The third digital volume of Papers and Publications has been launched and is available to read here (http://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/papersandpubs/). We’ve begun designing hard copies; based on past experience, we hope to have them for sale by the end of September, if not sooner. This year marked our first creative piece (a poem, “Ageless”), as well as continued growth; we had more submissions than ever before. We hope to say that again next year, with help from any undergrads reading this. Publication is very helpful to anyone looking for a career in academia after graduation, or a wide variety of other professional spheres; especially if your dream job requires further education after your undergraduate years, you’re likely to benefit from publishing your research and hard work for your peers to read. Help us by submitting, so that we can help you by publishing, so that we can both help the world with new information and ideas!
It definitely isn’t too early to be thinking about next year’s volume. We haven’t set submission deadline yet, but it should open around the spring semester (somewhere between late December and the middle of January). Especially for those of you who’re currently in the middle of your upper-level classes, start looking at the research projects ahead of you. Can you present them in a way that meets our requirements? Can you work with a faculty mentor to refine your paper (something we recommend anyway; professor-student mentorship is a tradition in academia for a reason)? Do you like the idea of other professionals in your field critiquing, discussing, and hopefully someday citing your hard work? Have a look at our submission guidelines (http://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/papersandpubs/aimsandscope.html) and start planning in advance. Even if your capstone course (the source of many of our articles) isn’t until next spring, you can still proceed with this in mind. We allow recent graduates a full year to submit their work, so long as it was written while they were undergraduates. If you can’t meet the deadline for volume 4 in 2015, why not aim for volume 5 in 2016?
To conclude, undergraduate publication can pave the way for future success. We try to guide students and recent graduates through the process, to educate you, to help academic publication seem a little less intimidating. It’s a big job, but not quite as big as you might think, and it can be very rewarding. Your career may require it later on (especially if you want to become a professor yourself, get familiar with the phrase “publish or perish”). Even if it doesn’t, you can still probably benefit, and even if you don’t, the world is always a better place with a little more knowledge in it. Besides, you’ll spend a lot of time and energy on your capstone papers. Why not go a bit further so that someone besides you and your professor can appreciate it?