how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

larry burns
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:12 pm

how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby larry burns » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:43 am

I've posted threads recently on this forum regarding applying to engineering for grad school, but I may consider physics if I change my mind within the next couple weeks and months

i tried to compare my stats with those in the 2008 and 09 profiles, but the profiles i matched the closest with usually had at least 1 publication or the people were authors of papers. I did an REU last summer in physics, but I dont think my prof ever mentioned our work was published and that I was an author of anything (I did type out a 5 page report summarizing my work, but I think that was just for my prof, and it wasn't submitted anywhere). However, I did type out the abstract and it was sent to the NSF.

other than that, only did 1 research project for a prof for a semester, and i definitely didnt publish anything.

btw, i wish to apply to grad schools in astronomy or atomic, molecular, and optical. I'm aiming for the top schools like MIT, caltech, berkeley, etc

Mataka
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Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby Mataka » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:03 am

A publication is worth a lot ! , a lot a lot !

They can look at your grades and GRE scores, but that only tell them if you are good at doing exams. What they really want to know is if you are good at research, and a publication speaks for itself. Of course it will help if you have good reference letters that tell how good a researcher you are, but it's still not as good as a publication, especially for top schools.

Are you an international student ? If you are an american you may not have to worry that much, I have seen americans on this forum getting into top schools with no publication at all, just good grades and good scores.

larry burns
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:12 pm

Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby larry burns » Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:12 pm

what exactly counts as a publication? my prof mentioned that when i was in the REU last summer, he submitted an abstract to APS with me and my lab partner as the two co-authors. does that count?

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grae313
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Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby grae313 » Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:58 pm

It's better than nothing, but in general a publication is an article in a peer-reviewed journal of science. A talk abstract counts for something, but is definitely not considered a publication. However, both say that you've done research, and that you have results that people care about. Grad schools know that doing publication-level work takes a long time and know better than to think a year's worth of good research always results in a publication. So do your best to get one but don't have a nervous breakdown if "all" you have is a talk abstract :wink:

Tosh
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Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby Tosh » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:31 pm

why you guys say publication, do you guys mean first author or just nth like 4th author count?

nathan12343
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby nathan12343 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:11 pm

As you might guess, first author looks better than nth author. Having no publications looks a lot worse, though.

Eupraxis
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Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby Eupraxis » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:38 pm

What if you've been acknowledged in a paper (not as an author, but as a significant contributor to the reserach). I helped with a PhD student's research for their thesis where I spent a few solid months programming a simulation to generate stochastic data and implement an algorithm. The simulation was essentially a "software experiment" that provided the data and results of several different gradient approximation schemes.

I didn't write the paper with him, and the paper already had 3 other authors (quite a bit for an applied math project). But, I was acknloweged in two papers related to the work: (1) His successful PhD dissertation, (2) The Proceedings of the 2003 Winter Simulation Conference. I have also seen this work available on IEEE Explore and other article databases.

Of course I will include this, as it is one of the more intense periods of research that I contributed to. But I wanted to know what kind of weight it will have.

Thanks!

pqortic
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Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby pqortic » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:51 am

Eupraxis wrote:Of course I will include this, as it is one of the more intense periods of research that I contributed to. But I wanted to know what kind of weight it will have.
Thanks!


it certainly won't be considered as a research paper for you but is a good evidence that you have extensive knowledge in that area (cuz to simulate a system you should understand it thoroughly) and you are familiar how to write a research paper.

geshi
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Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:01 am

Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby geshi » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:43 am

I've actually been interested in a related question. I'm first author on a paper that is in the review process. It passed the peer review, and I'm not sure exactly where it is in the process. I think my adviser was going to do some more data then publish it (I've graduated so I won't be doing this work). I asked my adviser about putting it on my CV. He said to put it on my CV with (under review) attached to it. I'm sure he's going to comment on the paper in the letter of recommendation he's writing me.

Does this under review publication on my resume actually help? Or will admissions people just roll their eyes and say "come back when it's actually published, thanks"? Obviously they wouldn't actually *say* this to me, I mean metaphorically speaking.

nathan12343
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: how much do publications weigh for grad school admissions?

Postby nathan12343 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:32 am

geshi wrote:I've actually been interested in a related question. I'm first author on a paper that is in the review process. It passed the peer review, and I'm not sure exactly where it is in the process. I think my adviser was going to do some more data then publish it (I've graduated so I won't be doing this work). I asked my adviser about putting it on my CV. He said to put it on my CV with (under review) attached to it. I'm sure he's going to comment on the paper in the letter of recommendation he's writing me.

Does this under review publication on my resume actually help? Or will admissions people just roll their eyes and say "come back when it's actually published, thanks"? Obviously they wouldn't actually *say* this to me, I mean metaphorically speaking.


It means something. I think the standard thing to say is 'in preparation' if it hasn't actually been submitted yet.

I had one publication like that when I applied and it came up during the Skype interview I had with UCSC.




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