Ad Lagendijk Ad Lagendijk 31 August 2008

Blowing up your publication list and CV with trash

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Posted in Tips

Having been a member of so many committees in which the quality of various applicant-scientists were compared, I think, I know how to read a curriculum vitae and a publication list.air-pollution-systems.jpg

Please, do not try to magnify your publication list with trash as unrefereed papers and conference abstracts. It is pollution that will irritate the committee.

A serious applicant will lists the following items separately, when applying for a job or applying for promotion:

  1. List of refereed papers. With *all* the authors and also in the order in which they appear in the journal. In case of an extreme long list (more than ten), say at least how many co-authors there are . In addition report the number of published pages each article entails.
  2. List of conference proceedings, if  they cannot be classified as peer-reviewed. Again with all the authors. And again state the number of published pages for each item.
  3. List of popular papers. With all the authors and with the number of published pages.
  4. List of invited talks at international conferences, with the names of co-authors if applicable.
  5. List of invited individual talks delivered at scientific institutes.
  6. List of contributed talks to international conferences, with the names of all other co-authors and in the correct order.
  7. List of posters, with the names of all other co-authors in the correct order.

Some applicants are so stupid to think that they are smarter than committee-members and that they can pollute their list without anybody in the committee noticing it. I have spent evenings in cleaning up dirty publication lists of applicants. Finding out what  journals publish only two-page articles. Reviewers get irritated when they have to do the counting themselves because the counting of the applicant cannot be trusted.

Applicants are  proud of an article in Nature or in Science, and rightly so. But you do not have tacoma-propane-explosion.jpgto rub it in. The committee will spot them easily. Do not partition your refereed publication list into several sub-classifications according to your own feeling of importance of journals. For one thing is sure, you can insult a committee-member by doing so.

Citation Score
There is no need to put your citation score in your CV. Not per article, and not your h-index. Let the committee do it. Various institutions have different ISI subscriptions. They might want to correct for self-citations in a different way than you have done. Etc.
However if your name has problematic prefixes, like “Van Beethoven”, check the ISI. They have changed over the years from “Van Beethoven” to “VanBeethoven” and “Beethoven V”. So if your name has changed over time in the database of the ISI you should tell the committee.

Discussion groups
I still see regularly discussions on internet fora on how to “embellish” one’s publication list. With people requesting advice regarding how to masquerade a weak CV. If there is one strong point about a weak CV it is that the person connected to it admits it is a weak CV.

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  1. Allard Mosk

    1 Sep 2008 20:29, Allard Mosk

    The “Number of pages” is a piece of information that is more often than not missing. It can be very useful: if you have a lot of short papers on your list, but a few long ones, showing the number of pages can help to make clear you’re not into producing “least publishable units”.

  2. Unregistered

    19 Sep 2008 14:30, Otto Muskens

    Concerning the invited talk list: there is huge variation between countries and even individual groups wether a professor lets a junior scientist go to invited talks or he himself presents the work. To my opinion this gives a strong bias to the list of invited talks.

    How to handle this in your CV? Currently I put all invited talks in which my name was in the abstract even though my boss gave the talk (several times I was even put first author). Is this ok or does it count as CV pollution?

    Secondly, I have some skepticism concerning the importance of invited talks since a lot of these are given out of habit to the big shots in the field or out of political/personal reasons by committee members.

  3. Unregistered

    23 Sep 2008 14:55, Klaas Wynne

    To reply to Otto: yes, I do think that adding invited talks you have not yourself given is CV polution. Big shots get to give talks, and their talk-count is a measure of their big-ness. Nothing wrong with taht type of counting. Of course, you really should be given a chance to give a talk yourself.

  4. Unregistered

    18 Jun 2009 7:15, Dov Henis

    Journal Impact Factor
    = measure of the citations to science and social science journals

    JIF is regarded as “the science of rating scientists and their research”

    What does JIF have to do with “the science of rating scientists and their research”?

    This is another glaring sad example of the prostituting, by the sience establishment guild of the 20th century Technology Culture, of the terms science, scientist and research.

    I am asked if I have a better suggestion on how to rate scientists and research.

    I do not pretend to have any suggestion on how now to scientifically rate scientists and research.

    The present science establishment is, IMO, widely-deeply cancered with the malignant 20th century Technology Culture, of which public rating is one symptom. Tackling only this one single symptom would be a very difficult task.

    My most probably hopeless approach is to stir the stagnant water and initiate evolutionary changes that would eventually re-place science, scientists and research where Western culture departed from Enlightenment circa 100 years ago, when it dealt with the essence of nature and life evolutions, and elected to become a pierced-ear slave (Ex.21, 6) to the Technology Culture .

    IMO it is vitally important for now charting the course of our society to learn and understand, to analyse and assess, with a scientism perspective, the evolution and collapse of the Technology Culture and the implications, within it, of the bare survival of basic classical science, of the further comprehension of our place and fate in the universe.

    Respectfully suggesting,

    Dov Henis
    (Comments From The 22nd Century)
    Updated Life’s Manifest May 2009

  5. Unregistered

    11 Jun 2010 23:09, MH


    One question – where would you include correspondence?

    Some journals e.g. Nature publish “Letters” as full articles, whereas, correspondence elsewhere varies in terms of quality and regard. Some replies can be very highly cited as well, particularly when these letters point to methodological insights e.g. The forensic dissection of the Duke microarray data first published in Nature Medicine suggesting profound flaws.

  6. Unregistered

    8 Aug 2010 21:43, Tony Dean

    Always remember that your CV is a passport to getting you a job interview and should be written accordingly. Also note that recruiters will typically only have 2 minutes to quickly scan through your CV, and may have to read through dozens in a day.

    In any CV avoid giving a blow-by-blow account of your latest project, its aims, scientific intricacies and results. You can explain these at the interview stage. Keep your CV to a maximum of 2 pages and focus on grabbing the attention of the hiring manager who is reading your resume.

    A CV is a marketing tool which should list only those abilities and strengths that are relevant to the job you are applying for. You should adapt and rewrite it to suit each individual job application. Try not to send the same CV to every job you apply for.

    More tips when writing a high quality scientific CV:
    Firstly always read the job advert and make a detailed list of key skills the recruiter is looking for. Once you have this information then focus on explaining how your knowledge and skills fit the employers requirements. Write your CV with the job description in front of you so you can refer to it.

    To show your academic credentials create a section called ‘research interests’ and then use bullet points to list your achievements. Make sure to include only relevant course modules, laboratory experience and course projects. If you are not sure about how to write your CV or what to put in it then visit this CV template page for free resume examples you can use.

    Secondly try to target your CV at the job you are applying for. This way you increase your chances of standing out from the crowd. Research the job role, industry and company. Use specific industry related key words and terminology to impress the hiring manager. Employers can be impressed by the fact that you have written something especially for them.

  7. Unregistered

    23 Aug 2010 23:46, uk jobs

    “Employment History that is irrelevant (A paper round was the worst one I saw).” But the jobs are going away and until we reverse the anti-business climate in California, that’s going to keep happening.

    Sadly, people still think that the more experiences they lay down on their CV, the better it is for their profile. Relevancy, that is co-relation between your skills set and the post that you are applying for, is still a huge factor for your successful CV.

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