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Journal for undergrad poli sci research begins

Brian McKenzie | Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beyond Politics, a new undergraduate research journal targeted at a broad audience of politically-interested readers, has begun accepting submissions.

John Lentz and Greg Wagman, the editors-in-chief, said the journal will broaden the appeal for undergraduate research and make it easier for students to get published. Wagman stressed that anyone could submit to the journal, regardless of major, and that the research did not necessarily have to be pure political science.

“We aim to publish outstanding undergraduate relevant to politics, which could include sociology and other disciplines,” he said.  

The journal will accept submissions between 10 and 25 pages. Lentz said that shorter pieces could appeal to a wider audience.  

“As it is, people aren’t reading undergraduate research,” Wagman said.  “Getting people to read this is the critical angle for us.”

Lentz said their objective was to create something more than “a typical research journal.” Beyond Politics will feature a political cartoon contest, campus polls on the 2008 presidential campaign and attractive cover art, he said.

“I think that a lot of non-political science majors will be interested,” he said.  

Professor Dan Lindley, the journal’s faculty advisor, said the student-run journal would “work to select articles that should represent the best of undergraduate research.”

Though the Journal of Undergraduate Research already accepts research submissions in political science, it publishes only one, Lindley said.

“Political Science has 600 [undergraduate] majors,” he said.  “I think we deserve and can sustain our own journal,” he said.

Lindley said he has been looking into having a political science undergraduate research journal throughout the eight years he has spent at Notre Dame.

Professor Sebastian Rosato, another faculty advisor to the journal, said “the founders recognized that the probability of getting published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research is very low. This provides more opportunities for publication,” he said.

Publication was important because it “gives students a taste of academic life,” he said.

By providing undergraduates with another outlet for publication, the journal could encourage students to make more submissions, he said.

“It raises the profile of political science as a subject instead of a gateway to law school or business school,” he said.

If the journal reaches a high enough quality, it could also inform the campus about current events, he said.

The journal is funded by the College of Arts & Letters, the department of political science and Professor James McAdams. Lentz said McAdams “has been a strong advocate for undergraduate research.”

The journal will accept submissions until Feb. 10.  It will be published later in the semester.

Wagman said Beyond Politics’ peer-review process is blind, meaning that the editors would not know who submitted each manuscript. That helps ensure that each submission is fairly evaluated based on content, style and the quality of research, he said.

The website for Beyond Politics is beyondpolitics.nd.edu