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Political Science Student Journals: What Students Publish and Why Student Publishing Matters

  • Michaelene Cox (a1) and Jaimie M. Kent (a1)

Whereas there is a substantial body of scholarship assessing the merits of student journals, and an equally sizable amount of how-to-publish advice for students in higher education, there is little empirical research exploring the content of disciplinary student publications. To gain a sense of what political science students are publishing, this study examines articles in three peer-reviewed student journals of politics between 2005 and 2015: The Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, Critique, and Politikon. Content analysis reveals the nature of published student work by subfield, methodology, and topic, with findings discussed in the context of research trends in the profession and the debate about advantages and disadvantages of student journal publishing.

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Barrios, Sharon A., and Weber, Lori M.. 2006. “Beyond the Audience of One: Producing a Student Journal of Politics.” PS: Political Science & Politics 39 (1): 107–10.
Bauer, Benjamin J., Ogas, Whitney C., Shakir, Omar R., Oxley, Zoe M., and Clawson, Rosalee A.. 2009. “Learning through Publishing: The Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics.” PS: Political Science & Politics 42 (3): 565–9.
Bennett, Andrew, Barth, Aharon, and Rutherford, Kenneth R.. 2003. “Do We Preach What We Practice? A Survey of Methods in Political Science Journals and Curricula.” PS: Political Science & Politics 36 (3): 373–78.
Beyer, Catharine H., Gillmore, Gerald M., and Fisher, Andrew T.. 2007. Inside the Undergraduate Experience. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.
Boyer, Ernest L. 1990. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.
Clark, Burton R. 1997. “The Modern Integration of Research Activities with Teaching and Learning.” Journal of Higher Education 68 (3): 241–55.
Critique. Illinois State University. Available at
Ghosh, Rajashi, and Githens, Rod P.. 2009. “Application of Social Network Theory: Doctoral Students’ Experiences in Conferences.” New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development 23 (1): 25–8.
Gilbert, Scott F. 2004. “A Case against Undergraduate-Only Journal Publications.” Cell Biology and Education 3 (1): 22–4.
Hutchins, Holly M. 2013. “Reflections on Developing Student Authors: From Class Paper to Journal Publication.” New Horizons in Adult Education & Human Resource Development 25 (1): 1823.
Ishiyama, John. 2001. “Undergraduate Research and the Success of First-Generation, Low-Income College Students.” Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly 22: 3640.
Ishiyama, John. 2002. “Participation in Undergraduate Research and the Development of Political Science Students.” Boston: Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Conference, August.
Lopato, David. 2010. “Undergraduate Research as a High-Impact Student Experience.” Association of American Colleges & Universities. Available at
Mervis, Jeffrey. 2001. “Student Research: What Is It Good for?” Science 293 (5535): 1614–15.
Rich, Timothy S. 2013. “Publishing as a Graduate Student: A Quick and (Hopefully) Painless Guide to Establishing Yourself as a Scholar.” PS: Political Science & Politics 46 (2): 376–9.
Thies, Cameron G., and Hogan, Robert E.. 2005. “The State of Undergraduate Research Methods Training in Political Science.” PS: Political Science & Politics 38 (2): 15.
Weeks, Gregory. 2006. “Facing Failure: The Use (and Abuse) of Rejection in Political Science.” PS: Political Science & Politics 39 (4): 879–80.
Weiner, Sharon A., and Watkinson, Charles. 2014. “What Do Students Learn from Participation in an Undergraduate Research Journal? Results of an Assessment.” Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 2 (2): 131.
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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