Exceptional work by undergraduate students, done for class or for independent research, often goes unnoticed, and research is not finished until its results are shared with others. With an increasing emphasis in universities on undergraduate research experiences, Undergraduate Research Journals offer undergraduate students the chance to complete the scientific process, including writing up the finished research, having it peer reviewed, and ultimately having it published in the scientific literature.
There are several reasons that undergraduate students should consider submitting their work to an Undergraduate Research Journal:
1. To illustrate the high quality of undergraduates' scholarly work. Scholarly work encompasses a broad range of investigation and includes more traditional data-based activity, as well as literature reviews and historical research.
2. Transmitting the results of one's scholarship through a printed medium requires development of formal, written communication skills. According to employers and professional and graduate school faculty, increasing undergraduates' written communication skills would make those students more attractive for employment and for admission to post graduate training or education. Journals provide an excellent opportunity for students to list a professional publication on their resume.
3. Increasing students' success in life following graduation. Because modeling can facilitate learning, showing students what their peers have accomplished should help to encourage ever widening circles of students to become engaged in and excited about research.
4. Undergraduate research is a vital component in education. The literature suggests that students take projects more seriously and learn more when the project is directed towards an external rather than an internal audience such as a class assignment.
5. Undergraduate research journals provide an incentive for students to write papers. Writing papers empowers students to share their knowledge with others and promote discussion in the undergraduate community to which they belong.
Undergraduate research not only bridges the gap between knowledge and experience but has the benefit of laying the groundwork for career exploration and development. The opportunity for undergraduates to publish in a national journal is an added value to the overall education experience and to the process of self-discovery. (Undergraduate Research Community)
Adapted from: Anaya, T. "Undergraduate Research Journals" UNL Libraries. University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.