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Research publication still up in the air

Discussion in 'Student Research and Publishing' started by Archdelux, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Archdelux

    Archdelux Junior Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I've been working on a research project this summer in a pharmacology lab in Dallas, and my last day of work will be this upcoming Friday. I have made a pretty significant contribution to the project (Although it has been going on for a year and a half before I started this summer), and seems to be wrapping up.

    Now, the project will not be completely finished by the time I leave, and I will still be gathering data until I leave on Friday (so the writing of the publication and all that has yet to begin).

    My question is; how to approach the subject of publication with the PI? I definitely want to be published, and I feel that I have done enough work to merit a spot as an author, but we've never really discussed it.

    I did ask him previously, if it would be possible to somehow continue with the project once i start school in the fall (out of state); but it doesn't seem likely due to the work that we are doing.

    Any advice? My data will definitely appear in the publication when he does write it, so can I assume that he will write it in a month or so and then inform me that I was listed as a co-author? This is my first potential co-authorship, so I am relatively un-aware of the process.

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    First of all, is there some portion of the project that is essentially your's? Some small sub-section that you did most of the work on? If this is the case, then you can talk to your PI about writing an abstract or poster and presenting it at school. That's something that nobody should reasonably argue with. In addition, that abstract will be a good building block for the overall summary paper your PI will write. As it will be your words, he would have to reference you as a co-author.

    If there isn't a nice division of labor, then ask to start writing the summary paper now. Finish a rough draft before you leave and have your PI proof it and give you edits that you can make when you arrive at school. That sets up an investment on your part and a line of communication between you and your PI. And no matter where you are, you can email drafts back and forth.
     
  4. Archdelux

    Archdelux Junior Member
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    Actually, what I have been doing definitely qualifies as 'my own portion of the project'. I have been developing an assay and using it to further studies into the molecular mechanisms of the drugs he found to work in vivo.

    Meaning that I have my own sub-section of the project. I am leaving at a really unfortunate time, however, since what I am doing now is reaching the climax, and is getting very exciting.

    In any case, I did what you suggested last week. There was a program for college students at the University, and I made a presentation on my project; focusing on my contribution and what I had done. (I was not part of the program, but my PI thought it would be a good experience to give a presentation, so he pulled some strings).

    Anyway, I think he will be willing to grant me co-authorship, but I hope to ask in a way that will increase my odds! ;)

    What do you suggest?

    Thanks!
     
  5. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    At this point, you already have the holy grail of pre-meds and med students doing research: you have proof that you do quality research. Instead of just telling docs that you worked in a lab, you can show them an example of your work. You can put it on your resume (be sure to denote that it's a presentation) for the rest of your life. You can 'take the money and run' if you want.

    About authorship, just ask your PI how he wants to write up the results of the project. Offer to write up your notes from the presentation (your contribution) in journal-article-form. You are the expert on this part of the project, so it would be best that you write up that section. That should ensure you get your name on the by-line.
     

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