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Research Question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by CowsAreFriends, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. CowsAreFriends

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    Hello SDN! I need some advice. I've been trying to get involved in research for a few months, but I have been having difficulty finding a lab that is willing to take someone who has just finished her freshman year. Anyways, I found a doctor who agreed to let me come in for an interview. He stated that my job is going to be to help a group of doctors abroad write their research paper since all their research was done. The problem is that the group of doctors have very limited english and are dependent on me to write the paper. The doctor stated I will be an author on the paper.
    Anyways, my dilemma is that I'm not actually doing research. Additionally, I won't be able to describe a lot of the methods used because I have never heard of them, or because I haven't done the experiment.
    Should I continue to work on this project or not?
     
    #1 CowsAreFriends, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  3. halcyonpage

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    If this is your only offer, I say yes. Probably best not to be too picky. You can try to use the finished paper as a stepping-stone for other research positions later.
     
    md-2020 likes this.
  4. Doudline

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    Sounds pretty ****ty. You know you don't have to do research with a physician, right? I'd be really surprised if you couldn't find ANYONE to do real research with.
     
  5. CowsAreFriends

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    I've emailed around 25 professors and 20 physicians asking to be involved in their research. They either didn't reply, said I needed to have taken more biology courses, or said their lab is currently full. My school doesn't effectively update UROP.

    Thanks for your input Halcyonpage! My friend told me something very similar.
     
  6. halcyonpage

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    No problem. If you end up taking the offer to help write, make the most of it. I think you are quite privileged to see somebody else's unpublished work. You can also email and ask the writers for more information about the research, especially if it contributes to the clarity of the writing. In that way you can get to know them better and maybe strike up a friendship or something.
     
  7. GrapesofRath

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    Take it. Authorship on a paper matters. And down the road it will help alot in any future research opportunity. There could be FAR FAR worse starting research opportunities(ie your typical lab rat who washes dishes and makes solutions).
     
  8. aegistitan

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    You serious? Take the authorship. There's tons of premeds who spend time in labs learning techniques they'll never use again doing basic science experiments to result in 0 publications. Publications don't only matter for medical school admissions. They'll be on your resume for life. Your project guarantees authorship and you don't even need to collect data - it will be fast and efficient.

    Then if you decide you want the traditional experience you write other professors say "I've had previous research experience include one publication in __".
     
  9. Carmiche

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    Yeah take this all day. You'll learn the methods and writing process quickly through reading other related literature. It will be a learning curve, and you will not get it perfect the first time, but being published is a slam dunk. Even you didn't do any of the data acquisition, this still counts as research. In order to write it up, you need to have a very good understanding of the research, which will help you be able to discuss it in interviews. Most premeds don't get a chance to write a paper.
     
  10. wasteofspace323

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    You basically found a chicken that lays golden eggs. Its difficult to express how fortunate you are. You should consider playing the lottery in the future.
     
  11. ac62994

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    Jump on that, man! :soexcited:
     
  12. bjt223

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    Congrats!
     
  13. halcyonpage

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    OP, everyone is coming up with great reasons to take this job, but I just want to remind you not to make a habit of jumping onto a project in its last stages just so you can get authorship... I don't think that's your intention, I just don't want you to set a precedent of opportunism.
     
  14. Shirafune

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    1) Authorship beyond 2nd or 3rd author has limited meaning in academia. Your future medical school interviewer(s) know that the lower authorship you are, the increasingly less work you contributed to the paper. It's best not to get comfortable about your research experience based solely on publications.

    2) Data compilation and manuscript preparation are two important research skills. However, understanding of the scientific process and its development in the particular paper you were involved with is more important. Cursory understanding of your work does not impress.

    I think this will be a tough but rewarding endeavor for you, OP. It will be very very difficult for somebody with minimal understanding of the experiments and no research experience (correct me if I am wrong) to write a cohesive paper. If successful, this will thoroughly prepare you for an independent research opportunity. Any undergrad can learn techniques and follow protocol; few can think critically and propose experiments. Hopefully you will have a great mentor.

    Some advice: read read read. I can't stress how important reading papers in your field (or any biomedical field for that matter) is for developing thinking as a scientist. Best of luck.
     
  15. cantankerous

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    Trust me, you don't want to do bitch- I mean bench work (slip of tongue oopsy) if you don't have to
     
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  16. Holmwood

    Holmwood WOW
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    Remember that you want a LOR from your PI (well in this case, it's a doctor).
    If all he can say about you is "help translated a foreign paper but didn't contribute to the data/research design/hypothesis formation", then you're in for a not so great time.

    It's a cool opportunity nonetheless. Not many college students get an opportunity to translate manuscripts. I would take it without the expectation of it being a research experience.
     
  17. CowsAreFriends

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    Thanks to everyone who replied. I decided to stay on the project. If I get asked about it, I would say something like, "I analyzed the results of the experiment, with the help of a physician, to be able to translate their work. This required reading numerous scientific journals. Even though I didn't contribute to the research design, I learned a lot. Also, I felt like I did serve a role in the experiment because communication between doctors is essential to progress in the medical field. With the publication, other physicians are able to replicate the experiment, and will have the information the physicians discovered about the role of X protein in the invasiveness of cancer."
     

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