An appetite for success
In September, the inviting scents of garlic and melted cheese led students to “Pizza and Publications,” an introduction to open access journals through the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication department. Organized by Open Publishing Librarian Matt Vaughn, who specializes in open access (OA) scholarly journals, the event featured students and faculty engaged in some of the OA journals published by IU Libraries.
Joining an open journal has benefits. Vaughn explains, “For students, gaining experience in scholarly research and academic publishing can be a tremendous advantage in pursuing their career goals. Practical training in managing peer review and copy editing familiarizes students with the publishing process, and this familiarity can make pursuing publication seem less intimidating and more achievable.”
Vaughn is currently onboarding a new graduate student journal, the Indiana University Journal of Black Student Experience (IUJBSE), which hopes to post its first call for papers soon.
Open journals published by IU Scholarly Communication
Perhaps the most well-known OA journal on campus is the Indiana University Journal of Undergraduate Research (IUJUR). Supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, IUJUR is run by undergraduates. Muntu Munaf, sophomore and co-editor-in-chief, shared that the journal is interdisciplinary and fosters student-faculty relationships. He added that the journal offers a prestigious opportunity for publication, plus it looks good on a resume. While the submissions are accepted on a rolling basis, the periodical comes out annually in the spring. They divide areas of research into four categories: Humanities, Natural Science, Applied Sciences, and Social Sciences.
During the forum, there were a few other OA journals sharing their story. Working on the Undergraduate Journal of Law & Disorder, Sophie Hand, co-president, said that they publish manuscripts focused on “learners with exceptionalities and the laws that govern them.” Each issue contains pieces from Indiana’s incarcerated youth as well.
An anthology journal to share with children
The World is Our Home is the journal of Indiana University’s IU Books & Beyond Project sponsored by the African Studies Program and the School of Education. Professor Beth Lewis Samuelson from the School of Education presented it to the forum. The annual anthology is the culminating work between IU students paired with groups of elementary students in Rwanda and Bloomington. Together, they draft, edit, illustrate, and write a short story. IU students then take the journal to Kabwende Primary School, where the IU Books & Beyond Project has built a library. The Rwandan students receive the journal along with books and other resources.
Not all journals are for manuscripts
A unique panelist in the “Pizza and Publications” forum sponsors The Journal for Undergraduate Multi-Media Projects (JUMP). IU English professor Justin Hodgson started the journal after receiving a remarkable video piece from a student. Hodgson asked, “What do we do with scholarly undergraduate work that doesn’t fit in a writing journal?” He wanted to create a place to celebrate such work, and JUMP was born. Currently, they are looking for interns. It is the first journal to publish an undergraduate video game. Unlike the others, it is not published by IUScholarWorks Journals, but maintains a site on WordPress.
Besides learning about the OA environment, being involved in publishing can hone your own research, editing, and collaborative skills. According to the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication department, “A commitment to open access ensures that knowledge and research will continue to contribute to progress and understanding about the world.” OA journals are not behind a paywall. Working on one of these journals makes students a part of the democratization of knowledge, one of the main goals of open access.