Monthly Archives: February 2019

Publications in CVs

I’m currently chairing the Ph.D. program committee at the University of Lethbridge, and I just finished reading the files of the applicants who have applied to our program for admission later this year. At the UofL (and elsewhere), students applying to the Ph.D. program have to submit a CV. And of course, if you have publications, they should be in your CV. The trouble I’m having with many files I’m reading is that students don’t give full bibliographic details for their papers, which means that I sometimes have to do some additional digging if there is something I want to check on. Here are some things I sometimes find missing:

  1. A page range or article number. Yes, I know, the DOI should be enough, but if I decide to go looking for your paper for some reason, it’s often more convenient to have the first page number or article number (along with the volume number) than the DOI. Why? Because some journals make it particularly efficient to find papers with the volume and page number.
  2. The DOI. At the risk of contradicting myself, it’s sometimes easier to have a DOI. The DOI is especially useful if the journal is a bit obscure.
  3. The volume number. Well, duh!, you might say. But a surprising number of people forget to put that in.
  4. The year. Ditto.
  5. The issue number can be useful, depending on the journal, so by all means include that, too.
  6. For articles in journals that use article numbers rather than pages, the number of pages. This gives me some idea whether I’m looking at a letter-style publication or a full paper. I know it’s not foolproof, but it does help.

The point is that the more bibliographic details you include, the easier you make it to find your paper should someone wish to do so.

Finally, make sure that those bibliographic details are correct! You would be surprised at how many slightly mangled journal titles there are in people’s CVs, for example. That makes it hard to find the paper. It might cast doubt on whether the paper exists at all. Or it might just convince a person reading your CV that you don’t pay much attention to detail. Probably not the impression you want to leave.

On a related note, if you have multi-authored conference presentations in your CV, please clearly indicate if you were the presenter or not. You can use a special mark (asterisk, boldface or italics) for the presenter, or you can separate your presentations into ones you have made and ones that author people presented. Without this, long lists of multi-authored presentations are uninformative, and may be seen as padding your CV.