LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - During the past year, faculty members from nine of the state owned universities have been working to establish a journal that focuses on undergraduate research. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
In September, representatives from the PASSHE universities of Bloomsburg, California, Edinboro, Lock Haven, Shippensburg, and West Chester met at Lock Haven University’s Sieg Center to discuss issues and strategies surrounding the establishment of the journal. At this meeting, the Keystone Journal of Undergraduate Research (KJUR) was formally founded. Faculty members from Clarion, Millersville, and Slippery Rock were also involved in the process but were unable to attend the September meeting.
“Undergraduate research helps to bridge the gap between formal classroom learning and application of that learning in the context of asking and answering questions independently from the classroom setting. Independent research adds value to a student’s overall educational experience by contributing to the process of self-discovery, and it is a practical life skill that many students will be expected to perform in the work place,” explained Dr. Stephen Marvel of Lock Haven University. Dr. Allen Dieterich-Ward of Shippensburg University added, “Faculty mentors represent a pivotal component to the success of any student research experience. Consequently, a primary goal of the KJUR is to promote faculty-student collaboration, with an understanding that the mentor teaches through example and coaching, and students learn by doing.”
KJUR is an online, faculty-reviewed publication for undergraduate work of the highest caliber. The Journal is designed to showcase outstanding scholarship of undergraduates attending the PASSHE universities, and serves as a means to foster scholarship of undergraduate students by providing them with an opportunity to publish their intellectual work in a statewide forum. KJUR seeks to stimulate interest in all academic disciplines. “Faculty see student research as an integral part of an undergraduate education,” said Dr. Steve Hicks, President of APSCUF, the faculty and coaches union that helps sponsor the journal, “We are glad to help provide another venue for our students, some of whom are as good as any in the country, show the quality of their work.”
According to the website for the journal (http://www.keystonejournal.org), to be eligible to submit an article to KJUR, student authors must have completed their projects under the direction of a faculty mentor when the authors were undergraduates. The student has up to one year after graduation to submit a manuscript to KJUR. “The articles published in KJUR reflect appropriate scope and complexity to add to the body of knowledge in the field of study,” explained Dr Cynthia Botteron from Shippensburg University. She added, “Papers may represent a full range of research design, including experiments, surveys, case studies, and documentary research. We also encourage studies that involve cross specialization research and service learning research.”
Recently, the Keystone Journal of Undergraduate Research received an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) from the Library of Congress for the journal's online edition, as well as its print edition. The first KJUR article was published online in September, and additional articles will be published on the website after they successfully pass through a review process. Submissions can be made at any time. The anticipated publication of the inaugural print issue of the Keystone Journal for Undergraduate Research is winter, 2011.