How hard is it to get published in an undergraduate science journal?

fish89

10+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
124
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm writing up a review right now for my school's undergraduate science journal. For those of you who have been reviewers/ editors for your school's science journal:

A. How hard is it to get published? (what general % of papers/ reviews are accepted?)
B. What are the criteria used for reviewing? On what condition are papers usually accepted (i.e. what type of general edits are usually requested?)
C. What constitutes a good/ bad paper? Any stories of personal experiences?

I would really really appreciate any responses. I thought it'd be helpful for everyone who's thinking of submitting anywhere to have a general idea of what the review process is like. If anyone has insight, please share!
 

funkymunkytoes

10+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2008
639
1
Status
Medical Student
I got published in my school's journal as an undergrad. There were about 100 other undergrads doing research in ecology at the university, and 2 got published during my school year. I don't know if that's representative of other schools (or your school), but good luck anyways!
 

Kaustikos

Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
12,197
4,165
Always Bespin
Wait, they have undergraduate science journals?

What, is it like the shortbus version of science journals?
 
About the Ads

236116

Guest
10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,327
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Wait, they have undergraduate science journals?

What, is it like the shortbus version of science journals?
LOL. Big schools (a la Penn State) allow undergrads to publish in the school's journal... it's like the minor leagues.
 

Kaustikos

Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
12,197
4,165
Always Bespin
LOL. Big schools (a la Penn State) allow undergrads to publish in the school's journal... it's like the minor leagues.
I'm just wondering why you wouldn't go ahead and send it to the actual scientific journals. It sounds like either
a) your work isn't that impactful
b) it is, but you're impact will be less likely because you published it in a journal not as recognized by the major populace

I'm reading Columbia's version right now
 

236116

Guest
10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,327
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I'm just wondering why you wouldn't go ahead and send it to the actual scientific journals. It sounds like either
a) your work isn't that impactful
b) it is, but you're impact will be less likely because you published it in a journal not as recognized by the major populace

I'm reading Columbia's version right now
Because a baby is very unlikely to get picked for NEJM?
 

Auron

Cruisin' the Cosmos
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2007
896
2
Status
Pre-Dental

Kaustikos

Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
12,197
4,165
Always Bespin
Because a baby is very unlikely to get picked for NEJM?
Oh, we're talking strictly clinical research?

Regardless, that's a large gap we're leaving out if we assume either you get published in NEJM or you're going to the undergraduate journal of imspecial.:laugh:
 

236116

Guest
10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,327
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)

fish89

10+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
124
1
Status
Pre-Medical
some schools (ucla, stanford, columbia, for instance) have their own journals run by undergrads (who serve as editors, reviewers, etc) that publish only undergrad work. so they publish undergrad papers, undergrad reviews, and at ucla, interview articles with profs. i'm surprised more schools don't have these. there are 3 at ucla - a social sciences one, a science one, and a neuroscience one... i thought publishing and contributing to these was a common occurence. i'm not some scholar in my field so i wouldn't submit my reivew to a top journal...
 

Kaustikos

Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
12,197
4,165
Always Bespin
some schools (ucla, stanford, columbia, for instance) have their own journals run by undergrads (who serve as editors, reviewers, etc) that publish only undergrad work. so they publish undergrad papers, undergrad reviews, and at ucla, interview articles with profs. i'm surprised more schools don't have these. there are 3 at ucla - a social sciences one, a science one, and a neuroscience one... i thought publishing and contributing to these was a common occurence. i'm not some scholar in my field so i wouldn't submit my reivew to a top journal...
They review thousands of submissions and consider the impact of their work, so not sending it would seem almost ridiculous.
 

Lukkie

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2007
2,760
3
I hate Pre-Meds!!!
Status
Pre-Medical
They review thousands of submissions and consider the impact of their work, so not sending it would seem almost ridiculous.
quite frankly the research most undergrads do would never pass muster with reviewers. it would just be waste of his time to work hard on a manuscript and submit it to a journal. the undergrad journal would probably be a more easy/valuable experience for him, even though they have 0 impact
 

Kaustikos

Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
12,197
4,165
Always Bespin
quite frankly the research most undergrads do would never pass muster with reviewers. it would just be waste of his time to work hard on a manuscript and submit it to a journal. the undergrad journal would probably be a more easy/valuable experience for him, even though they have 0 impact
So it's like your own e-peen stroker/ego booster?
 

cyclin M

megaman
10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
337
1
Bunker
Status
Pre-Medical
quite frankly the research most undergrads do would never pass muster with reviewers. it would just be waste of his time to work hard on a manuscript and submit it to a journal. the undergrad journal would probably be a more easy/valuable experience for him, even though they have 0 impact
Actually I'm pretty sure undergrads don't have much control over where their paper is submitted. It's not like he can say "well I'm gonna submit this to Nature."
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,306
I don't see why anyone would want to submit to an undergrad journal anyway. It obviously will receive little attention there and will be no where near as competitive as an actual journal so you wouldn't even get bragging rights for a having something published. I'd much rather take my chances with an actual journal.
 
About the Ads