Take your CV up a level with a standout publications section

Getting your CV shipshape is hard enough, but it can be harder still when you don't know how to list your key publications on it. You want to showcase your peer-reviewed papers and book chapters to the best of your ability, but how do you do that without them looking like long, boring chunks of text? In this guide, we'll take a look at how to list publications on a CV, plus some prime examples.

Why it's important to list publications on a CV

It's not just academic, scientific, and medical CVs that warrant having publications. Whatever industry you're in, if your publications are relevant to the role you're applying for, include them. Before we look at how to list publications on your CV, let's talk about why it matters. Here are some key reasons you should include these in your application: 

  • Prove your expertise and knowledge. When you apply for a job, you're going up against a sea of other candidates. It's important to show the hiring manager that you're a cut above the rest. Having been published shows that you have a high level of knowledge in your field. 

  • Demonstrate your skills. Let's not beat around the bush – it's hard to get your work published. If you have a list of publications under your belt, it likely shows that you have excellent analytical, research, and writing skills. You want to showcase these skills at all costs. 

  • Shout about your achievements. Your CV is the one place where you can really blow your own trumpet, so go for it – as long as the content is relevant and precise. You worked hard to get published, so you shouldn't be afraid to talk about it here. 

Including relevant publications is a quick way to elevate your application. Don't let not knowing how to list publications on a CV hold you back. Later in this guide, we'll share some formatting tips to help you as you craft your CV.

Which types of publications should I include on my CV?

The short answer here is anything relevant to the role you're applying for! What counts as a publication is anything that has been published. Let's take a look at some examples. 

  • Books. Of course, the most obvious example of a publication is a book. You might have penned a novel, written an academic book, or a textbook. If so, you certainly want to mention that on your CV. It could show potential employers that you have some real value in a specific field, genre, or even in the book-publishing sector.
  • Trade journals. Getting published in a trade journal shows that you have insider knowledge to share. These publications are often vetted by industry leaders. That means that you are a trusted expert who can share their expertise with the world. 
  • Peer-reviewed papers. Similarly, you may have authored scholarly articles or research papers that have been peer-reviewed. That means that you have a speciality that you've studied in depth, and that other experts in that field have also acknowledged your work. Listing these research publications on your CV can give you added credibility in the eyes of the hiring manager. You can also include accepted papers, which are articles that have been peer-reviewed but have not yet been put into print.
  • Online publications. We live in a digitalised world. Don't forget to include online publications and blogs, if applicable. These publications are just as valid as traditional ones. Sharing where you've been published online (via a hyperlink or URL) can easily direct the person reading your CV to your articles.

You can include all of the above types of publications in your next application. However, if you have publications on your CV that go back to the 1990s or before, think carefully before including them. Are they appropriate? Do they still demonstrate your expertise in the field? There's no use wasting precious space on your CV if you're not adding anything of value to the reader. 

Where to put publications on a CV

Usually, the standard place for publications on a CV is just below the “Education” section. However, since publications are written in reverse chronological order, if your lists are much more recent than your educational achievements, they can go higher up the CV.

If you have room, and different types of publications, you can organise them under separate headings such as “Books,” “Book Chapters,” “Peer-Reviewed Articles,” and “Abstracts.”

Just a note on PhD theses – if your thesis wasn't published, it should be included in the “Education” section under your PhD title, not in the “Publication” section.

How to list publications on a CV 

Here are some of the initial guidelines to keep in mind when listing publications on your CV:

  • Learn the citation rules. Understanding the basic style guides and rules (see section on MLA Style below) for listing publications makes all of the difference. Pick a format to use and use it throughout your application. 

  • Keep things consistent. Ensure that each publication on your CV is written in the same style, in the same order, and with the same type of information. 

  • Use bullet points. You should also use bullet points when citing each one so that they don't run into one another. This will also make your listed publications easier to read overall. 

The MLA Style, explained 

The usual format used for citing research and referencing a publication for academic CVs is the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style. The information that you'll typically need to prepare are the following:

  • Author(s) name. Include the surname and first name. If your article or book was a collaboration of two people, include all the names of the authors. If there are three or more authors, just place “et al.” after your name.

  • Title. The title of the book / article / chapter enclosed in double quotation marks. This helps with readability.

  • Journal name. The name of the journal in which it was published, italicised.

  • Dates. Year of publication.

  • Additional details. Volume, issue, and page numbers.

Most employers expect you to use the MLA Style as it's what they're familiar with. If you want to avoid any confusion, you should default to this simple and common format. Here's a page on common citation format examples using the MLA Style. 

Another style guide that you can use is the APA Style.

Tips on including publications on your CV

Here are some final pointers to take note of before you write your CV and include those all-important publications:

1. Add “in press” to pending publications

If you have any publications that have been accepted but have not yet been published, put “in press” and take off the issue number. For articles you've submitted but have not yet been accepted, write "submitted for publication" and remove the journal's name.

2. Select only the best publications

If your list runs into many dozens or even hundreds of publications, it's best to select the most pertinent and recent ones for each position you apply for. 

3. Or, add a full appendix to your CV

Alternatively, you can opt for an appendix listing all your publications. At the top of the “Publications” section on your CV, add: “For a full list of more than 200 publications, books, and chapters, please see appendix.” With the optimum length of a CV standing at two pages, your CV is contained within that length and you can then forward the appendix if required.

4. Remember to proofread

Following the above rules is a good place to start. However, you need to leave room for human error as mistakes can still be inevitable. With that in mind, you must always proofread.

As with everything on your CV, check and double-check the information –  especially the details regarding your publications. You wouldn't want a potential employer to be led on a wild goose chase while trying to find one of your publications that has been incorrectly inputted!

Listing publications on a CV – example

Ready to get started? As already covered, learning how to list publications on a CV isn't that hard. But you may still wonder how the list should look like in practice Take a look at the below example, which uses the MLA style citation format:


  • Alvarez, August, and Manda, Sam. “The Fundamentals to Diagnosing Stigmata.” Journal of Medical Care Research and Review, vol. 3, no. 3, 2020, pp. 349-351.

  • Alvarez, August, et al. “Images of the Nervous System.” Open Journal of Clinical and Medical Case Reports, peer-reviewed (2019), vol. 5, no. 17, 2019.

  • Alvarez, August. Poster. The Correlation between Heart Disease and Smoking. 2016, University of East London, United Kingdom.


Should I list publications on my CV?

Yes, you should. Including publications on your CV sets you apart from the crowd and showcases your value. However, as always, you want to be selective about the type of publication you include when writing an application. Make sure that the citation is both recent and relevant to the role that you're applying for. That way, the reader will have a reason to care about it. 

What is an academic CV?

Academic CVs put a heavy emphasis on the person's academic achievements and experience. These CVs often require extra information such as extended training, qualifications, research details, many years of experience, and, of course, publications. A perfect example of an academic CV is Stephen Hawking's, created by TopCV. If you need inspiration, you can use this as your academic CV template.

How do you mention a publication in a personal statement?

As the personal statement is that short paragraph – your elevator pitch – found at the top of your CV, you'll need to be very thoughtful if you want to use this precious space to tell the recruiter or hiring manager about your publications here. Make sure that you have a good reason for this. You may choose to add some context to the articles, studies, or books you've written, but make sure to keep it succinct.

Update your CV now

In this guide, you've learned how to list publications on your CV. Remember to choose publications that highlight your value, use the MLA style, and always proofread. If you stick to these basic rules, you should have no problem getting this part of your CV right.

If you want an impactful CV that works, where all the publications are in the right place and correctly listed, why not take advantage of our free CV review?

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