Philosophers David Faraci (Georgetown) and Graham Leach-Krouse (Kansas State) have developed a new automated, secure, and free system for emailing confidential letters of recommendation. It’s called MARGY (Managing Academic Recommendations Gratis Yay).
Applicants on the academic job market spend thousands of dollars a year to have professional dossier services handle their confidential letters of recommendation. Some of this requires staff involvement: filling out forms, uploading to proprietary sites, etc. But a good deal of it is just sending emails. The only reason a middleperson is necessary is because the emails need to include a confidential attachment.
MARGY cuts out the proprietary sites and intermediaries:
Letter-writers upload letters to MARGY’s secure server; applicants tell the system where to email those letters. Confidentiality is maintained via a whitelist; the system will only send letters to email addresses that have been confirmed as being maintained by a relevant hiring entity.
MARGY is in the beta-testing phase. Faraci and Leach-Krouse are hoping others will help by playing around with the site and the email system, or checking the source code, or making suggestions for debugging and increasing usability. They are also looking for donations of server space. Faraci writes:
“The more people who help, the faster MARGY can be officially released, and the sooner people can start saving time and money.”
Great idea, guys.
Here are the relevant links: