IPSC: closing comments

Closing Plenary Session
 
Joshua Sarnoff, DePaul University College of Law: Size
affects nature of presentation, time, allotted, depth of development, audience
participation.  Makes a personal promise
to read papers in sessions he plans to go to—thinks that this will improve the
quality of the interactions.  [I do this
every year, but not all the papers are available.  I think that people should commit to reading
at least some number of the papers at panels they go to, because that improves
the discussion a lot.]  More
encouragement of collaboration.
 
Money: funding scholarship, especially empirical scholarship
is an issue, as is detaching main universities from viewing law school as a
cash cow. 
 
Pamela Samuelson, University of California, Berkeley, School
of Law

How to enrich your scholarship through IPSC. 
Consider teaching with a nonlawyer expert if there’s a topic that you
might want to write on with them. 
Working with people with different expertise from you is a good idea; we
are too often discouraged from co-authorship and that becomes a habit even
post-tenure. You can learn new methods, enrich your own intellectual life. IPSC
can serve as a network for finding the right people.
 
Consider your larger audience: figure out who reads what and
write for the right audience.  She
routinely writes for the Communications of the ACM, with 100,000 members around
the world.  Important because it helps
computing professionals community to become much more active in IP debates—they
write letters, speeches, testify to Congress—activating a group is important
too. If you want to create a group that doesn’t yet exist, create it—she created
a nonprofit last year, Authors Alliance. 
But you can’t find out whether you can make a difference in solving
problems unless you give it a try. 
 
Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, Stanford Law School
 
Collegiality/welcoming is a big benefit of coming here.
 
Brett Frischmann, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
 
Collective research agenda: what are the substantive areas
of IP scholarship that are most promising/untapped.  Are we going for too much low-hanging
fruit/branches that are picked clean? Would have to be pluralist agenda.  Methodological approach depends on our
objective.  Though we should be pluralist
in our audiences, we should have priorities in who we want to communicate w/:
public, policymakers, lawyers.  There are
consistent market and other pressures that can drive us in an undesirable
direction if we’re not conscious about it. 
 
Have we emphasized quantity over quality? Driven towards
more publications/year, but sometimes less is more.  Slow thinking.  Counterargument: Twitter etc. are forms of
commentary that are more useful than traditional law reviews.  But let’s think about the appropriate answers
as a community!
 
We too often reinvent the wheel without credit to prior
authors. Not just a failure of citation, but failure to engage with the earlier
work.  Reading lists, canons, boot
camps?  Limitations of every approach.  But at least reflect the value of core
training in the literature—we could do this better consciously and
collectively. 
 
Could add a day at IPSC dedicated to mentorship for VAPs and
junior profs by senior profs. We have prepublication peer review at conferences
like this, and postpublication peer review at blogs, Jotwell, etc. This is a
service to the community, but we could do it in a more coherent way. We could
use other peer review systems. 
Engagement w/other disciplines = valuable feedback.
 
Burk: didn’t want paper published on open internet.  Could we do a restricted site?  Would get more papers.  [Dropbox is a good option for this.]
 
Carroll: push harder on presenters to have clear thesis
statement—richer conversation about thesis, audience, question tried to answer
w/thesis.
 
Barrett: what about peer review/picking papers for IPSC?
 
Samuelson: Tried it; was incredibly unpopular. Important
norm: people who are very junior feel like they’ll lose out. If they can’t
present, they can’t justify coming to the conference.  Too winner take all. 
 
Barrett: unblinded does that, but blinding helps
fellows/junior people.
 
Lemley: Disagrees, b/c there’s no such thing as blind peer
review in a community of 200 people. 
Peer reviewed journals are very political; they are not timely—3 ½ year
waits.  Not sure they’re necessary in a
community that has peer review at places like IPSC.  But veto power over paper is less important.
 
Samuelson: I learned that there were some papers I wanted to
write that I wasn’t yet ready to write. If I’d tried to do an
abstract/presentation for them, I might have learned I wasn’t ready yet.  Good idea for junior/midlevel scholars: keep
a list of things you’d like to write and do things that build but go sideways
from that, so you can come back.  Issues
I’m interested in circle around, and my thinking matures over time. 
 
Q: have someone present the paper for you.
 
Frischmann: Tried it. 
60% liked, 40% hated it.  [Why not
have it be opt-in?  Guarantee someone
reacts to your paper.]
 
Buccafusco: likes experimentation.
 
Q: suggest people you’d like to present with?  Opt-in discussion-only version—zero summary
of the paper and the expectation is that the presenter will have a draft and
the commenters will have read it.  [I
like it.]
 
Kathy Strandberg: Emphasizing the idea that you should read
the papers for the track you pick.  More
time for people who submit a paper. [Yes!]
 
Ramsey: Not a lot of papers, good to see what people are
working on.  But also good to have
indepth commentary—have both kinds of conferences. But many people need to
speak to get funding. Maybe commenting would be enough for people who need
funding.
 
Q: Streaming and other ways to have commentary would
accommodate people who can’t attend for one reason or another.

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