As I understand, the search committee held a meeting to shortlist a few candidates from tens (or even thousands) of applications received. Thus, they should decide by a quick look at the CVs. The list of publications is the most important part of a CV, but how they can judge the quality of publications?

Many of the committee members are not expert exactly in the applicant's field to know all the high impact journals. On the other hand, by the growing number of open access journals by unknown publishers, there are similarities in the name of high and low impact journals.

A committee member spends a few minutes to read an application, how he or she judge if this list of publications justifies being shortlisted?

  • >The list of publications is the most important part of a CV. That is not unequivocally true. The university reputation and advisor counts as much if not same. Jul 26, 2017 at 21:10
  • 2
    @mystupid_acct when the list of publications is considerable (should be the case of the OP), the applicant is not at early stage. Thus, his advisor or education is not as important as his ability in conducting research and attracting research funds.
    – Googlebot
    Jul 26, 2017 at 22:40
  • This also depends on the field. I've never listed on my CV who my advisor is/was.
    – Sverre
    Aug 2, 2017 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


First of all, you should not presume that a committee member spends just "a few minutes". Even for large volume searches, a huge number of applications fail some very basic filters (Do you have a PhD or equiv.? Did your cover letter show some flicker of recognition as to what you were applying for?, etc.) that affords the committee more time on the actual applications that may or may not make the short list. In my experience, searches are massive expenditures of time on the part of the committee and are taken pretty seriously - after all, they're talking about spending potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars and having to work with someone for 5+ years.

And while search committee members may not be experts in the exact subfield in question, there's good odds one of them has a notion of the broad strokes of what's a good journal and what's not. It's also possible to look these journals up if it's unclear - or to ask colleagues closer to the field in question "Hey, have you ever heard of the International Journal of Epidemiology, and is it any good?" (For reference, the answer is 'Yes, and Yes').

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