Platform for finding co-authors? (perma-thread)

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A reader writes in:

I have had a raw idea for a few years that I don’t know how to evaluate and am sure that I cannot put it into practice by myself, even if it has any positive points. Recently I saw a relevant post on your blog exactly about this. I thought I can ask you as you are in a good position to advise.

It starts with an (I guess common) personal experience. I argued a subfield of political philosophy, where I had no experience with the literature. For a while, I was thinking about how I could find a co-author – it would be much faster to develop such an idea with a co-author, plus it would be good to have real cooperation between subfields, fields, etc. But then it came to my mind that it may be a problem for many others too. So, why not have a platform just for that purpose?

Imagine a place where people can ask for co-authors, and interested people can apply. The platform has to provide the space as well as some procedures to make sure to block (well, reduce) the possible misuses and misbehaviors, say, by verifying people, keeping a draft of the first author, or whatever else to avoid or decrease possible conflicts.

It seems to me that it somehow has the potential to be for a more general audience, not merely philosophers. (I can imagine that there already are such places, though I am not sure if I have heard anything like that for philosophers.) And it would especially benefit the underrepresented groups and graduates from less prestigious departments. Of course, it is not that co-authoring is easy and it requires some fit between the individuals. Still, even a small number of co-authored papers in this way may be considered a success.

I think this is a spectacular suggestion. I started co-authoring over the past few years, and I’ve had a spectacular time at it. Co-authoring can not only help bring new ideas to fruition better and more quickly (due to more minds being better than one); it’s also illuminating and a lot of fun. You learn a lot of things from co-authors, get to see how other people work, etc. But, and this brings us to the OP’s query, it’s not always easy to find co-authors! Unless you’re fairly well-known or otherwise well-connected, it may not be obvious who to approach or how to do so. I imagine that a dedicated platform of some sort for this (such as a “search for co-authors” function on PhilPapers/PhilPeople) could be very helpful, and hope that PhilPapers’ administrators consider it (I see that PhilPapers has a job ad for a software developer, so perhaps they’re looking to expand its functionality in some such ways).

But in the meantime, what resources are there for finding co-authors? None, as a far as I can tell. Which brings me to the present threat (yep, the one you’re reading right now). How about we experiment with using it as place to solicit potential authors? So, then: are you looking for co-authors? If so, consider commenting in the thread below with your contact information and perhaps a little information that might entice other people to contact you! I’ll keep a link to this thread as a “permalink” on the right-hand side of the blog in case readers want to follow it on an ongoing basis!

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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