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To list lab experience?

Nilu123

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I volunteered in a lab for about 100 hours over 3 months about 2 years ago. I stopped the activity once it became clear to me from the PI that he didn't give undergraduate students much opportunity to get published. I won't be using a LOR from the PI, and I don't have any posters or pubs to show for it. Then, I independently wrote 2 systematic reviews that got published recently. Should I list the experience in the lab on my AMCAS? Or would it raise too many questions about why I stopped volunteering there and went it on my own? On the other hand, if I don't list it, will ADCOMMs take my publications seriously as research experience if I don't have any experience working collaboratively at the bottom of a lab totem pole? If I do list it, should I tell the reason I mentioned for stopping the activity?
 

red_tangoes

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I think you should list it. If for some reason your interviewer brings it up, just be honest and tell them why or say you had to stop for other reasons, such as dedicating more time to studying.
 
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I volunteered in a lab for about 100 hours over 3 months about 2 years ago. I stopped the activity once it became clear to me from the PI that he didn't give undergraduate students much opportunity to get published. I won't be using a LOR from the PI, and I don't have any posters or pubs to show for it.

Then, I independently wrote 2 systematic reviews that got published recently. Should I list the experience in the lab on my AMCAS? Or would it raise too many questions about why I stopped volunteering there and went it on my own? On the other hand, if I don't list it, will ADCOMMs take my publications seriously as research experience if I don't have any experience working collaboratively at the bottom of a lab totem pole? If I do list it, should I tell the reason I mentioned for stopping the activity?
One school term or the equivalent is sufficient research experience to "check the box" and (hopefully) demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method). There's no reason not to list it, so long as you have a Contact. And no reason to explain why you left after three months.

You give insufficient information about your published reviews to judge their value, but a research entry is likely to be a plus.
 
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Nilu123

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Thanks, @Catalystik. I am curious about the value of the pubs, if you'd be willing to share your opinion. Both are systematic reviews. Both are published in the same journal, which is a low-impact factor but non-predatory journal that is indexed in PubMed and focuses on one major disease. One of the pubs is fully published and in PubMed. The other is in press and should be on the journal's website in about a month, and on PubMed maybe a month after that. I am the first and sole author on the first one. On the second one, I'm the first author and my partner is the second/last author. I got a fee waiver for both (I can't count that as an award, can I?).
 
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Thanks, @Catalystik. I am curious about the value of the pubs, if you'd be willing to share your opinion.
You make it sound like this is a "pay to publish" type of journal. Do you know to what extent your disease-related summary articles were peer reviewed to validate your works' scientific validity? [No, you can't call the fee waiver an "award."]

That they will both be Pub Med indexed is in your favor, even though they do not represent your own original hypothesis-driven research. Certainly you should list them under Publications. Include a notation of [in press] if the one has not yet been made public by the time you submit.

Is there any connection between these manuscripts and your brief research endeavor? If not, why did you choose to look into these topics?
 

Nilu123

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You make it sound like this is a "pay to publish" type of journal. Do you know to what extent your disease-related summary articles were peer reviewed to validate your works' scientific validity? [No, you can't call the fee waiver an "award."]

That they will both be Pub Med indexed is in your favor, even though they do not represent your own original hypothesis-driven research. Certainly you should list them under Publications. Include a notation of [in press] if the one has not yet been made public by the time you submit.

Is there any connection between these manuscripts and your brief research endeavor? If not, why did you choose to look into these topics?

Yes, both papers went through a round of peer review and revision.

There is no connection between the lab volunteering and the publications. I chose to look into the topic because a family member had a related disease.
 
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Yes, both papers went through a round of peer review and revision.

There is no connection between the lab volunteering and the publications. I chose to look into the topic because a family member had a related disease.
So, how much "value" do you need for the publication(s) to have? Do they add luster to your application? Yes. Will they bale out a low GPA? No. Should you include both a Research space and a Publications space on the application? Yes.
 
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Nilu123

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So, how much "value" do you need for the publication(s) to have? Do they add luster to your application? Yes. Will they bale out a low GPA? No. Should you include both a Research space and a Publications space on the application? Yes.

Thank you for the advice. I will do that.

....
 
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Nilu123

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I suggest you start a thread in the What Are My Chances subforum, following the template from the sticky at the top [*~*~*~*IMPORTANT: How to Format Your WAMC Thread for Optimal Results and More!!*~*~*~* ]as to what information you should include to give the chancers who help out there the best view of your application so they can give you a solid list of schools to target.

OK. Thank you.

Would you mind sharing your thoughts on this publication activity description for the first one? It's redacted. I tried to shape it around your concerns. Is the hypothesis bit too much of a stretch?

"PubMed ID: X

DOI: X

I am the first author on this publication. It was accepted after peer review and revision to the Journal of X, which was founded by legendary [disease] researchers Drs. X and X.

I learned while doing [activity] that [organelles] get damaged in the [organ] of patients with [disease], contributing to [organ] metabolic slow down, and [endogenous signaling molecule] helps make more healthy [organelle]. So, I hypothesized [endogenous signaling molecule]-boosting [drug] would improve [organelle] biogenesis and [organ] metabolism in [disease]. I wrote this manuscript as a preliminary test of my hypothesis, which was not falsified."
 
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Would you mind sharing your thoughts on this publication activity description for the first one? It's redacted. I tried to shape it around your concerns. Is the hypothesis bit too much of a stretch?

"PubMed ID: X

DOI: X

1) I am the first author on this publication. It was accepted after peer review and revision to the Journal of X, which was founded by legendary [disease] researchers Drs. X and X.

2) I learned while doing [activity] that [organelles] get damaged in the [organ] of patients with [disease], contributing to [organ] metabolic slow down, and [endogenous signaling molecule] helps make more healthy [organelle]. So, I hypothesized [endogenous signaling molecule]-boosting [drug] would improve [organelle] biogenesis and [organ] metabolism in [disease]. I wrote this manuscript as a preliminary test of my hypothesis, which was not falsified."
1) Call them review articles. A full formal citation would include authorship position, title of the article, journal, and date. Including the PMID# is a good idea. Both citations can go in the same space.

2) Generally, the citations are all that need to be in the Publications space, but if you want to include your motivation for writing the review articles, that's fine. Based on my understanding of your intent, Yes, the hypothesis bit is a bit much.
 
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Nilu123

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1) Call them review articles. A full formal citation would include authorship position, title of the article, journal, and date. Including the PMID# is a good idea. Both citations can go in the same space.

2) Generally, the citations are all that need to be in the Publications space, but if you want to include your motivation for writing the review articles, that's fine. Based on my understanding of your intent, Yes, the hypothesis bit is a bit much.

OK. I have made those changes. Thank you!
 
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