Fields: Journal of Huddersfield Student Research is now in its third year and potential authors are currently revising their work for publication in volume 3. The journal articles in Fields are in the University repository so it is possible to monitor the number of downloads. Looking at the download numbers for the two current volumes there appears to be ongoing interest the research carried out by the students. Volume 2 has already had more than 1,400 downloads since it was launched in January 2016.
It is important not to underestimate how much work it is for the students to return to their work, which they have submitted a while ago and possibly not considered since. One student commented on the process of revising their work.
‘It was not an easy task as I was required to alter some terminology and expand on explanations of certain topics in order to reach a larger audience. This took time, energy, and commitment but the fact that I really love what I was writing about helped a great deal. Being asked to rewrite also provided the opportunity to increase the scope of the work and engage with issues I had initially had to sidestep or ignore due to the constraints of the word count for the assignment. Again, this meant a bit more research and writing but I feel as though it was worth it.’
Writing retreat: supporting students to revise their work
In order to support students to revise their work for the journal requirements, the project team organised a writing retreat to offer students the opportunity to learn more about the Fields submission process, take time to rewrite and revise their work, introduce the idea of open access and ask any questions they might have about submitting their work.
‘The retreat was a great opportunity to refocus on my submission and to develop a better understanding of the standards expected for a successful Fields submission. Meeting fellow potential contributors to Fields and sharing the experiences/challenges in submitting to Fields was quite inspiring’
The two stage review process that Fields employs is rigorous and does require the students to engage with revisiting their work and address the feedback that they get from their School. The students, who did not make it into Fields despite undertaking revisions, were understandably disappointed. We did include suggestions for alternative dissemination options in the feedback but it was nevertheless tough for them. The students, who made it all the way through the process, were really excited about seeing their work published.
‘Having my research published in Fields has been the pinnacle of my achievements, particularly as I am a mature student working full-time with a young family. It has enabled me to finally believe in my own abilities as a writer and researcher, as well as raising my professional status in my workplace’
Read more about the process of setting up the Fields journal in a recent article:
Stone, Graham, Jensen, Kathrine and Beech, Megan (2016). Publishing undergraduate research: linking teaching and research through a dedicated peer reviewed open access journal. Journal of scholarly publishing, 47 (2). pp. 147-170. ISSN 1198-9742
Posted by Kathrine Jensen, Research Assistant, Teaching and Learning Institute. The Teaching and Learning Institute coordinates, evaluates and disseminates inspiring and innovative teaching and learning. Follow TALI on Twitter