First time asking here, I hope my question will be clear.


I am applying for tenure-track faculty positions in psychology (at a not US/Europe but developed ("OECD") country with strong research overall, if its important to mention).

One of the requests in the application process for some TT positions (top universities in the country- "research-intensive") is a submission of published papers or pre-prints ("Please submit up to 3 prints/pre-prints").

I have 1 top-tier publication as a 1st author from my current post-doc (at top university in North America) and another preprint of a submitted paper from my post-doc. I also have a single paper as 1st author and about a dozen of others as co-author (several co-authors on each paper) all from my PhD, done in the same field but different sub-field with very different methods than my post-doc.

However, I don't have a second pre-print from my post-doc yet. I do have some nice and interesting data I got from the new methods I learnt during my post-doc, which requires more work before it can be published. I wonder if I should arrange and submit these data as a pre-print to the committee although its currently "half-baked". I don't have enough time to do more experiments or do a very good editing of it (my English is reasonable but I'm not a native English speaker).

I assume the idea behind the committee request is to see one's most updated work and projects and not what one have achieved few years ago (as it can be seen in the CV).

My question is:

What is the best strategy for submission, for me and more generally - for one who submit papers/pre-prints to committees.

A) Submit only 2 files- recently published paper and the pre-print from my post-doc. (the request was "Up to 3").

b) Submit 3 files- the 2 above + an old 1st author paper from my phd.

c) submit the 2 paper from option A + writing a pre-print of the data I already have even if its not a complete piece of work and not very well-edited.

I would be most interested to read answers from people who were/are members of committees, but also be happy to read others answers.

Thanks for your help

  • 3
    I also would go for option b. On admissions committees we're looking at the candidates' overall fit for the program. One great paper would be enough and much preferred to three crappy ones.
    – Raydot
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 17:42
  • 1
    @DaveKaye: Note that this would be a hiring committee, not an admissions committee. Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 17:44
  • Yes it is! That was my slip but doesn't really change my answer. I would additionally add that a hiring committee is going to be looking at the applicant's fit to the needs of the department. The paper is going to be but a small part of the overall decision making process. Three great papers but you're a real jerk disdainful of your fellow employees and students? The papers aren't going to matter one bit.
    – Raydot
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


Seems to me that (b) would be best.

"Preprint" usually means something that is ready to be published, so don't send something that isn't of publishable quality. You'll likely be asked to submit a research statement or something similar, in which you can describe what you're currently working on.

If you have at least 3 papers (or preprints) that you feel represent quality work, then there's no reason to send fewer than 3. Obviously focus on the newest and best ones, but even an older paper gives an indication of the depth, breadth and quality of your research program.

  • I agree. In my view, the committee uses the publication list more as a "quality cutoff". The research proposal and cover letter (and later the interview) are mainly the things that are used to hear about what you are working on currently and what you plan to do.
    – Bitwise
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 18:49

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