Background: CS Undergrad applying to CS PhD Programs in the US.

I have multiple posters published along with some mid tier conference papers. Along with these, I have 6 journal papers under review. Few of them got rejected earlier and now I have re-submitted them with significant changes. They should be accepted this time but will take time and will not be "accepted" before I send out my applications.

Question 1: Is having too many paper's under-review a bad sign?

I do not want to show the panel that I am simply sending out papers to fill the CV.


  1. Every paper under review will be spoken about in my SOP and my LORs (all the journal papers are part of my various internships).
  2. I will be attaching the drafts on my CV for every paper so they can be viewed by the panel.

Question 2: Should I not mention about a few papers under review?

For all the programs I am applying for, the papers are highly relevant to the prof's works. Hence the question.

I am aware of similar questions on the forum but this question is quite specific to me and hence I am asking this as a separate question.

  • 2
    I don't think having many papers in review is frowned upon. People frown upon the attitude of churning out papers without serious work behind it. This does not seem to be your case. I would recommend you to add the details of your various internships in your CV. Also, if possible, present the links between papers and internships in the CV. Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 7:00
  • Thank you very much for this advice!
    – Academic
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 8:10
  • I thought in CS, people value conference papers more? Maybe the 6 journal papers could be viewed as 'easy' as compared to top conference papers. Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 9:19
  • Well, 4 out of the 6 are SCI journals and the other 2 are SCIE, so I wouldn't say they are "easy" but yes, Top conferences are harder.
    – Academic
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 15:39
  • If you are first author in all 6, then I would suggest you to focus your efforts on 2, or even just 1 of them.
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


Firstly, no, there is nothing wrong with having many papers under review at a given time. This situation is quite common for practicing academics; some papers find a home reasonably quickly and others sometimes need to be shopped around a bit before finding a home for them. Papers can take several years to be accepted for publication, and academics are well aware of this, so there is no expectation that your papers should be published or even accepted prior to submitting your application. Even in the unfortunate event that one or more of these papers is of insufficient value to ever be published, that just means it is not a positive, rather than being a negative.

Since you are applying for PhD programs, the papers you presently have under submission are relevant for your application. A potential supervisor is probably going to be interested in these --- a fortiori if they are in the field of work of that academic. I see no reason why you would omit mentioning these papers in your application. The only thing that could potentially be a (very mild) negative is if the panel reads one of your papers and decides that it is of insufficient substance or value to warrant journal submission. Even then, at most that would show that you require a bit of guidance on the matter, which is something provided in a PhD program.

  • Thank you so much for this answer.
    – Academic
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 8:49

The fact of the matter is that it is somewhat useless to mention in your CV that you have papers that have been submitted, communicated or are under review. You should include only those papers in your CV that have either been published or have been accepted for publication.

Note that including papers that have not been accepted may make you look impulsive and an academic fop, and that is definitely not good. It is likely going to do you worse than any good.

Having many papers under review is not bad. But including unaccepted papers in CV is likely to be considered bad if not objectionable.

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