mstp

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Mar 17, 2010
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Im trying to get into an MSTP off the waitlist. Ive already sent a letter of interest and a 3rd author pub that was recently accepted in hopes that these would show my further interest and research potential, they were appreciative of my trying but not enough for an acceptance apparently.

I just finished a monster first author paper and submitted it today - took me 2yrs to finish. Im hesitant to send it because A) its not accepted yet = not peer-reviewed and potential to get scooped/plagiarized and B) its sort of a review (actually its a meta-analysis so there are original methods, conclusions, etc.) but still, its not bench science...

Is there protocol for this or what?
 

Freak

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I am not sure about the protocol as to how to do this.

I would say if it was not accepted; it doesn't really count for much. The only "benefit" I would see would be to re-establish contact with the program.
 

mstp

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I agree doesnt seem like itll help much. Anyone else have experience with sending manuscripts to programs before theyve been accepted by the journal?
 

FSAP

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I agree doesnt seem like itll help much. Anyone else have experience with sending manuscripts to programs before theyve been accepted by the journal?
I have sent in my manuscript before it got published in October. I am not sure if it helped, but we did not get scooped as far as I know.
 

bd4727

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Manuscripts shouldn't even be on your CV. They don't mean anything. I could write a manuscript in the next 15 min. Nothing matters until it has been accepted through a peer review process.
 

mstp

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Clearly a manuscript is not a credential so no of course its not on my CV, that wasnt the question...
However, the fellowship I got to fund the research is on my CV so itd be nice to show an MSTP committee that something substantial has come of it. Also, peer review is overrated so there is no reason to worship it:

A) MSTP steering committees are smart enough to know good research from crap regardless of the field, at least to a certain extent

B) Ive seen complete crap papers make it through peer-review and into print. Go to the Discovery Institute website for a nice list of them.
 

orrghead16

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Clearly a manuscript is not a credential so no of course its not on my CV, that wasnt the question...
However, the fellowship I got to fund the research is on my CV so itd be nice to show an MSTP committee that something substantial has come of it. Also, peer review is overrated so there is no reason to worship it:

A) MSTP steering committees are smart enough to know good research from crap regardless of the field, at least to a certain extent

B) Ive seen complete crap papers make it through peer-review and into print. Go to the Discovery Institute website for a nice list of them.
The peer review process is far from perfect, but it is the best standard. Otherwise they would have MSTP committees deciding what should be published or not. Let's face it, scientists are surrounded by peer review in every aspect of their lives, from grants to publishing. They can't just laugh it off, no matter how much they hate the system, for your submitted manuscript.

Under normal circumstances I would not update with just a submission. But seeing as it will very likely be at least 8 weeks until anything changes, you don't have much too lose. That said, I highly doubt it will make a difference. Odds are they won't read the manuscript to make a judgement on how "sound" the science is. Odds are they probably won't care until you can say "in press." IMO, send along a nice update letter letting them know your progress, submission, and continued interest. Save the paper and their time and don't send the entire manuscript. If it is your work, they can likely just reread your research essay to get the jist.
 

bd4727

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Clearly a manuscript is not a credential so no of course its not on my CV, that wasnt the question...
However, the fellowship I got to fund the research is on my CV so itd be nice to show an MSTP committee that something substantial has come of it. Also, peer review is overrated so there is no reason to worship it:

A) MSTP steering committees are smart enough to know good research from crap regardless of the field, at least to a certain extent

B) Ive seen complete crap papers make it through peer-review and into print. Go to the Discovery Institute website for a nice list of them.
I agree with you that it is often an imperfect system that can be boggled down in politics and junk can get through, but that's life/ human nature and any system where human subjective opinions are involved will undoubtedly have the same issues.

The practical matter is that unless something is peer reviewed, no one in the biomedical science community will give any weight to it.

Now as far as your MSTP application goes, it can't hurt you to send an update with it, but I can guarantee you no one is going to read it. Frankly, if it was accepted into Nature no one would read it either. It will be added to your file and if you come up on the committee again someone will say oh this person also sent us this.

IMO, at this stage of the game the only thing that can improve your chances of getting in off a list is to send an honest letter telling the program it is your first choice and that if accepted you will matriculate. Others on this board have even debated the effectiveness of this, but I personally think admission committees do take this into account. I know ours does anyway.

Good luck.