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OU students publish national journal on politics

Friday, March 28, 2014
OU students publish national journal on politics

Editorial Board members
Pictured are some of the members of the 2013 editorial board: Matthew Quinn, Dana Parke, Alyssa Clark, Jane Dixon, Marc Dubuis, Alexandru Salar, Alexandra Julian, Robert Larson, Evan Jones and Drew Lewis.
By Kelli M. Titus

The student editorial board at Oakland University published the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, a respectable achievement for the political science students and faculty advisers. 

Last fall, 13 students registered for PS 306, the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergrad Journal Special Topics course. These students read brief articles on reviewing manuscripts for political science journals, holding weekly meetings with board members to discuss their assessments of the manuscripts. This helped the students decide which manuscripts were acceptable for the publication. Editorial board members edited the manuscripts, checked citations, reviewed references and formatted the articles.

“Not only does this reflect on Oakland's rising prestige, it offers a new way for students to be involved in their major,” said history and political science major Jane Dixon. “By allowing students the ability to join the editorial board, they will have an exclusive opportunity that only a select few will be able to enjoy across the country. It contributes to the wider goal of encouraging undergraduate research.”

Fifty-seven manuscripts were submitted in fall 2013 from undergraduate students around the country. The editorial board reviewed each manuscript, diligently reading and discussing each piece. Once the manuscript was deemed acceptable for publication, it was sent to a faculty reviewer either at OU, or another institution. The faculty member provided a peer review, accepting or rejecting the manuscript for publication. After this extensive review process, the board accepted two manuscripts for the fall 2013 issue of the Undergraduate Journal of Politics.

“We are excited and relieved to publish the issue,” said Terri Towner, faculty adviser for Pi Sigma Alpha. “The process of reviewing, editing and producing the first issue at OU had a number of growing pains. This editorial board definitely overcame challenges to publish an exceptional journal.”

The journal publishes outstanding undergraduate research from around the country on a bi-annual basis and is operated entirely by undergraduate students from the host university, who review, edit and produce the journal. Oakland University’s political science honor society was selected from a national group of candidates last fall to play host to the prestigious Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics for the next three years.

“The journal offers numerous benefits to the editorial board members,” Towner said. “As a result of working on the journal, students increase their critical thinking, writing and verbal communication skills. In addition, editorial board members gain valuable leadership experience and cultivate teamwork skills.”

For more information about the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, visit http://www.psajournal.org/. To learn more about Pi Sigma Alpha or the journal at Oakland University, contact Dr. Terri Towner at towner@oakland.edu