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Presenting at Conferences...


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Hello All,

It has been a while since i have visited the forum, but congrats to everyone! Like many of you, I am making the big leap next fall! I, too, am excited, but also extremely anxious!

I have a question for all of you. When is a good time to start presenting papers at conferences? I know that it is an important exercise in the field, and that sooner is better than later, but beyond that I am left wondering....

No one wants to jump the gun and look silly, but you also don't want to drag your feet..... for those of you who have presented or have more of an insider's perspective on the issue.. what do you think?

thanks!

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Probably at the end of the first year you might have something to present at a graduate conference. Present at a regional conference your second year in the fall and maybe a national conference in the spring or in the third year. If you can get the funding, go to the national conference for the experience and to network with colleagues.

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Conferences should be used, I think, as a means to an end. In the end, what matters is publications. Publications may come from a conference paper (and conferences are useful ways to impose deadlines on yourself), but people fall into a trap of presenting at conferences for the sake of that and nothing more. My advice would be to be goal-oriented about conferences:


  • Write the conference paper as though it were a journal article, and send it out after you get comments.
    Present dissertation-related material at conferences.
    Go to conferences where people who work on the kind of work you want to do go.
    Don't bother going to conferences where the quality of papers presented is generally not that high - these won't help on your CV at all.

An APSA presentation is not a bad thing to get on your CV in grad school, but it won't get you an interview or a job. On the other hand, a paper that you presented at a conference, revised, and sent out for publication will get you an interview and a chance at a job.

Just my 2 cents...

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Thanks so much! I was looking at the resumes of some of my future colleagues and it seemed like their experiences were all over the place. For example, there was one person that only presented at three conferences and published once and is graduating in June, yet there was also someone who was a third year that had presented at 10+ conferences and published at least five times. They both came in with Masters, so I thought I could easily compare their experiences.

Anyways, thanks again!

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