Saturday, January 13, 2007

Are Unfunded Conferences/Symposia Worth It?

I just received a publication offer for a journal's symposium issue, and have been invited to present my article at the symposium (though publication is not contingent on presenting).

The catch: the journal is unable to cover transportation/lodging/etc. Since it's unlikely my school will cover these expenses since I'm a student and not a faculty member (though I'll try, but it's probably a longshot since they wouldn't even cover the cost of ExPresso submissions), if I attend I'd have to pay these costs out of pocket.

So, are unfunded conferences/symposia like this worth attending?

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4 Comments:

Blogger N.J.L.S. said...

I think it would depend mostly on whether there is anything you think you can gain from attending. Are you willing to make changes to your article based on feedback from the symposium attendees. If not, it would seem like a pretty expensive networking event.

1/14/2007 8:57 AM  
Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

Ok. as I understand it, your article will be published either way. I doubt going will be worth it unless, possibly, other participates are to comment on your paper specifically. I would also suggest considering not publishing it but waiting till you graduate and circulating it more broadly. (This depends on the reputations of others in the same journal issue.) I have seen many a young scholar "burn" a great idea by publishing it too quickly when he or she could develop it and publish it in a better journal. Everything gets published somewhere. If there are 180 law schools averaging 2 jounals publishing 10 article a year, there are 3600 slots. You risk little by waiting.

1/14/2007 10:29 AM  
Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

Ok. as I understand it, your article will be published either way. I doubt going will be worth it unless, possibly, other participates are to comment on your paper specifically. I would also suggest considering not publishing it but waiting till you graduate and circulating it more broadly. (This depends on the reputations of others in the same journal issue.) I have seen many a young scholar "burn" a great idea by publishing it too quickly when he or she could develop it and publish it in a better journal. Everything gets published somewhere. If there are 180 law schools averaging 2 jounals publishing 10 article a year, there are 3600 slots. You risk little by waiting.

1/14/2007 10:29 AM  
Blogger Belle Lettre said...

I agree with both comments. It's worth going to a symposium to get feedback and comments by scholars in your field--and if you want to add a MoneyLaw twist, to network and get your name out there and noticed. I'm an LLM student and also do not get funding, but found my first colloquium to be useful for the above reasons. Don't downplay the value of networking, it's highly useful in the academic circle--depending on who you meet.

However, Jeff makes excellent points--I could have published this year in a special topic journal, but have decided to wait until the article is cleaned up (thanks to the comments I received it will be better) and circulate it more widely and publish it on a school's main law journal.

I guess the thing to think about is who is going to be at the symposium you want to meet or get comments from, and whether it's worth the out of pocket expense.

1/15/2007 12:16 PM  

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