A friend who’s listened to me hype up the Off the Beaten Track workshops for the past several years now asks:

out of curiosity, do y’all have an idea of how OBT papers do after they appear in OBT? i know 5 years is probably not enough time to tell, but have these papers indeed influenced people to open new lines of PL research, or gone on to appear in full-length form elsewhere?

Excellent question!

First of all, I take issue with the premise that OBT “papers” are a thing. OBT solicits talk proposals, not papers. (Conflation of “talk” and “paper” is a pet peeve of mine.)

With that out of the way, yes, I’m aware of several post-OBT publication “success stories”. Here are a few:

These are the examples that come to mind most readily, but I’m sure this list is incomplete, and I’d love to hear about others!

So, yes, it does seem that as long as OBT has existed, there’s been a pattern of research ideas that appeared at OBT at an early stage of their development later going on to appear in major venues in the PL community and beyond. Would all this cool work have happened had OBT not provided a venue for it early on? Yeah, it probably would have – but I’m pretty delighted that OBT got to play the role that it did, and I hope that it can continue to serve as an incubator of interesting new PL research in 2017 and beyond. If that sounds like something you’d like to take part in, please consider submitting a talk proposal to OBT 2017!