UWL Highlights of Undergraduate Research and Creativity

 

Background

UW-L has had a long history of publishing independent projects by undergraduate students.  Initially, these came mostly from the sciences and so the editor of the Journal of Undergraduate Research (JUR) was able to make decisions on the quality of the papers.  As more students from across campus submitted papers, it became harder for the editor to maintain a level of quality (beyond copy editing).  During this period the journal also went from a paper edition to a CD to, mostly recently, an online resource. 

Meanwhile the Provost’s Office has increased its requirement for students receiving undergraduate research and creativity grants to write a report at the end of their project.  This report is very brief and is used to track the progress and/or success of each grant recipient.

These factors have led to dissatisfaction from the JUR editor and the committee with the way these independent student projects (both grant recipients and others) are broadcast to a larger audience.

 

Proposal

The Undergraduate research and creativity committee proposes to remove the current format of the JUR and replace it with an online resource tentatively called “UWL Highlights of Undergraduate Research and Creativity”.

 

This website will present one project from each Department* chosen by the Department and submitted to the Office of the Provost.  The source of the project’s funding is not important.  The emphasis should be on the quality of the work presented.    An online format has the advantage of being able to display images, audio or video more easily than previous formats.  Additionally, it can be easily linked to on a student’s resume or job/school application.

 

The committee strongly encourages each department to establish/continue their own online display of research or creativity for undergraduate students. Because we’re no longer going to publish multiple projects from a department, we recommend departments publish other submitted work on their own website.

 

The committee has chosen “Highlights” for specific reasons.  With the burgeoning of field specific undergraduate research journals, a mentor or student may prefer to publish in a National Journal. In some fields, any “publication” may prevent further use of the material in other publications.  Therefore we can avoid these issues, by producing a version of the work that is not identical to the version published elsewhere.

 

The committee recognizes that different disciplines have different presentation formats and suggests that each Department regulates the format their projects will conform to.

 

An approximate timeline for publication would be as follows:

Student submission to Department: end of Spring Semester

Department submission to Provost’s Office: first week of Fall Semester

Publication on Website: third week of October.

 

* We use the word “Department” to represent an organizational unit.  Some departments (e.g. those providing different degrees or very large departments) may choose to be represented by subgroups. It should be noted that each “subgroup” will be listed on the “Highlights” website each year and so it is recommended these subgroups are large enough to be able to produce more than one project each year.