| Peter Klein |
Like most academics I list unpublished papers and projects on my CV. I distinguish between “Completed Working Papers” that can be downloaded and circulated and earlier-stage “Research in Progress.” I try to maintain a narrow definition of the latter, including only papers that are at least partially written or analysis that is at least partially complete. Some colleagues list even earlier-stage projects better described as “wishes and dreams.”
Someone recently asked why I list research in progress. Are these papers the academic equivalent of vaporware — attempts to discourage others from working on these topics by signalling that I have the market cornered?
I don’t think so. Most academics list these papers and projects not to deter entry, but to signal to colleagues — potential collaborators, not potential competitors — what they are working on and interested in. Naming the coauthors can also have a certification effect (like the role played by VCs and banks for startup firms). It is also important to communicate, credibly, to current (and potential) employers that one has a good set of projects in the pipeline. In short, the motives are probably benign