74

Is it acceptable to list the journals you have reviewed papers for on your CV? Is it common? Do you think it’s recommended?

On the one hand, it shows that you are engaged in this necessary part of scientific research that is peer-review. On the other hand, it sounds a bit useless, because everyone actually reviews papers for journals, and it is actually an unverifiable information (reviewers are confidential).

  • 6
    Some journals publish reviewer lists, so it is sometimes verifiable. – Andy W Oct 2 '12 at 22:15
  • 1
    CV's have different audiences - I have at least 5 versions (different organizations request different aspects). The journals reviewed winds up on the version of my CV I used for promotion and tenure evaluations, as it's a "service to the community" aspect. It won't be on my CV for my research web page. – Fuhrmanator Oct 22 '12 at 14:11
  • Also: What about for non-academic resumes? – Colin Feb 11 '15 at 20:38
56

On the one hand, it shows that you are engaged in this necessary part of scientific research that is peer-review.

That's one of the major reasons why people list it. If your CV is being viewed as part of a performance review or hiring decision, or even for awards, this constitutes "service to the community" and indicates that you're a good citizen.

It's a noisy signal for the reasons you indicate, and so it doesn't carry a whole lot of weight compared to things like technical committee memberships and leadership roles, but it's part of the larger picture. Moreover, for more junior researchers who haven't yet had the chance to take on leadership roles, this is a good signal of service.

  • 4
    Let us not forget, that reviewing for a certain scientific field makes you officially the Boss. Confidence and reputation boost guaranteed. – fgysin reinstate Monica Jan 29 '13 at 16:42
41

I did this in the earlier stages of my career, when every little bit of CV weight helped. But as the number grew, and as I did other more significant things, I removed all traces of reviewing.

You need to show that you are involved in the community when you are young and starting out. Later other aspects will be more important.

20

I would say that being asked by a journal to review an article is an indicator of esteem and for that reason, suitable and useful for inclusion in your CV.

With regard to confirming - or otherwise - whether or not you did indeed act as a referee for a journal, I would expect that anyone who wanted to verify this could ask the journal in question. Which specific articles that you reviewed could, properly, remain confidential. However, disclosing the information that you acted as a referee for the journal would not, as far as I can see, break any confidentiality policy.

  • Probably, a journal can say without breaking confidentiality rules that X acted as reviewer for them… but I don't know if they actually would answer such requests. – F'x Oct 2 '12 at 20:36
  • @F'x: there could be potentially a problem with journal revealing its reviewers in a too liberal fashion. Most of the time, the idea is to have a blind review. Yet, many journals ask authors to list potential reviewers of their submission. Simply asking whether somebody reviewed for the journal could sometimes jeopardize the blind review process. – walkmanyi Oct 2 '12 at 22:12
  • Many journals in fact publish a yearly list of people who did reviews for them in this or the previous year. Typically entitled "Acknowledgment of reviewers" or similar. – silvado May 9 '14 at 14:37
13

I will essentially repeat the answer I gave here. The context for what the CV is going to be used for is key. I have a single CV that includes "everything" since I started grad school and selected things from before then. Having a long CV makes it easier for me to create short CVs because it means I need to delete things instead of remember things.

When I would include this information depends on the purpose of the CV and your previous experience. If you are giving a talk and someone asks you for a CV, then I would leave it off. If you are applying for a job and it is your only evidence of service, I would leave it in.

4

It is accepted, common and, yes, recommended. Being asked to review means your knowledge in a field is acknowledged and sought by others. The details you provide is up to you. I list the journals I have reviewed for in impact factor order, but it can be any order. I do not provide the number of reviews for each but the total for all. There is no reason to provide more than number of reviews and names of journals.

You have a point in that this information is unverifiable in many circumstances. In my field it is, however, common to be known as a reviewer (you have a choice). How the information is used is up to those who read the CV but I think most people will assume you have not falsified your CV (and that assumption goes for the remainder of your CV as well).

In the end, the art of writing your CV is to add anything that can reflect positively on your (in this case) scientific merits and reviewing is such a task. I also include reviews I have done for large funding organisations (e.g. NERC, UK, and NSF, US) as well as evaluations for promotions etc.

protected by Alexandros May 23 at 20:51

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.