Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA) is a new, collaborative research project on placement into academic jobs in philosophy. The current project members include myself, Patrice Cobb (psychology, UC Merced), Angelo Kyrilov (computer science, UC Merced), David Vinson (cognitive science, UC Merced), and Justin Vlasits (philosophy, UC Berkeley). This project is borne out of earlier work on placement that was posted here and elsewhere over the past few years. Funding for this project by the American Philosophical Association has so far provided for the development of a website and database that can host the data for this project (thanks to the work of Angelo Kyrilov over the past two months). There are approximately 2300 total entries, with several categories of data. Most of these categories of data have been made publicly available, whereas any categories that have not been made public (e.g. name, gender, race/ethnicity) will be provided to researchers with IRB approval from their home institutions. You can see the website and database so far here:
This link will take you to a page that lists placements in order of graduating institution, and the entries are searchable by graduating institution. (Other categories will be searchable in the coming months.)
The first main step of this project is to gather missing data from placement officers, department chairs, or other departmental representatives. Over the next 24 hours we will send emails to representatives of 169 philosophy departments (using 291 unique email addresses) that provide a custom link to a page with the data that we have for that department so far together with the option to edit those entries and to add new entries. (Note: these emails are coming from a project-specific email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Placement officers may want to check their spam folders if they do not receive this email.) We hope that many of these departments are willing to participate in making this database as complete as possible. Our target date for this data collection effort is July 15th, 2015.
Our next steps will be to 1) provide a form that anyone can use to update this placement data and 2) collect gender and race/ethnicity data from placed candidates. We hope to have completed these steps by August 1st, 2015.
We are committed to generating analyses and a placement report on this data by August 31st, 2015, which will be made publicly available on the website: placementdata.com.
Some decisions that we have made on this project so far include:
1) Names: we decided to remove the names of placed candidates from the public data for reasons of privacy. Although the data we use are public (in the sense that placed candidates could have no reasonable expectation that the fact of their employment would be private information), the fact that it is gathered in one place may warrant extra precaution.
2) Gender, Race, and Ethnicity: we decided to request this information from placed candidates, rather than placement officers and department chairs, because we think that this category is best treated as self-determined and potentially private. (Unfortunately, we are not able to get this data from PhilJobs due to their consent clause, which prevents anyone outside of PhilJobs from accessing this data.)
3) Areas of Specialization: we separated areas of specialization into History of Philosophy; Metaphysics and Epistemology; Science, Logic, and Mathematics; and Value Theory. We aim to use the PhilPapers taxonomy to categorize individual areas of specialization into these groups.
4) Appointment Type: we separated appointments into tenure-track (and equivalent) and temporary, with sub-headings for temporary appointments including postdoctoral, visiting, adjunct, and other appointments.
We had hoped to send out the above mentioned emails by June 15th, but I have been in India working with the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative since June 8th, which has slowed us down some. (While in India, I was able to attend celebrations at Drepung in honor of the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday, where I took some videos. You may enjoy this one of the youngest monks delivering lunch to everyone and this one of some traditional Tibetan chants, but note that visibility is poor in the latter video.) I should be back in the United States by June 25th and will have an easier time answering emails and approving comments at that point.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or email them to email@example.com.