Invitations, Under Review, and other CV Questions


Two questions about what should go on CVs have come in recently. The first is about conference invitations:

I’ve been invited to/accepted to several conferences. However, budget constraints preclude me from attending almost all of them. Here is my question: is it permissible to list these invitations on my CV—I’m an early PhD student—with a proviso that I could not physically attend? It seems a shame to not be able to list these accomplishments but it seems dishonest to possibly give the appearance that I was there and actually gave my paper by merely listing them without some sort of footnote or explanation.

The second, also from a graduate student, concerns how to list papers that are under review at journals:

I have a number of papers under review, and I am wondering how to list them on my CV. They will be in a section on the CV headed “Publications Under Review.” The question I have is whether to list the names of journals at which they are under review. I see that some people do this. Yet, isn’t there a concern that it might affect the anonymous reviewing process? Leaving that aside, isn’t there something tacky about it? Yet perhaps it is a way to signal my ambition to prospective employers. Help, please.

Readers, feel free to share your thoughts on these questions, or raise other CV-related questions.

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Dale Miller
5 years ago

Listing the titles of journals where your work is under review won’t compromise blind review, at least not any more than listing the title will. If one of the paper’s reviewers sees the title, she’ll know who the paper’s author is. Still, I’d advise against listing titles. No one will be impressed by the fact that you’ve submitted your work to a top journal: anyone can do that. And by publicizing where you’ve submitted the paper, you may be putting someone in a position to know later that a particular journal rejected the paper (e.g., suppose that you have reason to send a school an updated CV, and the paper is now under review elsewhere).Report

John Schwenkler
John Schwenkler
5 years ago

On 1 — I would find a way to list invited talks, though not merely accepted ones. Though did you consider asking the conference organizers if you can give your talk remotely? I have done this several times, and rarely have met resistance.

On 2 — No, don’t list journal names, unless perhaps you have an R&R. Not because of the review process, but because it’s tacky (says someone who used to do this himself). *Maybe* you could mention in a cover letter where your work has been submitted, but it is not material for a CV.Report

jack woods
5 years ago

Personally, I don’t list work under review and I don’t think anyone should unless they have nothing at all published and wish to signal that they’re trying. And even then it’s a bit tacky. I’d advise putting it on the website, but not on the CV. R&Rs are a different story, but they should be clearly marked as such in a separate section from publications.

As for invitations to conferences, I think this doesn’t matter much. Do what you feel (though I’d definitely mark the ones I’d declined to attend.) Funded invitations and other cash-money accomplishments you decline are different. This matters to people and should be put on the CV, marked declined, and typically the amount of money should be indicated.

Anyways, that’s my 2 cents. Report

Andy
Andy
Reply to  jack woods
5 years ago

I think there are good reasons for listing work under review (although not for listing the journals at which they are being reviewed). Consider two candidates just out of grad school. They each have 3 publications based on material from their thesis work. The first candidate has some vague idea about where they want to take their research next, but has not yet made much progress. The second candidate has already written several new papers and has submitted them to journals. The second candidate is (all else being equal) the stronger, more productive, candidate. But they will look the same if the second candidate never lists their work under review (assuming the first candidate has made enough progress to at least write a decent research statement).Report

Daniel
Daniel
5 years ago

On 2, I tend to agree with Jack Woods, and to think that papers under review shouldn’t generally be listed on a cv. Even in the case of an R&R, it’s risky, since if it’s not ultimately accepted and comes out somewhere else, people will know that it was rejected at the journal you listed. Though if you are going to list them, “Publications Under Review” strikes me as a bit presumptuous. Maybe “Work Under Review” would be better; until it’s been accepted, it’s not a publication.
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Matt
Reply to  Daniel
5 years ago

Maybe “Work Under Review” would be better; until it’s been accepted, it’s not a publication.

This seems right. I’m always surprised to see things that have not been accepted somewhere listed as a “publication”, even an “in progress” one. I think a ‘work in progress’ section on a cv is fine and can be informative, as it may show where your work is heading, what you’re dong now (esp. if it’s a bit different from what you have done in the past), etc. And, it may be worth while to note the stage in progress (i.e., “draft available”, “under review”, “under revisions”) though others might disagree. But, until the paper or book manuscript or whatever has been accepted, it’s not a publication, and shouldn’t be called one. Report

David Sobel
David Sobel
5 years ago

Oh, I would certainly recommend listing papers that are under submission, and most definitely list them if they have an R&R. That in itself can be impressive. And it is a sign that the paper has an enhanced chance of publication at the journal. I don’t think people care if a paper was rejected elsewhere much or have much time to investigate such things. But I agree with Dale that it is pointless and a bit silly to list the name of a journal that a paper is under review at (unless it has gotten some encouragement).Report

P.D. Magnus
5 years ago

I wouldn’t list conferences I could have attended but didn’t.
I normally don’t list works in progress and under review on my CV, but I did when on the job market and up for promotion. Some people will take that as a positive sign that you have other things in the pipeline, and actual publications and accepted papers make it credible that these too may be published. I don’t list journals, unless it’s at least an encouraging R&R. If I get a rejection without comments, I may send it immediately somewhere else– “under review” would remain accurate, while “under review at journal #1” would no longer hold.Report

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

Absolutely do list conferences you were accepted to but couldn’t attend due to financial constraints, especially as a PhD student. Why should your CV be less impressive than it could otherwise be simply because you don’t make enough money? You’re already being deprived of the opportunity to present your work to colleagues, get feedback on it and build up your network. Report

Dale Miller
5 years ago

About the conferences… I’m not sure that I’d want to advertise that I submitted work to many conferences that I didn’t in fact attend. It’s understandable that you might send work to more conferences than you actually want to attend, just to increase your odds of having a paper accepted someplace. And it’s understandable that if you get lucky then you might have papers accepted at more conferences than it is possible for you to attend. Still, someone might see a CV that lists multiple conferences where papers were accepted but then withdrawn and conclude that you’re a bit flaky. (I do have one conference on my CV that I couldn’t attend, but that was the result of a canceled flight. The session chair read the paper, and I note that on the CV.)Report

Sara L. Uckelman
5 years ago

I wouldn’t list the journals that you’ve submitted papers to. It’s a good way to allow people to deduce (over time) which journals have rejected your papers.Report

smj
smj
5 years ago

Listing a conference you were accepted to but did not attend doesn’t count for much — for all anyone knows, you never did more than submit an abstract. It might strike some people as CV padding, in which case it will do you more harm than good.
The same might be said of listing papers under review, although these at least indicate that you have completed work out there. But don’t list the names of the journals unless your paper is accepted, forthcoming, or in press. R&R papers still get rejected, so I wouldn’t advise listing the journal for those.
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elisa freschi
5 years ago

I think there is a big difference between accepted abstracts, accepted papers (in case of conferences for which one needs to submit the whole paper, e.g., DEON) and invited lectures within a larger conference. I would list the latter two, even if you had to cancel, whereas I would avoid mentioning the former.Report

Phil
Phil
5 years ago

Here’s a question: I’m the coauthor of a paper. The other author has presented this paper a few times (one conference and one invited colloquium at a major state school). I couldn’t attend for financial reasons mostly. Is there any way to list this in my cv (obviously not under publications, but under presentations)? I currently list them under presentations but indicate in brackets that my coauthor presented.Report

Dale Miller
Reply to  Phil
5 years ago

Phil—Yes, what you are doing is appropriate.Report

Charles Pigden
Charles Pigden
5 years ago

I will repeat what I have said elsewhere. I am not sure whether you should list papers under review, but IF you do, you must clearly distinguish them from actual or forthcoming publications. There are few things you can do on a CV that are more calculated to annoy your readers than to force them to sift through the damned thing distinguishing real achievements from mere aspirations. I am inclined to think that if you are VERY early on in your career with (say) zero–to-two- publications, It is worth listing your ‘under reviews’ in order to make the point that you are a research-active scholar. But once you have a few genuine publications under your belt (especially if they are in good venues) I think that it is better to leave them off. For the reasons outlined by Allen Wood on his blog, short punchy cvs in which the candidate’s real achievements jump out at you, are much to be preferred to long boring screeds full of aspirational blather.
It may be that conferences are a much bigger deal in some places than others. For many years the only conferences I attended were the annual conferences of the AAP at which I would typically give at least one, sometimes two and on one occasion *five* papers. I don’t think I bothered to list them on my CV, partly because, it is pretty easy to get a paper accepted for the AAP conference (though hard. of course, to give a good one). So if you want to list your conferences acceptances you should give some indication of why they are worth listing. It does not do you much credit if you are accepted to give a paper at a conference which accepts almost everybody. However perhaps North American readers should take this advice with a pinch of culturally relative salt. I am astonished a the number of senior US philosophers who list ALL their presentations on their online CVs. Report