Friday, October 20, 2006

". . . forthcoming"

In the course of putting together materials for an internal grant application today, I did a quick update of my vita. And it struck me that I have a damn lot of items in my publications section that are labeled, "forthcoming." Now, this is awesome and all, and I'm glad to have several new(ish) things wending their way through the pipeline--but I'm wondering whether it looks bad (gauche, overeager, whatever) to list all of these things.

Perhaps I should list just my in-print articles and maybe the one or two most important forthcoming items? Some of the stuff waiting in the wings is relatively small-potatoes, anyway (a review, a revised conference paper, a primarily descriptive essay for a library journal)--and although I've been taking comfort in seeing that list grow, maybe some judicious pruning would be useful in directing attention to the three or four Important Pieces and not smothering them up with Everything Else.

But--is less more, or is more, more?


Hilaire said...

Hi, Flavia. This won't directly answer your question, but is related...

I have a number of things forthcoming, too. I recently sent my CV to my beloved former supervisor to have a look-see, since I'm on the market again. She suggested that if a piece is definitely going to appear, it should be listed as, (why not quote her directly...) "in press, which means accepted and forthcoming. Otherwise, forthcoming is somewhat ambiguous and lots of people fudge their cv with various items listed as forthcoming."

Just two cents. Seeing as how she's *very* experienced and senior, I took this advice to heart and changed all the instances of forthcoming. I don't know what others think, but thought I'd mention that.

life_of_a_fool said...

I agree with Hilaire's advisor. Things that are accepted and in press should definitely be listed. If you have R&R's that also seems legit to me (listed as such, and separate from accepted publications). It's the "works in progress" that I personally think is CV padding, though it's also very common.

medieval woman said...

It sounds like your stuff is forthcoming in a non-paddy way, so I agree with the others - put it on there! If you know which editions, volumes, etc., you can put that on there. On my CV this year, I put "Resubmitted with revisions" because it conveys the real status of the piece - it's made it past the first barrier and it's not simply "under consideration"...

Good luck with the grant!

Professor B said...

Hi Flavia,

In engineering it is generally accepted that only those things that have been accepted are listed on the CV...anything that is a work-in-progress or otherwise unsubmitted is not considered. This is actually spelled out in our tenure guidelines for what is acceptable and not acceptable on the tenure dossier vita.

Anonymous said...

Here in my corner of the physical science world we use "in press" to indicate articles/chapters/etc that have been accepted for publication and "submitted" to indicate anything we've already sent off but is under review. Otherwise, I get the general impression that it's not appropriate (in my field) to list work that is "in preparation."

Of course this could be off-base in your area, but thought I'd add my two cents anyway.


Dr. Crazy said...

What everybody else said, basically. On my CV (just vetted by a senior colleague), here's how things look:

I use "forthcoming" for those things accepted and slated to appear with all available information about the publication. These are listed in my "publications" section.

In terms of stuff in the works, I do not list everything. To me, it seems there's nothing worse than to have stuff listed on the cv that then one removes because it never ends up going anywhere (for example, that conference paper that I've been meaning to submit as an article for the past year and a half. Yes, someday this will happen, but as it is now, best to keep that my own little secret). What I DO list - separately from accepted publications - are the following:

1) my book manuscript. It's not technically forthcoming, but it's important that people know I'm shopping the proposal.
2) An essay that has been accepted for a collection, except the collection itself is under review at an academic press.

So, what I'd say for our field is this:

1) if it's definitely "forthcoming" in the technical sense, list it. (On the "in press" suggestion - that can work, if the stuff is actually "in press" but I've had things that are truly and definitively accepted that will not go to press for some time, so it seems to me that this may not work for all things.)

2) If it's very close to done, I think it can make sense to list it, but it's important to do so separately from "actual" publications. If you lump that stuff in with the "actual" publications, that's when I think it looks like padding.

3) If it's not close to done, I think I'd leave it off. While a concrete more is more, a "maybe more if everything works out right" isn't, I think.

Flavia said...

Thanks for the advice!

I should have been clearer: all of my "forthcoming" items are definitely forthcoming, in the sense that they've been written & accepted, or solicited & written, but some are much closer to publication than other.

I do have a separate section for "current projects," which I think I'm pretty honest about--one's the former diss, which I am indeed working on weekly, even if not at the pace I'd wish, and one's a completed article that is currently out for review (and I note as much). There's a third item in this category that may be a little less honest, though: it's an edition that I've done a *bit* of work on, in the course of writing the relevant diss chapter, and for which I've acquired some scattered notes and transcriptions, but it's definitely been on the back burner. I intend to do some real work on it when I'm in the UK this summer, but perhaps until then it's too borderline to list.

Hieronimo said...

My 2p: You should definitely list those "forthcoming" items on your CV; anything that's accepted for publication should go on there. And if it's for a peer-reviewed journal then "forthcoming in Name of Journal" makes it all clear. It's trickier with edited collections: if you've had a piece accepted by the editors but they have yet to secure a contract from a press, then I'd say something like: "accepted by volume editors; collection under consideration at Name of Press." If it's accepted all around then you can say "forthcoming from Name of Press." In general, I think "in press" signifies that the actual production process has begun, copy-editing, proofs, etc.

I can't imagine anyone thinking it looks gauche or overeager or whatever to list forthcoming items. But to avoid having your major publications lost in the shuffle you can divide your Publications section into subcategories: usually I've seen some combination of "Books," "Journal Articles," "Book Chapters," (sometimes articles and chapters are just combined into one section, but some people like to distinguish peer-reviewed journals from anthologies), "Book Reviews," and a miscellaneous category for "Shorter Pieces" or "Brief Writings." Review Essays like your library journal piece can go under Book Reviews or under Journal Articles depending on how original and substantive a contribution they make, I think. And the revised conference paper if it's very short you could put into "Shorter Pieces." But if it's revised and now in a conference proceedings volume, then it's a "book chapter" I think.

As for "Work in Progress" or "Current Projects," I agree with you that it's best to put these in a different section of the CV under their own heading. That way there's no confusion and no one can accuse you of padding. And then you can put whatever you're working on there, even if you've only just started (e.g., your edition) since these are projects that you expect to be working on over several years.

Finally, my own sense is that once you've got 2-3 publications and you're no longer a graduate student, you ought not to list "submitted" or "revised and resubmitted" items anymore. You've already established that you're a publishing scholar and that you (and others) expect that you'll continue publishing. I think those items can end up just making one look like a grad student.

What Now? said...

Such excellent advice! I had forgotten all abou the "in press" designation, so I didn't even finish reading the comments before I pulled up my c.v. and changed my "forthcoming" publication to an "in press" once, since it is literally going through its final galley proofread right now.

I mostly want to chime in with hieronimo about dividing up your publications list. I have two sections -- one for articles, and one for encyclopedia articles, etc. -- and maybe having a separate section for reviews is a good idea as well. But I wouldn't detract from your article publications with the other stuff, although obviously you want it all to appear on your c.v.

Oso Raro said...

Padding the CV is almost as old as starlets stuffing their bras. It's even more delicious when it's not padding, but real shit. So congrats on that.

The advice on "submitted" was interesting.

Flavia said...

Hieronimo: thanks for your thorough response (and for justifying my keeping my edition in my "current projects" section!). I've now revised my vita more or less along the lines that you suggest, and I like the clarity that this provides.

Before I went on the market this last time I actually *had* initially divided my publications into "referreed" and "non-referreed" sections, but my job placement officer told me to merge them. I've never been happy with that decision, but I do think that your category designations are definitely better, and more clear.

Anonymous said...

According to the lates (7th) edition of the CBE scientific style guide: "Forthcoming material consists of journal articles or books that have been accepted for publication but have not yet been published. Forthcoming has replaced the former "in press" because changes in the publishing industry have made the latter obsolete."