How many papers have you published?

Right now, how ever many years in you are, have you published yet? How about more than once? When you count, are you counting workshops and conferences and journals as the same thing? Or do you have categories and x in this one and y in that?

Personally, I worry (possibly more than I should, possibly less than I should) about the number of publications I have. At this point, from six years of being a grad student I have 4. Sort of. Depending on how you define a publication.

My five consist of the following:

  1. A full-length paper from a class project that ended up presented at a conference.
  2. A short paper that was presented as a poster at a conference on my Masters work.
  3. A full-length paper that was presented as a poster at a conference on my PhD work.
  4. A full-length paper that will be presented as a poster at a conference on work done in my research group.

No journal papers, but that’s not so surprising in computer science. Especially in my area, where the top venues are actually conferences, not journals.

I have a paper that was recently rejected that will be re-submitted this fall. And I need to write a paper on my results from June still, and hopefully submit that as well this fall. I also hope to be able to submit another paper early next year assuming everything comes together and I run my next user study this fall. If I can get those three published, that would bring me up to 7, with 4 of them actually on my PhD work.

I don’t know what a reasonable number of publications is. And I think it’d be hard to find a consensus. Everyone seems to have a different definition of what counts and what doesn’t. Do only papers on your main research count? Does the impact factor need to meet some threshold? Does it need to be in a journal? Do conference papers only count if a presentation is given?

Of course, the only opinion that really matters when it comes to what counts and what doesn’t are those on your committee (should they evaluate the number of publications when determining if you’ve ‘done enough) and anyone hiring you in the future. The first group, you can at least attempt to figure out what their standards are. But the second group (which may be more important) is impossible to predict.

So, at the end of the day, as usual, the best you can do is just your best. And hope that it’s good enough. Which is what I’ll be doing. 🙂


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