Listing Publications on Your CV: Where to Put the Iffy Stuff

When I was in my first year of graduate school, I published a short article in The Community Psychologist, the newsletter for the American Psychological Association’s community psychology division, the Society for Community Research and Action. I was stoked to see my name in print, and added it to my Curriculum Vitae (CV) under PUBLICATIONS. I then received some terrible advice – another graduate student said it was unethical to list the article on my CV because it was not peer-reviewed.

Beautiful Publications to Be

I challenge the assumption that only refereed works are important. Publications that aren’t peer-reviewed can be highly valuable dependent on your career path. For example, articles in your professional society’s magazine or newsletter indicate your active involvement in the broader community. This contribution will be important to document if you hope to hold a leadership position down the road. Works that aren’t peer-reviewed are also great ways for students to get their feet wet and demonstrate an interest in writing.

However, there is a right way and a wrong way to list publications. Your CV is a first-glance representation of yourself. Make sure there is nothing dishonest (or semi-mostly-sort-of-honest). One odd feature of a CV sticks out like a sore thumb and will force employers to ask, “what else is he or she embellishing?”

The best policy is to split out by types of publications. I like the categories Karen Kelsky gave on her blog, The Professor is In, in an excellent post about writing a CV:

  • Books
  • Edited Volumes
  • Refereed Journal Articles
  • Book Chapters
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Book Reviews
  • Manuscripts in Submission (give journal title)
  • Manuscripts in Preparation
  • Web-Based Publications
  • Other Publications

If you are just starting your academic career, you may only have one or two publications of *any* type. Yeah, it may look a little goofy to have whole categories devoted to “Web-Based Publications” or “Professional Blog” with only one item, but employers won’t mind. After all, it looks more honest than the alternative.