By Sarah Kyo, Public Affairs Assistant

A computer screensheet of the homepage of the School of Library and Information Science's Student Research Journal, including a screenshot of a YouTube video

The Student Research Journal publishes graduate students’ work in the field of library and information science.

Many students read scholarly articles for their classes, but not all have the opportunity to publish a research journal while still in school.

From the School of Library and Information Science, the Student Research Journal is SJSU’s first student-governed, online, peer-reviewed research journal. Thus far, articles from the first volume of the biannual publication have been downloaded more than 2,000 times.

For the fall/winter issue, published in December 2011, the staff received manuscripts from 11 graduate library school programs, in addition to SJSU, said Anthony Bernier, professor and faculty advisor of the journal.

Student Research Journal’s acronym, SRJ, is pronounced like the word “surge.” Current editor-in-chief Stacey Nordlund said surge illustrates the journal’s intention as an outlet for students to showcase new ideas, theories and practices in library and information science.

“On a broader scale, the same concept — ‘surge’ — is representative of the school’s vision of delivering innovative programs within the context of new and emerging technologies,” she said.

Bernier said the idea for the journal came from the School of Library and Information Science’s desire to encourage a strong research community within the program. He provides assistance and advice to the editor-in-chief and is part of the journal’s editorial advisory board, which consists of faculty members. The decisions and day-to-day upkeep, however, are up to the editors.

“Students control all content and editorial processes. And they do it all virtually,” Bernier said. “We’ve never had a face-to-face meeting and don’t ever plan on one.”

Connecting Online

The editorial team members are based all over North America and beyond, including Japan. Nordlund said they communicate through email and use Blackboard Communicate for monthly meeting and occasional training sessions.

The editor-in-chief and managing editor determine which submissions will proceed to a double-blind peer review process, which is conducted by two or three editors. Submissions are copy-edited before publication.

Nordlund, who has worked on the journal since last August, intends to graduate this May. She said the publication has had a strong impact on her time at SJSU.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the school for allowing me to participate in this forum, which has allowed me to make a contribution to the library and information science field,” she said. “I also want to tip my hat to all of the editors with whom I have worked on SRJ — both past and present — because the quality of work and dedication exhibited by members of the editorial team has been exemplary.”

Inspiring Students

Sandy Hirsh, professor and director of the School of Library and Information Science, said SRJ provides wonderful opportunities for student researchers to apply what they learn and share knowledge with professionals.

“We’re thrilled to have a committed group of our graduate students learn how to manage this type of scholarly publication,” Hirsh said. “We hope it inspires all SJSU students to publish their research in professional journals — as students and throughout their careers.”

The submission deadline for the next issue has passed, but students are still welcome to submit content for future consideration. To find out more about the Student Research Journal and to read submission guidelines, visit the journal’s website.

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