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Publications vs experience


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Hello everyone. 

I was discussing research with someone today,  and she was saying that getting experience in a diverse number of labs (while contributing something significant) is better than conducting research in fewer labs but actually getting my name on a publication.  Over the course of my undergrad,  I would have the potential to work in as many as 6 labs,  and as few as 3.  I have already been working in one this summer,  and I will be working in two labs during the fall and winter through research based project courses.  I could potentially jump ship to other labs next summer and during the following school year,  adding an additional 3 labs to my lab experience.  Which do you guys think would be more worthwhile?  

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Depends what your goal is. If it's just to get research on your CV for med school, 3 is more than enough to.show breadth, but you'll want a decent publication or at least presentation to show depth. No one is going to Give you more points for research because you were in six legs instead of 3. But they will take you more seriously if your research is actually productive.

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8 hours ago, garceyues said:

Hello everyone. 

I was discussing research with someone today,  and she was saying that getting experience in a diverse number of labs (while contributing something significant) is better than conducting research in fewer labs but actually getting my name on a publication.  Over the course of my undergrad,  I would have the potential to work in as many as 6 labs,  and as few as 3.  I have already been working in one this summer,  and I will be working in two labs during the fall and winter through research based project courses.  I could potentially jump ship to other labs next summer and during the following school year,  adding an additional 3 labs to my lab experience.  Which do you guys think would be more worthwhile?  

I personally wouldn't agree with the person you were talking to. Doing research in a few labs is valuable to understand how different labs operate, what your interests are, and to get a solid LOR. I don't see the value in doing research in 6 labs over 3 since you're likely to be less productive and make a smaller impact in each lab.

If I were you, I'd try to do research in a few labs to see which one suits you best, then pursue one lab heavily to get publications/posters/abstracts out of it. 

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