I've been working in a lab for more than 3 years and during this time I have worked on several projects. I have collaboration works too. Most of my projects have been submitted recently. For example, I have finished a project a year ago but it got so many corrections from the supervisor that it took a year to be submitted. Side by side I finished another project. Now, while upgrading my CV, I see so many 'submitted' projects. Will it make a negative impact on the Ph.D. admission committee thinking that my work might be substandard? Or is it ok to include all the projects that I have worked on and still working? (almost 6/7)

P.S. All my published works have been published in good journals till now.

  • 3
    Of course submitted papers are not counted the same a published papers. But as long as you have enough published papers, do not worry about having too may submitted papers.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 18:59
  • About how many manuscripts are we talking? I can imagine that an excessive listing of submitted papers could appear a little off. Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 13:30

3 Answers 3


I have been on tons of search committees for faculty members, and I would never look at this in a negative light.

A submitted manuscript doesn't mean it is substandard work. Conversely, I believe, it means you are an active researcher and have the ability to build a substantial research agenda.

I wouldn't worry about this in the least.


It's pretty hard to imagine that it would be a problem. More is generally better. And the time to publication for a submission can be long. It seems better that you keep working and submitting rather than waiting for one to complete the process.

It shows you are active. Always a good thing.

  • I have heard people getting rejected because they were too good. Mentality here is, even if we make an offer to this person, he/she will most likely have a better option and decline us. Instead, lets make a faster offer to "lesser" candidates and not risk losing them on time. Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 20:59
  • 1
    Hmmm. You have heard from very stupid people, I think. "Mentality" is questionable. "Lack of" maybe better. There is little cost of making an offer except time, and you can control that pretty well.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 21:05
  • I previously recieved a good offer but I was asked to reply in a short time (around a week). Meanwhile, I was waitlisted for another program. The first offer extended only an additional 3 days which was not sufficent. I have contacted both parties but find a working compromise. In short, I was strongarmed into making a decision without knowing all the options which I did not appreciate. I don't think anyone would like to be treated that way. Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 21:23
  • @BoatyMcboatface, True enough. But not making you an offer at all would probably have been worse.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 21:26
  • I am not too good nor never will be :). I am just saying the time element is not very easy to control. Allegedly my department gets a lot of very good post-doc applications. Then they almost always refuse the offer. Hence, I believe the department has a policy of making some offers to candidates more likely to come. I have heard a similar mindset was in use in an "almost top tier" school for phd applications. Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 21:42

"Submitted manuscripts" count less, but are still viewed favorably. Uploading these to a preprint server and stating the preprint number is a plus.

The only thing that could look strange are too many "manuscripts in preparation": a committee might wonder if you finish in time what you started.

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