I have noticed that in some fields, it is common to indicate in your CV (with italics, asterisks, or other symbols) if a coauthor is an undergraduate student. I have even seen similar practices for indicating grad student coauthors. I can imagine three reasons for doing this:
- Emphasize one's own contribution by suggesting that an undergrad or graduate coauthor did not contribute as much to the paper.
- Emphasize the undergrad/grad student's impressive feat of contributing to a paper so early in their career.
- Emphasize one's own dedication to mentorship and involving students in research.
Personally, (1.) is not something I would wish to convey on my CV, while (2.) and (3.) are points that I would like to convey on my CV.
In my field (mathematics), I have seen some CVs that indicate when a coauthor is an undergraduate, but it doesn't seem to be as common as in other fields. Perhaps one reason for this is that authors are frequently listed alphabetically in mathematics.
Question: In mathematics, would indicating which coauthors are undergraduates convey a positive message about the undergraduate's contribution to research, as well as my involvement of undergraduates in research? Or would this downplay the undergraduate's contribution?