As the end of the semester looms on the horizon and a month of Winter break awaits us, we have endless possibilities for how to utilize our time. Many of us will catch up on chores or take advantage of an uncommon occurrence – a period of relaxation. No matter how you plan to spend your break, however, I have an option for you to consider. You know that paper you’ve been working on this semester for your course? What if I were to tell you that I have a way for you to turn that assigned paper into a possible publication in a peer-reviewed journal? Too often, we complete coursework for the grade; then allow the document files to sit and age in our computers. There’s no better time than now to do something with those potential manuscripts, especially if it means the experience of working through the peer-review process while still in school!
The Student Research Journal – the School of Information at San José State University’s only double-blind peer-reviewed, open access journal – accepts submissions related to archives, library science, and information science whenever students are ready to submit. For those who have never heard of the SRJ, it’s a fully student-run graduate journal that publishes pieces written by students. (Note: Even if the editorial team doesn’t get back to the author to put their submission through peer-review until after they’ve graduated, they can still have their work published in the journal as long as they originally submitted their manuscript while they were a student!)
We encourage students who are currently enrolled in any graduate program to submit their critical essays, articles, book reviews, and evidence summaries to the SRJ. Submissions don’t have to be papers that were written for graduate courses, though that is certainly an option for those who have at least one folder of previous LIS-related essays (as many of us do!).
What does submission to the Student Research Journal mean? To begin, the author submits their paper. The Editor-in-Chief receives the manuscript, initially reviews it, and determines whether or not it meets the submission guidelines and is suitable for the SRJ. After that, the manuscript is either sent forward with a suggested timeline to the Managing Editor or is rejected. When the editorial team is ready to review it, the Managing Editor assigns a copy editor and two content editors to review the manuscript (as the term “double-blind peer-review” suggests). The editors’ notes are then sent back to the Managing Editor who drafts a consolidated review report (or the CRR), which is what the Editor-in-Chief sends back to the author.
Authors then will have the opportunity to revise their submissions using the notes from the editorial team. While some manuscripts may only need minor changes, others may require major revisions prior to publication; but this isn’t meant to discourage authors! In fact, authors should view this as an opportunity to learn and progress their writing skills. After the author finishes making revisions, they resubmit the manuscript to the journal. At this point, the manuscript may be ready for publication or it may need to go through peer-review one or more times – all part of the peer-review process.
If you’re convinced that submitting your work for review and possible publication in the Student Research Journal is right for you, please read through the journal’s aims and scope, format and content, and policies. We’re always looking for fresh perspectives and eager authors!
If you’re still wondering if submitting is worth your time, I highly encourage you to read the Student Research Journal’s latest issue to better understand the type of content that the SRJ publishes. Remember, in such a highly-competitive job market, it won’t do you any harm to make yourself stand out from others in any positive way that you can. Including a published article, book review, critical essay, or evidence summary on your resume may make all the difference when it comes down to analyzing the details. With time, effort, and dedication, you’ll be on your way through peer-review toward publication before earning your MLIS!