I have yet to see this, but was wondering if others have or if it makes sense to list acknowledgments in published papers on a CV.

In some questions on this SE, it seems significant contributions to a paper can occur, yet for some reason (maybe not contributing to writing of the paper), the person is listed in acknowledgments and not co-author. This seems like something that is of relevance/importance.

In the other case, acknowledgments can be 'thanks for the discussion' in which it may have been a brief conversation with one important realization through the talk. This seems more like daily life.

Some people seem to list their contributions tot he academic community, such as being a reviewer for a journal.

What would you think if you saw acknowledgments on a CV, or, would it make more sense to categorize acknowledgments into other topics, such as, 'Non-co-authored project participation'.

  • 1
    I was somehow confused at first, but now I think you mean: listing papers of other people in which you are not a coauthor but are acknowledged? Jun 17, 2015 at 3:18
  • @PeteL.Clark right Jun 17, 2015 at 3:53
  • @boscovich good reference. This is a duplicate, so i suggest deleting it. Jun 17, 2015 at 11:37
  • We generally keep duplicates (though they are closed as such) to help steer people to good answers.
    – jakebeal
    Jun 17, 2015 at 11:55

2 Answers 2


I've never seen "mentioned in acknowledgements" on a CV, and wouldn't know how to evaluate them if I did see them on somebody's CV. Acknowledgements are often pretty random and arbitrary in their threshold, and can often indicate a very small involvement indeed (e.g., "Mary was eating lunch with us one day when the project was being discussed, and happened to say something useful"). This is different than something like service (e.g., reviewing), which typically has fairly well-defined investment in time, and is a known burden that needs to be shouldered by volunteers across the community.

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    Exactly. At best the person reading the CV will ignore it (because he or she doesn't know how to evaluate it) and at worst it will come off as an obvious and ineffectual attempt to pad your CV. Non-standard items whose evaluation depends on context and circumstance is best included in your applications by asking a letter-of-reference writer who is familiar with your contributions to discuss it. Tangible contributions to your group (like those that may be listed under your tentative "non-coauthored project participation" banner) can be discussed by your direct superior, for example. Jun 17, 2015 at 7:56

When it comes to a CV, as with most things in academia, it's best to stick to form. Education, awards, publications, conference papers given, invited talks, departmental service, teaching experience, and possibly references and professional affiliations are just about all you should need. Anything superfluous will likely be misconstrued, ignored, or be perceived as padding. If you're applying for an academic position, keep it simple with only your most significant achievements, as people who look at CVs generally have to look at tons of them, and you won't do yourself any favors by being obscure. They also aren't professional recruiters and don't tend to love poring over CVs, so a standard form helps the evaluators get through this work more efficiently.

If you find you don't have enough things to put on your CV, I think it might just barely be okay to include a kind of "other projects" section in which you briefly discuss your involvement in this other work. But you are largely going to be evaluated on the basis of your own work, so it's hard to say what difference it will make. The CV is part of a nexus of relationships, references, and affiliations and won't stand entirely on its own. So it depends. If you worked on some important projects, perhaps you could ask one of your recommendation writers to mention the degree and quality of your involvement. These sorts of things can at least indicate collegiality, which is important.

As I'm sure you've done, you should look at other people's CVs for guidance and also visit with someone trained to help academics translate their experience into an effective document. My own CV had all the right components, but a counselor on staff at my university suggested I change the order of the sections and reformat it according to a different principle of emphasis and priority. That helped me a lot.

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