Assessing Trustworthiness in Research: A Pilot Study on CV Verification

Trisha Phillips, R. Kyle Saunders, Jeralynn Cossman, Elizabeth Heitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


When scholars express concern about trust in science, they often focus on whether the public trusts research findings. This study explores a different dimension of trust and examines whether and how frequently researchers misrepresent their research accomplishments when applying for a faculty position. We collected all of the vitae submitted for faculty positions at a large research university for 1 year and reviewed a 10% sample for accuracy. Of the 180 applicants whose vitae we analyzed, 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. We discuss the nature and implications of our findings, and suggest best practices for both applicants and search committees in presenting and reviewing vitae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • curriculum vitae (CV)
  • detrimental research practices
  • faculty recruitment
  • misconduct
  • questionable research practices
  • research ethics
  • research integrity
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Communication
  • Social Psychology
  • Law


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