Perhaps this professor's actions should serve as a model of how I could raise my own visibility. I could start by sending $500 to Cambridge, UK to get one of those prestigious awards and then writing a glowing Wikipedia entry about myself that mentions my receiving the Cambridge award. Maybe I could host a conference in my name ("The Eric Vanman Symposium on All Things Important") or start a charitable organisation named for my son. Maybe I could even commission The Veronicas to write a song about me. There are so many possibilities...
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I recently received a group email invitation from a professor that he sent to a discussion list, announcing his plans to publish an edited volume in an area of psychology in which I work. The email (sent to several hundred people) stated "Your area of research will fit well in this edited volume." Of course, despite the fact that this flattery was entirely anonymous, I took the bait and explored the invitation more fully. It turned out that, if my chapter were accepted for this book, it would be published by this professor's small university press in his small European country. That means that it would probably not appear on anyone's radar nor in any major library. What's more, I discovered that this professor (who apparently works in my area, but was previously unknown to me) engages in a type of self-promotion that I found rather curious. For example, going to his web page, a pop-up window announced that he received the 2007 Professor of the Year Award from "Cambridge, UK." That sounds prestigious until you learn that this award comes from one of those Who's Who-type ego-scams, which begins with an announcement that "You have been selected for a prestigious award," but which requires $475 to pay for the award to be sent to you, and another $500 to attend the awards ceremony. How foolish I was to believe that any award that I received should actually involve me receiving something at no cost! In addition, my would-be editor also has his own Wikipedia entry that touts his many contributions to my field. Again, I never knew he even existed before he sent that email, so I am impressed by his rather bold pronouncements about his contributions to psychology.