Monday, August 27, 2007

A question for APSA old-timers

It seems to me that the switch from the Panel Paper Room to PROceedings online has resulted in a very dramatic reduction in the number of papers being circulated. It seems to me that there was a genuine strong norm in favor of bringing papers to the PPR in the old days-- it was stated as a rule, and while some papers were too drafty to be circulated and some senior people didn't bother, most papers were in there.

Now as I browse through the (terrible) PROceedings site (click "browse," click on the name of the section or division, e.g. Foundations of Political Theory,, you wish to browse through, you get to the list of panel names; click on a panel name, you see the list of papers that have been uploaded, if any; click "back," and instead of returning to the list of Foundations panels, you're returned to the home page-- maddening) it seems to me that the modal number of papers per panel that are actually uploaded is zero. It also seems to me that this wasn't true in the first few years after the switch-- that is, the norm stuck for a little while but is now close to dead.

Explanations? Is it the terrible site, the worry about putting drafts online, some combination? Or am I hallucinating that there's a phenomenon here at all?