(This question is set up under the EECS context, but any generic answer is much welcomed)
It is said that publications during one's undergraduate time will be an advantage in his/her PhD application. Usually, an undergraduate only starts publishing papers in his/her junior (3rd) year, and the application deadline usually comes at the end of his/her junior year. Hence, it is very likely that although the paper has been accepted by or even already presented in a certain conference, yet it has not been included into IEEE Xplore.
If the student has not uploaded the paper to some preprint database, such as arXiv or ResearchGate, then the admission committee will have no access to the paper. Of course, they may still be able to find some information about the paper, e.g., a tittle and an abstract appearing in the conference schedule, but after all they cannot go deeper into the paper content.
- Does the admission committee even bother to go through the paper to assess the work quality? (Sometimes, you can have a rough quality assessment by looking at which journal/conference the paper is accepted by)
- If the answer is positive, is it a good idea for the applicant to upload the papers to arXiv and provide the committee with the links so that the committee can read the papers as they wish?