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Thread: publication before PhD?

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    publication before PhD?

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    How much of publication at a say, second-tier journal help for PhD admissions in economics? My advisor thinks it's worth a shot, and I might try to publish my senior thesis (or hopefully at least R&R) before applying to PhD programs.

    If you have any thoughts on this, it would be great if you could share!

    (Just for a reference, here is my previous profile evaluation: https://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econ...valuation.html)

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    Re: publication before PhD?

    What do you consider a second-tier journal? Give us approximate RePEc ranking range.

    My advisers talked me out of publishing anything pre-PhD, saying that in six years I'll be ashamed of these pubs anyway (even if now they look good) and will hide them from my CV during the job market As to whether low-tier pre-PhD pubs help in the admission process, the answer is that they won't hurt, but you might as well just send them as writing samples.

    That's what I did, and it actually played out great because I've been asked multiple times about my writing samples during interviews (I've applied to econ groups at business schools that, due do smaller target cohorts, usually conduct interviews), which means that the adcoms at least had a glimpse at them.

    That said, If you really want to establish some presence, try sending your thesis to a working/discussion paper series instead. Here is the comprehensive list of them EconPapers: Working Paper Series

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    Re: publication before PhD?

    Quote Originally Posted by steaman View Post
    What do you consider a second-tier journal? Give us approximate RePEc ranking range.

    My advisers talked me out of publishing anything pre-PhD, saying that in six years I'll be ashamed of these pubs anyway (even if now they look good) and will hide them from my CV during the job market As to whether low-tier pre-PhD pubs help in the admission process, the answer is that they won't hurt, but you might as well just send them as writing samples.

    That's what I did, and it actually played out great because I've been asked multiple times about my writing samples during interviews (I've applied to econ groups at business schools that, due do smaller target cohorts, usually conduct interviews), which means that the adcoms at least had a glimpse at them.

    That said, If you really want to establish some presence, try sending your thesis to a working/discussion paper series instead. Here is the comprehensive list of them EconPapers: Working Paper Series
    Thanks for your input! Any other thoughts would be appreciated

  4. #4
    Eager!
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    Re: publication before PhD?

    I believe it is a good thing if you have problems signaling how good you are (you come from an uknown university or if your advisors dont have good networks). But I suppose that a publication is most valuable in order to be accepted to a top 40 program rather than making a difference to get into a top 10.

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    Re: publication before PhD?

    A decent publication is helpful but, as suggested above, that depends on what you think of as a second-tier journal. I often see applicants (frequently international applicants) talking about publication in a journal that is sufficiently low that it illustrates they don't understand the system.

    Also, most working paper series are limited to people with an appropriate affiliation. You can send a paper to SSRN if you want it to be visible, but doing so won't help on admissions.

  6. #6
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    Re: publication before PhD?

    my advisor said something in the line of Economics Letters.. how much of an impact would the publication here have? (assuming it works out.. which is unlikely)

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    Re: publication before PhD?

    An article in Economics Letters would definitely help. You should understand that acceptance rates at Economics Letters are probably under 20 percent.

  8. #8
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    Re: publication before PhD?

    Judging from your profile (and the private messages you sent me), I don't think a second-tier publication will help your admissions prospects in any meaningful way.

    Your senior co-authors will likely already have a good gauge of the quality of the project, and the main difference (subject to chance) is whether the paper becomes "R&R" or "forthcoming" in a second-tier journal. Adcoms know that some papers take multiple submissions to get recognized, whereas other papers may get incorrectly accepted into a journal due to negligent peer reviewers. This isn't a strong signal in either way. The clearest signal is that you are a reliable RA for the project.

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