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Research Guides

Student Journal Publishing

February 23, 2023 - Student Presentations & Career Panel


10:00-10:55am PST

11:00-11:55am MST

12:00-12:55pm CST

1:00-1:55pm EST

2:00-2:55pm AST

Working With Your Editorial Team - Training and Engagement: Student Presentations

A 15 minute question period will follow the presentations.

12:00-1:00pm PST

1:00-2:00pm MST

2:00-3:00pm CST

3:00-4:00pm EST

4:00-5:00pm AST

From student journal to a publishing career: A panel with scholarly publishing professionals on how to take your skills to the next level


  • Lois Jones, American Psychological Association
  • Maryknoll Linscott, Penn State College of Medicine
  • Nortina Simmons, J&J Editorial


  • Mariya Maistrovskaya, University of Toronto Libraries
  • Rebecca Benner, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society for Scholarly Publishing

Take a moment to reflect on the many skills you are acquiring as student journal editors, and how they could aid you in your future careers. This informal panel co-hosted with the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) brings together scholarly publishing professionals from different walks of life who are happy to share their career paths and answer your questions (so make sure to bring one or two).

1:00-1:05pm  PST

2:00-2:05pm MST

3:00-3:05pm CST

4:00-4:05pm EST

5:00-5:05pm AST

Closing Remarks and Gift Card Draw for Student Presenters

Stick around for the wheel spin and a chance to win a gift card for a vendor of your choice. 

The gift card draw is generously sponsored by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP).

Presentation Descriptions

Strategies for Reaching Students: Increasing Submission Rates for New Journals


  • Melissa Morris (she/her), University of Calgary

Journal: The Motley Undergraduate Journal

Based on BA Honours student Melissa Morris’ experience developing and running The Motley Undergraduate Journal, an open access, peer reviewed and edited journal created in partnership with the Department of Communication, Media, and Film studies at the University of Calgary, this presentation will discuss the various challenges faced in attracting submissions to a brand new journal. Throughout the presentation I will identify three primary challenges: cultivating a clear scope, creative submissions, and combatting student fatigue during the transition to in person learning. The presentation will then discuss strategies used to help combat these challenges and increase submission rates for the second issue of the journal.

Insight on the peer-review process: How does GHAR’s open-access policy allow for a unique peer-review process?


  • Maya Kshatriya (she/her), McMaster University
  • Aeda Bhagaloo, McMaster University

Journal: Global Health: Annual Review (GHAR)

The Global Health: Annual Review (GHAR) is a collaborative journal from the Global Health Office at McMaster University, run by students, staff, and alumni. GHAR is an open-access journal that provides a platform for the global research community to share their findings, insights, and views about all aspects of global health, including public health, environmental health, behavioural health, health policy analysis, education, health economics, medical ethics, globalisation, and health equity. As part of our open-access policy, we accept a variety of submissions including abstracts, summaries, opinion editorials, and full-length articles on research conducted from student scholarly papers, practicums, theses, and distinctively, the inclusion of narrative summaries and artwork as a part of our accepted submissions. In our past two issues, we refined our open-access policy to address the challenges experienced by peer reviewers in accessing resources to improve their critical thinking and recognizing their bias, through the inclusion of public workshops on the peer-review process, bias training, as well as navigating the critique of submissions that utilise unique research methods. Our peer-reviewers come from a variety of experiential backgrounds and we view this as a strength in reviewing submissions anonymously under consensus-based academic integrity standards/criteria developed for each type of submission. Our proposed presentation will include information on how our open-access policy has created a unique peer-review process (e.g. our reviewer responsibilities and reviewer training), and peer-review criteria development for the various types of submissions we accept to ensure high quality reviews (e.g. a description of our arts-based submission review criteria).

Developing Editor Training Criteria to Support Undergraduate Journals


  • Paige France (she/her), University of Toronto

Journal: University of Toronto's Journal of Scientific Innovation

This presentation will discuss the importance of editor support for an undergraduate initiative allowing writers to translate the work they have done within the classroom for an interdisciplinary scientific journal. The journal creates a network of student scientists who are communicating their research. As such, a network of good reviewers has been identified as imperative for student support during publication. Research was conducted through semi-structured interviews supplemented with a genre analysis of papers and documents produced in the publication process.

During our inaugural issue, a need for finding more support and training for editors surfaced as we worked through the editing stages, understanding that there were undoubtedly (admittedly) issues that impeded both the editing of the papers as well as the author-editor collaborations, crucial elements in mentorship and knowledge transfer between both groups.

After receiving content editing trackers from each of the editors, it was evident that the editors viewed commitment surrounding the journal's participation on a completion basis rather than a thorough, comprehensive one. Edits that the editors claimed to have made were not completed sufficiently and in their entirety. Problems surfaced in the main struggle that many journals face during their devisement. Journals make implicit assumptions that students understand journal structures and behind-the-scenes workflow.

For these reasons, we plan to provide more appropriate training and report on its effectiveness for Volume 2: Issue 1. Aside from our future training plans, a focus group was devised, which constructed documents that informed the authors and editors about what to expect during the editing process. A more succinct definition allowed for a base to begin informing future submitters how they can go about and more effectively and appropriately tailor their papers for a journal audience.

An improvement made after the Volume 1 publication was a division of the JSI team that allows student editors to play to their strengths in either the editorial team, the peer review team, or both, depending on interest. The editorial team acts as a liaison and works with the authors to improve their paper based on the suggested edits that the peer review team makes as they choose which articles are accepted, rejected, or revised and resubmitted for later issues. With this change to the journal's workflow, students build on what they know and insulate what they don't. Our research has brought forth tools for other undergraduate student journals to help facilitate more effective student peer reviewer recruitment through support, paving a workflow for better ease of publication and editor-author collaborations.

Journal Engagement: How to Maintain Interest


  • Kathryn Davies (she/her), University of Guelph

Journal: Canta/ἄειδε: A Journal in Classical Studies

Canta/ἄειδε: A Journal in Classical Studies is a student-run journal focusing on the Ancient World. Students have the opportunity to be published in this journal after participating in an annual academic conference know as Symposium. Over the past two years I have been both Journal Manager and Journal Editor for Canta/ἄειδε and during this time have learned the importance of keeping authors and reviewers engaged in the publication process. Too often students have fallen out of interest in a longer publication process, whether that is due to the time commitment, or underestimating the amount of work that is required being published in an academic journal. In addition to keeping authors engaged, it is also crucial to maintain interest among the reviewers. With a smaller reviewer pool (made up of volunteers alone) it can be difficult to keep reviewers engaged with the material, which can lead to insufficient feedback and reviews. This presentation hopes to outline these issues and provide ways in which engagement can be maintained throughout the publication process, as keeping interest is crucial in upholding the level of work required for publication.

Innovation and Adaptation in Communications: Instagram as a Tool for Journal Promotion


  • Charlotte Lilley (she/her), Western University 
  • Zack Ferns (he/him), Western University

Journal: Nota Bene: Canadian Undergraduate Journal of Musicology

In successfully maintaining a student-run academic journal, promoting the journal’s work to an audience of students can be challenging. Especially in an increasingly digital academic landscape, this communication requires innovation and adaptation. In our presentation, Nota Bene’s editors will share the ways in which Nota Bene has taken on this challenge of innovation and adaptation, working to communicate with student authors via a new presence on social media.

Our presentation will begin with context surrounding Nota Bene’s Instagram account, including our need to find a way to connect with student authors directly without having to rely upon internal academic networks to disseminate calls for submissions and other promotions. We will also discuss how this direct connection with student authors supports Nota Bene’s mandate as a space for its authors’ learning and professional development, and allows the journal to play a more visible role within its host faculty at Western University.

With this context established, we will then discuss the specific usage of our Instagram account featuring visual examples of our content, from distributing administrative information (such as submission deadlines), to sharing tips for submissions (many of which are applicable to any academic paper), to “Ask Me Anything” events which allow prospective authors to dialogue directly with Nota Bene’s editors, helping them to prepare submissions while also “pulling back the curtain” and humanizing the publishing process. We will also look ahead to our hopes for the account moving forwards, as we continue to think of new ways to innovate and adapt.

Creating and Sustaining Communities: Communications and Marketing Strategy for Undergraduate Journals


  • Devin Bates (he/they), Simon Fraser University

Journal: Jove's Bodega

I became the editor-in-chief in January 2022, and at that time our journal was inactive and and abandoned. Since then I have revivified it with a completely new set of goals, which emphasizes inclusiveness and multidisciplinary approaches to appeal to larger categories and the mixed interest of philosophy students.

As a publishing minor, I have the privilege to be fluent in design tools, and coding, as well as life experience working in academic publishing. I would like to share the strategies I've been using to raise awareness and entice both readers and potential authors.

Such strategies include:

  1. Utilizing student union resources to promote, market and recruit.
  2. Using social media (for us its Discord and Instagram), to create engagement.
  3. Creating digital ephemera.
  4. Communicating the goals/missions of the journal.
  5. Creating a visually compelling final products (articles, cover, TOC) that rewards the author and entices would-be authors.

Publishing a Special Edition: Challenges, Successes, and Strategies


  • Gavriel Kesik-Libin (she/her), University of Alberta

Journal: Political Science Undergraduate Review

The Political Science Undergraduate Review (PSUR) has taken a unique approach to highlighting relevancy and current events in academia: publishing special editions that are centred around current events. The PSUR is in a favourable position to take on these types of projects, given that Political Science students are typically keen to react to and comment on current events within their coursework. The PSUR has published one special edition thus far (highlighting Canadian Charter politics on its anniversary), and is currently in the process of publishing another, which focuses on ongoing humanitarian crises. One challenge we have faced is keeping time with the changing nature of current events, which contrasts with the slower peer-review process. To mitigate this, we have embraced interdisciplinarity - accepting papers from other disciplines that still adopt a critical or political science-adjacent lens. Our session will highlight how we have used interdisciplinarity in order to heighten awareness of current events on campus, and recommend various strategies the PSUR has adopted in publishing special editions to inform other journals.

Developing a National Council of Undergraduate Academia: Fostering Student Community


  • Jeffrey Sun (he/him), McMaster University
  • Suraj Bansal (he/him), McMaster University

Journal: The Meducator

For the decades in which undergraduate journals have been operating in Canadian institutions, there has been no central entity in which these organizations may congregate and discuss the progress of their work. There is no "undergraduate academic community" in Canada, and many student journals operate blindly without knowledge and diversity of ideas from other areas. In light of this issue, we have begun developing a national undergraduate council in which journals can meet on a quarterly basis to procure goals of growth and foster collaborations, producing a more integrated community.

In this presentation, we discuss some of the visions we hold for such a council and the goals we have set to create such an organization. In the process, we will discuss our progress, lessons learned, and invite journals at SJF to help spearhead this new national initiative.

Attendees are invited to complete this short survey to help inform the presentation.

Career Panel Speakers' Bios

Lois Jones, American Psychological Association

  • Lois Jones is Peer Review Director for 90 journals published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and Editor-in-Chief of the GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing.

Maryknoll Linscott, Penn State College of Medicine

  • Maryknoll is a 6th-year MD-PhD trainee at the Penn State College of Medicine and has served as editor-in-chief in two student-run journals—Journal of Student-Run Clinics and Penn State Journal of Medicine.

Nortina Simmons, J&J Editorial

  • Nortina Simmons began working at J&J Editorial, a subdivision of Wiley, in 2018 as an Assistant Copyeditor and is now the Copyediting Training Specialist, coordinating the Copyediting Training Program, a new hire orientation program designed specifically for new copyeditors.


Please take a moment to fill out our brief feedback form by Friday, March 10, 2023. 

Your responses will help us make future events more relevant and interesting.

All responses are anonymous and no personal information is collected. Responses will be shared with the Forum organizing committee. Aggregate results and personally unidentifiable quotes may be used in Forum-related presentations and promotion.