Research w/no publications

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Alfred E Newman, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Alfred E Newman

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    How much weight does having done REAL research in a lab but not having any publications carry in the admissions process?

    I know some undergrads do publish, but I'd think that's certainly not the norm as most undergrads are working under a PI on his project. Am I off base in my thinking here?
     
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  3. neuro1617

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    No, you're not off base. Most undergrads do not publish and obviously it will have more weight if you do. Publishing is icing on the cake.
     
  4. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    If I had a choice, I'd rather be fully involved in "real" research and never reach a point where my name was on a publication during undergrad, than to have my name on a paper without having contributed intellectually.

    Your thinking is on the right track. Being able to say that you've been listed as an author is nice. The most valuable part is the experience gained actually working on the research.
     
  5. SarsMO

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    I got into my top choice and never published. I did research most of my UG career, and frustratingly, never got the "publishable" data. *sigh* My interviewers all were interested in my research and asked about it, but my lack of publication never came up!!

    Best of luck!!!
     
  6. Character

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    its still valuable
     
  7. perutz

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    I'd say both as an applicant and for your own personal development, it's better to actually understand what you're doing than to simply get published.
    If you do get published, be sure you actually know your stuff and didn't just have a really generous PI who put everyone's name down on the publication. A prof I know had commented that several of his students who got published while in his lab really didn't know their stuff and got grilled during interviews.
     
  8. metalgearHMN

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    You don't have to get published during undergrad, and adcoms certainly don't require/expect you too. That being said, people do obviously get published and it is certainly worth pursuing if possible because it can give you an edge.
     
  9. justapremed

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    Good to hear! I was lucky and my PI put me on an independent project a month after I started in her lab. And of course, a grad student helped me a lot... But I think I learned a lot from the experience, and would love to talk about it at an interview! But no publications... I'm hoping I could get one by the end of summer or beginning of fall.
     
  10. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you

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    Theoretically, it would be nicer to learn something in the lab than just get your name published.

    However, realistically, ad coms look at how an applicant looks like on paper and it is more impressive to have published.
     
  11. AlexMorph

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    no, ur not
     
  12. LadyWolverine

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    Sorry man, but I have to call BS on this one. Once you reach a certain age, you realize, it's all about whos name is on what - nobody give's a rat's tucus whether or not you did all the work. Personally, I appreciate your integrity, but that's not how it works in the real world.

    To the OP: The research project that I did as an UG didn't get published until 5+ years later. Just because you don't get anything out of it in your short 4 years in college doesn't mean it won't be worth something one day.
     
  13. AlexMorph

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    lol

    oh, the young...
     
  14. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane
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    I didn't get published from my research I did in undergrad but a few interviewers asked about it and seemed really interested. I think it would be difficult to get anything done as an undergraduate that would still be impressive as a medical student, so just shoot for what is most interesting to you and what you feel like you can talk highly of.

    I really liked the research I did and I felt it was really interesting. My interviewers seemed riveted by my topic (led absorption in vegetables!) even though it might seem inherently boring because I was excited about it and knew a lot about it.

    If you put research on your application you can expect interviewers to ask you about it and you should be able to speak fluently about it, this will mean more to them than having your name published and not being able to explain what you did.
     
  15. AlexMorph

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    true
     
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  17. blargh

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    some people get lucky and publish, some don't. depends on what project you're lucky enough to get and in whose lab. as long as you bust your butt and really know what you're doing i'm sure your interviewers will be able to pick up on that.
     
  18. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    I'm not naive, but I am serious. I would much rather have the experience of being fully involved both because I intend to keep building on that, and because I can speak knowledgeably and enthusiastically about the projects. For an undergrad, just getting a name on a paper without having real involvement can backfire if you don't know the project inside and out.

    The expectation that undergrads have for getting their names on papers has a tendency to be blown out of proportion. The trend for PI's to place anyone's name on there as a favor can build to the point where it diminishes the value.
     
  19. LadyWolverine

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    This does not happen in real life. PIs are not interested in building up others' resumes, when those "others" did not do any work. You do not put someone's name on a paper as a "favor." If your name is on it, you contributed.

    As I said before, I admire your integrity. It certainly helps to have something interesting to talk about during interviews. It helps double if you know WTF you are talking about.
     
  20. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you

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    Yup, I agree.

    Because you have to have contributed to get your name on that paper, you better damn well have known what the project was about. How else did you contribute? Unless your name was like the 10th one on that paper...then why bother even mentioning that you published...:smuggrin:
     
  21. UVAbme2009

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    I haven't been published yet. I think I have two opportunities though. One would be as the second to last author and the other would be as a first author depending on how my project goes this year.

    When I started, I really wanted to be published. But now I don't really care since I've learned a lot, and feel comfortable in using what I've learned when it comes to research in medical school.
     

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