UR is widely known for the research opportunities it provides its undergraduates and now a group of students is working to make that research more visible.

The new Journal of Undergraduate Research will be published each semester and will allow undergraduates to submit original research articles, reviews of existing literature, and letters addressing previous articles or current issues.

“Although the first issue is months away, I’m convinced that JUR will be a valuable addition to our campus publications,” said chemistry professor and JUR faculty advisor Thomas Krugh.

The journal was created to give undergraduates a chance to see the types of research their peers are doing. “Students know that people here are doing research, but they don’t always know where or what,” said junior and editor-in-chief of JUR Prabhjot Dhadialla.

The first issue is planned for next fall and will be a learning experience for all involved. “Though the journal provides an expos of learning in the university, it is also a learning process itself, and much of the fine detail is being worked out as we go,” Dhadialla said.

According to junior and managing editor Kavita Sharma, the journal should also help students gain a new understanding of different disciplines within the college.

“I hope that by reading about the work of their peers, students who were not previously involved in research may decide to make use of the research facilities and opportunities that our school offers,” she said.

All submissions must be original work and can be submitted electronically through JUR’s Web site. Original articles and reviews of literature will be the main content and must be reviewed by a professor for academic merit. The professor review will help “give the article more weight,” said Dhadialla.

Other submissions

Letters may be submitted in response to previous articles and letters or to address current social, ethical or scientific issues may also be submitted.

Dhadialla emphasized that the journal will be cross-disciplinary and understandable for all students. “The language will be non-technical and will extend across departments, but will not be dumbed down,” he said.

The idea behind it

The writing style will be similar to that of Scientific American so “readers who are not familiar with a particular academic field can still appreciate and understand the research being presented from that field,” Sharma said.

The idea for JUR developed last semester when Dhadialla, Sharma and sophomore editor Deepak Sobti were brainstorming ways to develop a forum for students of all academic areas to share their independent research. They felt that a journal containing the published works of undergraduates would be a valuable asset to the campus.

After the idea was proposed, the research continued. “Though we consulted California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, further research was done by consulting with professors, many of whom are editors on nationally recognized journals,” Dhadialla said.

The student editors then approached Krugh to serve as their faculty adviser. “I was impressed with the background research they had finished before talking with me,” he said. “I became an enthusiastic supporter of the concept during our first meeting.”

Looking toward the future

According to Dhadialla, the JUR soon gained support and encouragement from all departments.

Staff consists entirely of undergraduate students who are themselves cross-disciplinary. They cover a range of 11 to 12 different majors. “The journal will be run by undergraduates in everything from content to editing,” said Dhadialla.

Sharma has high hopes for the future of the journal. “I think JUR provides students with the chance to transform the research they do into a publishable form that can be understood and appreciated by a diverse student body,” she said. “I anticipate the number of submissions to increase with every issue, thus increasing the quality and diversity of articles published.”

Dhadialla emphasized that JUR is looking for more students to be part of its staff and to write submissions. Anyone interested in being involved can get more information from the JUR Web site at www.jur.rochester.edu.

Taylor can be reached at ktaylor@campustimes.org.



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