How good is two papers in the astrophysical journal?

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How good is two papers in the astrophysical journal?

Post by InquilineKea » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:58 pm

When there are 30 coauthors and you're in the middle? And when it's a major paper with 112 citations (and increasing)? And how does it compare to writing a paper in something, but one that hardly got any citations at all? And how common is it among astrophysics undergrads?

Of course, being first author of any paper will really help. But in astrophysics, few papers these days get published without having numerous authors (in fact, there's a paper about how [over the last 10 years] the author count has tremendously increased on highly-cited astrophysics papers)

Obviously, it does depend on what you say in your personal statement, and what the professor says in his recommendation. But in the end, most recommendations/personal statements don't contain a huge amount of detail. See ... ord-cloud/, for example.

And you don't necessarily have to be exceptional to contribute to it. You just have to do something that's important for it (your inclusion could just come from making plots, for example).

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Re: How good is two papers in the astrophysical journal?

Post by bfollinprm » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:49 pm

2 papers is great. They're looking for you to have done something that shows you're dependable. Your PI (assuming he wrote you a letter) should have put a lot of thought into explaining your role, that's his job in recommending you (and I bet he did). As long as that review is positive, I don't think they'll care whether your 2/3 on a smaller paper or 30/100 on a larger paper.

I'd say its a fairly major accomplishment to have a paper out, regardless. It at least shows that you're going at it, and are dedicated to the field, which I think is the really important thing.

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