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I submitted a paper that only contained a title and an abstract to an international meeting, which is one of the most important conferences in my major. I will give an oral presentation in one session of the meeting. Because it is not a full paper, I want to know whether I can put it in my CV as a publication.

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    You submitted a paper or a talk abstract? – blmoore Sep 9 '15 at 13:11
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Congratulations on presenting a paper in one of the most important conferences of your field. That is certainly something to be proud of, but the correct place to list the achievement would be under a heading such as "Conference talks" or "Presentations" as others suggest. A title and abstract cannot under any reasonable definition be considered a publication, and personally if I were looking at your CV and saw it listed as a publication (and looked it up to see what it contained, which I often do in such situations), I would get a pretty negative impression of someone who is trying to dishonestly pad their CV with dubious achievements.

  • "A title and abstract cannot under any reasonable definition be considered a publication". Also not when the abstract is 8 pages + references (happens in some fields)? Also not when in some particular field (e.g., medicine) conferences only publish titles + abstracts? – Danny Ruijters Sep 10 '15 at 13:53
  • @Danny: well, okay, my statement was referring to a particular meaning of "abstract" which I think coincides with what OP had in mind, i.e. a paragraph of text summarizing the content of a talk or article. In my field, an 8-page long document would never be referred to as an abstract (in some cases it may be called an extended abstract, which does usually count as a publication, but that's not the same as "abstract"). In an area where such things are called abstracts, the answer would be different, but then OP's question would make less sense so I suspect that's not what he is talking about. – Dan Romik Sep 10 '15 at 14:13
  • Also I am not familiar with the norms for publication in medicine so I can't speak to that. However, since serious research cannot be communicated in a paragraph of text, calling such a paragraph a publication seems illogical to me. At the very least, I am skeptical whether such a custom exists in medicine, but I'd be happy to be corrected on this point. – Dan Romik Sep 10 '15 at 14:20
  • Danny Ruijters mentioned that the definition of abstract is vague and misused, but you too misuse the word publication. Originally, an abstract is a written paragraph that lets you know if you should care about a specific scientific work, and a publication is anything that is published, i.e. made available to the public. I perfectly understand your concern that an abstract should not be misrepresented as a scientific article, but you're propagating this confusion by misusing the word publication. If you promote a new definition for publication, be ready to accept a new definition for abstract. – Andrei Nov 21 '18 at 16:44
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If you consider it an important part of your portfolio (which is perfectly possible), then: sure, you should list it.

You might want to indicate that it was only an abstract + oral talk. When you have different sections (e.g., conference papers, journals), you might put it under an 'Conference abstracts' or 'Oral presentations' section. Otherwise, you might just put 'abstract + oral talk' in the reference.

In some fields abstracts + oral talks/posters, is the only way that conferences are published (e.g., medicine). In those fields, full papers are for journals.

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If it is published in the proceedings (and if it is a major conference, would suggest it is available online), you can list is as a publication, but I would be cautious to leave it at that. I would include the information that it is an abstract. If it is in a publications section, I would make sure to differentiate between peer-reviewed and not (depending on your case).

More realistically, I would see this listed under 'presentations' section, or 'talks'. Again, this depends if you have sections for both invited talks and talks given through applications.

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Even if there are already a few answers that advice caution, to which I agree, I think it is important to consider another perspective.

An abstract is a piece of text that advertises the work. In the case of a conference the work is the oral presentation, the poster, or maybe an article published in the proceedings.

The way I see it, you should want to advertise your the work directly in your CV, not an advertisement to your work. Therefore, you might want to make it clear that you gave a presentation on a specific subject, not that you wrote an abstract to advertise the presentation.

I am aware that there are some fields that use the concept of extended abstracts (that don't obey the rules of abstract writing), for scientific writings that are in essence abstractless articles published in conference proceedings. If you're in such a field, I pity you, and your entire field, and I damn those who abused the word abstract to the point expressions like "presenting an abstract" or "the summary of the abstract" started to make sense.

From the perspective of English language, it is perfectly fine to put an abstract under publications, as an abstract is a piece of text that was made available to the public through the proceedings of the conference. There are some that reserve the word publication only for research articles, and not for other pieces of work that were made public. Why research article or the synonym, research paper, are not enough, I don't know. From my point of view this is another abuse of language, which I hope it doesn't catch. Using publication as synonym to research article, devoids English of a word that describes any work that has been made public. A scientific article is indeed a publication, but so is a dataset, a public talk, an abstract, a blog post, or even this answer on stackexchange.

From a logic perspective, mentioning the abstract, and not the presentation in your CV, is as if you brag about going to a festival, but forgetting to mention that you're actually the headliner, ok, maybe not the headliner, but you're still performing on the main stage.

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