I filled in another application form recently, one with the usual desirable attributes including “a record of publishing in high quality journals”, which is what the business schools seem to want, but when I was recently working with a colleague on a paper about information systems, I discovered that other disciplines accept conference proceedings as publications. In fact, some leading research universities don’t require journal publication when hiring in areas like Human Computer Interaction (HCI).
So this viewpoint (Grudin, 2011) on the impact of technology on conferences and publications piqued my interest. It’s from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which is an oddly quaint name, but the ACM is the place to get published if you’re in computers.
Colleague and I have submitted a paper on a social learning system to a conference that is a special interest group of the ACM and we are now waiting to hear. A month or so ago, I submitted a paper from my thesis to another conference and again, am waiting to hear. However, I’d assumed during my PhD that if I submitted to a conference then I’d get advice and feedback that I’d then use to amend, edit and adapt the paper to create a good submission to a journal. But now I’m bothered because Grudin’s viewpoint implies that I shouldn’t submit to a conference and then turn the conference paper into a journal submission, because it opens me to a charge of self-plagiarism. Suppose the conference accepts my paper – then can’t I use it for a journal? But then how do I get the feedback on my writing and how do I get that publication record that the research posts desire.