I received an anonymous review from a journal. This journal does not hide the identities of authors from reviewers. Should I quote the reviewer's remark that the work is "impressive" on my CV?

Does the answer change if the manuscript is not accepted?

  • 2
    I think the standard practice for showing that your work is impressive is to give a long list of papers published in high-quality journals. Also, why is the manuscript not accepted if it is really impressive?
    – Drecate
    Jul 1, 2015 at 23:36
  • 3
    @Drecate: at the top journals, that happens all the time. Jul 2, 2015 at 7:35
  • I wouldn'the read much into the word impressive in a review. It generally means that the reviewer thinks it is good enough to be published or is setting up a shit sandwich.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 4, 2015 at 14:20

3 Answers 3


No, and no. You should not try to hype up yourself with subjective comments in your CV or elsewhere in job applications, say. Other people don't do this, and if you do you will seem strange and possibly desparate. Your CV should be a list of objective information. It is the job of your references to compare your work to other people's and say how impressive it is.

About the most you can do is keep the review in a personal "feel good" folder and look back at it when you need self-encouragement.

  • 3
    Damn, I should make a "feel good" folder. Jul 2, 2015 at 8:40
  • 3
    @AnderBiguri This blog post is probably where I first heard of "feel good" folders. (Search for "feelgood", no space)
    – Kimball
    Jul 2, 2015 at 8:52

Unless the article won a prize (Best Paper, Best Student Paper, Gordon Bell, etc), I wouldn't mention anything special about it at all, and even if it did win a prize, I wouldn't mention the reviewer's comment. The anonymous reviewer is unaccountable to the reader of your CV and therefore untrustworthy. If the manuscript wasn't accepted, the the question is irrelevant since it should not appear on your CV at all.

  • I list (clearly labeled) submitted manuscripts on my CV. In my experience this is quite common within my context. One need not identify which paper the comment was about. Jul 2, 2015 at 21:54
  • @AnonymousPhysicist, you list submitted and rejected manuscripts on your CV???
    – Bill Barth
    Jul 2, 2015 at 22:19
  • A manuscript which is rejected from one journal uually gets submitted to another. However, sometimes people give up trying to publish a paper for various reasons but the paper does not disappear for that reason. In my field it is common to keep such unpublished papers on the arxiv and/or on one's webpage. Whether to list them on your CV is a judgment call, but certainly many people do it. Jul 3, 2015 at 5:01
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    I wonder though whether you are saying that you do not or that one should not list papers on one's CV until they are accepted. In my field that would be very weird: on the one hand, probably more than 50% of serious preprints written by young mathematicians get uploaded to the arxiv before they are first submitted to a journal. The paper may not be accepted for a year or more (and it may not appear for a long time after that; I just found out that a recently accepted paper of mine has a 2-3 year lag time). Having a CV which is usually more than a year out of date doesn't seem very useful. Jul 3, 2015 at 5:05
  • @PeteL.Clark, sorry if I was unclear. Papers which are submitted and waiting a response should go on your CV as long as the are marked "submitted" or "under review". Papers which are not yet published but have been reviewed and accepted are also great and usually marked "in press" or "accepted". But I don't see the value in putting an abandoned paper which has been rejected multiple times on your CV. My fields don't tend to use the ArXiv, so I don't know what to do with papers that aren't under some sort of publication process and just hanging out on the ArXiv.
    – Bill Barth
    Jul 3, 2015 at 11:21

I would suggest looking at some CVs of successful PhD students (if you are still in graduate school) or scholars' CVs and use them as templates. I have some suggestions if you want one. I'm in the business/economics field.

  • 3
    This does not seem to be an answer. If you have some suggestions, please bring it up.
    – Nobody
    Jul 3, 2015 at 5:01

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