Note to students: If you are working with a faculty mentor in Honors or Emerging Scholars programs, please always check in with your mentor before sharing your work.
Exceptional work by undergraduate students, done for class or for independent research, often goes unnoticed, but in the professional academic world, research is not finished until its results are shared with others. With an increasing emphasis in universities on undergraduate research experiences, many 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. It illustrates the high quality of undergraduates' scholarly work, whether it is traditional data-based activity, literature reviews, or historical research. 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.
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. It increases students' success in life following graduation. The amount of time and focus required to prepare a research paper for publication prepares students for other difficult, yet rewarding tasks they will face throughout their lives.
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 promotes discussion in the undergraduate community to which they belong.