Student Journals offer learning opportunities

By Kara Haight | 11/25/12 5:55pm

Grand Valley State University’s repertoire of student publications grows every year with the help of the school’s 13 student journals.

The various journals can be found on GVSU’s ScholarWorks website, managed by Sarah Beaubien, who also serves as the scholarly communications outreach coordinator in the GVSU Libraries.

Some journals have a regional focus, like the Language Arts Journal of Michigan and the Seidman Business Review. Other journals have a national or international focus, like Online Readings in Psychology and Culture and Journal of Tourism Insights. Beaubien said the website also features student-run journals like Fishladder, McNair Scholars Journal and the Grand Valley Journal of History.

While Beaubien oversees the 13 journals, the editors of each journal work closely with their publications.

“The editors make all of the publication decisions and run the day-to-day operations of the journal,” Beaubien said, adding that each journal has its own submission guidelines and review process.

Jeremiah Cataldo, assistant professor of history in the Frederik Meijer Honors College, is the faculty adviser for the peer-reviewed Grand Valley Journal of History.

“It provides space for an interdisciplinary conversation by encouraging student authors from across disciplines to submit their works,” Cataldo said.

Hollie McDonald, editor-in-chief of the Grand Valley Journal of History, said all submissions are edited by two editors and then sent to faculty for more reviewing.
“The entire process is ‘double blind,’ meaning neither the author nor the editors know the identities of the others,” McDonald said.

The Journal of History is available to all majors as long as the work can be related to the study of history, Cataldo said, adding that the Journal of History is unique because the production of the journal is linked to a credited course.

“Student editors cultivate important skills in research, editing, collaboration, and interpersonal communication,” Cataldo said.

The student editors that work on the journal must be prepared and equipped with a wide range of skills, which are valued by employers and graduate schools that “tend to view published applicants favorably,” Cataldo said. “Editors must be prepared to critically evaluate and assess a broad range of works related to the study of history and develop a proficiency in communicating the journal through an equally broad range of mediums, from professional letter writing to social media to other creative avenues.”

McDonald also stressed the importance of the journal’s student-publishing feature, adding that it is a tangible example of students’ dedication to their undergraduate work. “The journals give undergraduates an opportunity to publish their works pre-graduate programs,” she said. “The journal is reputable, and very similar to the process students in graduate programs, or even beyond that, undergo.”

GVSU also offers a class aligned with the Journal of History.

“The History Journal (class), currently listed as a 380 course, helps the students in the class flex their editing muscles, but also allows them to explore marketing and advertising skills,” McDonald said.

Beaubien said the main goal of all the journals is to offer the chance for student writers to publish their research and work.

“An author contributing to one of our journals has the opportunity to share his/her work, to participate in the scholarly activity of a discipline and to have an impact in their field of study,” Beaubien said.

GVSU is currently in the process of adding three more journals to the ScholarWorks collection, Beaubien said. Its collection of journals can be found at
Students interested in publishing their work should contact

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