GLSI Blog » GLSI Provides Opportunities to Suggest Research and Get to Know Professors

GLSI Provides Opportunities to Suggest Research and Get to Know Professors

Virtual classes, synchronous or asynchronous, have become the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the limited opportunities these classes offer for students to connect with professors, research at all levels is an even more important way for pre-med and medical students, residents and fellows to get to know instructors. 

In addition to traditional research avenues, students can use their creativity and initiative to turn class work into submissions for the Global Library of Scientific Images (GLSI), thus generating their own research projects. A histology slide or set of slides from a lab might make a good GLSI submission. Students can approach professors for advice on how best to present the slide as a scientific submission for publication. Alternatively, a student can reach out to the professor and ask for advice on which images they might publish together on the GLSI website. Even if a lab is with a graduate assistant and the class is large, the undergraduate or medical school student can still contact the professor directly either via email or during office hours (virtual or in-person) to discuss research and publication.

These more focused and less labor intensive projects offer an opportunity for students to not only get published and build a relationship with their professors but to also build a higher profile within the academic department as a student who takes initiative. Then, when it’s time to apply to medical school, or for a residency or fellowship, the student has professors to call on for recommendations.

 Instructors also benefit from being published and working with students on smaller research projects. Having students publish is a credit to a professor’s teaching ability. Getting to know a student, particularly one who takes the initiative to establish a relationship and suggest research, makes writing a good recommendation more natural. 

Students who are involved in professor-led research can look for GLSI publication opportunities as well. Since the pandemic has forced many of these studies to be scaled down or performed either across multiple lab sites or virtually, there might be opportunities to publish a portion of a project or a project that is too small for a traditional journal on the GLSI website. Again, students can reach out to professors about how they can collaborate to submit images to the GLSI site. 

During the pandemic, a publication credit on the GLSI site can be an even greater asset in the application process. With opportunities for students to stand out more limited due to pandemic-induced changes to the MCAT, interviews and onsite visits, a publication credit sets an applicant apart.

Students of all levels should remember that submissions to the GLSI site are reviewed by an editorial board comprised of experts in their fields. In order to submit an image or video for peer review, you must first register on the GLSI website. Registration is free and open to anyone age 16 or older. Once registered, you can submit your images and the editorial board will then alert you as to their appropriateness for publication. After being registered with GLSI, you also have access to all GLSI images and are licensed to use the content.