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On mathjobs.org, a few jobs request a research statement of no more than 3 pages. Are reference pages typically counted for such requirements in the United States?

  • 1
    I would think you would need to ask the individual departments about this. However, I also suspect that departments don't want to limit the amount of room in such an important document based on the number of references you have. So I'd guess that you have three full pages of text (references shouldn't count). – aeismail Sep 30 '14 at 4:32
  • Just for reference, in the EU the references are included in the limit, at least some of the time. – Jessica B Oct 4 '14 at 21:05
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Unlike the NSF, where references often do not count towards page limits, I would assume that references do count as part of the 3-page limit for a research statement in a job application.

At the same time, few research statements I have seen in mathematics are as thoroughly referenced as an NSF proposal. The main goal of a research statement when applying for a job is to describe your own research and to demonstrate that you will be able to meet the research expectations of the job. As such, you want to keep the research statement relatively brief.

If you really need more than 3 pages including references, you should email the chair of the search committee to find out if it is acceptable.

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Generally speaking, no. Two reasons:

  1. Nobody reads the references.
  2. It is unethical to penalize the author for giving credit where it is due.

That said, an HR staffer may not know about academic practices.

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    Nobody reads the referencesFalse. I read the references. – JeffE Oct 4 '14 at 21:47
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    It is unethical to penalize the author for giving credit where it is due — This is a red herring. The constraint is not "don't give credit" but "keep your entire document under 3 pages". – JeffE Oct 4 '14 at 21:47

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