The inaugural issue of the student-run University of Waterloo (UW) Journal of Undergraduate Health Research (JUHR) was recently published using the Library’s Open Journals system, launching it into the global research ecosystem.
Founded by Tara Behroozian and Shayanne Thomas, the goal of the journal is to provide students across faculties with the opportunity to gain experience of the peer-review process. Both Behroozian and Thomas gained invaluable experience in the research process through their co-op terms and recognized a gap at Waterloo, specifically around health research:
“Having a platform dedicated to publishing undergraduate research work is especially valuable for students as publishing research work during undergraduate studies can be a difficult task to achieve. The opportunity to publish one’s research through a peer-reviewed process can be extremely important for students looking to pursue further professional or graduate studies.”
Working with senior advisors Dr. Diane Williams and Dr. Ellen MacEachen, they started laying the groundwork for the journal last spring. The excitement from fellow undergraduates was overwhelming and they were quickly able to put together a team of almost 30 dedicated volunteer students, including editors, creatives and administrative staff.
Jordan Hale, digital repositories librarian, got the team set up on the Library’s Open Journals service, which is an all-in-one open access publishing platform, and provided ongoing support and expertise, along with others in the Library. Health sciences librarian, Jackie Stapleton, was able to support the editorial team as they put together an author guide, helping to set clear expectations of what goes into a peer-reviewed piece and how to find the resources authors will need.
Over 15 submissions and a lot of hard work later the team recently hit publish on the first issue, though editors-in-chief Behroozian and Thomas are already full of ideas for how they can continue to grow JUHR in the future. But for now, their immediate focus is supporting their team and authors as they prepare for the second issue: They have partnered with the Writing and Communications Centre for workshops to support both their editors and potential authors (the next one for authors is coming up on February 22 and is open to anyone) and are considering additional roles for the team to support future issues.
If you are interested in submitting a piece for their Winter 2022 issue, they are currently accepting submissions until March 1. Check out JUHR out on the web or social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for more details.