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Introducing MARGY: Free Management for Confidential Letters of Recommendation

Applicants on the academic job market spend thousands of dollars a year to have professional dossier services handle their confidential letters of recommendation. Some of this requires staff involvement: filling out forms, uploading to proprietary sites, etc. But a good deal of it is just sending emails. The only reason a middleperson is necessary is because the emails need to include a confidential attachment.

I am pleased to introduce MARGY [hard ‘g’] (Managing Academic Recommendations Gratis Yay), a FREE automated system for emailing confidential letters of recommendation. Letter-writers upload letters to MARGY’s secure server; applicants tell the system where to email those letters. Confidentiality is maintained via a whitelist; the system will only send letters to email addresses that have been confirmed as being maintained by a relevant hiring entity. (more…)

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By In News and Events, The Profession, Web/Tech Comments (4)

Populus: A Hopefully-Soon-to-Be Journal with Crowd-Sourced Peer Review

As has been widely discussed both here (at least a couple of times) and elsewhere, there are numerous problems with traditional publishing models. Some of these have been admirably addressed by the move to open access journals like Philosophers’ Imprint and Ergo. For the most part, however, these journals have simply exported the traditional publishing process to the Internet. I think it’s time we try something genuinely new. To that end, I’ve put together a prospectus for a new project, Populus, that will be both a curated archive (think (the non-horrific parts of) Reddit meets PhilPapers) and a philosophy journal with an experimental crowd-source peer review process. I am coming to you, Soupers, because:

  • I’m looking for feedback on the project itself and/or its expression through the prospectus.
  • I’m hoping those of you who support the project, or at least think it’s worth a go, will help me spread the word.
  • I’m looking for help.
    • I’d like to put together an editorial board whose association with the project will boost its credibility. I anticipate this’ requiring little actual work. If you are a famous person who likes my idea and would like to get on board, that would be great.
    • This project will likely require some funding. I’m looking for suggestions for sources.
    • I need people with web development or other relevant technical experience who would like to donate (or, if we get funding, be paid for) their time.
    • I’m looking for people who want to help or get involved in any other way, especially ones with the general entrepreneurial skills I lack.

Here that’s link one more time: Populus Prospectus

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