Tips for getting involved in research and getting published
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Tips for getting into research and getting published

Pre-Clinical students:

Essay competitions
Outside of your studies, a good way to increase your chances of getting published is through entering essay competitions. These are run throughout the academic year and some offer cash prizes along with publications for the winning entry. You can find examples of essay competitions on websites of the Royal Colleges, or by typing in ‘medical student essay competition’ on Google.
SSCs, QIPs and Audits
Completing a student selected component gives you the opportunity to carry out a research project under supervision. You can ask your supervisor for support and guidance on the best approach to get your research published. Quality improvement projects and Audits are good, supervised options more common in later years.
Intercalated degrees
Depending on your medical school, your intercalated year may take part in the pre-clinical or clinical stage. During your intercalated degree, there will be time dedicated to carrying out a research project. This could be either a library or lab-based project. This experience will be supervised by an expert in that field and these are the best people to advise on getting your work published. To pursue further interests in research, it would be a great idea to ask them if they require assistance from a keen medical student, such as yourselves, on their current research. This is a great way of further developing a passion you may take on further in your clinical years.  



Clinical students:


If you found a speciality that spurred your interests beyond the clinic/ward, definitely email or talk to the clinicians you meet. Enquiring about research opportunities, because you are interested in the speciality, is a great way to find projects to assist on, that add value to your development. Additionally, if you have concepts that you wish to explore further through research, enquire whether they can support you in this.


Academic research societies or summer internships  
Check out academic research societies that may exist at your university, or research programmes that your university may offer. These often host pre-existing research projects for you to sign up to.  Alternatively, you can look for summer research internships which exist across the UK.


To make this process even easier for yourself, be sure to register with Remarxs!

It does not matter whether you are a pre-clinical or clinical student looking to pursue research. Remarxs is here to help make this process easier for you. Check out; we have lots of different types of research projects to offer. Many are hosted by researchers who already have numerous publications and therefore they are key sources of support to aid your research development. Publications are almost guaranteed with some projects, providing the work is completed to a high standard.



Why should you publish?
Many students aim to publish their research work to improve their medical CV, which is understandable. However, it is important to highlight the skills that can be developed from carrying out research and publishing your findings. A publication demonstrates interest and commitment to a field, and there are often lots of technical challenges to overcome and learn about. Many academic clinicians we spoke to suggest that students should be looking to pursue their passion or interests in a subject. Therefore, adding value to the medical literature, the scientific community and potential patient care.

How should you publish?
When your research is complete, think about what area it falls under and which journals publish that – for example, Oncology journals tend to only publish research within Haematology or Oncology fields. Journals within each field are also ordered in terms of their impact factor. Generally, the higher the impact factor, the more difficult it is to publish in that journal.
Publications can exist in different formats, so it is important to look into this. Some journals will publish case studies, posters, and letters to the editor whereas others do not. Make sure your research is in the format that the journal will accept.
Similarly, research any submission requirements associated with the journal. Some have specific word counts and a maximum number of references that must be adhered to. Ensure that your research meets these requirements before submitting to avoid instant rejection.
Only submit your research to one journal at a time. Submitting to multiple could result in issues with copyright which could impact your publication. Wait to hear a response from one journal before moving onto another.

Final thoughts

Publications come in time. Clinical and academic advice states that producing good quality work that you are interested in and proud of, rather than chasing a point(s) for your CV, is fundamental. Additionally, clinicians/academics often say they do not want to supervise students who are only interested in getting their name on a paper, they would want to develop another curious mind that has an interest in their speciality.



Authors: Melissa Truman & Benjamin Zuckerman



Originally published 29 July 2020 , updated 29/07/2020

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