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First Author Publication as an Undergrad

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by BNSN, May 5, 2007.

  1. BNSN

    BNSN 2+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    So, I just ended my sophomore year of college.

    My mentor in the lab I work in has told me that I will be first author on a paper we want to write and then publish in Schizophrenia Research and that I will be third or fourth author on another paper he will be writing to be published in another journal (more prestigioud than Schiz Research).

    My question is this: how big of a deal is this for admissions purposes? Is this gonna make me much more competitive or just a little bit more competitive? My mentors in the lab like me, I think, so I will be getting good LORs.

    Schizophrenia research is a middle-prestige journal (#12 in psychiatric publication), so will this be ok? Should I aim for a journal like Biological Psychiatry, which is much more prestigious?

    Any thoughts? Thanks.
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  3. Sinfekl

    Sinfekl 2+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    Any first author paper is a tremendous achievement, whether you be a graduate student or a sophomore in college. And heck, getting your name on a paper is great work as well as long as when you get to the interview you can explain the work well, and did more than just wash dishes. Congratulations, you're ahead of the game, and this will be one (if not the) of the most important parts of your app. Then again, I'm guessing you already knew that and are just looking for a pat on the back. Well, here it is. Pat, pat...

    However, be wary of promises by your PI. Papers never come off the press as quickly as you like, we've been writing a manuscript for a year now thinking we'd submit "next week" (always one more experiment to run :)) I've had many such promises that never came to fruition, cells can be fickle

    Also, to those of you who have no publications, don't worry about it, as long as you can talk intelligently about your field and show that you have done some good work (by presenting at conferences, getting good recc. letters, etc.). Also, there's a tremendous variety in publishing rates among fields; this may be just my bias, but it seems a psych student can run a survey, hand out some candy, and get published :laugh:, whereas the more mice and molecular biology are involved the longer it takes.
  4. meowkat444

    meowkat444 10+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2007

    ha, no, seriously, you're right. sigh.
  5. Myempire1

    Myempire1 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2004
    From my experience, it all depends on which MSTP you are talking about. Some program admission committees focus more on your MCAT and grades. Other programs put more emphasis on your previous research. You will get a feel of that during your interviews.
  6. InNotOf

    InNotOf Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2005
    Forgive my ignorance, but how is a journal's prestige determined?
  7. passion4atcg

    passion4atcg Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    do you know which programs focus more on research?
  8. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Usually by the journal's impact factor

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