As I’ve said a few times already, I’ve been working with this research group since my freshman year in Fall ’14. Midway through my sophomore year we published on the results I’d obtained during my first year of research. I was a co-first author on this paper, sharing the title with my mentor. I believe my PI felt I deserved this high amount on recognition on this paper because of the number of lab hours I’d committed to gathering the data that we presented in it, and because I had written the materials and methods sections (excluding the methods for the assays and techniques that our collaborators used). I am currently doing the last experiment needed for the paper we are about to write. My PI has this time asked me to write the methods as well as the introduction. The introduction will be quite a bit more challenging to author than the methods. A methods section is simple. It is a straightforward and detailed synopsis of the various techniques we used. The introduction requires a greater knowledge of the background of and the publications encompassing the project.
My PI has asked me to begin pulling literature relevant to our project so that I have a foundation of papers to write from. I am finding this to be unexpectedly challenging. Over the course of a few hours and several publication search engines, I have found only a handful of papers relevant to the project. For now my focus remains on the experiments at hand, but this issue will have to be tackled eventually.