New journal to showcase undergraduate research

Two students are providing McMaster undergraduates with an uncommon opportunity- the chance for students from all Faculties to have their research featured in an academic journal.

Claudia Frankfurter and Andrew Webster, both third year Health Sciences students, are spearheading the development of The McMaster Undergraduate Research Journal (MURJ), the University’s first exclusively online, multidisciplinary, and doctoral reviewed undergraduate research publication.

“We believe in the quality of research being conducted by undergraduates and we’re hoping this journal will be an outlet for the many hours that students dedicate to their work,” says Frankfurter.

Claudia Frankfurter and Andrew Webster are the students behind MURJ, a new undergraduate research journal.

Claudia Frankfurter and Andrew Webster are the students behind MURJ, a new undergraduate research journal.

Articles submitted by students are first screened by the journal’s cross-disciplinary undergraduate editorial board. After initial approval, students work with a doctoral review board to revise and develop the article for publication. Students from all Faculties are invited to submit articles.

“We wanted to give all undergraduates the opportunity to engage in the fundamental scholarly process,” says Webster.  “This process encourages students to think both critically and imaginatively, to question the ‘obvious,’ to hone their analytical research and writing skills and sharpen their intuition to reveal new patterns and possibilities.  These skills are absolutely transferable to any career a student may choose.”

Both Webster and Frankfurter are active researchers and have had articles published in academic journals. They say getting involved in research activities can have a profound impact on the undergraduate experience.

“A lot of learning at the undergraduate level is theoretical and done in a classroom setting,” says Frankfurter. “Research gives students the chance to apply their learning and contribute to the current body of knowledge. It can give meaning and a sense of purpose to undergraduate education.”

McMaster president, Patrick Deane says this journal reflects the research-focused student-centred culture at McMaster and will provide students with a unique opportunity to enrich their learning.

“When students become involved in discovery, when their curiosity is stimulated and they participate in the creation of new knowledge, their capacity for learning is deepened and their ability to be effective in their years beyond the university is strengthened,” says Deane. “I support the development of this journal and hope it will inspire more undergraduate students to become active contributors to the scholarly discourse at McMaster.”

Submissions are now open.  More information can be found at www.facebook.com/MacMURJ, murj.org and @MURJTweet.