anonymous said...

Well, there is a new *fellowship* thread link, but the job rumor one still goes to the old thread.
4:34 PM, October 12, 2006

IR Rumor Mill said...

How about now?
4:57 PM, October 12, 2006

Anonymous said...

Still showing up--after numerous cache cleansings--with a "New Fellowship" link leading to the new job rumor link, an old fellowship link leading to the old fellowship thread, and the Job Rumor link leading to the old (recently old) job rumor thread. Could be my end, but I don't think so.
5:56 PM, October 12, 2006

Anonymous said...

I have just a suggestion. Could you put the schools in the table in alphabetical order? It would make the jobs we're interested in easier to locate as the chart grows.

IR Rumor Mill said...

We've been putting the material in alphabetical order *excluding* "university of". If that's too confusing, we can change it.

Anonymous said...

This blog is SO much better than the other (non-moderated) blogs. Not only is the childish stupidity (name-calling, etc) in short supply here, but I would say there is a higher quantity of useful information posted here too. So...my compliments to the moderator for his/her good work.

IR Rumor Mill said...

We're humbled and a bit embarrassed by the last comment. Or, at least, I am. The rest of the staff will have to write for themselves.

Do let us know how we can work to improve the site.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if my previous post came out the wrong way. I was trying to say that you all are doing a great job here. The quality of information on here is far better than what's on the AP/CP blogs. Far from criticizing, I'm saying keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Kudos! Too bad this can't be counted as service to the field.

Anonymous said...

There's an American jobs table which has links to candidate's CVs (when available) on their names. That might be very helpful, especially for graduate students a year or two away from the job market who want to see what a successful CV that gets interviews looks like.

Anonymous said...

Re: 4:55's suggestion, if the graduate student can't google the successful candidate and get the CV for him or herself, he or she probably doesn't belong on the market in the first place!

The Rumor Mill, as I understand it, is about information-provision, not hand-holding. I second 6:10 and 8:43's comments. Thank you for the service.

Anonymous said...

Why is there a counter? Why wasn't this made transparent?

IR Rumor Mill said...

One of your friendly neighborhood administrators here.

7:08 is comment spam. We received the same message on every active thread. *However*, we let it through. Why? We discovered that it is right. There *was* (unknown to us) a tracker at the very bottom of the site. Like all of you, we just never noticed.

I accessed the account this morning. To my knowledge, I am the first person to do so since we took over the Rumor Mill. It does track IPs. What does this mean? It means that:

1) If you accessed the site from a commercial ISP it will show the closest server grouping to your location, e.g., if you're a Comcast user in the New England it will show as much (or will provide an IP address that can be entered into an "IP Whois" query and will turn that up);
2) If you accessed the site from a business with its own IP -- such as a major corporation or a university -- it will allow one of the admins to find out that at least one person is visiting from that institution.

In practice, it would be difficult for one of us to use this information to identify you. We tend to get many visitors at the same time. We might have been able to use it to guess that a rumor concerning, say, Big State University originated from someone *at* Big State University. Woohoo. Now we're in business :-). Seriously, you were still pretty anonymous.

But this isn't an issue anymore. A few minutes ago, after consulting with a quorum of the staff, I deleted the stats and tracking function for IR Rumor Mill.

PS: I suspect that the Rumor Mill's founder simply wanted to know if people were visiting the site and how many were doing so.

Anonymous said...

Any idea when the fellowship thread will be established?

Anonymous said...

I second the request for a fellowship thread!

IR Rumor Mill said...

"First-round" just means first round. You're right that second rounds are uncommon. But they are not unheard of, so we thought it made sense to be specific about the rumored status of a search.

Anonymous said...

Admin:
1. What are your criteria for categorizing some rumors as "likely, "uncomfirmed" "possible" or "confirmed"?

2. I noticed that some of the names in the rumors are not integrated into the table- what are the criteria for these decisions?

3. Happy Thanksgiving!

IR Rumor Mill said...

1) The criteria are actually listed under the table. We've tried to stick to it, but we have to admit that we've taken other factors into consideration on a couple of occasions (usually back-channel or other non-IR Rumor Mill information).

2) A few of these examples might be oversight. But others might be a result of more recent information that supplants older rumors. Still others might be rumors that we have concrete denials of from first-party sources. Remember that we do receive rumors and information via the gmail account.

3) To you as well!

Anonymous said...

Is the Post-Doc list for 2007 coming out soon :) How can we contribute the info?

Anonymous said...

Next year it would be nice if you guys could also provide information about the members of the search committe for each institution.

Anonymous said...

Re: 5:50: As a member of a search committee, I find that query terrifying!

What, pray tell, would be done with any such information? E-mails sent directly to committee members? Phone calls? Late-night visits? ...

Anonymous said...

I agree that that information is unnecessary, and as a likely job searcher next cycle not a faculty member. You can always e-mail the department contact and they will give your the committee chair most of the time. That really should suffice. And also, don't you think the folks who run this blog have enough to deal with?

Anonymous said...

At 11:29
Well, that information might be relevant for candidates who may want to prepare their package so that it would seem more interesting to the members of the search committee. As a member of a search committe you probably know better than all of us that marketing or polishing a package is at least as important as the content of the package in terms of getting the search committee's attention. Many job listings are not clear as to the specifics of a position, so knowing the names of the people in the search committee might help in this respect.

Otherwise I don't suggest people contact the members of the search committe directly, or pay them late night visits. Everybody knows that would hurt the chances of a candidate rather than helping.

At 4:20
I know the admins of this board have many things to do, and I am thankful to them for their efforts and hard work. But that doesn't mean that we cannot make suggestions, that's why this thread was opened in the first place, right? They wouldn't gather the info about search committees themselves anyway, it would rather be people from those institutions providing that information, just like the info about interviews, offers, etc.

Anonymous said...

5:50, what exactly do you think you can do to make yourself more attractive to a particular committee member(s)? As a member of a search committee, I can tell you that you are what you have in terms of CV/recs (I totally disregard cover letters, for example), and neither of these can be manipulated by the candidate for specific jobs. (Which is why they signal so much, especially the cv.)

Anonymous said...

4:10: Yes, the blog is for discussion. You suggested something, and others determined that the suggestion was ill-advised. We have to keep in mind the purpose of the blog is increased transparency, not complete transparency. Having commmittee members listed is likely to actually decrease transparency. No committee members want to be listed, and there are already indications that departments are being more guarded with their information, simply from the announcements regarding interviews, etc. Adding committee members would only make the primary goal of enabling job searchers to have some idea of their destinies in a reasonably timely fashion more difficult to realize. That's a big risk for very minimal gains, if any.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to express my thanks to the blog misters/mistresses. I am one of those poor souls who haven't and likely will not get interviews this year. (A little premature in entering the market, second tier institution, but with solo peer review and other pubs.) So I would have a reasonable expectation of having a shot. At this point, without the blog, I would not have a clue that I was out of the running. As it stands I can plan for postdocs, and Plan B non-academic back up jobs. It hasn't been easy being passed over, but at least I have that pretty strong idea that it was not my year. So to balance to the occassional nitpicking I read, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blog Master(s):

Is there anyway to set up the summary table on a separate page with a link to it on the top of the main page? It's getting a bit cumbersome to scroll through the (rather long at this point) summary table to get to the comments threads?

Anonymous said...

From the rumor page: I am not the original poster concerning the bleeding of the right hand column over the summary chart, but I have the same issue. Using Firefox.

IR Rumor Mill said...

We still can't replicate the problem, using firefox or other browsers. Anyone with any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with both IE7 and Firefox 1.6.

If you are coding your own html tables, my only guess would be that the screen size is causing the problems. You might have used absolute values (in pixels, etc) rather than percentages for table widths. That means for folks with smaller screens the table extends over the menu on the right hand side. Or if you are using templates offered by blogger itself, it might be that the CSS template for blogger is messed up, I don't know.

In the meantime, people who have difficulty reading the table, you can go

View>Text Size>Smallest

from the IE menu above. That helps a little bit.

Anonymous said...

It's hardly ideal, but in Firefox you can control the text size (Ctrl + and -). Decreasing the text size can get the chart to where they don't overlap.

IR Rumor Mill said...

The table doesn't specify absolute or relative values. Only when I (in this case, not "we") punch the font size up really high does bleeding occur (and this is with the righthand navbar).

Let us know if the font size fix doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

I had the table "spillover" problem using Netscape 8.1. I was able to fix it by changing the default rendering engine for the rumor mill from FF to IE -- haven't had a problem since.

Anonymous said...

I am using IE7, and even though you can do the font-size thingie just like in Firefox, it does not help all that much.

Anonymous said...

Also getting the RHS table bleed problem: Firefox 2.0.0.1, Mac OS-10.4.8. Looks like just a few pixels; nothing disabling, just a bit weird.

Anonymous said...

Same here: bleeding over. Very annoying. I use Firefox 1.5.0.9.

Anonymous said...

I just upgraded to IE7 and now have the bleeding over problem. I did not have this problem with my previous version of IE. No idea of the reason, but perhaps that may tip someone off.

Anonymous said...

Fall '07 jobs are now up. How about a new thread for these?

IR Rumor Mill said...

Good idea. Soon.

Matt said...

The link to the american and comparative blog instead sends you to the political theory site.