A group of University of Connecticut students have established a new publication dedicated to STEM research being conducted at UConn. The initiative seeks to provide a platform for student research that is accessible to all.
The Undergraduate Science Journal (USJ), a brainchild of the collaborative efforts between faculty members and enthusiastic students, aims to promote student research in science, technology, mathematics and the arts as well as offering editorial and publishing experience. The journal will be accessible online in an open-access format.
“One of our main goals is to make STEM as accessible as possible,” explained Ryan Durrell, a seventh-semester economics major and member of the journal. “…Even [people] who do not hold a strong STEM background can still have an understanding of the research being conducted.”
Any undergraduate student at UConn is eligible to submit their complete scientific research paper to USJ, pursuant to some slight guidelines and policies. According to the group’s webpage, every submission undergoes a “double-blind peer review process” by a committee of USJ student editors. Additionally, selected papers are reviewed by a board of faculty members from a variety of STEM concentrations including mathematics, cognitive sciences, chemistry and engineering among others. Submissions are scored on methodology, data, writing, scientific value and results presented.
“I’m looking to start a research study next year,” said John Burke, a third-semester communications major. “Having a journal like this will help student research get exposure.”
The mentorship aspect of USJ is designed not only to uphold the quality of the journal but also to provide valuable learning experiences for the students involved. The launch of USJ also aligns with UConn’s commitment to cultivating a research-centric environment that transcends traditional classroom boundaries. For student researchers like Emma Reynolds, a sixth-semester chemistry major, USJ represents an invaluable opportunity.
“Being published in a scientific journal is a dream for many students. It’s not just about the recognition but the chance to share your passion with a broader audience,” Reynolds remarked.
USJ also sponsors events for the student population, including a Writing in Research workshop to be held on Thursday, Nov. 9 in the Gant Science Complex. The event, open to all undergraduate students, will include multiple guest speakers and sessions to help students develop and improve writing and dialogue skills for scientific papers. Students will have the chance to learn about creating effective abstracts, strengthening credibility, figures and illustrations and learning about the review and publication process. The workshop will also include free food and time to work with multiple professors to review work.
For more information or to join, visit the Undergraduate Science Journal page on UConntact.