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Admissions PhD Application -- Is Publication to Smaller Journals necessary?

  1. Oct 5, 2016 #1
    This summer I did some research and had positive results but my part contributed to a small portion of the big grant. My PI told me we could submit to some "side" journals to get publications but I am not sure if this is necessary because the admission committees will see my poster I created anyways, just not in the form of a paper.
    Should I bother my PI to let him help me publish?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2016 #2
    Publication is the entire goal of research. It's how you communicate with other scientists and share your results. A poster is not on the same level at all.
  4. Oct 5, 2016 #3
    This makes very much sense. Thank you.
  5. Oct 5, 2016 #4


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    Science Advisor

    Necessary, no.
    Worth the bother, yes.
  6. Oct 6, 2016 #5
    Posters are soon forgotten. Publications endure for future generations to benefit from.

    Was your research just for you, or a real contribution to science?
  7. Oct 6, 2016 #6


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Publications really help in grad school admissions, and you want to publish in respected peer reviewed journals like one of the APS Physical reviews.
  8. Oct 7, 2016 #7
    It was for a grant. Not just for me. I just talked to my PI and he said it is on his to do list but now they need to work on the actual paper first.
  9. Oct 7, 2016 #8
    Agree. But now it doesn't look like I can secure one by the time I submit my applications. Oh well.
  10. Oct 7, 2016 #9
    My view is to publish when you can, especially if your adviser thinks you have a worthy work product. If you publish the work, somewhere down the road it will save someone the effort of reinventing everything from scratch. They can build on where you left off instead.
  11. Oct 7, 2016 #10
    Eventually I will (I hope he meant it haha). Now it is just a waiting game for him and the other PI have a decent start on the actual paper for the whole grant.
  12. Oct 7, 2016 #11
    No doubt that Phys Rev is the top tier. But I tend to think any peer-reviewed publication is better than none when applying to grad schools.

    And even if the time is too short to get it accepted and in print, get it submitted and posted to arXiv. List it on your application as "under review" and post the link to the eprint at arXiv. It will give interested parties an idea of what you have done.
  13. Oct 7, 2016 #12
    Any though to writing the first draft yourself. We have high school students and undergrads prepare the first draft of papers and the figures all the time. It greatly speeds the time to submission when the faculty contributors just have to edit and polish rather than starting from scratch. And having your adviser say that you actually wrote the paper is huge.
  14. Oct 7, 2016 #13
    I did put effort into the work, made my poster at the end of the research experience, and so on, but I really doubt that I can write a decent paper to put into this ePrint archive because:
    1. My work is a small portion of the whole grant. It simply involves one set of data with no statistical confidence. It says that the current device that we were using was no good towards what we are trying to accomplish.
    2. I am aware of the general direction of this grant but not sure about the details as I never had access to the grant proposal.
    3. I already contacted my PI about writing my own paper on my work and he wanted me to wait till they have a good start on the actual grant paper . If I "insisted" on doing this by writing the paper, even to the arxiv, he would probably think I am disrespectful of his opinion and a little annoying maybe?
    :H:H sigh....
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