46

I think academics are paid to perform peer review, in the same sense that they are paid to do research. I don't have a boss telling me what to research and paying me when it's complete; rather, my university expects me to perform research that is judged significant by my peers. In the same way, my university expects me to perform peer review. In my annual ...


38

In these positions, one gets to influence the direction of the whole university, rather than the direction of the research of 1 to n individuals. At such magnitude, one can effect more change. Often people get disgruntled with the way things are run at the level they are currently working. The only way to fix things is to move to more managerial positions. ...


31

I can think of at least five reasons why doing peer reviews gives an advantage to yourself. You get to read recent research results before everybody else. It gives you a good opportunity to think really critically about a potentially interesting paper. You can put it in your CV and it will show that you are a known expert in the fields of journals you ...


28

Aimed at a different point in the pipeline, you can try to make it more possible for speakers to accept your invitation. One step that can make a huge difference for certain people (in many cases, converting a 100% impossibility into an acceptance) is to provide resources for childcare at or near the conference. For some ideas about specific steps you can ...


25

The other answers do a good job of laying out the practical benefits and the roles of curiosity and obligation. However, I think there's an additional psychological factor: being asked to review a paper shows that the editor values your expertise, and that feels good. This is a shallower reason, but I think it plays a substantial role in encouraging ...


21

If everyone refused to organize conferences, we would have no conferences. Yes, it's that obvious. The same goes for editing journals, refereeing papers, and most other service activities. The main result of a research conference is that it helps attendees do better research, to find and understand new ideas, and to disseminate their own research, etc. ...


19

My feeling is that it is fine to cancel or reschedule office hours when other responsibilities conflict, provided: You announce it to students several days in advance; You tell students that you are happy to meet them at another time, if they make an appointment.


18

At my (large CS) department, the graduate admissions committee officially consists of: The director of the graduate program. This is a ~3-year rotating position among the senior faculty. About a dozen faculty members, distributed roughly uniformly across topic areas and faculty rank. The department head is not a member; he's way too busy. About a dozen ...


18

The professors serving on one committee will also have their own students, who they will want to see graduate (even if you assume pure selfishness they want their recrords to look good). Those students will need to be examined as well so in a sense it's mutual assistance, but time-deferred. Also good relationships between academics are how a lot gets done: ...


17

This idea is based purely on my own experience: As a young researcher, cost is a reasonably significant factor in deciding whether to attend a conference. In some settings the cost can be reduced if you can find someone to share a hotel room with. Finding such a person though can be difficult, particularly if there is no public list of who is attending the ...


16

You have to plan the symposium from the audience’s perspective, not the individual research group’s. Presenting multiple talks from the same group back-to-back or even within the same session can become tedious, even if the work is nominally “distinct.” If I were planning multiple sessions, I would avoid putting abstracts from the same group in the same ...


15

silvado gave a good list of “short term” answers, i.e. the reasons why one would accept a given review. Maybe I'll summarize the first two of them, because they are the ones that motivate me the most: curiosity. Maybe curiosity killed the cat, and I'm sure it killed a bunch of scientists too, but for sure it is what makes most of us tick. Whenever I receive ...


14

In my experience, in the U.S., faculty are expected to serve on such committees now-and-then, but there is no specific rule, no specific compulsion to serve on any particular committee, and no reward for serving on more rather than fewer. In fact, such committees are time-and-energy consuming, to various degrees, so such service is easily viewed as a net ...


13

Most professors are required by their departments to do some sort of service to the university and department. It's a duty of their job, often assigned by their department chair, and may be required as part of their tenure case. Someone who is actually a professor may be able to say more. Paper reviewing, and the peer review system as a whole, is a ...


12

Arranging conferences is very hard work. You need to be prepared to organize a meeting place, be a "travel agent" for visitors seeking information on how to get there etc. and then make sure things runs smoothly during the meeting. Of course more individuals will be involved in arranging a meeting, how many depends on the size. So unless you are a despot and ...


12

Nobody mentioned quality yet. One reason I like to review papers is because I can encourage authors to make better papers. It sucks to read badly written papers. By reviewing them, you can make the world a better place!


11

In addition to the other good answers here, service is also a good way to promote something that you actually believe in: Do you like Conference X and want it to be better? Somebody's got to run it, and run it well, or else it's going to be a crappy conference. Don't like jerk reviewers? Be a thorough reviewer who gives constructive criticism. Were you ...


9

Just to state something explicitly that was part of all the previous answers: Reviewing papers is part of being a good academic citizen. Compared to other jobs, academia is not something you do, it's a system you enter. It's a community, an ecosystem of sorts, that provides benefits for those who are part of it, at the cost of some duties. These duties, in ...


9

It seems to me that you need to generally be available for students a certain number of hours per week, without scheduling appointments. That's because scheduling an appointment is somewhat of a barrier, making it less likely students will avail themselves of your assistance. Office hours are largely intended to be for students who may have a hard time ...


9

In answer to the first half of your titular question, "Why do research faculty pursue administrative positions, such as dean, provost, president, etc. ?" This was the subject of a study several decades ago: Robert A Snyder, Ann Howard, Tove Helland Hammer, Mid-career change in academia: The decision to become an administrator, Journal of Vocational ...


9

At my institution, the standard term is professional service, i.e. service to your profession. "Community service" would be something like volunteering your skills for a local charity, so that doesn't fit. "Academic service" seems reasonable but I haven't heard it before.


8

I can imagine that one reason a researcher might want to take on an administrative role is it allows them to become more of an advocate for scholarly research. Instead of doing research themselves, they can empower other researchers by ensuring adequate funding, facilities, equipment, and resources are available to perform research. Can they convince ...


8

I recommend including a section at the end of your CV entitled "Service", where you list things like conference/panel organization, committee memberships, refereeing activities, and the like. Initially you may have only one or two items, but the list will grow over time. As this list grows, organize it into subsections (University service vs Professional ...


8

You performed a valid service and gained valuable experience. You should definitely include this on your CV.


8

The following answer is based on my understanding of what it means to organise a symposium in a conference (i.e., commonly a conference session of about 60 to 120 minutes with around 3 to 8 talks all with a common theme, where the chair is the one to invite and arrange the talks and often provides a more general introduction to the talks). Obviously, I'm not ...


8

I imagine the answer here is slightly subjective, but my personal thoughts are that you should charge whatever you feel your time is worth. The industry price is probably a good starting point -- don't undervalue your time for sure. And remember the time and energy that went into developing your language skills too, not just the time it will take you to ...


7

In addition to the other excellent posts here, I find that reading a manuscript in order to write a review is different than reading a published article just to see what is in there. When you write a review, it forces you to actually think about the manuscript, about its internal logic, about possible weak points. After all, it have heard it said that "the ...


7

I have never heard of a department where staff are required to serve on dissertation committees. In some cases committee members are co-authors on the resulting papers, but this is country and field dependent. Similarly in some cases committee members get "credit" during tenure and promotion reviews. As in most things academic, it really is about the "...


6

I'd say the main benefits are prestige and honor. To be able to organize a serious conference, you got to, as you pointed out, have a non-trivial amount of connections and be a respectable and accomplished member of the scientific community. At that point in ones life, some people may decide to use their status to promote their scientific community. In my ...


6

Any professor with a large research group has effectively made the transition to administration already. The realities of managing more than a few people working for you on research projects means that a large chunk of one's time is already consumed by writing reports, pursuing funding, managing personnel, etc. The actual amount of time hands-on with ...


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