Publications

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by raincrew, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. raincrew

    raincrew Senior Member

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    How much help do publications actually help on one's application?

    Obviously, it is harder to publish in certain fields than others. It seems that publishing in a field like cell biology is significantly easier than getting your name on a clinical study. Would med schools take this disparity into account if one did publish in one of the tougher fields?
     
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  3. RT

    RT Rt

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    Journals have impact factors. Certainly getting published in a famous journal is more significant.

    Rt
     
  4. canadagirl

    canadagirl Senior Member

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    A link to a reputable "impact factors" list would be appreciated ... people talk about "good journals" or "weak journals" all the time, and it sometimes seems like it's the kind of information that you just pick up being in the field for a long time and hard for an outsider to figure out...
     
  5. BobbyDylanFan

    BobbyDylanFan Senior Member

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    Well it definately matters what field you are in because each field has journals that they usually submit their papers to. The best two journals of all fields is bar none, Nature (and its subdivisions) and Science. Basically any field can publish in these because they look for the most outstanding research in the world. So those would be top tier journals

    Mid tier journals would be specific to your field, and anyone in that field would recognize them in addition to many other scientists. For example if your research consists of finding stress related kinases that are activated by emotional stress in the murine brain, that would probably be sent to Journal of Neuroscience or something of the like.

    Low tier journals are very specific and even some people in the respective field don't really recognize them. I can't really elaborate too much on these but if someone else wants to chime in with some more answers...be my guest!
     
  6. RT

    RT Rt

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    JCR: http://jcrweb.com/

    Rt

    "What is the JCR?
    The Journal Citation Reports is an essential, comprehensive, and unique resource for journal evaluation, using citation data drawn from over 8,400 scholarly and technical journals worldwide. Coverage is both multidisciplinary and international, and incorporates journals from over 3,000 publishers in 60 nations.

    The JCR is the only source of citation data on journals, and includes virtually all specialties in the areas of science, technology, and the social sciences. JCR Web shows the relationship between citing and cited journals in a clear, easy-to-use framework. JCR Web is available annually in two editions:

    The Science Edition contains data from roughly 5,000 journals in the areas of science and technology. The Social Sciences Edition contains data from roughly 1,500 journals in the social sciences. "
     
  7. BobbyDylanFan

    BobbyDylanFan Senior Member

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    nice link...i think that hits the question at the bullseye
     
  8. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    I think the value of publications is over-emphasized.

    First - publications don't equal research experience . Look at MD/PhD programs - I haven't heard of one that *requires* you to have published, and many successful MD/PhD applicants have not published. What MD/PhD programs, and to a lesser extent MD programs are looking for is a commitment and experience in research. And a publication is only one indicator of this. If your PI writes a nice letter about how great you've been in a lab and how committed you are to biomedical research and you don't have a publication, you'll be a million times better than someone with a bunch of publications but with a PI who writes something crappy about them. Publications take time - I did some great research at the beginning of a large project FOUR YEARS AGO that is only now getting ready to be published. But I had some abstracts, posters, and a LOR that talked about this, so I was just fine. I also spoke intelligently about the research in my interview.

    Second - MD programs don't require research in the first place . Research is good, but it's like saying that you MUST have done more than 6 months of clinical volunteer work to get accepted. The fact is, you don't. Yes, it helps, but it's not necessary.

    So, if you're applying and you don't have a publication yet, don't worry. If you want to go into academic medicine and have research experience, just discuss your previous research during your interview. And of course, if you don't like research, don't do research and don't worry.
     
  9. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    First, I also think there is a myth about what journal you publish in as being important. The guy who does next to nothing and gets put on the Nature paper has nothing on the guy who puts blood, sweat, and tears into a mid- or even low-tier journal.

    Second, there is no easy way to compare different types of research. If you happen to end up doing research with a guy doing clinical research (CR), it will be much easier to do CR than cell bio. Similarly, if your college trains you well in cell bio, and you hook up with a good cell biologist, it will be much easier to do cell biology than CR. I'm actually doing a very small CR project, and I find it much easier than the translational research I'm also doing, and easier than the basic research I was doing. And as in my first point, doing a tiny part of a CR project (or whatever) is much less impressive to adcoms than doing a larger part of basic research (or whatever).
     
  10. Classof07

    Classof07 Member

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    I politely disagree. Perhaps when it comes to interviews, then I will grant that if you worked really hard on a lower-tiered journal publication, you will come across sounding better than the guy who got his name tacked on to the big journal. But the people interviewing you are most probably academic physicians and these people know the big journals and they know that lesser tiered journals may lack peer review or may be otherwise more lax about submission criteria.
    I'm not quite sure why the original poster mentioned something about how anyone can publish in cell biology but not in clinical research. That is completely untrue. Just try getting an article in Cancer or a magazine like that. And there are crappy non-peer reviewed clinical journals as well. As my boss puts it, 'I could publish an article in ______ while sitting on the toilet,' [the name of the journal has been left out for liability reasons].

    Subtotal $0.01
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    Total my two cents
     
  11. raincrew

    raincrew Senior Member

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    My mistake. I meant the other way around, that it is easier to get your name on a clinical study than for cell biology. It seems that clinical papers are cranked out significantly quicker than those for cell biology and typically contain more authors.
     
  12. lady bug

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    Very true! I got my name as a first author on a clinical study even though I did no research. The doctor I was job shadowing simply did not have the time to write the paper, so he asked me if I'd do a literature search, compile his data, and write a paper and he'd get my name on a publication. I'm not complaining! :D

    In retrospect, I also worked in a research lab doing benchside research at a medical school for a significant time, and it led to no publications. Laboratory benchside research experiments usually span much longer time periods and sometimes yield no viable results, whereas in a clinical study, you almost always have something to publish. Another advantage of clinical research as a pre-med student is the all patient interaction you get. Patient contact and research experience....you kill two birds with one stone....can't beat that!
     
  13. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    Classof07 -
    Of course those pseudo-peer-reviewed journals are generally crap. Let's ignore those, as a serious researcher is going to restrict him/herself to the respected peer-reviewed journals.

    I do think it's better to be published in a big name journal than a smaller one, but I don't think this is very important for undergrads. I doubt adcoms are going to give too much extra favor to the applicant who's published in Nature vs. the applicat who's published in a medium-sized, respected journal. In my experience, the difference between those who publish in Nature and those who publish in smaller journals as an undergrad is usually just pure luck in finding the right lab. They key is to get some good experience and be able to be a productive researcher in the future. If this means finding the less-known researcher who will give you great experiences (and maybe a publication as first or second author in a small or medium-sized journal), go for that over the big-shot who you will never see yet will get to be the eight author on a Nature paper. Remember, adcoms will ask you about your research, and your PI will be writting you a LOR.
     
  14. BobbyDylanFan

    BobbyDylanFan Senior Member

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    Good point adcadet, I totally agree. I definately think that getting a LOR from someone who really knows you and can elaborate on your strenghs is more important than working with a very busy PI that you hardly ever see, even if you get that nature paper
     

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