Undergraduate journals, and to a lesser extent undergraduate conferences, have received mixed reviews. Those who publish or sponsor them sometimes lack a clear conception of their purpose and I have too often heard faculty members say that an article worth publishing is worth publishing in a “real” journal. I have argued that there is a legitimate place for these journals and conferences and that the main reason that we tend not to take them seriously is that we don’t take them seriously.
The following links get you to resources that are about undergraduate journals or conferences. Papers about how and why to use these venues, articles that assess the value of journals and conferences to undergraduates, assessments of their familiarity or reputation in the academic community — these are some of the many kinds of postings of interest to us on this page. If you know of such an article and would like to see it posted via a link to this page, please send it via an e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org .
» Undergraduate Student Journals: Perceptions and Familiarity by Faculty, FERRARI and DAVIS. An interesting, negative, assessment of faculty familiarity with, and regard for, undergraduate journals. Primary target: journals in psychology.
» Electronic Undergraduate Research: A Survey of Their Characteristics, ARIEL RENO. A survey of 41 undergraduate journals identifying key characteristics. Only some journals included in the study accept submissions from undergraduates not affiliated with the publishing institution.
» Undergraduate Student Research Journals: Opportunities for and Benefits from Publication, WARE and BURNS. Reviews the benefits of student research culminating in publication in undergraduate journals. While the discussion is limited to research in psychology, most of the insights are applicable to a broad range of disciplines.
» A Case Against Undergraduate-only Journal Publications, GILBERT. Many arguments against undergraduate journals are cited, some relevant only to cell biology or the sciences. The article reminds us of the need to be clear about the mission and assessment of such journals and our rationale for recommending that our students submit manuscripts to them.