Friday, March 9, 2012

"in preparation" is not a publication

On your CV you need to clearly distinguish real publications, preprints, and works "in preparation".
When reviewing CV's I personally think the latter are just irritating, count for nothing, and should be left off your CV.


  1. I happen to list something like that on my resume at the moment because sometimes senior colleagues, referees, and other circumstances beyond one's control delay the actual publication of finished work. My specific situation involves two completed project which im giving talks on but a published version doesnt exist.

  2. If you think "in preparation" should be left off, does that mean you don't care to know what the applicants are currently working on? This seems like important information to me, no?

  3. There are other ways to indicate your current research. There is not much information to be gleaned from the title of a proposed but unpublished paper, anyway. Most applications will ask for a brief statement that would include this information.

    In my opinion, reading "to be published" highlights that the individual is self-concious about their publication record, and this raises a flag. If one has good reasons for a short publication list, it is better to be honest about these (both with oneself and also with one's prospective employers).

    Of course, it is important to publish, and it is also true that there are sometimes circumstances beyond one's control that interfere. When these circumstances are encountered, the individual must do what one can to overcome them. It is ever the case that in order to be successful, one must zealously pursue one's interest.

    Ultimately, science is nothing before it is communicated. It doesn't matter what YOU know; until something is in the literature it is as if it didn't even exist at all...