Our books

Become a Fan

« Tips for handling multiply-(desk)-rejected papers? | Main | Fall CUSP Graduate Workshop Applications Open »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

placement person

I usually suggest a work in progress section when my students have 0 or 1 publications and are going on the market for the first time. I would think in such situations it is helpful to see that the student has some things under review, or R&R'd, or in draft form available to be requested by a committee.

I agree there shouldn't be tons of stuff in this section, but I think the rule is "if you're willing to send a draft to a hiring committee, it's okay to list". So that could be one thing, or five, depending on the person.

And for what it's worth I think we should try to very strongly create a norm against inferences from "things under review with few publications" to "has a hard time publishing". I understand there is an arms race for publishing, but PhD students simply haven't had enough time that they've been working on things for this to be a good inference. Many of my students' work is not ready to be sent to journals until late in their time as a grad student. Often when they list something as under review on their CV, it's under review at the very first place that they have sent it. And I don't think it helps anyone to make these kinds of inferences--it's bad for grad students to send papers to journals when they aren't ready, and we discourage our students from doing so (while encouraging them to try to publish!).

I do think that things are different here if someone is, say, 3-4 years out of grad school and has tons of stuff in a WIP section and only, say, 1-3 publications. Then one might start making inferences about the person having a hard time publishing.


I’ve successfully been on the market twice for R1s. Each time, I’ve listed unpublished papers under review but never a paper that’s merely “in progress.” I think the category of “under review” is more meaningful. For example, a paper in progress may never be completed. A paper under review is already finished. Similarly, a paper in progress might be a long way off from being ready for publication. A paper under review presumably is not.

Note too that papers under review will check other important boxes. They will be completed papers you can send to committees if asked, and, if you list more than two, it doesn’t impact credibility. I usually go so far as to indicate where it’s under review and it’s status at that journal (e.g. initial submission, R&R). A bonus to this approach: you have an easy place to list R&Rs without presumptuously putting them in the “publications” category.

This approach doesn’t benefit those who have a lot of papers in progress but nothing submitted. But to me that’s a red flag. Listing as much raises the possibility that the applicant can’t convert papers from being “in progress” to being “under review.” Such an applicant might be one who would struggle to get tenure, or so someone might reason.


MindLang, I've read (on the CV thread and elsewhere) that it's not a great idea to indicate where a paper is under review. Curious what your thoughts are on listing the venue where the paper is under review and why you think it works in your experience.

Caligula's Goat

Like all things having to do with the job market and search committees, general rules can be useful but everything is particular. It really depends on who the candidate is and what sort of place they're applying to: how important is research at that specific place? What sort of work are the faculty there doing? How much research have you yourself published already?

Here's an example:

Suppose I'm an advanced assistant professor hoping to move to a more research intensive university. I already have six or seven publications and the department I'm applying to has faculty who, by my stage in their careers, have at least six or seven publications. In such a situation I think it's okay to have far more than two things in the "In progress" section and that that material can be at various stages in development (this could even be listed as "draft available" "conference paper available" "extended abstract available" and so on). I've already demonstrated that I can publish regularly so committee members are less likely to think that I'm just blowing hot air. To be sure one ought to be ready to have conversations about these papers but I think the advice of "only put something as in progress for which you have a full draft" is not good general advice (it's only good advice for specific contexts).

Suppose instead that I'm an advanced assistant applying to a less reserach intensive university where most faculty at my stage have three or even fewer publications. In such a situation I might not put anything as "in progress" because I wouldn't want that committee to be worried about my being a flight risk (assuming of course that I really want to work at such a place).

The same sort of contextual features really should factor into our choices. Newly minuted PhDs will present themselves to different committees differently (in part depending on their publication history but also the type of institution they're applying to). Does the job ask for an AOC for which you don't have any publications but where you have a few papers ready to go or in deep development? Add them!

All application advice, like politics, is local.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Subscribe to the Cocoon

Job-market reporting thread

Current Job-Market Discussion Thread

Philosophers in Industry Directory


Subscribe to the Cocoon