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Publications on an undergraduate resume

  1. Dec 18, 2011 #1

    I saw a few posts similar to this one but I think my question is slightly different. I'm a second-year CS undergraduate who just coauthored a short paper (2 pages) to a conference that has an average-ish reputation; it's been accepted. I did a significant amount of work for this paper, so it's important to me personally, but my supervisor mentioned offhandedly (to a masters student) that it's not the kind of paper you would include on a CV, since it's a short paper and the papers usually get accepted. She's a Ph.D. student with many publications under her belt and she's getting ready to graduate soon.

    Additionally, though, I'm now working towards a "real" paper on the same topic, which is on track to be submitted in a few months to a very well-known CS conference. So going by what my supervisor said, I should list this paper on my resume, and not the short paper.

    As an undergrad, though, (in my opinion) every publication counts, and sooner is better than later when I'm looking for summer opportunities. So would it be odd/inappropriate/frowned upon for me to list that short paper on my resume?

    Also, if I only have one or two publications, would I list these under a separate Publications heading or lumped with my research description in Work/Experience? At what point is it appropriate to separate them into their own section?

    Finally, is there anyone who might be able to weigh in on the impact of undergrad publications on industry employment (even just summer internships)? Do employers even care, or is it just grad schools that care?

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2011 #2


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    Conference presentations don't go on CVs because, as she said, pretty much anything gets accepted at conferences. The only things that really matter are publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  4. Dec 18, 2011 #3
    Hmm, wait, that's a little confusing to me. I don't see people in my lab (and in other CS labs) submitting to journals often, but they submit to conferences all the time, and my supervisor certainly has many conference papers on her CV. They are peer-reviewed, though... as in, we get reviewer feedback and ratings and are accepted based on that. Is there a difference? I usually see them cited as "Proceedings of the [x conference on xyz topic, year 1234]."
  5. Dec 18, 2011 #4


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    It's important to understand the context. My CV has seperate sections for (i) peer-reviewed publications, (ii) published abstracts (ie. the abstract has appeared in a journal), and (iii) other academic work (such as small research meetings).

    What you don't want to do is claim that an abstract that got into the proceedings of a small meeting is a peer-reviewed publication.

    As an undergraduate, I would have something like what you've described on my CV, but make sure that you present it as what it is.

    It comes down to personal style more than anything. If you're an undegraduate no one is going to expect you to have a huge stack of publications. If it were me, I would list even a single publication under a seperate heading because anyone reading the CV may just skip through the research position stuff once they undertand what it was all about. In it's own section the publication is highlighted.

    I'm sure there are some positions where it makes a difference, but most won't care. It all depends on the job you're going for.
  6. Dec 18, 2011 #5


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    "Peer-review", at least in the field of Physics (I don't know how this translates to CS), means a formal review process upon submission to a peer-review journal such as the AJP or Physical Review with the goal of the paper being published. Come to think of it, though, I have seen, although rarely, conference proceedings. I've never seen someone put a conference presentation on their CV unless they were an invited talk. Invited talks are different because, as far as I know, they're talks that the conference organizers request that you give as opposed to a talk you submit (invited talks are the 30 min or 1 hour talks vs. the shorter, 10 minute talks).

    Talks given at conferences that have those "proceedings" are rather unknown to me. I'm not sure exactly what those are all about.
  7. Dec 18, 2011 #6
    Poking around the internet a bit confirmed what I was thinking: CS is somewhat different than other fields in that conference publications are generally more well-received and -respected by the CS community than journal publications. I think the difference is in "presentation" versus "publication"; that is, I'm not only referring to a talk presentation but a paper (this one we just submitted was 2 pages; the one a few months from now will likely be 7-8 pages) that may end up having an accompanying poster or talk at the associated conference. These papers are peer-reviewed and they usually end up in a print version of the conference proceedings.

    I think I didn't realize quite how specific the question was that I was asking, and this forum seemed like a really good place to get helpful advice (which I did! thank you)-- sorry it was somewhat off-physics-topic.
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