Beyond Intractability
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BI hopes to update and significantly add to our content by recruiting many, many new writers and editors. We are particularly interested in obtaining submissions from people who live and/or work outside the U.S., although we welcome U.S.-based writers as well.

Keep in mind that all of these participation options will give you significant visibility and a good vita/resumé entry! As of November 2012, BI is visited by over 100,000 unique visitors each month. Since we have a lot of material here, not all of those people are going to visit every page, but that's a lot of people looking at a lot of pages! So the chances of getting your work seen and used by publishing it on BI is probably significantly higher than it is in traditional journals. Indeed, our authors tell us that they receive a lot of comments on their BI articles and interviews, and that they are often the authors' most frequently viewed material on the Internet.

In addition, we are upgrading our editorial practices so that all posted articles are carefully reviewed and edited by several people, starting with other BI contributors, and ending with "official BI" editors. Thus, BI is now using a combined "expert" and "peer-review" process. We hope the rigor of this review process will encourage scholarly institutions to consider publication on BI to be equivalent to publication in traditional print journals.

Call for Papers

  • Existing Papers: If you have an existing paper (for instance, a grad school paper) that seems relevant (in any way) to improving our understanding of intractable conflicts or improving our ability to handle them, please send it to us for possible publication. We will let you know if we can use it "as is", or if it might be publishable on BI if the format or content is altered in some way. (Sometimes we can help with this, too.)
  • New Papers: If you are interested in writing a new article, check our "call for papers" page to see what we are currently looking for and our style guidelines.

Call for Editors

As a consequence of significantly increasing the number of papers coming into BI, we need editorial help. If you are a good writer and are knowledgeable about conflict or interested in similar topics, we seek your help in the following ways:

  • Copy Editing: If you are interested in our content and are a capable copy editor, we are looking for several volunteers (current or retired writers, editors, faculty, or recent MA or Ph.D. grads) to help us edit incoming materials. Your name will go on anything you edit, so it gets you a bit of visibility and a vita/resumé entry! Contact us if you are interested, and please include a copy of your vita/resumé and/or a cover letter explaining your background and interests.
  • Discussion Leaders: Online discussions rarely flourish without people leading them — asking provocative questions; responding to comments; keeping the dialogue alive, positive, useful, and interesting. If you are interested in one or more BI topics, consider starting and editing a discussion group on that topic. If your discussion is central and useful, we might even add it to the discussions that rotate on the top of the home page, which will get you lots of visibility! Contact us if you are interested, explaining your relevant background and what you would like to do.
  • Section (User Guide) Editors: One of the problems with large knowledge bases is that they get so big that they are difficult to navigate. That's been a problem with BI for a long time — one we are forever (it seems) trying to address. One way to deal with this issue is to create sub-sections of the knowledge base focused on particular topics or user groups. These "user guides" highlight a subset of BI materials (and external materials related to BI topics) of likely interest to particular audiences (e.g., development workers, human rights workers, social workers, etc.) We are very interested in recruiting people who would like to help us develop user guides on new topics or for new "constituency groups." We can do the technical stuff; we just need people with expertise in particular areas to highlight what materials would be of most interest to "their" audiences. Contact us if you are interested, and please include a copy of your vita/resumé and/or a cover letter explaining your background and what kind of guide you would like to create. We'll show you an easy way to do it, and then post the results (giving you credit, of course).

Interns and Research Assistants

While it is certainly true that those who write and edit Knowledge Base content play a critical role in improving BI,  most of the work associated with maintaining, operating, and updating the system involves more mundane tasks like correcting broken links, finding and entering citations into our bibliographic resource database, formatting documents to meet system guidelines, and managing mailing lists. 

To do this work, Beyond Intractability, CRInfo, and the Consortium have a great need for on-site and off-site interns and research assistants.  These positions require no particular background in the field, just a willingness to learn and help with the many tasks that need to be done.  While we are sometimes able to pay for this work (generally when it is associated with a specific grant funded project) we are, more commonly, dependent on when those willing to volunteer their time. 

To make up for our inability to provide direct financial support, we do try hard to structure assignments so that interns and research assistants can, from their work experience here, learn a great deal about the field, it's key ideas, and the many organizations that are playing an active role (and might be good places to look for "real" jobs). And, of course, we do what we can to help interns and research assistants pursue such "next-step" opportunities in the field. 

We provide all the training that you need and a web-based system that allows you to work from most anywhere.  For those in the Boulder area, we can also provide an office and computing facilities.  All we ask is a sustained commitment of at least 5 hours a week (more for some of the more demanding tasks).  We find that it's hard to remember what you are doing sufficiently well without at least this level of commitment.  Those interested should contact the Consortium for more information.

 

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Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess, Co-Directors and Editors

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