Regarding getting published

medhearter

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Hi All,

So I guess this is a subject that a lot of us premeds get our eyes glazed over about. Not really knowing how it feels to, or what it takes to [get published].

I have had a lot of background in doing research, but nothing ever came my way in terms of publishable material. It was either too general or too hot a topic to publish this early in the game, even if effects were huge. sighs.

I'll be starting in a MS in cell and molec bio program this fall.
Its a course-based masters with no thesis option
but i'd really like to employ any method at all to get published.

my research interests are so broad, i'll take anything.

anyone here have any feedback on what it means and what it takes to get published? especially if you're not part of a formal research-focussed program, but there are PIs all around. I have 8 months. to get published. along with aiming for a 4.0 in grad work.

Cheeers to all who respond,

medhearter
(the Canadian 3.49/34Qer)
 

BigEast55

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If you have only 8 months, and you aren't doing research right now and know that its publishable, you are probably not going to get published, papers take probably 4 months at the least to get published and writing one is another 1 or 2 month process, so maybe you can get on as a minor author at best
 
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fishbait63

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Getting published in 8 months is not impossible... If you help in the middle of a project they might consider you 3rd, 4th, 5th authorship . Depending on the lab there is a chance that you can achieve that in a short amount of time especially in fields that publish rapidly. However 1st authorship in 8 months i would think is impossible and new projects would be impossible. Also there are projects that focus more on surveys or medical records that can be done quickly because the information is all there...

(I consider something to be published once it is reviewed and accepted by a journal since it is a complete project that is basically done)
 

Naijaba

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Hi,

I was fortunate to have two undergraduate publications during my senior year. The first one was submitted towards the end of my junior year, rejected 4 months later, revised and submitted to a different journal 2 months after that, and accepted 4 months later.

The second paper was accepted 5 months after submission.

Bottom line: It takes a long time to get published even after you've written the paper.

Now, how can you get to results that are publishable AND have enough time to write a decent paper? I think the answer has three parts: Luck, dedication, and unique talent.

The first one you can't do much about, but the second two may allow some flexibility. I'm a diehard programmer and I became an author on the papers because I developed software that the PIs needed to complete their work.

You don't have to write software, but if you have a particular skill, try to find research in that area. I had a friend who was an excellent pianist and he did research on electronic keyboards even though he didn't know how to program. He provided a musician's perspective.
 

ReptarBar

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you could always find some clinical research to publish. the doc i found already had some data and basically threw me a bunch of stuff to write. pretty high chance of getting published too (national, peer-reviewed journal), plus i will have a few more lined up after this.

just browse around hospital websites for some prominent doctors.
 

sully677

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When we first started talking about publishing data, I thought it was relatively quick and painless. However, publishing in a journal can be quite a lengthy process! First accumulation and writing of all the data can take a while (over a month or 2 for us), and then it has to be proofed, submitted, and submission can take anywhere from 2 weeks up until 6 weeks or longer. Then it can be accepted, accepted with revisions, or rejected. All in all, it's well over a 4 month process. Then a little while longer before it's actually in press. So it's not an overnight process, but the time lengths can vary depending on several factors.

Good Luck! :thumbup:
 

IveyGirl

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It's a lot of luck (having to do with timing), and really, your PI.

I've been doing research with my PI for almost 3 years now. We submitted a publication last summer, but it got rejected 1/2 - one of the reviewers was a competitor. She's probably going to submit elsewhere so we'll see how that goes. If you join the lab with a project nearing the end of it, you're lucky! But if not, then it could take forever.

You could try talking to your PI and depending on your goals/needs they'll probably accommodate if you've demonstrated your ability as a student. What they could do is put you on another student's project (one that's nearing the end) and if you finish it or contribute, you'll be on the author's list.

Good luck (coming from a Canadian)! :)
 

orrghead16

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The length of time the current manuscript we are working on right now has been actually written up? 1 year and 4 months. First sent out to co-authors for comments and revisions in April 2008.

Length of time working on the project before getting to trying-to-publish stage? 3 years, almost full time.

Rejected from the first journal. Second revision is submitted to second journal addressing the reviewers comments. Still waiting on an acceptance.

Time in progress: more than 4 years. Granted this is an extreme, but I am bitter about the whole process. A grad student in our lab just published her first first author a few weeks ago. Started the experiments on the project just before I typed up the first version of the manuscript. It certainly could happen, but it would take one hell of a coin-flip on your side.
 

Dr Gerrard

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Clinical setting is the way to go for fast publications.

I am not trying to brag or anything, for two reasons:

1) I got really lucky getting this and it does not represent my aptitude, etc.
2) Besides the actual writing part, a monkey can do what I am doing

Anyways, the doctor I am working for pretty much guaranteed me two first author publications by my work for just this summer.

This is while studying for the MCAT.
 
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ReptarBar

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Clinical setting is the way to go for fast publications.

I am not trying to brag or anything, for two reasons:

1) I got really lucky getting this and it does not represent my aptitude, etc.
2) Besides the actual writing part, a monkey can do what I am doing

Anyways, the doctor I am working for pretty much guaranteed me two first author publications by my work for just this summer.

This is while studying for the MCAT.

same here bro. some doctors piss out publications like theyre nothing :).
 

Lynkeus

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I was totally going to reply to this thread with my own experiences. However, then I realized that by simply changing the precise amounts of waiting time, my post would exactly mirror yours, from the two publications senior year to the programming, and even the advice!

Hi,

I was fortunate to have two undergraduate publications during my senior year. The first one was submitted towards the end of my junior year, rejected 4 months later, revised and submitted to a different journal 2 months after that, and accepted 4 months later.

The second paper was accepted 5 months after submission.

Bottom line: It takes a long time to get published even after you've written the paper.

Now, how can you get to results that are publishable AND have enough time to write a decent paper? I think the answer has three parts: Luck, dedication, and unique talent.

The first one you can't do much about, but the second two may allow some flexibility. I'm a diehard programmer and I became an author on the papers because I developed software that the PIs needed to complete their work.

You don't have to write software, but if you have a particular skill, try to find research in that area. I had a friend who was an excellent pianist and he did research on electronic keyboards even though he didn't know how to program. He provided a musician's perspective.
 

URHere

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It really irritates me when people go publication hunting, rather than doing research for the sake of learning something new. The purpose of research is to ask questions, and take whatever steps are necessary to try and answer those questions. If the work is enlightening and it results in a publication, that's excellent...but far too often shoddy work ends up published in low-tier journals just because someone wants to add some padding to a CV.

If you want to be published, work as a tech or an assistant on an established project with a PI and a lab devoted to that project. Don't attempt to start a series of experiments with the sole goal of publication. If you try to churn something out in 8 months without proper guidance and time, there's a good chance that your science will be full of holes - resulting in either a swift rejection or a publication in a lowly ranked journal that will be of very little use to anyone in the field.
 

Naijaba

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I was totally going to reply to this thread with my own experiences. However, then I realized that by simply changing the precise amounts of waiting time, my post would exactly mirror yours, from the two publications senior year to the programming, and even the advice!


Haha, I hope that my application cycle can mirror yours ; )
 

FeatherPen

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Do not listen to nay-sayers OP.

After 3 months of research, I have been published twice in High Impact journals.

8 months? Hell yeah you can do it!

I have heard that nanotechnology, like polymer science and nanochemistry, is a rapidly emerging field of study. The benefits of having a PI who is the nation's chief editor for two different high impact journals are some which most pre-meds could only dream of attesting to.

Make sure to do your research before doing your research.
 
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medhearter

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It really irritates me when people go publication hunting, rather than doing research for the sake of learning something new. The purpose of research is to ask questions, and take whatever steps are necessary to try and answer those questions.

This is all fine and dandy. But when you work on a project, and DO get enlightening (and kinda breakthrough) results, and the project turns over to the grad student in the lab, and you're thanked for your efforts and asked to leave... well.. it kinda sucks then.

But actually I laugh. Because I worked on a rat model which gave the awesome results. I tested an older sample of mouse, and there was no such large effect. The PI wanted to move to the mouse model after I left (why? maybe because she wasn't really paying attention to what I had been telling her the entire year, and perhaps she didn't trust that I did get such great results and had her own preference for mice). So.. I'm not going to predict they'll get the mouse model to work any time soon, and they'll likely have to revert to rat, in which case, I'd hope they'd be so professional as to include my name. ok! ya. research was about the learning and discovery, but the politics can really get to you sometimes, and make you feel like you never want to be in the situation of being taken advantage of again.
 
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exoslimjim

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Do not listen to nay-sayers OP.

After 3 months of research, I have been published twice in High Impact journals.

8 months? Hell yeah you can do it!

I have heard that nanotechnology, like polymer science and nanochemistry, is a rapidly emerging field of study. The benefits of having a PI who is the nation's chief editor for two different high impact journals are some which most pre-meds could only dream of attesting to.

Make sure to do your research before doing your research.
just curious... wat is high impact? do you have a specific number?

for any undergrad, publishing is very dependent on the PI/mentor and some luck... a first author is a much different level of responsibility not usually allocated to UGs. Generally publishing itself takes more than a month from acceptance due to review. there are few exceptions... such as the structure of DNA and discovery of drosha (from primary). I don't doubt that 3 months is sufficient time to publish, but that would mean around 1-2 months of work that prob did not need optimization. Some high IF papers analyze survival data of mice.. if you can imagine, mice have a 1-2 life span...
 

shantibala

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so what if you are secondary author of a paper does that make a difference to the committee? I have publishing's being first author, 2 of them to be exact but i have several others being secondary author.. How would that look?
 

Fakesmile

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so what if you are secondary author of a paper does that make a difference to the committee? I have publishing's being first author, 2 of them to be exact but i have several others being secondary author.. How would that look?
The fact that you're asking those questions suggests that you don't really have 2 first author publications.
 
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