Ignore the Haters and Toot Your Own Horn


July 28, 2015

Vitae:Toot Your Own Horn

Self-promotion has a bad name in academia because it’s often viewed as crass and unseemly. It’s beneath the proper scholarly ethos of intellectual purity — the notion good work will “stand on its own merits” and needs no advertising.

Rachel Connelly and Kristen Ghodsee, authors of Professor Mommy: Finding Work-Family Balance in Academia, have argued that “one of the biggest myths of academia is that you only have to be smart enough and have good ideas to succeed. Nothing could be further from the truth.” They add: “Some professors will insist that nothing but merit counts, even if they are well aware of realities to the contrary. We believe that it is a cruel disservice to graduate students for advisers not to prepare them for the realities of academia, no matter how much they might wish things were otherwise.”

That academic culture is particularly fraught for women. A recent study by a political scientist, Barbara F. Walter, found that women are only half as likely as men to cite their own work (a basic form of self-promotion). Read the full article at Vitae

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