X is writing a reference letter for me, to be uploaded to mathjobs.org. He wants two generic reference letters - say one for tenure-track positions and one for postdocs. X did upload two letters, but the only differentiation between them is a different time stamp. I never uploaded reference letters, so don't know the interface, hence my question - is it possible to put some names to the reference letters, so that I can easily see which one is which?

Thank you

  • Yes, and ask him to reupload. He should be able on his end to designate which is which, or alternatively to tell you which one is which. – JoshuaZ Oct 23 '18 at 20:03
  • @JoshuaZ Well, from what I understood now with him (perhaps incorrectly?), I actually can not see names of reference letters, only the upload times. In the end, we used the ad-hoc solution of differentiating the letters by their upload time. It seems strange to me that mathjobs.org has no better solution. – Sasha Oct 23 '18 at 20:23

MathJobs has a demo server which is a good way to see what other roles see.

For a letter already written and uploaded, the letter writer can log back in and select the letter from their list:

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This brings up a form with various options for the letter. One of them is a text field for "Entry Name":

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They can type in something descriptive, and then check the box "allow applicant to see Entry Name". Then click "submit" to save the changes, and confirm on the following screen.

There is a similar "Entry Name" field, and "allow applicant to see" checkbox, when uploading a new letter.

Then as applicant, when you apply for a job that asks for letters, you can click the yellow down arrow to see the list of letters from this writer, and you will see the "Entry Name" description for each one. It looks like by default all letters from the writer will be available to the employer, but you can click the green check mark to unselect letters that are not appropriate.

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(As a general comment, whenever you have a question like this, where you want to do something but can't figure out how, I have found that the MathJobs support staff are extremely helpful. I've contacted them a few times with queries like "In my obscure situation, it'd be helpful to be able to do X". Half the time the response has been "Yes, you can already do that, here is how", and the other half it's "That's a good idea, we went ahead and implemented it. See what you think.")

  • Of course, this won't help if the writer really wants to use entry names that are private for their own use (e.g. "Incoherent Letter That I Wrote At The Last Minute Without Proofreading"). Hopefully that is rare. – Nate Eldredge Oct 23 '18 at 23:59
  • Thank you for the detailed and very informative answer! – Sasha Oct 24 '18 at 1:53

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