I am in the process of applying for MS in CS and saw that an academic CV is pretty long and detailed (not like the business ones max. 1-2 pages). Apparently it is common to list all publications. However, I am wondering what counts as a valid publication?

I have a section Publications (peer-reviewed) and one Publications (non-peer reviewed). Is it valid to state publications which exist, but are not publicly downloadable (e.g. confidentiality)? For example I wrote research paper and teaching material at my company or uni research project papers etc. Are these eligible?

I am asking because I don't want to put something in my resume that might make me look like a fraud (because of unknowing).

  • "Is it valid to state publications which exist, but are not publicly downloadable." Yes, but they have to be actually published (by a journal or conference) even if access is restricted (typically payment is needed). I'm not in CS, but I don't think internal documents from your company count (although you can certainly mention such experience).
    – Roland
    Nov 23, 2016 at 15:52
  • Ah OK, if it actually has to be published I probably have to scrape all of them, besides of the peer-reviewed conference ones. I just wanted to somehow emphasize in my resume that I am willing and able to write academic paper (also in regard of TA/RA positions) Nov 23, 2016 at 15:54
  • If I told you that I have written a great treatise, but you cannot read and check it, would you hire me? It would probably be better if a reference mentioned such things in your LOR.
    – Roland
    Nov 23, 2016 at 15:55
  • Of course I see your point, but I could provide them the documents. Isn't it the same with research projects that I am mentioning in my resume. How should the admission committee actually check that I did what I am claiming (don't get a wrong impression; I did everything I'm stating :))? Nov 23, 2016 at 15:56
  • My LoR actually do, so should I still keep it in the resume or is it enough if the letter state it? Nov 23, 2016 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


The type of publications that you should list in the publications section of an academic CV are those writings that contain technical work at the level of a typical scientific publication. This can include non-peer-reviewed and unpublished works, but they should be the sort of thing that, if circumstances were different, might be reasonable to send through peer-review.

With regards to the examples that you list, then:

  • Confidential company research paper: this would be reasonable to put in a non-peer-reviewed research section, with a note that it is not available due to confidentiality restrictions.
  • Company teaching materials: these would go in "teaching experience," not publications.
  • University research project papers: these would generally not be listed, unless something above and beyond the usual happened, like they were actually sent off for peer reviewed publication.
  • I wish I had read this answer two decades ago (of course, it's not possible). I had an opportunity to enter (re-enter?) a PhD program during my industry career. I was unable to come up with a list of publications (although I had quite a few company confidential papers), I had to give up the opportunity. Sigh.
    – Nobody
    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:13

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