I'm famous now!
February 21, 2009 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I found out I will be credited as a co-author on a white paper.

How excited should I be? I'm an undergraduate student. I've been helping with all the research and preliminary analysis that went into the paper. I'm not sure where it will be published, beyond the university's website, but it is rather related to my field of study and what I would like to do in the future.

Do I put this on my resume? How big of a deal is it that I'm a co-author (I assume it's a bigger deal since I'm undergraduate rather than graduate)? I'm pretty proud of myself but I don't know if this is something that calls for all my friends and a bottle of alcohol to celebrate as an achievement.

Just want to know what "getting semi-published" means in the grand scheme of things and for graduate school applications.
posted by ttyn to Education (5 answers total)
Best answer: I wouldn't call it "getting published" because it's not going into a peer-reviewed journal. That said, it's definitely better than the majority of undergraduates that have absolutely no recognition for their research.

I would put it on your resume if you have space. A simple line saying "White paper:'[title here]'" would suffice and would be understood by anyone.

As for the alcohol, you're in college. Why are you asking for a reason? The answer is "yes" regardless of the situation.
posted by saeculorum at 1:23 PM on February 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How excited should I be?

As excited as you want to be! It sounds like this is your first credited authorship, so whoop it up. Although, like saeculorum said, it's not a peer-reviewed journal or a conference publication so it's not the biggest of deals. But, the true significance of this credit will depend heavily on the field you're in. It's easier and/or more common for undergrads to contribute to white papers, technical reports, even conference and journal articles in some fields than others. Nonetheless, if it's your first authorship of any kind, that's reason enough to celebrate.

Do I put this on my resume?

Sure, people put white papers and technical reports on their CV. When you get to have a lot of publications, you would probably have separate sections for journal publications, conference reports, and white papers/technical reports.
posted by mhum at 1:45 PM on February 21, 2009

Best answer: Jump with joy and celebrate, since a first time for anything seems to stick in the memory. I still remember my first autorship, and it was just a poster.

Mention it in your CV, and in any job interview for your first real job (for your second job, hopefully you will have other things to brag about)
posted by francesca too at 2:46 PM on February 21, 2009

Best answer: Do:
  • be excited; the vast majority of undergraduates do not achieve something like this
  • put this on your CV
  • celebrate!
Do not:
  • refer to it as "getting published" or even "semi-published"
  • think that it will be a major factor in grad school acceptance or a job offer

posted by grouse at 2:49 PM on February 21, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks guys!
posted by ttyn at 4:45 PM on February 21, 2009

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