Publish Early—An Invitation for Graduate Students
By Richard R.
You have finished your first year rotations and
joined a lab to pursue research on an exciting topic
in developmental biology. Perhaps you are in the
process of doing a literature review for your
thesis. Are you stumped when looking for a
sufficient review in your research area? Are you
working on a topic in which core emerging themes
have yet to be coalesced? Are there historical data
that would shed light on new ideas? As a graduate
student, this might be the perfect opportunity for
you to write that great review article.
There are multiple
reasons why this will benefit you and others. First,
this provides an opportunity early in your thesis
research to learn the primary literature. Second,
you will obtain great experience writing,
submitting, revising, and publishing a peer-reviewed
scientific manuscript. It also gives you an
opportunity to interact actively with your thesis
advisor. Third, it is a first author publication on
your CV. This will benefit you when applying for
fellowships or subsequent positions. Finally, a
well-written and clear review of the literature
benefits the journal that publishes the paper and
the readers interested in the topic.
Which journal should
you consider writing a review for?
Developmental Biology, of course! Marianne
Bronner, the Editor-in-Chief of Developmental
Biology, would be very interested in receiving
outstanding reviews from you on any topic in
If writing a review
is of interest to you, great! Before putting pen to
paper though, two hurdles must be overcome. First,
have a conversation with your graduate advisor. He
or she may have a very different opinion on where
your time should be spent as their trainee. If given
the green light by your advisor, move on to step
two. Send a presubmission inquiry to a
Developmental Biology editor to determine
whether there is interest in your topic. The editor
can also give good advice about refining your topic.
If the journal editors give you the green light to
proceed, congratulations! You are on your way to
providing a great resource for the developmental
biology research community.