Gain experience publishing with student journals

Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the best ways to publish your work and beef up your resume is to participate in a student-run undergraduate journal. Whether you’re an author submitting an assignment you worked hard on last semester, or you’re interested in seeing what the world of publishing and editing is like, working with a publication can give you invaluable experience.

UVU has numerous journals from many disciplines that  are aimed at helping students  experience the publication process before graduating.

“Working with the student journals has had an enormous impact on my undergraduate experience at UVU,” said Meghan Flinders, UVU senior and former editor-in-chief of the creative writing publication Touchstones. “The journals benefit students like me by giving them the chance to explore their ideas and the ideas of their peers in an environment focused on giving a lot of careful attention to the student.”

Those who have little to no experience working with a campus publication might feel like they aren’t qualified to be a volunteer editor or a published author.

However, English professor Angie Carter offered some advice to help students make the decision to participate.

“Find a journal that has subject matter that you like to read and attend that journal’s first or second meeting of the semester,” Carter said. “Use that opportunity to ask people who have been on staff for a while what kinds of work is available. Volunteer for a semester and commit [to] really diving into the work that semester”.

The same can be said for those planning on submitting their work.

Flinders said, “The journal environment allows students to gain hands-on experience with what works and what doesn’t work in essay writing. This hands on work, both as a staff member or as an author, directly influenced the way I craft my own arguments and critiques.”

Overall, the publication process can be tougher than expected. Many authors who submit don’t understand that there’s a serious revision process that takes place after being accepted. Don’t submit thinking your paper is already in perfect shape only to be offended when you find that your paper was accepted barring a few necessary changes.

Getting your name and paper published in a journal is definitely an ego-booster, but first the journal’s editors are going to need to tear some of that ego down in order to build it back up. Rest assured, by the time your work is published, it’s been buffed and polished to be in tip-top shape. Publishing is something to be proud of and will add to your credibility when you’re applying for jobs or graduate school.