Evaluating grad schools by number of papers written

tweetie_brid
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 7:59 pm

Evaluating grad schools by number of papers written

Postby tweetie_brid » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:35 pm

Hello,

I was trying to evaluate different grad schools by number of papers typical grad students write.

I came across Ohio state which says its grad students will typically write between 8 and 15 papers.

Is it important the number of papers you write in grad school?

How many papers do grad students typically write?

When getting selected for postdoc fellowhips is the number of papers written important?

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Evaluating grad schools by number of papers written

Postby TakeruK » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:21 pm

For those that want to go on in academia, I think this is important, but not the only important thing grad students should be doing to help them get academic jobs.

The number of papers students write can vary a lot from different subfields of physics. I think the most important metric is the number of first author papers authored by the student, not just co-author listings (which are also good, but not the same weight!). I think that 8 to 15 first-author paper is way higher than normal, so I am guessing this might mean co-authored papers. This might be normal if the grad student is a core member of an experimental team and is included in every paper published by that team.

I feel that it's more common for grad students to write between 3 to 5 first author papers during their PhD (more at the end). Many schools will accept a thesis that is composed of 3-5 first author papers that the student had written during their graduate school career.

Finally, for the purposes of evaluating prospective grad schools, you should look at the quality/type of paper that grad students write, not just the number. Looking at the papers that are being published by grad students with a certain professor is a good way to gauge how productive students with that professor and what kind of work you might do. Note that group dynamics might vary a lot from prof to prof, so it's probably more important to look at potential supervisor more closely than students from the school in general. Also, paper publication is not uniform -- students will tend to write a lot more near the end, so make sure you are looking at the papers of the senior students, or previous students.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Evaluating grad schools by number of papers written

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:54 pm

tweetie_brid wrote:When getting selected for postdoc fellowhips is the number of papers written important?


Well of course it is important and even more-so in any research based job. However, even though they will make an impact on your post-doc outcomes, your ability to display a clean and clear resume, a well written cover letter, and communicate effectively during the application/selection process (interviews etc.) will play a significant role too. You shouldn't get the mindset that papers will get you jobs. Even though they will get your foot in the door, your communication skills will probably help you land the actual position. Maybe not in all cases, but quite a few.

TakeruK wrote:For those that want to go on in academia, I think this is important, but not the only important thing grad students should be doing to help them get academic jobs.


It's unfortunate that most jobs in academia are highly based on ability to do research and not ability to do research AND teach. :)

-Riley

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Evaluating grad schools by number of papers written

Postby TakeruK » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:49 am

WhoaNonstop wrote:It's unfortunate that most jobs in academia are highly based on ability to do research and not ability to do research AND teach. :)

-Riley


Indeed :(




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