Publishing in Undergard Journal or 2nd rate outside Journal?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pazan, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. pazan

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    I recently completed some clinical research and my advisor wants me to write up a paper for publication. He has a lot of connections and told me he would take care of finding the right journal for publication. However, given that I'm an undergrad writing on medical conditions, it's almost certain than the journal will be 2nd tier or probably worse. On the other hand, I spoke with a professor who oversees all undergrad research at my school (large public) and she was eager for me to submit my paper to my school's undergraduate science journal, citing the need for more clinical research papers. The undergrad journal is pretty big, but it's affiliated with the school and only contains undergraduate publications.

    Though publishing it in the undergrad journal would be way less of hassle (it gets reviewed by students rather than scientists), I think publishing in a scientific journal has more prestige. But, at the same time, if I submit to something like "Annals of Cambodian Medicine" (hypothetically) the paper may lose some credibility. Has anyone else had the same problem or have any opinions to offer? Thanks.
     
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  3. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats
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    submit to both?
     
  4. pazan

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    I don't think that's an option. I'm pretty sure once I submit to one, the paper is copyrighted and I need the permission of the journal to get it published somewhere else. But I might be wrong (I'm not a lawyer, just a premed)?
     
  5. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    2nd rate outside journal, providing it's peer-reviewed. Just my $0.02...
     
  6. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    :thumbup: Seconded.
     
  7. enigma85

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    Thirded. It's nice if it ends up being cited in other papers in the future. And it will always stick with you in your resume and serve as something to talk about, such as potentially in residency interviews. I don't think many doctors would include pubs from undergrad journals on their resume, but would still include a paper in a medical journal with a lower impact factor.
     
  8. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats
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    I know that my ugrad's biology journal really isn't much of stickler for being the only site of publication...but its not like you can find the articles in it on pubmed or anything.

    if you have to choose, go for the real journal...these undergrad journals are publications for the sake of publication rather than for the desemination of scientific knowledge to the world
     
  9. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    Are both pubmed/medline indexed and peer reviewed?
     
  10. soeagerun2or

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    In my experience in both basic science and clinical research if it's not worth publishing in a decent journal we'll postpone submission to add the sufficient work to make it worth reading or just eat it and start on something new.
     
  11. pazan

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    Yeah, that's something I was considering. But it's hard to gauge the threshold for major journals; most of it boils down to who you know in academia (which is why having a really connected research advisor helps). Also, the editing process will probably be much longer for higher tier journals, but I guess the payoff is greater.
     
  12. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才
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    Outside journal.

    If the content of the research is of excellent quality and significance, don't assume that being an undergrad will keep it out of a good journal.
     
  13. gersh489

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    um....
    submit it to a peer reviewed journal. Your undergrad journal probably isn't indexed by pubmed... and thus the article might as well not exist. Don't submit to both, even if the undergrad journal doesn't care (a peer reviewed journal almost certainly will).

    the pi's "connections" mean just about diddly squat - what matters is if it is good research or not. That the first author is an undergrad means absolutely nothing in regard to whether or not it is publishable. Give me a break.

    why are you even bothering to post this here? Just talk to your pi - it isn't really up to you anyways (assuming that you actually did this work under him/her). I mean I suppose you could try to write/submit something yourself, but it doesn't sound like you have anywhere near the experience to do that.
     
  14. pazan

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    I am the PI (i don't work for a lab) according to my IRB approval... my boss (now my faculty advisor) gave me a problem to work on and I conducted a literature review, set criteria for inclusion of subjects, and collected and analyzed data. My advisor answered basic questions along the way and reviewed my data and analysis, but wants me to put in the work (which is probably similar to any other research project). I have minimal experience writing a full-length research paper, but it's a learning process and I know how to build from my mistakes. I have an outline of what I'm writing (which is how I know the paper's going to be publishable) and just need to write everything out.

    Connections are important. Obviously, the research has to be good, but with so many good papers
    competing for relatively few spots, any advantage helps.

    My question was mostly regarding the effort it would take to get it published in a scientific journal vs. how people would view an undergraduate journal publication. I guess the answer's pretty obvious... but, I was expecting some responses from people who had published in undergraduate journals. Anyway, thanks for the answers, and I'll talk some more with my advisor and get things settled.
     
  15. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist
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    i'll chime in here.

    ur priority for publication is:

    1. SCI journals (these are without doubt Medlined and peer-reviewed)
    2. Medline but not SCI (these are considered peer-reviewed)
    3. Peer-Reviewed but not Medline (may be difficult to locate in some fields)
    4. Non Peer-Reviewed (journals associated with schools, trade journals etc.)

    some points:
    -category 1 includes the most prestigious journals such as Jama, NEJM, lancet etc.
    -u can have prestigious journals in category 2 and 3, but these are typically very narrow focused journals.
    -to "most" people, they would take ANY publication in a given tier over a publication in the tier below it (i.e. u wouldn't publish in any category-2 if u could publish in a category-1)

    if ur work is basically at the "calibre" of school-journal level, then i can't imagine that on ur best day, it'll get to medline-level journal. that's just my feeling. that isn't to say there's no value in publishing in a tier 3 or tier 4, once, twice, or many times. u get better and faster with pubs the more u do them (e.g. my first tier-4 took was my senior term project, i now can do one in 2 days complete with references).

    so learn and get better. u can't expect ur first manuscript to get into Cell. with enough luck and guidance, u *might* be able to get a tier-2 on ur first try, but unless ur somehow working with novel stuff (ur only 2nd ur UG), tier-1 is pretty unlikely.
     
  16. Scottish Chap

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    Two things: 1) any publication is good (especially as an undergraduate), but it should be in a peer-reviewed journal to make it worth your while. 2) writing a paper is nowhere close to a guaranteed publication in a peer-reviewed - no matter how many connections the faculty member has. Congrats, and good luck!
     
  17. soeagerun2or

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    This notion is entirely false; most of it boils down to the quality of your research.

    While I won't say politics never helps (see PNAS for example) in the end it is the study and findings that get papers accepted.
     
  18. gersh489

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    exactly. if it is good research than it is publishable.

    yeah right. how many publications do you have to your name? The fact is you don't know it is publishable until it is published. And just writing it out is no small task. My guess is that it won't get published w/out help (a lot of) from your adviser. Best of luck.
     

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