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Assessing Trustworthiness in Research: A Pilot Study on CV Verification

An interesting study, which examines whether and how frequently researchers misrepresent their research accomplishments when applying for a faculty position, recently came out.

Interestingly, many candidates deliberately misrepresented their career accomplishments. The researchers collected all the resumes submitted for faculty positions at a large research university for one year and reviewed a 10% sample for accuracy. Of the 180 applicants whose resume was analysed, 141 (78%) claimed to have at least one publication, and 79 of these 141 (56%) listed at least one publication that was unverifiable or inaccurate in a self-promoting way.

Administrative and management staff rarely has time and resources to check every single candidate’s list of publications. While it would be impossible to assume this is done for each applicant, at least it should be done in the final stages of the process when zooming in the specific candidates. Authors of the study provide a non-exhaustive list of steps to ensure the accuracy of data in CVs. It includes consistent use of a single citation style, bolding one’s name in the list of authors in the order in which it appears on the publication, including the digital object identifier (doi), separating published, forthcoming, under review, and in-progress works in different sections with subheadings, and providing complete information about credentials and degrees.