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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by blerg, Jan 7, 2009.
Is getting published in a journal a big deal? Even if you weren't the first author of the article?
It's a respectable achievement, especially if you are applying to a research oriented school. It is more important for MD/PhD candidates, less for MD. Is it a big deal for admissions? Maybe, maybe not depending on how it fits into your application, statement, future plans, etc.
From what I've gathered here and listening to adcoms, having one will help you, while not having one will not hurt you (no effect). So, by all means maximize your chances of having a publication, but even if you are unsuccessful, don't think that you will be harming your application in any way (even at top schools or for MD/PhD programs). Adcoms do recognize that a big component of any publication is luck/circumstance, and that it is definitely possible to conduct fantastic research and get a lot out of it without being published.
Stanford's secondary specifically asks for a list of your publications.
I imagine it's more important to some schools than to others.
so will schools that are ranked "better" for Research on the oh so arbitrary Us News and World Report regard it a lot higher?
All of them. The higher you go on the "research rankings," the more likely they are to care about publications.
Let me put it this way: there is no school that REQUIRES you to be published. In fact, beyond having a competitive MCAT and GPA, no school requires ANYTHING at all. However, every school will want you to have something on your application that stands out. For some people it will be research/publications; others will have 1000 clinical hours; others still will have 5 leadership positions; and some people will still find even other things not covered above. You don't need any one of those things, but you're going to need at least ONE of them to make you stand out.
Surely you must have some specific objective in asking this question.
If someone says 'a lot higher', how will that help you? Do you want reassurance that having a publication can cover for some other deficient quality? A publication will not cover a bad GPA or bad MCAT. It will count less if you cannot expertly talk about your research during interviews.
Each school has its own personality. Some (i.e. Stanford) will ask you about publications in their application, which seems to indicate they value it highly. Prestigious schools often tend to turn to other qualities to evaluate candidates since everyone has a good GPA and MCAT. This may include looking at pubs, ECs, awards and achievements or other things...
Well, it was a big deal to ME. It looks good on your app, and shows your well rounded.
But don't count on it getting you in.
i've known people that have done intense research for several years, full time summers, etc and haven't gotten anything beyond school posters/abstracts. i've also known people that tagged on at the end of some project, doing some almost menial things and getting their name on a paper in a large national journal. honestly publications in meaningful journals are simply out of the hands of most undergrads.
so i dunno. ideally they'd just ask you about your research and if it was something you were truly interested in you would be able to talk for hours about it. but obviously just seeing a publication listed on someone's CV imparts a greater psychological impact.
I have attended one conference and did a poster presentation, and will be attending another conference to do another poster presentation. Are attending conferences and doing poster presentations almost as good as a publication, or are publications on a totally different level?
LizzyM had to say on this a couple of months ago in another thread (11/9, to be exact):
So as you can see, a publication seems to be the highest level of research (in one adcom's opinion). However, as everyone else has said, as an undergrad getting a publication often simply comes down to latching onto the right project at the right time, and adcoms know that; therefore, everything on that list has some merit, and particularly I would think the top 5 all would carry some substantial weight.
7, 9, and 10 make me sad.
Why? Just because they're ranked lower doesn't make them insignificant- if they were,
LizzyM wouldn't have even bothered to list them. However, I assume you already knew that presentations/publications were a step up from not presenting/publishing. In reality, I think any research experience is meaningful as an undergrad, and even if you don't have the presentations/publications to show results, as long as you can talk intelligently (you'd be surprised how many people can only say, "well, I just did whatever Dr. Smith told me to do for 5hrs/wk) about the experience in an interview you will look good.
I agree. From what I understand, getting a publication (doesn't have to be first author) definitely looks good on your application. However, not having one will not hurt you either. It is just a nice plus.