By Christopher Woodside
Professor Caroline Sherman long dreamed of being able to provide a venue for seniors in the History department to publish their finished theses after a long semester of research and writing. With the leadership of professors Taryn Okuma and Peter Shoemaker, these three Catholic University professors have made such a journal a reality.
Inventio: The Undergraduate Research Journal of the Catholic University of America was officially established earlier this year and anticipates their first showcase of student work to release in the Fall 2016 semester. The journal will include more than just senior history thesis. Professor Sherman explained that Inventio would accept research from various schools throughout the University including Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies (TRS), and other liberal arts and humanities departments.
There is also a desire to publish work from the newest members of the Catholic University of America community by publishing assignments from the TRS, Philosophy, and English 1st Year Experience courses.
The student editors for the research journal will be taking on large responsibilities. All the editors selected are required to register for a three credit course next semester titled, “Undergraduate Research Journal Production.” In the course, the student editorial board will be responsible for making decisions on which submissions will eventually see submission in the journal. “Each student will work on one or two of the chosen papers,” said Sherman. “The students will be editing the papers, working with the author of it in order to make changes, as well as making decisions regarding style.”
While the editorial board will be working on the journal as part of their class, the work will not be limited to just this time. The extracurricular hours that students will be put into this journal makes this opportunity a “hybrid between a class and an activity,” according to Sherman.
The papers submitted for consideration will undergo a review process that reflects some similarities to the publishing world of academia. Students who turn their research in will be read by the faculty member who the assignment was completed for and provide comments and feedback for the journal. The paper will also be reviewed by a blind peer reviewer in the University community for their feedback. Research that clears these reviews will eventually reach the newly chosen student editorial board before finally being published.
Submissions to be considered for publication in Inventio closed on October 1st while applications to join the editorial board closed on October 15th. The student editorial board will be headed by Mallory Nygard who will serve as the editor-in-chief. Lucas Matheson was selected as the Managing Editor. Ann Lipscombe will be the Head Layout Editor. Daniel Hessemann serves as the web editor. Antoinette Cea will be a copy editor and layout assistant. Samantha Aurilla is a copy editor and website assistant, while Rebecca McCarron and Angelica Sisson were also selected to be copy editors.
“I decided to apply for the position of Editor-in-Chief because I thought I could offer my previous experience in the service of the mission of Inventio,” said the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief, Mallory Nygard.
Nygard encouraged all students to consider submitting their papers for possible publication. “This is a great opportunity to be published and to contribute to a culture of open-sharing and encouragement,” said Nygard.