I participated in some prestigious conferences as a poster presenter but, these conferences do not issue certificates so, when I list them in my CV, what is the proof for the reader that I did participate?

I once asked a conference for a certificate of participation, the organiser told me "we don't issue certificates but I will check with my team" and she never replied.

Is not it normal to ask for certificates of participation? How can I list them in my CV otherwise?

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    Usually conference abstracts are published, which creates a record. Are you in a field where conferences are more important than journal publications?
    – Roland
    Aug 30 '21 at 12:19
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    Do you include such certificates in your CV? Is this usual in your field since I have never seen something like this?
    – Christian
    Aug 30 '21 at 12:24
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    This might be a good question for a canonical question (it's come up before). People from some areas are like "How do I get my certificate??" and everyone else is like "What do you need a certificate for??" Aug 30 '21 at 13:27
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    I have participated in a number of conferences, and never received a certificate of participation. I list the conferences in my CV, and was never asked for proof of attendance.
    – Jake
    Aug 31 '21 at 10:36

Certificates of participation are usually for reimbursement of funds or otherwise required by someone in the chain of organizations paying for your attendance: universities, grant agencies, etc. It's a way to demonstrate that yes you actually attended the conference and didn't just use the travel funds to be a tourist in the conference city.

You do not need such a certificate to put it on your CV. You certainly wouldn't include any information about the certificate in the CV itself even if you received one.

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    I would add that in some PhD programs, it might be required that the PhD student justifies that they attended a certain number of hours of conferences/courses/classes/whatever during the course of their PhD. In this case, the PhD student needs a certificate of participation to the conferences they attend. Not for their CV, just for the university who will validate their PhD.
    – Stef
    Aug 31 '21 at 16:28

For almost all purposes, people trust that what you put in your CV is correct. If you say you participated in a poster session, nearly everyone will believe that you did. On the other hand, a poster session is a relatively minor thing among the other items there.

In the rare case that actual verification is required, the doubters can contact the conference chair or, perhaps, the poster chair. These people are visible. There may even be a visible record of participation on a web site or a follow up publication.

That's not an excuse, of course, to pad your CV with chaff.

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    I don't pad my CV with certificates but I thought of keeping them if I am ever asked to verify but, I got the message thanks.
    – Nadine
    Aug 31 '21 at 6:23
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    Yep, if anything, someone is more likely to look up the website (especially if unfamiliar with the conference to see what was it all about) than to ask for proofs. And yet far more likely to not bother verifying at all.
    – Lodinn
    Aug 31 '21 at 7:18
  • Funding agencies ask for a verification of your attendance to a conference. That is not a "rare case" as most researchers pay conference registrations through a project, a grant, or with the help of their institutions. In my case, a payment voucher and a copy (or video) of the poster/talk are enough as a proof of attendance.
    – vagoberto
    Aug 31 '21 at 15:05
  • @vagoberto In the context of Buffy's answer those "rare cases" are for someone reading the CV yet wanting other documented proof, which was OP's concern. I think those case are rare enough to be effectively nonexistent, unless there was something else suspicious.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 31 '21 at 16:34
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    @BCLC, trust need not be blind. But, yes, most people will trust it unless there is something that seems "off". Then they might check and are wise to do so. But that doesn't imply that questions might not arise in an interview about various experiences.
    – Buffy
    Sep 1 '21 at 14:40

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