Students own the intellectual property rights to their papers and project writing in most universities. Here’s how to publish undergraduate work in academic journals.
Every academic year, undergraduate students will order thousands of words for essays, reports, presentations, research projects and dissertations. Graduates with high quality scholarly writing from earlier student work should check their institutional policy before setting out to submit their academic paper to a journal for publication.
Early consultation with experienced academic authors will be helpful to potential authors in approaching the task of writing a journal article from a student paper. New authors can ask professors, a supervisor associated with academic assessment or their current academic mentor for professional independent advice about three key areas:
- potential of their written work
- motivation to get undergraduate writing published as academic articles and
- choice of academic journal
International System for Publishing Articles in Refereed Academic Journals
Refereeing procedures in academic journals ensure fair and just anonymous review of all manuscripts submitted. Potential contributing authors can read the editorial policy and refereeing procedures, published on a paper copy of their chosen academic journal or from an online journal website. Academic authors should expect that between three to six reviewers may be approached to write a report on their submitted paper.
A journal’s refereeing process is identical for all submissions. New authors and experienced authors, irrespective of the number of journal articles published, are considered the same by each academic journal. An academic manuscript from an undergraduate paper does not require flagging at the submission stage.
Notes for Contributing/Prospective Authors should be followed closely in preparing a manuscript for submission. Adhering to all the notes to authors and a thorough proofreading job before submission will ensure a speedy journey through any pre-sift by the editorial office and/or the academic journal editors.
Publishing a Journal Article from a Student Paper
Students, with academic freedom, could publish their critique of scholarly perspectives in their fields or disciplines, establish themselves as incubators of methodological innovation and/or report on original empirical studies in a journal article.
In Up the Publication Road (HERDSA, 2006), Royce Sadler, Professor of Higher Education, Griffith University, Australia, writes “The belief that a new author needs to have contacts at a high editorial level in order to get published has no foundation at all. A superior manuscript from a relatively unknown author will always have the edge over a mediocre or poor piece from a renowned author”.
Papers submitted to academic journals are more likely to be sent out to academic reviewers by the editors of the journal if the paper has:-
- An interesting central idea expressed in two or three points
- A coherent argument and clear writing style
Transforming a student paper into a manuscript for submission to an academic journal as a sole author requires tenacity. Many new authors developing their ideas from student papers, dissertations and postgraduate theses will write and submit articles with experienced academic authors and mentors.
The process – from consulting experienced academic authors to preparing the manuscript in a journal’s house style to submission to the journal’s refereeing procedures – is straight forward. Students who have produced high quality written work in undergraduate courses with academic desires should not hesitate to step up to publish a journal article.