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Importance of publications for grad school?

  1. May 31, 2005 #1
    WARNING: Long spiel ahead full of boring personal details. Skip to (***) for the question I have.

    With the beginning of the Fall term, I'll be in the fourth year of a five year undergraduate program in Engineering Physics in the Engineering school and Philosophy and Mathematics in liberal arts. Actually, I'm not entirely sure about the Mathematics major -- I might choose to take grad courses in physics instead -- but the point is that I have two years remaining.

    I'm getting nervous because, with two years remaining, I don't have any publications. Some of my friends do, and -- with all modesty -- I consider myself more academically talented than them, but with a 3x major I pack as many credits as I can into the normal academic terms, leaving no time for research. However, I devoted the previous two summers to research; after freshman year, I worked in a Semicon lab in the Physics dept, and after sophomore year I did a physics REU at a state research university like the one I attend. Very soon I will be starting a materials REU at an Ivy League. I didn't expect that I'd get anything as a freshman, but I was a bit disappointed that my first REU didn't result in a co-authorship.

    I asked a Physics prof about this, and she pointed out that the ten weeks afforded by REU programs is hardly enough time to get very much done. Fair enough; perhaps I should have chosen to stay at the SC lab. I have registered for a year long research course in which I will meet departmental requirements by completing a design/research project. I really hope to parlay this into a publication, and I'm biting my nails about getting into a QCD research group to do computational work, which I would prefer to the lab work I hitherto have done. I love mathematics and theory, but I'm a bit of a klutz and I don't have the dexterity (or patience, but I'm working on that) to be really, really good at experimentation. However, it seems like most of the UG research opportunities involve experimental work.

    (***) All of this leads to this question: What if I don't have any publications by the Fall of fifth year, when I plan on taking the GREs and applying to grad school? Is a publication record a virtual requirement for top ten or fifteen grad schools -- I think I want to do CM or maybe QCD -- or is mere research experience all that is necessary, which I'll have quite a bit of? My GPA is nearly perfect, and I'll study like a madman for the Physics GRE, but my lack of publications has me looking at law school. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a researcher if I can't get anything.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2005 #2

    Astronuc

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    Don't worry about the publications. Just apply to several physics programs. If you really want to do physics, then to that. If you really want to practice law, then do that.

    Research is good in the sense that it shows you are capable.

    Regarding publications, talk to your faculty advisor or professor with whom you will be doing the materials REU about the possibility of publication.
     
  4. Nov 25, 2008 #3
    I have completed my four year bachelors degree program from India.
    By this time i have only managed to publish just a single paper within WSEAS transactions proceedings.

    I wish to pursue masters from sweden. Would this prove to be beneficial as far as admission is concerned in top universities or schools ?

    Regards.
     
  5. Nov 25, 2008 #4
    How would a publication not be beneficial?
     
  6. Nov 26, 2008 #5
    Sorry, but with complete modesty, I seriously dont know how much importance just one publication might hold. As after my Bachelors of Engineering, I have just managed a single publication.

    1.) Can you elaborate its significance please as I might be quite ignorant to know it ?

    2.) Also does anybody here know how much significance WSEAS publication holds ?

    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  7. Nov 26, 2008 #6
    Plz guys and gals and ofcourse any seniours here, help me quench thirst to my query....710 views and no reply !!!!!!

    I am really having no idea and thereby cannot accompain a wise decision for and after publication.

    So, please guide me by answering the query mentioned in the above post.

    Regards.
     
  8. Nov 26, 2008 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    Jimmy, I'm afraid demanding an answer on a timescale is not likely to make you many friends.

    Since we don't have your publication in front of us, I'm afraid there is no way we can judge its significance. That's probably why nobody responded to you. Within your 5 hour window.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2008 #8
    Thanks for making me aware of my mistake. I was asking this question as I cannot determine the significance of my publication considering my admissions for masters program in EE or Physics in Sweden.

    The publication was substantially scrutinized and peer reviewed for the selection. I also got the reviewers comments as to revise my paper after its selection.

    For more about publications, I am providing the link : http://www.wseas.org/conferences/2008/bucharest/cgb/

    Still my transactions are yet to arrive but atleast this website can give u an idea of its significance (which I am not able to determine).

    By the way, paper was written over the topic of GLOBAL WARMING effects and to eradicate them employing engineering basics and technology.It was a paper which technically proved, atleast in theory, how the concepts of engineering can be of help in solving the problem of global warming by being able to generate ozone in the ozone layer. It involves the concept of "potential difference", "duct wave propagation" and "an experiment conducted to prove the research" as a part of engineering/technical basics and chemistry insights as to how chemical reactions involved can generate ozone as a compensation for lost ozone layer.

    If still it seems that I am still reluctant in informing you something which I should inform you, I but havent, please feel free to point that out. I am quite novice to this kind of forum an posting stuff.

    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  10. Nov 28, 2008 #9
    Dear friends,

    Relying on the data given above please can anybody give their thoughtful feedback.

    I wish to pursue masters from sweden. Would this prove to be beneficial as far as admission is concerned in top universities or schools ?

    Can you elaborate its significance please as I might be quite ignorant to know it ?

    Also does anybody here know how much significance WSEAS publication holds ?
    For more about publications, I am providing the link : http://www.wseas.org/conferences/2008/bucharest/cgb/
     
  11. Nov 28, 2008 #10

    f95toli

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    I don't think it will matter at all. The system in Sweden (and most of Europe) and very different to the system in the US in that you are definitely not expected to publish anything until you are actually a grad student (and even then not usually until you second year or so). This is of course to some extent simply due to the fact that you are not actually given the chance to do any indepentent research until your final year master project.
    I don't know of anyone who had published anything before starting the masters program at my university(and that includes the international students I studied with)
    Granted, I don't know exactly what they will look for in applications from abroad (I am Swedish) but I can't imagine it being very important.

    Why don't you simply contact the universities you are interested in an ask?
     
  12. Nov 28, 2008 #11
    But wouldnt it be a bit awkward to ask the university that whether my admissions will get affected or not ?

    On the otherhand, as you had said, none had published anything before starting the masters program at your university. So, wouldnt that be a point in my favour as I have published, I suppose, in one of the Internationally reputed proceedings ? Ofcourse, I had also performed a year long experiment to prove my theory......

    Please pardon me if my statement hurts anybody and do give your opinions too......I think this goes for all of us too rather than only me !!!!
     
  13. Nov 28, 2008 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    This isn't a publication. It's a proceedings. It's a write up of a talk you gave, not an article in a peer-reviewed journal.
     
  14. Nov 28, 2008 #13
    Please have a look at the following link for an example of the WSEAS proceedings.

    http://www.wseas.us/e-library/conferences/2008/corfu/mnw/mnw00.pdf

    I think Vanadium 50, you might be correct but under the link given on page 3 it clearly states,

    "All papers of the present volume were peer reviewed by two independent reviewers. Acceptance was granted when both reviewers' recommendations were positive.
    See also: http://www.worldses.org/review/index.html

    World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society"

    Modestly speaking, what do you suggest ? Are the papers given here can be termed "publication" or not ?
     
  15. Nov 28, 2008 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    I see. You not only want answers right this minute, but you want these answers to tell you what you want to hear.

    Conference proceedings are not considered publications.

    That said, the "World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society" has a terrible - indeed quite possibly the worst - reputation for spamming anyone and everyone for low quality conferences where, for a fee, anyone can puff up their CV.
     
  16. Nov 28, 2008 #15
    Thanks man !!!!

    Didnt knew about WSEAS thing. Its just that I might have been a bit excited about it.

    Sorry for troubling you.

    Regards.
     
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