Wednesday, May 27, 2015

From the archive: Conference papers are like ball dresses

Inspired by Dame Eleanor Hull's comment about revisiting things from our blogs, I have been reading through old posts and am finding a few things  as the summer writing season gears up.

They'll be tagged as "From the archive" if you want to skip them. Here's one from 

Conference papers age, like ball dresses in a trunk, if you put them in a file folder and don't get back to them. It's easy to see how that happens. You'll get back from the conference. You'll be fired up about working more with your paper and turning it into an article to send out.

But there are those 50 papers to grade, those recommendation letters to write, those committee meetings--and all of a sudden it's six months or a year later, and you need to do a lot more work using materials that you now don't remember as well to get the thing into publishable shape. Unless you have little birds to sew up your ball dress/paper, like the ones in Disney's Cinderella, you may end up with a trunk full of conference papers and a lot of good intentions. Make sure that your research agenda is driving your conference-going and not the other way around.


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

You are so much more succinct than I was:

undine said...

Dame Eleanor, you are so, so right: "For annual review, at most schools, conference papers don’t mean squat. What counts is what’s in print." I get flattered if I'm asked to do something, too, especially local talks (which take MORE time than a conference paper--go figure), but you're right: keep the focus on what will get published and count.