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I hope this question is appropriate for MO. I started application process this year. I've searched several online ads for a job and found a wiki page, which contains names of people that have been shortlisted. I've got listed in couple places as well and I wonder if this can harm my application process. I would like to know pros and cons of this open source.

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closed as off topic by Igor Rivin, Igor Pak, Michael Greinecker, Gerald Edgar, quid Jan 3 '13 at 14:06

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Good question, though I believe you receive better answers at academia.stackexchange.com –  András Bátkai Jan 2 '13 at 19:06
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I think this is way off topic for MO. I will refrain from voting to close as I can see from this and other examples that there is an incredible pent-up demand for this kind of discussion which doesn't seem to have other outlets. I wish the AMS or a similar organization showed some leadership to create a forum for discussions about the profession. Is there any AMS officer among MO users? –  Felipe Voloch Jan 2 '13 at 21:51
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I opened a discussion on meta based on my comment in case anyone wants to reply to it. tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/1509/… –  Felipe Voloch Jan 2 '13 at 22:05
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Contrary to what you say in your comment above, Academia StackExchange has questions about tenure track positions. Look, for example, at academia.stackexchange.com/search?q=tenure+track+position –  Joel Reyes Noche Jan 3 '13 at 12:41
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For general information: a variant of this question got (re)asked on academia.SE academia.stackexchange.com/questions/6021/… –  quid Jan 3 '13 at 20:58

1 Answer 1

I would think that having it known that you're short-listed at some places would help rather than harm your chances at other places. If some department ignored your application because they failed to notice anything special and it was one among $N$ (and $N\to\infty$), knowing that you're on some other place's short list might cause them to take another look. You're probably worried that some departments will assume that you'll get an offer from better places, with which they can't compete, so they won't seriously consider you. I doubt that this would be a real problem; hiring committees are well aware that there's a difference between being on a short list and actually getting an offer.

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Thanks, Andreas, for the reply. I am worried also about the fact that several names appeared to be much more shortlisted then others. this can be a consequence of wiki web site, which increases their popularity dramatically. So in some cases (like mine) it is better not to appear on the list (I have only two interviews). Basically, I wonder how harmful or useful this site can be in general. –  Fanny S Jan 2 '13 at 20:48
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Dear Fanny S: As someone on the hiring end (for some years now), if it's any tiny comfort I have never heard anyone say on a hiring committee "This person is on the rumor mill, let's (re)consider them" (or even bring up the rumor mill at all in the context of such decisions); i.e., decisions are based on the content of the application (rec. letters, research statement, etc.) and not unprofessional things like following a herd based on a wiki rumor mill. With all due respect to Greg K., personally I think the negative aspects to the wiki rumor mill far outweigh the positive ones. –  user29720 Jan 3 '13 at 0:06
    
kreck, I think I share your opinion. Also could you please expand what negative aspects do you have in mind. Thanks –  Fanny S Jan 3 '13 at 0:39
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Dear Fanny S: My opinions are based on imagining how mortified I would have been if this existed when I was at your stage. Here are some negatives I see. (1) The rumor mill (if accurate...) reveals who gets no offer and who does poorly on shortlists, which is nobody else's business but the person's own, (2) it reveals where one gets various offers, but maybe the candidate prefers such information to be revealed only at their own discretion (for multiple reasons), (3) it reveals the order in which a department goes down the shortlist, hurting various relations, (4) it can spread false rumors. –  user29720 Jan 3 '13 at 1:18
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By the way, I recognize that my objection #4 is also a bug of rumors spreading the old-fashioned way, but in the classical setting the spread is much less than when posted for the "whole world" to see on the Internet. Loss of control over one's privacy makes me glad that the Internet did not exist when I was growing up. In various ways I think that growing up in the age of Facebook (so to speak) must be really unpleasant for a lot of kids, and the objections I have to the rumor mill are in the same spirit as those concerns. But enough of this non-mathematical chatter, sorry. –  user29720 Jan 3 '13 at 1:23

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