A provisional best paper award — or why I didn’t click on that link

Our recent paper on how responsive politicians are has been online only a couple of hours when it was (provisionally) awarded “best paper”… I mention this because this sort of academic spam is new to me (probably not to others).

First thing I noted, I have never heard of them. Second, it’s unlikely that we get a best paper award for a paper which reports a null finding — these are just not “sexy”.

Third, their e-mail address is from a domain that actually doesn’t have a website. OK, this wasn’t the third thing chronologically, but hey, that certainly doesn’t look like a legitimate sender!

Let’s look at the mail in more detail:

Dear Author,

Yes⸮, you have selected us among many other papers, and you don’t even know my name. This definitely doesn’t look like a legitimate conversation, definitely not like someone actually read the paper: it looks like they didn’t manage to scrape the name from the journal website.

We are delighted to inform you that you have been provisionally selected for the “Best Researcher Award” at the upcoming International Research Excellence and Best Paper Awards. We believe that your remarkable contributions to the field make you an excellent candidate for this prestigious award.

Great, very specific…⸮ what remarkable contribution, to what field? And then my favourite bit: provisionally selected. OK, dear spammer, sometimes we can nominate our own work for an award, but then it either wins or doesn’t (typically the latter). When it wins, it’s because a committee of humans actually read all the nominated papers and gave it some thought, so they have a bit more to say than “remarkable contributions”.

Nomination for the award is currently open, and we encourage you to submit your research profile for consideration. To submit your nomination, please click on the following link and provide the required details.

Hang on, didn’t I already win, or provisionally win? Now you want me to nominate the paper for an award I have never heard of? Changing the story within 2 paragraphs, that’s not bad. Now, if you manage to identify the paper, you should actually know my details, so this smacks of fraud. Again, I guess they didn’t manage to scrape enough from the journal website, plus I guess they are after information they don’t really need.

Nomination Link: https://x-i.me/…

Very trustworthy indeed⸮ Now you are taking me to an external website (I can’t comment on that, because I didn’t click on it). x-i.me is a URL shortener, that’s not professional.

We appreciate your dedication and hard work towards advancing scientific research.
Note: Submission is peer-reviewed by editorial members.

Thank you for your kind words, but who are you to care about advancing scientific work? I suspect they included peer-review for the keyword or to sound legitimate — but how can you select an award if you don’t review the submissions?

Warm Regards,
The Organizing Committee,
International Research Excellence and Best Paper Awards.

Very personal⸮ Seriously, it’s perfectly in line with all the other signs that should prevent you from clicking on that link.

New publication: Responsiveness of local politicians to Immigrants does not vary systematically by voting rights

I’m happy to announce a new publication on how responsive local politicians are to queries by immigrants, and whether the fact that immigrants can vote in some places affects this. We draw on the fact that voting rights vary by region, and use two small field experiments to measure responsiveness. In the end, we find no evidence that local politicians are more responsive to immigrants in municipalities where immigrants have the right to vote.

To understand why, we also carried out a small survey — a small number of observations is unfortunately a ‘feature’ of this publication, largely because the population under study is limited. In the survey, the local politicians state that there are not strongly motivated by re-election, so their behaviour may well be different to politicians at the national level where re-election prospects are often more important.

Nicholson, Mike, and Didier Ruedin. 2023. ‘Responsiveness of Local Politicians to Immigrants Does Not Vary Systematically by Voting Rights’. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies Online First. https://doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2023.2211027.

Trusting the machine?

Here’s a funny suggestion from one of those services that check for spelling and grammar. In this case, though, I’m going with the 12%…

PhD opportunities in sociology

My colleague Núria Sánchez-Mira is hiring 2 PhD researchers. Come and join us in Neuchâtel! The deadline has been extended to 12 June 2023.

Poste d’assistant-e doctorant-e (80 – 100%)

Ce poste vise à soutenir le développement d’un projet de thèse qui s’intéressera à analyser dans une perspective de genre les effets de la digitalisation (travail de plateforme, télétravail) sur la reconfiguration des emplois du temps et les frontières entre sphères de vie.

Entrée en fonction : 01.08 ou 01.09.2023
Durée du contrat : 4 ans
Taux d’emploi : 80-100% (à discuter)
Lieu de travail : Institut de Sociologie, Université de Neuchâtel


Poste d’assistant-e doctorant-e (80 – 100%)

Ce poste vise à soutenir un projet de thèse qui s’intéressera à examiner avec une perspective multi-acteur les dynamiques familiales en lien avec l’utilisation des technologies digitales dans les familles postséparation. Une co-direction de thèse avec la Professeure Mihaela Nedelcu est envisagée.

Entrée en fonction : 01.08 ou 01.09.2023
Durée du contrat : 4 ans
Taux d’emploi : 80-100% (à discuter)
Lieu de travail : Institut de Sociologie, Université de Neuchâtel