How "submitted", "to appear", "accepted" papers are evaluated in a CV?
Assume a search committee is reading my CV and in the publication section they notice some of my papers are only submitted or claimed to appear in a journal (or accepted for publication in a journal). Sometimes the journal which has accepted the paper for publication lists the title of accepted articles before actually publishing them, but in the rest of cases there is no evidence to prove that the referee process of the paper is over and the journal has accepted the paper for publication. Also assume preprints of my papers are available in ArXiv. So, my questions are:
How a search committee interprets and evaluates those papers which are just submitted or are claimed to appear?
Does a search committee consider these types of publications less valuable than the published ones (assuming the same quality)?
Does a search committee refer to my preprints in ArXiv to evaluate my submitted or accepted papers?
I think it is quite simple: anything that has not passed peer review ("submitted"/"in review") means essentially nothing (note: this is in biology where there are virtually no technical reports or non-refereed manuscripts). Anything else indicating that the paper has passed peer-review ("accepted"/"in press") is essentially equivalent to a published paper.
It's a tiered system:
Peer-reviewed published articles. Published means published in any form, so it includes papers in all states published online on the journal's website, including “in print”, “ASAP papers”, “just accepted papers”, etc.
That's top notch: it demonstrates your ability to perform research, write it up and publish it. Those are key requirements for the job.
1b. Peer-reviewed accepted papers. All search committees I know will assume good faith, and accepted papers not yet published (thus without proof) are considered as good as published papers. If you want to (and the application format allows for it), you can actually join a copy of the manuscript (not as proof, but for committee members who may want to read your paper to judge its quality).
Submitted papers, non peer-reviewed papers. This has some value, as an indication of your recent activity. It is especially useful to the committee if you have few papers (junior researcher) or have not published much recently (so that it is clear you are still active). Again, you may want to join manuscript(s) to your application, or give a link to arXiv if you deposited it there.
In preparation, in writing, … There is no clear standard on threshold for what is a paper “in preparation”, so these are usually worthless on a CV. The only exception is if you have very very few (or no) published papers: applying for a PhD position, or early application for post-doc position, with 1 or 2 published papers. Otherwise, my advice is simply not to mention manuscripts you have not finished writing.
The other case I can think of for including work that's *in preparation* is if it would be your first contribution to a field relevant to the job for which the CV is tailored - include it as a discussion starter. Otherwise don't mention it.