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I am an undergraduate student currently applying for PhD programs. I am trying to decide whether I should include the citation of a work that will be submitted for publication in the near future with me as a coauthor. I've confirmed with the PhD candidate and my PI that the work will definitely be submitted for publication, but I am not sure how to mention it.

Some answers on this site have said not to include any work that hasn't been published yet, and one answer said that it might be good for an undergraduate student to show that level of involvement. What would be the proper way to indicate my contribution to an upcoming submission?

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I would definitely include the (future) publication in your applications. Add a section for publications to your CV. In this section, simply write

[Title of your Paper], Author A, Author B and Author C, in prep.

This is a common shortening for "in preparation" that is used in academic CVs, talks and even published papers to refer to a work which is nearly ready for submission to a journal. You can talk about the work and your contribution to it in more detail in your personal statement.

  • I would add that I got a similar advice when applying for my first positions after my PhD as well. Also, in addition to in prep., some of the most common "notes" for unpublished papers in CVs I saw were also submitted (or submitted to) and under review, as well as accepted or in print, depending on the stage in the pipeline your unpublished paper currently is. There might be some value to add these different options to the answer for completeness (they could even be pertinent to the OPs case if his search for PhD programmes is still not finished by the time they submit) – penelope Apr 17 '18 at 13:25

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