Several years ago I participated in a conference as a speaker, and my speech was so good it got a third place award for the best speaker.

For many years it was stated on the organizer's website, and I've placed the link to it on my linkedin profile and often used on my CV.

But today I clicked on the link I always used and it was dead. They don't archive conference websites from 8 years ago. So now I have no proof of anything.

Should I continue mentioning that award on my CV (I have a nice story about that), or does the "dead website" sounds like a conman's excuse too much?

  • 21
    Any chance the site was archives by the Wayback Machine?
    – Anyon
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 17:11
  • 24
    I'm not sure of the actual value of a 3rd place best speaker award from 8 years ago. In those 8 years there should be plenty of other stuff to put on a CV.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 17:46
  • 2
    If you can talk about it, explain what it was about and how it is relevant, then even without a "proof" you should be good. Interviewers can totally ask you "okay, can you tell me a bit about this talk?" - However, as @JonCuster said, it may not be relevant sincee 8 years is a long time.
    – C. Crt
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 8:22
  • 4
    If you still have the link, you can search for it here: archive.org/web. If the page was cached by the website, it will be displayed with a blue circle on the calendar. Click the blue circle and you'll get a link to the cached page.
    – Nav
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 13:31
  • Was it an important presentation? (Main track/single track) Or more in a side workshop? Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Like many other things in life, academia also works on the honor system. Many things that show up on CVs are not verifiable (being a reviewer for this or that journal, a panelist for NSF, having received an offer for a faculty position somewhere that was declined for some reason or other) because this information is not publicly available and never was. As a consequence, I see no reason why you shouldn't list that award.

Of course, the fact that information is not public should not be used as an invitation to lie: Most everything that isn't public can still be investigated as long as you know the right people. In other words, people who lie eventually learn that they will be found out. But the converse is true too: If something is truthful, you should proudly list it on your CV -- if anyone should ever ask you about it, you can always point to people who actually know.

  • 13
    I would maybe slightly rephrase this. It's not that the facts are not verifiable, they are not verifiable with minimal effort such as a simple web search. I feel the honor system works so well because the facts are often verifiable in a relatively straightforward way once one puts in enough effort to contact a third party. Of course, we rarely do so, but I suspect just the threat keeps the vast majority honest. Commented May 25, 2023 at 20:21
  • 1
    Does one really list declined faculty offers on one's CV? Why, and in which section would one put this?
    – Psychonaut
    Commented May 27, 2023 at 6:02
  • 2
    @Psychonaut The Germans tend to do it. Commented May 27, 2023 at 21:49
  • 1
    @Psychonaut In Germany offers declined have actual academic currency. Because of the different model of German academia, they act as esteem indicator. Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 15:27

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