I'm Getting Published in a Scientific Journal

<p>How much of a difference would getting published (being a co-author with a graduate student) in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, or Nano Letters (Ranked #10 and #15 out of all English language journals of any topic: <a href="http://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=top_venues&hl=en&vq=en"&gt;http://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=top_venues&hl=en&vq=en&lt;/a&gt;) make for me in terms of college admissions? Is this an accomplishment that would be seen as being on par with ISEF/RSI? </p>

<p>Not sure if it’s on par with ISEF/RSI, but it’s a nice feather in your cap and def. something to feature in your ECs.</p>

<p>Does anybody know if it would make a significant difference whether I’m the primary author or not?</p>

<p>Not sure if it makes a ‘significant’ difference, but it is worth noting. Usually it is assumed that the primary author made a greater contribution than the co-author(s).</p>

<p>Thanks! Can anybody else chime in?</p>

<p>Being a primary author is much more impressive than just being a co-author (it is much easier to co-author a paper).</p>

<p>With that being said, being a co-author of a published paper is by no means unimpressive. However, the extent to which it impresses also depends somewhat on the actual contributions made and the topic at hand.</p>

<p>Thanks @capitalamerica‌! The topic is using quantum dots in photoelectrochemical cells to oxidize water to produce Hydrogen, and I am/have made significant contributions to the project.</p>

<p>It’s a great accomplishment, but I don’t know that anyone can tell you ‘how much’. It should impress. But it is still just part of your whole package. It is silly to ask if you would do better as 1st author. You aren’t applying for grad school, and usually you don’t have a choice anyway. You can ask what if all day about things. Why don’t you wonder what if you had 2400/800/800/800? What if you had a legacy, hey? What then? See how useless?</p>

<p>@BrownParent, I was asking for something more specific than “how much does this help me”, I was asking how this might be seen in comparison to ISEF/Siemens/RSI. I understand that this is an arbitrary question, and there is no “how much” it helps me, but I would like to get a sense of how being published compares to the major achievements.</p>

<p>I don’t think any of us can answer your question. Suffice it to say that you have an impressive achievement. How it will compare to other student’s different achievements will lie in the eyes of each admissions officer and it will likely vary from person to person – from school to school. Be confident about who you are and what you have achieved and don’t worry about comparing it to others. </p>

<p>I think most of the research winning ISEF/Siemens are NOT at the level that can be published. Two/three years of research as a high school students that don’t yield enough data for a publication can easily win awards at science competitions. The goal of these competitions is to encourage scientific discovery in high school students, so they welcome projects that are conducted, designed, or written solely by the student. Level of contribution to the project is a part of the evaluation process. </p>

<p>With that said, for college admissions it is the same way. Co-authorship can easily come from parents having connections with a lab or PI and people in research understand this well. I think it’s what you did, what you understand about the project, how well and how enthusiastically you talk about it in essays and interviews that make a difference.</p>

<p>Thank you @HazelDormouse‌. I got this opportunity through pure initiative, I had cold emailed 25 professors across the country with personalized emails, cover letters, and my resume! I would say that I have a really high level of contribution, as I’m working with a first year graduate student who is brand new to this field, so it’s been a learning process for both of us.</p>

<p>Thanks happy1!</p>