I’m an undergrad involved in a research project with a professor that has potential to lead to a publication in a good journal. The field concerned is a relatively new field of biology and this project is completely voluntary. My work till now has been brunt work- monotonous, painstaking work. There’s more in the future just like that. My concern is that I don’t seem to be learning much. I don’t understand everything that’s going on. My advisor doesn’t seem too concerned to acquaint me completely. His attitude is this: This stuff is something beyond the scope of my understanding right now, so I shouldn’t be very worried.
On one hand that seems reasonable- I’m only an undergrad who obviously cannot understand everything that’s going on simply because I don’t have the background for it. But I’m not too eager to quit either because I know that a good publication in the undergrad level will have a huge impact on my chances of getting into grad school. On the other hand, if I don’t understand everything going on, what does a publication mean? It will be pointless I think to continue with this project just because it will boost my chances of getting into grad school (but I don’t know yet how easy or difficult it is to land a project and if I can just throw this away so easily).So the question is whether I should be continuing the project (since this is voluntary, I can quit anytime if I feel the need to).