Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Student Researcher: Journal of Undergraduate Research

As students, its nice to know that people from different institutions from around the country come together and combine ideas about linking research and teaching. Neither of us were aware that conferences such as this existed, and we both feel honored to have contributed, especially being the only students present. This has allowed us to contribute a unique point of view, and has given us a lot of ideas that can be taken back and incorporated into our own projects. For example, the keynote speaker, Helen Walkington, shared her experiences with her own research journals and as an organiser of a departmental wide research conference, in which students present posters of their individual research. We found this idea inspiring and are in the process of discussing the logistics and possibility for a similar, university wide, student conference. However more meetings are yet to come for that. We also valued Helen’s and the other delegates kind words and advice for our own journal, The Student Researcher. The questions people had for us were at times unexpected but incredibly beneficial for us because it highlighted ideas and themes, and even problems, that we hadn’t discovered or discussed yet.

The Student Researcher, is Trinity Saint David’s first ever volume of the Undergraduate Research Journal, in which we aim to publish the best of undergraduate research. We believe that publishing undergraduate research is important and empowering to all undergraduates, because we feel that most undergraduates believe that publication is not within their reach at this level. We hope that it becomes a target that students can aim for, and aspire to, and we also hope that it will guide other students. The Student Researcher, has the potential to be an invaluable teaching and learning tool, something that is made by students, that both staff and students can use. TSD is a new university, created from both Trinity Carmarthen and Lampeter University, and we feel that The Student Researcher is the first thing to truly link both campuses together into one new institution, it introduces a new university for Wales which values research at all levels. 

Now that the first volume is done, work has quickly begun on the second edition of The Student Researcher. As third year students, our studies have become ever more important and difficult, and our role with the journal has increased. This year both of us will co-author the foreword and both of us have become head student editors for our respective campuses. This year we hope to see the editorial board grow, and we are hoping to see an increase of submissions from all departments across the university. The students we have spoken to have seemed enthusiastic about the whole idea of publication, and eager to learn how to submit their own papers or how to get involved. The students union has been absolutely amazing with their support and enthusiasm with promoting the journal, and we hope to strengthen links between the editorial board and all those involved in the process of journal creation. The first volume was a steep learning curve, and we have learned a lot from it and the mistakes within it, and we want to create an even better, even more impressive second volume.

We want to thank everyone again for the fantastic reception, and all the compliments. However we are ever learning and improving on the journal, and any feedback, questions, comments, or observations would be much appreciated.

Sarah Goodridge and Selina Ali