Seattle University Undergraduate Research Journal (SUURJ) is a faculty- and student-run organization that offers students the opportunity to publish academic journals to be read by scholars worldwide.
This will be the third year of the organization, and after two published volumes of the journal, the articles have more than 3,000 downloads internationally, spanning all over the globe including readers as far as India and South America.
“SUURJ is a platform for research to have a global audience. The journals are accessible to anyone with internet access,” Student Editor Oliver Tufte said. “It is very student-oriented and is a lot about the experience of the student writers and student editors in the research.”
According to the SUURJ website, the journal is designed to provide an editorial apprenticeship experience for students through a credit-bearing program that trains students to share the stewardship of the journal. The research may include any theoretical work, policy analysis, research-based editorial pieces, core writing, and any other modes.
SUURJ is a project run by the College of Arts and Sciences, the English department, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Sponsored Research Programs. As the program is relatively new, the journal also has various individual papers that are more popular and can be downloaded online. Issues are published annually in the month of May.
The program was founded in 2015 by a group of interested students and English professor Molly Clark Hillard, who now serves as Director of Student Research and Chief Faculty Editor for the journal. Hillard and those students made it happen by writing the proposal that was later approved by the university.
After the first year, the editing staff, writers, and audience grew rapidly, enabling the journal to expand in a variety of disciplines and cover a wider range of topics. After publishing two volumes and catering to a worldwide readership, the program seems to be only getting started with endless potential.
According to the student editors and faculty, there is so much potential in what SUURJ can become. Since the journal is available around the world, it is creating a conduit for research for people around the globe; not just the students or Seattle U.
With an expanding number of students interested and active student editors, one of the main focuses that SUURJ strives for is encompassing interdisciplinary writing.
“We wanted the representation of interdisciplinary writing and all levels of experience,” Hillard said. “Writers spanning from English, Math, to Anthropology majors are involved in the journal.”
Students have the opportunity to write and publish in the journal whether they are first-years or seniors. Additionally, student editors and faculty play a large role in maintaining professionalism and keeping the Seattle U mission in mind.
“Diversity is a huge aspect and showcases students’ voices and displays their voices in ways that may not be heard otherwise,” Student Editor Thea Mercer said. “We really value being able to work with students, with a group like a classroom, where there are professors and students to collaborate and help write these journals.”
Similar to Seattle U’s core curriculum and mission statements, SUURJ selects articles with a holistic approach for its publications. It strives to include a variety of subjects—including social sciences, philosophy, English, technology, and plenty of others.
“The accomplishment of publishing a journal may be the start of an academic career or be a springboard for professional jobs in a prospective field,” Mercer said. “The involvement in the research essentially has a role in providing opportunity and enables conversation in global academic access for everyone involved.”
With the program’s third year ahead of itself, the program continues to increase its numbers of writers and student editors to partake in forming the research journals. Hillard and the publication’s student editors expressed utmost confidence that SUURJ is onto an amazing start, with a lot to offer not just to students, but to anyone.
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