Sisyphus09

7+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2009
28
1
Status
Psychology Student
Hello,

I have several peer-reviewed publications I am considering uploading as part of my applications. I am wondering if anyone has a sense of how many I "should" include, at most? I don't want to overwhelm the committee or dilute the substance of my application. On the other hand, I think reviewing my published work would give them a good sense of my skills and aptitudes.
 

G Costanza

Psychologist - Private Practice
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2011
519
559
Status
Psychologist
All of them? Wouldn't leaving some out be misleading/unethical?
 

thewesternsky

10+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2007
786
76
Status
Post Doc
All of them? Wouldn't leaving some out be misleading/unethical?
I think the OP is talking about actually including the papers themselves in the materials (not just a citation or reference on a CV). I think you would want to actually upload only one, and only to schools that request a writing sample. Don't give them more than they ask for. Highlight the publications in your CV and SOP, and that should be sufficient.
 

futureapppsy2

Assistant professor
Moderator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2008
5,245
1,129
I think the OP is talking about actually including the papers themselves in the materials (not just a citation or reference on a CV). I think you would want to actually upload only one, and only to schools that request a writing sample. Don't give them more than they ask for. Highlight the publications in your CV and SOP, and that should be sufficient.
Yes, this. I'd also think twice about submitting a publication on which you had a co-author as a writing sample, actually. Often times, programs want something that was written solely by the applicant (many people use part of their undergrad thesis or a term paper).
 
OP
S

Sisyphus09

7+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2009
28
1
Status
Psychology Student
I was referring to uploading a copy of the articles, and not as a writing sample so much as a sample of work I had contributed to. One of my letter writers had suggested this might be helpful.
 

MCParent

Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2012
1,571
1,337
Status
Psychologist
I'm not aware of any lit on this, other than publications = good, so I'll just answer from my own perspective as an academic researcher.

I think most applications don't have a field for writing sample, because there isn't a huge expectation for applicants to already have publications. If you were applying to my lab, I'd be very happy to see a published paper included. I think I'd most like to see a short few sentences listing what you did on the paper, and make sure that's substantive (i.e., you wrote most of the intro, or ran the analyses, or whatever). I probably wouldn't care what author number you were, as I think any level of authorship on a published paper demonstrates ability to work on a research team decently well (though the closer to first author the better, probably). Alternatively, I would also be happy to get an email concurrent with your application voicing your interest and asking if I'd like to read one of your papers.

I'm sure YMMV on personal attitudes toward that, of course.
 

futureapppsy2

Assistant professor
Moderator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2008
5,245
1,129
I'm not aware of any lit on this, other than publications = good, so I'll just answer from my own perspective as an academic researcher.

I think most applications don't have a field for writing sample, because there isn't a huge expectation for applicants to already have publications. If you were applying to my lab, I'd be very happy to see a published paper included. I think I'd most like to see a short few sentences listing what you did on the paper, and make sure that's substantive (i.e., you wrote most of the intro, or ran the analyses, or whatever). I probably wouldn't care what author number you were, as I think any level of authorship on a published paper demonstrates ability to work on a research team decently well (though the closer to first author the better, probably). Alternatively, I would also be happy to get an email concurrent with your application voicing your interest and asking if I'd like to read one of your papers.

I'm sure YMMV on personal attitudes toward that, of course.
I can kind of see that, but OTOH, I think if an admissions committee or POI wanted to see your publications, they could look them up (provided they're available online, of course), and you can have your contributions detailed in your LORs or SOP. That, and I think many faculty members would think it arrogant or annoying to get an unsolicted email asking someone if they wanted to see their publication. If they want to see it, they can look it up themselves or email you asking for it if they can't access it online. Trying to push it beyond highlighting on your CV, in your SOP, and in your LORs risks making you *seem* pushy, arrogant, over-compensating, or obtuse to the application process, IMO.
 

WisNeuro

Board Certified Neuropsychologist
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2009
9,884
8,362
Somewhere
Status
Psychologist
Agreed with others, they can look up your articles if they want. Plus, articles don't always give a good look at an individual's writing ability since it is usually co-authored and/or very heavily edited with multiple people's input. I'd rather see a research paper that you wrote in one of your higher level classes.
 

MCParent

Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2012
1,571
1,337
Status
Psychologist
If they want to see it, they can look it up themselves or email you asking for it if they can't access it online. Trying to push it beyond highlighting on your CV, in your SOP, and in your LORs risks making you *seem* pushy, arrogant, over-compensating, or obtuse to the application process, IMO.
Personally, I'd appreciate the applicant saving me the time of having to look it up, haha. I don't really see why it would be perceived as arrogant--the person is applying to my lab, and offering to share some of their prior work that exemplifies why they want to work with me (ideally, anyway). Certainly this shouldn't be framed as "Wanna see my pub?? It's awesome! I'm eighth author!" but I would appreciate it in the context of expressing interest in working with me. It's clearly relevant to the application, too, so I have a hard time seeing it as pushy or overcompensating...

Plus, articles don't always give a good look at an individual's writing ability since it is usually co-authored and/or very heavily edited with multiple people's input. I'd rather see a research paper that you wrote in one of your higher level classes.
Again, I dunno. Style and presentation to do publication-level writing are really not something I expect of an undergrad student, frankly. I see that as part of what grad school teaches. I'd rather see them demonstrate their ability to work on a team to produce a publication.

It's possible that I'm unique in my perspective, though I don't feel I am among the academic folks I know personally.
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Moderator
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
7,278
1,566
Status
Psychologist
I could see it going either way, I suppose. My take has always been when in doubt, just go with what the instructions tell you to do. Perhaps you could offer to send a copy of your pub(s) if the person would be interested in seeing them. That way you're not actually including anything that wasn't specifically requested, but you're also offering to save the person the time of having to find the article him/herself.
 
OP
S

Sisyphus09

7+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2009
28
1
Status
Psychology Student
Thanks for the feedback, all. Interesting diversity of opinion here. I am a master's student with five publications, one of which is a first-authorship, the others of which are second or third. Two of these are directly related to the area of interest of the POI at my top-choice school.