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Abstract Publications in CV - third/fourth/... author?

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So this is technically not a SOP question, but this seemed to be the best forum to ask...

I'm a senior undergraduate student applying for PhD programs this fall and I've started to write out my CV.

I worked with one professor for almost 3 years so I have a bunch of abstracts for international conferences/meetings that include my name - but I'm the first author for only one of them. In other ones, I'm the third/fourth/... author (which doesn't really count a lot I guess), and I was wondering whether I should include these in my CV. Some people have told me to just include them since my potential advisors would be aware that many undergraduates don't have a bunch of first-author publications; others told me to exclude them, since there was no point 'bothering' potential PIs to read through things that I haven't contributed significantly.

Any thought/advice on this?

Edited by zhtmahtm
needed to clarify
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I'm in a different field and I'm not sure I understand exactly how important abstracts are -- are these like short papers? In my field, writing an abstract isn't by itself something that makes in onto your CV. If your abstract gets accepted to a conference, then you get to list the presentation. In any event at this point in your career I think you should include anything you've been an author/presenter of, even if you're not first or second. It's true that it won't get you a job or maybe even grants/fellowships, but unless your field is very different from mine, it's still impressive for an undergraduate and has the potential to help you secure a good spot and funding for a PhD. Later on, when you have accumulated more/better publications, you can consult with your advisor about removing some of the older, less impressive ones. 

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In my field, you'd probably list papers you did not present, when it's clear you did not present them. You were acknowledged as an author on that material for a reason.

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Another thing that can vary from field to field I guess! I think in this context, abstracts are not short papers, but instead, the thing you submit in order to present at a conference (in my field, almost all abstracts are accepted at least as a poster presentation; oral presentations are competitive). For our field, some conferences have 1 paragraph (200-300 words) abstracts, such as AGU, AAS, DPS etc. while others have 2-page abstracts (e.g. LPSC, EPSC).

In my field, for undergraduates applying to graduate schools, I think you should list conference abstracts that you were a coauthor of, even if you did not present the material. Like Eigen said, you are a coauthor for a reason---your work is being presented. In addition, it's common that conference presentations will eventually become a paper, which you will still be a coauthor on, so all the more reason to include them. And, especially for undergrads, it's common that the funding situation would be such that the undergrad cannot present so that the professor will present the work that the undergrad did.

In my field, the standard convention is to mark the "presenting author" with an asterisk or something when you list them in a CV. (Some conferences in my field allow the presenting author to be someone other than the first author). 

Once you become a graduate student though, you will start presenting a lot more at conferences. You will soon run out of space to list every single presentation you did and you will definitely not have room for presentations that you were a coauthor but someone else presented. So, you would start calling this section "Selected Presentations" and only display some of them. But until then, I think it's a good idea to keep presentations that you did you present!

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