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My intuition is that you don't list it. It is not work you have done, or will do. Your co-author, however, should list it on their CV--as a co-authored paper which they presented.

Marcus Arvan

Hey Michel, I get that argument, but isn't getting a paper presentation accepted (either at a good conference, a colloquium invite, etc.) a legit accomplishment, even if it's only the co-author who actually presents it? It's each of the co-authors' work, after all, so in an obvious sense it is work that you've done (the work being presented is partly yours!). Bearing that in mind, what's wrong with listing it, provided you're clear and forthright that it was presented by the other co-author?


My intuitions line up more with Marcus. To me, the work of greatest significance is writing up the paper and getting it accepted. Of course, it still makes sense to list it with the asterisk.

(Didn't similar thinking underlie the way some people kept conferences totally canceled due to early COVID on their CV, but with an asterisk saying that it got canceled?)

Assistant Professor

Very strong agree with Marcus: if it is a co-authored paper (or a co-prepared presentation even if the paper is not written up yet) then you are doing relevant work and get to claim this work on your CV. Sure, make it clear your co-author gave the presentation, but that isn't the only or even necessarily key work involved in preparing the paper/presentation. FWIW this is very common in other fields where papers are multi-authored an only one person gives (or is even permitted to give) the paper or poster presentation but all authors would put it in their CV because they all supported the work that was accepted into the conference.

Interdisciplinary professor

I'd say that a CV should list the person's accomplishments. Submitting a paper to a conference and getting it accepted is an accomplishment, so it should be listed. Following the sciences convention—where conference presentations of co-authored papers is the norm—I'd suggest citing the presentation as part of the conference presentation list with some indication that the presenting author was someone else (it can be a literal legend stating so, it could be that the presenting co-author is in bold as opposed as the person's CV, etc.). I feel like literally being the one delivering a co-authored paper is somewhat less important than the deliverance of one's work. In academia we (should) get "points" for our work and its dissemination and impact, not for our performances "on stage".

placement person

A bit of unsolicited advice: I just want to emphasize that I have a lot of experience doing placement and these very small choices about CVs and things like that are extremely unlikely to make or break a candidate at any stage... because I see both my own students and people on this blog worry about them a lot! Just present yourself honestly whatever choices you make (i.e. in this case the only thing you really *shouldn't* do is make it seem like you presented the paper), and try to focus your attention on your actual work and more important parts of your applications (e.g. finding a good narrative for your teaching and research statements, polishing a writing sample, etc.) I know, easier said than done, but I sometimes think we focus on these kinds of things to avoid more important and consequential work. (And I am not faulting anyone for doing so--I understand this is very stressful!--so maybe better advice: if you find yourself worrying about tiny issues like this, think about practicing self-care and finding things to do that relax you/take your mind off the stress if you can.)



To my mind, the point of listing conference presentations on the CV is to show that one is directly engaged with one's subfield. A talk you don't give yourself demonstrates nothing about where you fit in the subfield ecosystem. (Not to mention the fact that considerable work is involved in preparing a paper for submission and preparing and delivering the talk. Writing a paper is just the first step!)

I don't think of conferences as some kind of stamp of pre-publication approval a step below an R&R. I've given quite a lot of these presentations, and organized quite a few conferences (including fairly large ones). Acceptance is perhaps some kind of pre-publication signal, but it's weak, and far from the most important signal. But judging from the responses, that's just me!

I would certainly see a separate category for such talks as padding. But it's also not a big deal, as long as it's clearly labelled. On the other hand, conference presentations in general don't count for much anyway, so the OP shouldn't worry overmuch.


Hi placement person and Michel, OP here. I think you're absolutely right about the relative unimportance of my question. The question was not really intended as an expression of much anxiety on my end. That said, I did still think it was worth asking, for the simple reason that I list stuff on my CV and sometimes wonder about how to do so precisely. I completely agree that this sort of thing has a vanishingly small chance of making a real difference to one's career, though, and I don't want to give even more junior scholars the impression that these are the sorts of things we should be fussing about at great length.

what matters

Given what you write here in response to placement person and Michel, I think you should not list the presentations. I am a more senior person, and my c.v. is quite selective. I only list papers presented in the last seven years, generally. Most stuff really matters not at all.


My intuition is strongly with Marcus, put it on your CV if your CV is otherwise thin.

But... I recently presented a co-authored paper at a major conference. It was co-authored in a way that without a lot more preparation than I had time for, I could not adequately present the whole paper as I wrote the philosophical part and my co-author wrote up the results of experiments they conducted and the statistical procedures they used to get the conclusions that generated the data useful for the philosophical insight. It was, in short, a Frankenpaper, a paper composed of two crudely sewn-together ideas that sounded pretty good to us late at night and to whom ever accepted it.

My coauthor was unable to present (family emergency) and I found out on my way to the airport about 5 hours before the conference. I spent two cab rides and the short flight frantically reading over their slides, notes, and underlying data and calling my coauthor repeatedly to explain things like Chi square tests and things like that.

The presentation was not perfect, but went OK.

The moral of the story is that your failure to present as part of a team may seriously diminish the value of the paper presentation even it does not diminish the value of your accomplishment in writing it and getting it accepted.


Marcus, I worry that by posting these questions you are adding to the anxiety of the whole process. As "placement person" says, this is an entirely trivial matter and giving it this much air only serves to make it seem non-trivial. And if whether someone should or shouldn't list such a presentation on their CV is non-trivial, then surely every line of the CV is non-trivial too! And, gosh, mustn't the same go for all the other application materials too?!?! ANXIETY-OVERLOAD-HEAD-EXPLOSION.

(And even for the non-anxious, I think this airing is unhelpful since it can still make them think their time is better spent on these trivialities than on the materials of substance—writing sample, etc.)

Suggestion: could you not curate things a bit more so only questions concerning issues that could plausibly matter get posted? Perhaps responding directly to these trivial matters in the "How can we help you?" post itself. (Was, for example, anything added in this instance that your own "Good question. I think it should be listed on the CV, and that noting “*presented by co-author” is probably the way the go" didn't provide? I don't think so.)

Meta Grad

Should we list talks that our papers are accepted for but that we decided not to give, for whatever reason? I can’t think of reasons why we should list talks given by co-authors but not us that wouldn’t also support listing presentation acceptances that we end up declining. FWIW, I think we should probably not list either.


Hi 'Trivialities', OP here. I appreciate and accept your criticism of my question. I should probably be more careful in the future about the questions I decide to ask on forums such as this. I am posting this reply to you so that it may serve as a precaution to other junior scholars who sometimes find themselves with admittedly trivial questions!


I sympathize with "Trivialities" but also find myself having a fairly strong intuition regarding whether to list another's presentation of co-authored work, namely: don't. Perhaps there's a way of conveying that the matter is pretty trivial (so that, as long as one is transparent on one's cv, it doesn't *really* matter) yet allowing for a discussion like this. I was surprised to learn that some people are confidently on the side of listing, so I'm glad the question and ensuing questions were posted--I learned something-- but would also find it regrettable if the question led to a junior philosopher's 'anxiety-overload-head-explosion'. (Fwiw, its being an accomplishment to have a co-authored paper accepted at a conference doesn't speak strongly in favor of listing it. It's an accomplishment if a senior philosopher discusses one's work in a talk...That said, though *I* don't list co-authored papers that I did not present, I wouldn't hold it against someone who did.)

Marcus Arvan

@Trivialities: I appreciate your concerns, but a couple of things:

(1) The Cocoon here is to help people, and I’m inclined to think that the best way to do so is to not judge as moderator which things are and are not trivial. Instead, why not discuss—as we have here—whether the topic is trivial or not so that we can all learn better? As you note, “I think this airing is unhelpful since it can still make them think their time is better spent on these trivialities than on the materials of substance—writing sample, etc.” But of course isn’t this precisely one of the things that came up in this very discussion—that candidates should spend less time stressing about these minutia and more time on other things?

(2) If I have learned anything in this profession (and in the seven anxiety-inducing years that I was a job candidate myself!), it’s that people—including search committee members—tend to disagree about the most surprising of things, including about what is or is not trivial. Given that people like the OP are trying to get a job, isn’t it more helpful for them to actually get a broad sense of what people actually think? If I were to curate which “how can we help you?” questions get a thread of their own and which ones merely get a brief answer from me and me alone, then readers like the OP would be deprived of the kind of answers that they were ostensibly looking for: honest answers not just from me, but from the kinds of decision makers (e.g. search committee members) who are at the end of the day the people the OP are trying to get a job with!


@OP. I’m afraid you misunderstood. I didn’t say you shouldn’t have asked the question (it’s a fine question to ask). I didn’t even say Marcus shouldn’t have answered the question (quite the contrary, I said he should answer it). What I said was that I thought having a whole post about it was imprudent.


Meta Grad
I have seen people - even mid career people - list talks that were accepted for conference but they did not give (even before covid!). What is this profession coming to?! Why not list party tricks we can do as well?

Caligula's Goat

Ugh/Meta Grad

I think the right lesson to draw from this, and really from all of the job market help threads, is that people disagree about all aspects of our professionalization. What should your strategy for your job talk be? Should you wear clothes that's more formal than your normal clothes during an interview? How important is the impact factor of the journals you publish in? Does listing a conference where your party was accepted but that, for whatever reason, you couldn't actually present at hurt your chances?

I'm not anywhere near retirement age (I've got at least 20 years left to go) but I've been in this game a while now. Disagreements are everywhere and they're often really reasonable. It hurts us, I think, if we think that *our way* is the only or best way. Far better to accept the pluralism, realize that most of us are trying to do our honest best, and not hold it against someone when they do something you disagree with (obvious illegal or immoral things aside).

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