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Research without publication

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by valkener, Apr 10, 2012.

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  1. valkener

    valkener

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    I'm a first-year and I've been doing research pretty much from day one at my med school. So far it's been very slow and the professor I work with (great networking and possibly great candidate for LOR btw) is very low key. While I do get paid to kill plenty of mice and do a broad range of activities for my research I don't necessarily see this yielding a publication, at least not in the near future.

    I realize that there is no way of predicting whether the professor's and my research will end up good enough for publication, I wonder how good this really will look on my application for residencies if I have 3 years of continuous research under a certain prof but no publication. I'm eyeing EM right now so I'm trying to do some good things for my application.

    Thanks.
  2. reflex

    reflex New Member

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    How about any posters? That would count too.
  3. Phyozo

    Phyozo

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    Every little bit helps. If you can't publish a manuscript, publish an abstract. If you can't publish an abstract, present a poster somewhere. If you can't produce anything, find a different mentor. As a med student, you should be finding research mentors that can help you spearhead your own research or at least giving you the opportunity to invest heavily in someone else's project. While killing mice is important, I would look elsewhere if that's all you're doing. You should be learning how to take a project from hypothesis to manuscript, not being passed off as free labor.
  4. FutureDoctor317

    FutureDoctor317

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    What about a poster presentation for which you were not there, however your name is on the poster. Is that worth anything?
  5. inspirationmd

    inspirationmd

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    Look him up on Pubmed. If he hasn't published much in the last 12-18 months (probably less than 12 months for clinical research) then it's time to go. Networking by itself is not that helpful if you have end up working with a guy throughout med school and produced nothing. Not as big a deal for EM but if you end up wanting to do something else then an academic residency PD is going to think you have a problem translating effort into production. A lot of senior faculty have a great name but will rest on their laurels/effort of med students and become less productive once they get tenure. Don't end up putting in bunch of effort with only a few bucks to show.
  6. valkener

    valkener

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    Thanks for the advice! I will be pushing for a poster soon then. I'll also be able to do the same research part-time over the summer which will give me some gas money and hopefully I'll be able to take it to a direction towards a publication with the prof.
  7. dienekes88

    dienekes88

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    Great advice.

    I will also add that posters and abstracts are not ideal. You want to publish journal articles. That's what people really care about. A first author manuscript is worth a lot more than a second author manuscript.

    Having said that a poster is better than nothing.
  8. TAWS

    TAWS

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    Poster presentations counts as a publication. I'm surprised more people don't realize this.
  9. mdeast

    mdeast

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    Research + Pub > Research + No pub > No research.

    Having said that, it might depend on what time of research you're doing. If you're doing basic science research (let's say), and don't publish or get a first-author pub.... that's not unexpected. Many graduate students take 3-4 years to get a first author pub in basic science, and if you're interested in the basic sciences as an element of your career...just the fact that you took time in medical school to pursue this will be important. If all you're doing is sacking mice and wasting a bunch of unproductive time in lab without a prospect for any sort of recognition, you should re-evaluate how this opportunity might actually be beneficial to you in the long run. This is time you could spend studying and improving other aspects of your "application" (i.e. pre-clinical grades, boards scores, etc.). I did basic science as a MS1/MS2, loved my project, won some grants for it, had a few poster presentations, and may get a pub (though don't count on it). I wrote a review paper with my PI, which might a good option for yourself if you don't think you're going to get a research article.

    However, say you're doing an epidemiological analysis or clinical analysis of previous clinical trial data and can't produce anything in medical school....that might raise a few flags that you weren't really committing much time to it. Many of my "clinical research" peers can pump out papers quickly and easily because there's much less work and time sensitivity involved.

    So, to me, it might highly depend on what type of research you're doing...and how you think that experience will apply to your career down the line. Also may depend on your specialty choice. If you're doing Emergency Medicine (EM) for example, they usually don't care at all about research efforts. If you're doing derm, plastics, academic internal medicine, etc. they'll care a lot.
  10. CatFactorial

    CatFactorial

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    People don't realize it because it's false.
  11. Chakrabs

    Chakrabs

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    Its not. They all go into the same section in ERAS.
  12. Hemichordate

    Hemichordate Pre-ophtho resident

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    I think CatFactorial was talking about publications in the academic sense, in which case posters do not count.
  13. dienekes88

    dienekes88

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    Yes. However, 1st author journal article > other author journal article >>> poster/abstract/presentation.

    The level required for a journal article is much much higher than for a poster/abstract/oral presentation, and everyone knows this.

    Not strictly false, but not many people beyond medical students (and hopefully program directors) seem to care much about them.

    And they take up the same amount of space. Anyone who is paying attention will know the difference, though.
  14. Stuart Smalley

    Stuart Smalley

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    They are not the same, no mater what section they go into. Publications are peer reviewed. Poster presentations are not; they are just approved by a panel as interesting. Both count for something on a residency application, but they do not count the same amount.

    Regardless, the OP should realize that getting a great letter is really important. Even if this opportunity does not result in an awesome publication, the letter can make it worth the while, especially if the doctor works in the field that they want to go into.
  15. inspirationmd

    inspirationmd

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    They go in the same section as ERAS so technically its true but a pub looks much better than a poster/abstract. Shows you can produce a manuscript from research efforts, go through the peer review process and pass muster. The same happens with an abstract but to a lesser extent (ie. a section in the research supplement for the journal vs pages in an actual journal edition). Definitely more substantial to publish a pub.
  16. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    A poster counts some, obviously not as much as a journal article. A poster is often a precursor for a journal article. I am presenting a poster (2nd author) thursday; we have also submitted an article (I am 7th or 8th on the article, if it gets accepted).
  17. TAWS

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    This is only true if you are aiming for a research heavy residency. I think just having a poster presentation will meet the "research threshold" for most residencies. Sure, journal publications will help but not that much for most residencies.
  18. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    lol :smuggrin:
  19. beatsbydre

    beatsbydre

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    I think sometimes it's important to be vocal about wanting a publication. Tell your PI nicely that you want a publication. If you're working on a project right now, ask your PI if he sees a publication/poster in the future. Let your PI know that you care about publications.
  20. Red Five

    Red Five

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    Everything about this statement is false. Just admit you were wrong and apologize for spreading misinformation. Don't try to back track with:
    Backtracking is a first sign of defeat. The fact is no matter where you go, the following will be 100% true: pub >>> poster. If you and another applicant are exactly the same in every way except you have a pub and the other guy has a poster, you will get the position. Stop spreading this false notion that poster = pub or poster ≈ pub. They are not the same and the level of rigor for acceptance of poster vs pub is comparable to the difference between a crack in the sidewalk and the grand canyon.

    Tip for OP: If you are not getting a publication out of it after 3 years, you are probab...no wait, DEFINITELY wasting your time and working as a free technician.
  21. valkener

    valkener

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    I've been working for the Prof for 3 months now and I'm also getting paid $15 an hour so it's not a bad deal. Since I will continue research over the summer and next semester I will push for a publication and see what happens. Thanks for the great advice everyone, I really appreciate it.
  22. TAWS

    TAWS

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    Nothing I said was false. Read the AAMC's charting outcomes. They count posters as a publication.

    You are criticizing me for saying something I did not. What I said was a journal publication has a low marginal benefit for most residencies as long as you have at least a poster for your research. Do you really think just having a journal publication is suddenly going to open a bunch of doors for you?

    This is a ridiculous argument to make. I already said a journal publication is better but not THAT much butter. Stop speaking in absolutes when everything is relative.

    Are you saying research is essentially worthless unless you have a journal publication?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  23. URHere

    URHere

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    I think the most important question is this: what type of research are you doing?

    I usually associate killing mice with basic science research (e.g. looking for role of gene X in pathway Y). If you are looking to publish quickly and contribute only part-time hours as a medical student, basic science research is not what you should be doing. It usually takes PhD students several years of full-time research before they have anything publishable in areas like this. Sure, you could get a 3rd/4th/etc author publication if you do enough work and your lab is generous...but why on earth wouldn't you just do clinical research?

    There are plenty of projects out there where you do a database review and publish within months. There are also clinical projects where you see a set number of patient volunteers, analyze your data, and publish immediately afterwards. You know exactly when to expect a publication in these cases.

    Note: if you actually are doing clinical research I apologize for the tangent.

    The key on this is starting a conversation about publication without being too pushy or seeming too naive. Saying something like, "When do you think we will have publishable data?", or "what do you need me to contribute in order to be an author on this paper?" is fine, but don't be too much more demanding than that...especially if you will not be first author and it is up to your PI whether your name goes on the paper at all.
  24. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Removed

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    When you first meet with the PI, you should ask them upfront what your role will be. You want to choose a PI that has a lot of recent publications. That's how I chose mine in basic science research and then when I met with her she straight up told me, "I don't waste time on a project that is not going to get published." Then she told me to expect being a mid-author on a basic science publication. I made my decision to work with her based on that. If she had not published recently or said she can't give me my own project and instead will do the clean-up work for others, then I would have gone elsewhere.

    I did my data collection over the MS1/M2 summer. Technically, my work was done after that summer and I didn't have to do any additional work for my class credit/grade but I went ahead and did the data analysis over 2nd year. The data collection takes 90% of the time so that's what you want to do over the summer. I presented my research at my school's student research forum last month, which counts as one item under the ERAS application or whatever it's called. Because I continued to do some work over this year, I ended up doing all the data collection and analysis myself so it's now become completely my project. My lab PI now wants me to write up the paper over the summer. So once I actually write it up and finish it, I'll end up being 1st author on a basic science publication. Even better than my original goal of being a mid-author on a publication! However, now that I will be first author, I may have to do some further research if we notice any holes in the project as I write the paper.

    So basically, it just comes down to choosing a good PI (one that publishes a lot so you know your project will likely get published) and then taking initiative by doing more than what is asked (which honestly usually isn't that much more work, but it's just showing that you have a personal interest in the research). And honestly once you have collected all the data, I would think you'd have your own motivation to analyze it yourself. All the time consuming work is done, don't you want to show something for it by doing that last 10%?
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  25. drstupid

    drstupid

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    I'll agree with the above post. I matched in a different specialty, but was told by the chair of my department that publishing is everything when it comes to research. You want to show programs that you can take a project from the beginning to the end (= publication). A poster or abstract is something, but not enough in the end because people will wonder why you didn't publish a manuscript on your poster data.

    I'll also agree with a prior post - look more into who you do research with. If he hasn't published in a while, find some other lab to work in where you can publish.
  26. tco

    tco

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    You're correct here...
  27. Red Five

    Red Five

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    Ok then. I will go out and get 5 posters instead of working my butt off for 1 publication this summer since they are the same according to you. Thank you for the tip. This makes my life much easier.
    I agree there is a low marginal benefit, but to say a poster and publication are equal is false. Even if the AAMC "counts" them as the same, they are not equal in any professional biomedical researcher's eyes.
    You agree with me that a publication is better, and therefore DIFFERENT from a poster. But wait, I thought you said they were the same and posters count as publications? It is ok I will lie to myself and pretend my posters equal publications.
    Yes. Is there a problem?
  28. CatFactorial

    CatFactorial

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    Man, give it a rest.
  29. Red Five

    Red Five

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    No the other guy is giving out bad advice and I'm not ok with that. I could just let him spread wrong information but then what is the point of this forum.
  30. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Removed

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    To argue like children of course :laugh:
  31. Dr Gerrard

    Dr Gerrard

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    Whats going on in this topic? Everyone in academia makes it blatantly obvious that getting publications takes you way further than doing a poster presentation. Obviously doing a poster presentation is better than nothing, but it is not even close to the same level as getting a publication.

    I've heard people at my school present the same research as a poster many different times, slightly changing the name. They may have 5 poster presentation from one research study... but they weren't published. There is a very obvious reason for that.

    EDIT: don't even think about it by what goes on your CV. think about advancements made in your field. NO ONE cites a poster presentation when writing a research paper. what do they cite? other published articles of course! publications are concrete and go to further your particular field. of course they are going to be more respected than poster presentations.
  32. Red Five

    Red Five

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    :thumbup:

    :laugh: true, this thread reminds me of that time in 3rd grade some kid tried to convince my friend to trade his holographic charizard for a squirtle card because they are basically "the same." Gimme a break.
  33. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    sometimes they do. Often preliminary data will be presented in a poster/oral presentation. It can be 1-2 yrs from the time a poster is made to the time when the paper is published. If the poster presents important findings, it will be cited by other researchers in the field until the paper is published.
  34. Dr Gerrard

    Dr Gerrard

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    oh i guess i was mistaken.

    but i just look at it this way. a publication is a guarantee that the time was spent doing worthwhile research. a poster is far from that. i did posters in high school and college and i can definitely say a majority of the posters i have seen did not amount to anything
  35. Red Five

    Red Five

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    No I think you are right. I don't think anyone cites preliminary data in posters because if it is not published, it is not peer reviewed. All you need to get a poster is an interesting abstract. Preliminary data is most often not even repeated. I strongly doubt people "cite" work that has not been repeated or peer reviewed on the assumption that it will be accepted and published 1-2 years from seeing it for the first time.
  36. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    [
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  37. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    see reference # 50:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2762364/?tool=pubmed
  38. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    You can definitely cite presentations (especially oral ones) and people do it all the time. They arent as significant as a pub but you'd be surprised how often interviewers will just flip through your eras and you can see the mental note taking "a lot of research" vs the converse. Pubs stay with you forever though, so obv get them.
  39. Red Five

    Red Five

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    You can cite anything, I could cite Sports Illustrated or a person I met on the street, but it doesn't mean it is good practice. michaelrack, one poster citation out of 60 citations. I think that proves my point on the legitimacy of posters versus publications. Also you do not address my points on peer review and unverified data in posters. It is bad practice to cite unverified data, period.
    drizzt brings up a good point. Many interviewers will just flip through and make that mental note if you have a lot of "stuff" written down. These people are careless interviewers and this will benefit people that just want research on their resume to look good. I don't think this is great, but whatever floats your boat. I am interested in global health and plan to spend 2 summers volunteering, but I know people who only invest in 2 weeks just to have it on the resume. Not great, but its their choice.

    Bottomline: we all agree publications >>> posters.
  40. Ronin786

    Ronin786 ASA Member

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    What about Case Reports, do those count for anything?
  41. ChemMed

    ChemMed Curiosity is Fun!

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    So here is a little bit of PhD land reality that is generally true, but not always (some PIs are just awesome and care about everyone they work with). Students either in medicine or under grad are generally given projects that qualify at 'interesting but risky' or in layman's terms 'this would be really cool, but the chances of this actually working are pretty minimal'. Graduate students are given projects that are generally thought to work out over time and post-docs are given the work that is the most likely to produce a publication in a short period of time. Granted this is just a rule of thumb.

    If you've been doing work for 3 years with the same PI generally there should be enough data for a poster or an abstract. Also, think about presenting your work to an appropriate audience. For example: if you are interested in EM and toxicology you could give a presentation during rounds about the cytotoxic effects of pond scum related to dogs and children swimming in bloom infested ponds. Speaking to attending or a professional panel of people can be put on your CV. Just a suggestion though.
  42. Hemichordate

    Hemichordate Pre-ophtho resident

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    Full pubs > case reports > posters
  43. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    "You can cite anything, I could cite Sports Illustrated or a person I met on the street" If you cite Sports Illustrated in a journal article, it's not likely to be accepted- unless it is directly relevant (a limited amount of psychiatry research looking at the effects of the popular media).

    "It is bad practice to cite unverified data, period" It's good practice to cite those who have gone before you. For example, if you see a poster/oral presentation at a national meeting about a small study of using antidepressant X for insomnia - and this is the only data available for antidepressant X for insomnia- it would be proper and expected to cite the poster/oral presentation (or published abstract) in your paper/clinical trial about using antidepressant X for insomnia.
    As data accumulates, the poster/oral presentation/published abstract will likely no longer be cited in future papers.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

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