Upcoming Events

All PSGSA members are invited to watch the upcoming Packers-Bears football game in the student union’s Gasthaus pub (lower level). The game is Monday, Nov. 4th at 7:30pm. Please feel free to come any time during the game, and invite friends or others. The Gasthaus has plenty of room, large screens, food, and beer.

Friday November 8this the Drew Conway talk on Big Data. It will be a great informational presentation, and it is important for the graduate students in political science to attend this talk and others like it. It is a rare opportunity and will be an excellent experience for graduate students of all subfields and statuses in our program. It also sends a signal to your professors that you are engaged in political science beyond the scope of your coursework and are willing to go the extra step in your education. The PSGSA will be holding a bagel hour in the department conference room from 9:30 to 10:30am Friday Nov. 8th and then we will walk to the Conway talk together at 10:45. We will provide bagels/muffins for everyone, all we ask is that you bring your own beverage.


Meeting Notes 10/17

The PSGSA meeting on October 17th focused on a few new items. It was decided that the PSGSA will pursue recognition by the University. Additionally, there was a roundtable discussion of concerns for new graduate students, covering issues regarding writing, workload, and finding an advisor.

Sky offered tips for presenting a poster at the upcoming Midwest Political Science Association meeting for 2014. Sky’s handout is attached below.

MPSA Poster Session information


Meeting Notes 9/26

I am glad to report that the inaugural meeting of the PSGSA was well attended. The next meeting has been tentatively set for Thursday October 17th, 7-9pm in the department conference room. We decided to cover the following topics next meeting:

1. First year student concerns (questions/concerns as the middle of the semester approaches)

2. Official organizational affiliation with UWM (vote on whether to proceed)

3. MPSA Poster deadline, conference proposals/attendance, and potential funding for grad students to attend (this will be a short professionalization talk by Nick, Sky, and possibly Michael)

As mentioned during the meeting, active members will be expected to pay dues (see related email) and it is suggested that all active members become “Member-Leaders” in lieu of serving in an executive capacity.

It was suggested that we explore inviting outside speakers to for professionalization talks.

Future meetings should cover the job market (academic/non) and summer work opportunities.

Annual Meeting of MPSA 2014 Deadline Approaching

With the start of a new semester of teaching, classes, and finishing projects from the summer it is easy to forget an important deadline at the beginning of October: MPSA 2014 is accepting proposals for the conference meeting April 3rd – 6th in Chicago. Copied below is the information on MPSA’s website:

September 30, 2013 is the deadline for submitting complete panel proposals, and October 4, 2013 is the deadline for submitting paper and roundtable proposals (see the Important Deadlines page). You do not need to be a member of the MPSA to submit a proposal, but you must be logged into the MPSA website. If you think you may have registered (e.g. attended the conference, submitted a proposal, been a member) in the past, click on the “LOGIN” link and follow the instructions. All you need is the email address you used to set up the account – you can always retrieve your password. If you are not a registered user of the website, just click on the “REGISTER” link and follow the instructions.

Click here to SUBMIT A PROPOSAL.

The MPSA has 80 sections to which you may submit a proposal, including four new sections: (60) Professional & Career Development; (61) Political Science in Review; (62) Empire Series; and (71) Open Discussion. Please click here to view a complete list of sections and their descriptions.

The MPSA has six session formats: Empire Series, Open Discussion, Panel, Poster, Roundtable, and Working Group.  Please click here to view detailed information on the session formats and session role descriptions (paper presenter, chair, discussant, etc.).

Please click here for presenter guidelines.

MPSA is an excellent conference for graduate students for several reasons. Acceptance rates are high compared to other conferences such as APSA, it is always held in Chicago (a 1.5 hour train ride away) and is attended by many of the highly regarded scholars in our field. If you are a master’s student, make sure to discuss your proposal with your advisor prior to submitting it to MPSA.

A Few Good Posts

Some good blog posts on the Cambridge Journals site regarding publishing your first article in a journal (part 1) and (part 2) as well as the process after acceptance at a journal.

Additionally, the following suggestions are reproduced from an older post on the Cambridge blog, focusing on two aspects (selecting topic and target journal; writing in line with that journal’s requirements) which increase your chances of getting published.

Do your journal research as assiduously as your academic research. It is not good practice to blanket submit your carefully prepared, executed, and written-up study to all of the  journals out there in your subject area. First, set aside some time to think about where your paper might achieve the greatest impact as regards readers, both academically (in terms of the typical reader profile of that journal)  and geographically (the countries and academic institutions where the journal has subscriptions). If this information is not readily available on the web site, contact the Editor and ask. Secondly, a journal usually expects you to be submitting the work to them alone and will assume they have the first option for rejection or acceptance. Some journal editors have a community forum where they regularly interact and are able to check on possible multiple submissions. Editors expect you to have targeted their journal for a reason. Therefore….

Do read typical content in that journal as well as the section in the submission guidelines indicating the kind of paper they are looking for. Failure to direct your research to a journal which might reasonably be interested in it will usually mean a rejection as a result. It will also involve you in needless delay during which time you could have found better outlets for your work.

Do learn about which topics are of interest to the readership. Reading a number of recent issues of the journal will soon reveal the hot topics as well as the questions being asked in the field. Ask yourself if your proposed research or completed study is likely to fit in with that agenda. Unlike many years ago, there are more and more “niche” or special interest journals in our field and if your interest or research corresponds to one of these, you would be better advised to submit to these first, rather than to those with a more general purview.

Don’t expect to receive instant recognition and acceptance of your work in terms of an offer to publish. Unconditional acceptance of a paper is statistically rare, and most journals will require your paper to go through an arduous refereeing process of several months and revisions in which a number of experts will feed back a number of times on your work. Most referees do this in their own time and voluntarily. As a consequence, the process of submission through to revision and on to final acceptance of a paper can take many months, with a resultant accumulation of papers to be reviewed and published. Most journals in our field would then also need to assume a period of around a year to a year and a half from the date of submission to publication in print. If you are interested in getting your paper out there as fast as possible, you might want to consider whether the target journal provides an advanced publication online before the printed copy comes out.