"Important enough to show the world": Using Authentic Research Opportunities and Micropublications to Build Students' Science Identities

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Aug 22:2023.08.17.553701. doi: 10.1101/2023.08.17.553701.


Primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) often struggle to provide authentic research opportunities that culminate in peer-reviewed publications due to "recipe-driven" lab courses and the comprehensive body of work necessary for traditional scientific publication. However, the advent of short-form, single-figure "micropublications" has created novel opportunities for early-career scientists to make and publish authentic scientific contributions on a scale and in a timespan compatible with their training periods. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore the benefits accrued by eight undergraduate and master's students who participated in authentic, small-scale research projects and disseminated their work as coauthors of peer-reviewed micropublications at a PUI. In these interviews, students reported that through the process of conducting and publishing their research, they developed specific competencies: reading scientific literature, proposing experiments, and collecting/interpreting publication-worthy data. Further, they reported this process enabled them to identify as contributing members of the greater scientific community.

Keywords: CUREs; micropublications; science identity; scientific competency; undergraduate research.

Publication types

  • Preprint