If I have works that are almost submitted to journals, or are in journal review, is it appropriate to include these on my CV?
Don't put anything in your CV you cannot justify if asked. A CV is not just a list of your accomplishments, it's a list of material you can provide to a recruiting committee in order to help them make a decision.
In a same way that if you claim to have a given degree, you should be ready to provide the corresponding credentials, if you claim to you have a paper under review, you should be ready to provide the submission.
In other words, you can list in your CV your submitted work, but not the pieces of work that are "almost submitted", unless you're ready to provide the draft if asked (the question is: if the draft is not submitted, that probably means it's not ready, therefore can you provide it?). If it's possible with the journal/conference policy, you can even put your submitted version on a pre-print site, such as arXiv.
On going work can go into the "research statement" part of your CV, where you can explain the different ideas you're working on, and even give the key concepts.
I will usually list things that are on the arxiv. They can be viewed as tech reports, so I don't see the harm in doing so.
Where it gets tricky is if (for example) you submit to a double blind conference. In such a case adding the paper to your CV might be viewed as a breach of the process.
But in general my view is that if you have the paper posted on your web page (and you should!) or on the arxiv, then it's perfectly fine to list it.
Okay, it seems I have to play devil's advocate again… because my position on this is different from Charles' answer.
My CV lists my scientific production separated between peer-reviewed articles, non-peer reviewed articles (I have none, but it could happen), invited conferences, oral conferences. As such, I would definitely not put a non-published paper among the “publications”, especially not among the peer-reviewed ones. In my field, it is rare to publish (in the sense of “make publicly available”) a manuscript before it is accepted (chemists don't use arXiV much, because most journals prohibit it), so I find it weird to list unpublished material in a CV.
So, because you didn't tell us your field, I would say beware:
- if your manuscript is unpublished, it's not a publication, don't list it as such
- if it's published (arXiV or your website or other) while in review, clearly mark it as such (and don't list it as peer-reviewed)
I would say that the “under work” manuscripts do not add much information anyway. The topic they cover is surely already covered by your research statement (or list of research interests), so why would a hirer care about whether you are writing this paper or that paper?
I have a Publications section on my CV with Peer Reviewed Publications, Submitted for Publication, Conference Publications and Presentations, Invited Lectures and Seminars, and Reports.
For the manuscripts that have been submitted for publication I just put the authors, title, and I put (submitted) as the year.
I see people include the journal they submitted to, but I don't think that's appropriate since it unjustifiably uses the reputation of the journal to bolster your reputation. Anyone can submit anything to Nature or Science.
I also recently had a PhD applicant say they had submitted a manuscript to relatively good journal. I asked for a copy and the article was in no way suitable for the journal they submitted to.
I never put in-prep on my CV, since it's practically meaningless.
Another thing to think about is the rules of funding agencies and other people to whom you might submit these CV's. In German and EU funding applications, only accepted papers can be listed as part of an author's "publications" list. Work that is in review, no matter how far along the review process, cannot be listed until an acceptance notification has been given.
However, it's also not clear what stage of your career you're in. If you're applying, for instance, for a post-doctoral position, then it would probably make some sense to mention manuscripts under review. Normally, in such cases, the CV isn't going to a committee—usually it's just the advisor himself.