Why and how Master’s students should publish their research

This is an updated post from one I published a while back on my old blog at: http://wp.me/p22pR3-2F – as I’ve developed as a scientist, I thought it would be good to share these thoughts in the emergence of new information and experiences. The comments on the older post are worth a quick read. This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/2013/04/18/should-masters-students-publish-their-research/

In the UK, many if not most Master’s students do not publish their postgraduate research. I’ve been informed by several people that in US-based institutions, Master’s students are continuously encouraged to publish their material by their supervisors and institutions.

Two years ago, I undertook an MSc at the Natural History Museum in London. One of the requirements, as with most postgraduate courses, was to undertake a research-based thesis. Out of the 21 students, so far only a single person (Roland Sookias) has had their research published. I have been informed that from at least the previous two years, this is pretty much the normal rate of publication! In fact, during the entire year I studied there, not a single supervisor/lecturer even mentioned formal publication or how to even approach manuscript preparation. This is an essential skill that all students should be taught really, and at least in my academic experience has been mysteriously neglected, by both students and their respective supervisors and lecturers it seems. This is especially the case, I feel, for Master’s students who wish to progress in academia, particularly through PhD research. Papers are academic currency, and the sooner you start accumulating wealth, the better.

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Master’s Students: Publish Your Research!!

It has recently become apparent (to me) that Master’s students do not publish their research here in the UK, or at least not enough. I’ve been informed by several people that in US-based institutions, Master’s students are continuously encouraged to publish their material. This disparate state of affairs is something that requires addressing.

Last year I undertook an MSc taught entirely at the Natural History Museum in London. One of the requirements, as with most postgraduate courses, was to undertake a research-based thesis. Out of the 21 students, so far only a single person (Roland Sookias) has had their thesis published, and this just recently (1.02.2012). I have been informed that from at least the previous two years, not a single student on this course has published their thesis! In fact, during the entire year I studied there, not a single supervisor/lecturer even mentioned formal publication or how to even approach manuscript preparation. This is an essential skill that all students should be taught really, and at least in my academic experience has been mysteriously neglected, by both students and their respective supervisors and lecturers it seems.

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