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I am trying to apply for grad school. I have submitted some articles to some journals and I listed them on my resume. Now those articles are waiting for review, so they are in the status of "submitted" in my resume. Does this look weird in the eye of admission committee? Since none of my publications are "accepted", will the committee think that I try to show my research potential in resume by sending "rubbish paper" to journals and list them as publications?

Edit

I am a master student, I have submitted 4 paper in total

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  • @RichardErickson I have submitted 4 papers, and I am the only author.
    – Ken.Wong
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 16:18
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    The solo-author is a larger red flag than all being submitted. Publishing can be very hard, especially as a less experienced co-author. Also, I would question why your advisor is not a co-author and if you're "team player". Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 16:26
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    @RichardErickson, advisor as co-author is a very field dependent concept.
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 16:30
  • @Buffy good point. Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 16:49
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    Are your papers available to view on arXiv or some other publicly accessible location online? Making them accessible would allow grad admissions committees to view them and form their own opinions about whether they are rubbish papers or not. That would be to your advantage (even if the papers have already been accepted for publication), assuming the papers are not rubbish.
    – Dan Romik
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 17:41

2 Answers 2

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Since CV padding does occur you can't guarantee that people won't look askance at your record. But you can take a few precautions.

First, talk to your advisor to get an independent sense about the quality of the papers. Next, list the papers in a special section of the CV along with the journals and submission dates. If you have already been given feedback and are at a later stage (minor revisions suggested), say that. It looks worse, actually, if they have all been submitted in a short period, or very recently. And the time to publication differs widely.

But, importantly, offer to make the papers available to the admissions process so that they can independently look at the quality. People with experience can quickly get a fairly good idea from just an abstract, actually.

And, you are applying for a doctorate to do more than prove that you don't need one. So, being a bit "unformed" may be fine, though that will vary.

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    I'm a bit surprised by the advice to list the submission venue unless the paper's at a later stage. Hopefully your recommenders can vouch for the submissions and you have preprints available. If not, then listing venues doesn't seem like it can help.
    – user137975
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 16:45
  • @AnonymousM, it might not help or hurt, but it is honest and complete. That was my only intent.
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 16:55
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    I would only name the journal if it's passed at least desk review Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 22:00
  • @AnonymousM I think one can be open if the citations are for applying purposes. This is not as to say to the world "I have a paper awaiting in Science" and then the paper doesn't appear. It is not a conference, but a student application.
    – Alchimista
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 10:18
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Does this look weird in the eye of admission committee?

Given that you appear to be an undergraduate, these seems reasonable. Some schools allow you to upload writing samples. Perhaps you could upload an example manuscript there.

Since none of my publications are "accepted", will the committee think that I try to show my research potential in resume by sending "rubbish paper" to journals and list them as publications?

I would list your target journals on your private resume to people can see you are not submitting to rubbish papers.

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    As mentioned by @AnonymousM, you should not list the target journal. It's not a quality indicator. Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 23:45
  • @AnonymousPhysicist I disagree. submitting to only predatory journals is different than submitting to typical journals in field. Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 14:11
  • Sure, but "I can tell the difference between a fake journal and a real journal" is not very convincing evidence that someone is a good PhD student. Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 15:16

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