This year marked the inaugural publication of the first issue of Re:Search: The Undergraduate Literary Criticism Journal at the University of Illinois. Re:Search is an undergraduate-produced, peer-reviewed journal designed to annually publish articles exclusively authored by undergraduate Humanities students. It seeks to create a venue for undergraduate students to showcase and publish literary criticism within a greater academic discourse while nurturing a collaborative community between faculty, administration, and undergraduate students.
A particular feature that distinguishes Re:Search from other undergraduate journals is that it supports students throughout the research and publication process. Particularly, this journal offers a faculty mentorship, where students work closely with a faculty advisor while drafting their article. While the publication of the journal is certainly an accomplishment in its own right, what this journal also strives to do is foster a culture of collaboration amongst the undergraduate student body, faculty, and university departments across campus (including the Scholarly Commons at the University Library, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR), and the English Department) with the collective vision of encouraging undergraduate research.
In addition to offering hard copies of the journal available to print on demand through the Espresso Book Machine in the Illini Union Bookstore (and generously funded by the English Department), the University Library and OUR both funded and assisted in the founding of an online, fully-indexed platform through an Open Journals Systems (OJS) to showcase the completed work of undergraduate students. By working alongside University Librarians and Graduate students in the Graduate Library and Information Sciences (GSLIS) program, we have established an online platform that is accessible to a wide audience, including: current university students, instructors, administration, alumni and prospective students. This OJS platform will continue to be instrumental in future publications as it enables us to regulate the peer-review, copyediting and proofreading processes in one localized site.
The increasing recognition of the value of undergraduate research in the University of Illinois is empowering for us undergraduate students, and I believe signals towards a transformative shift in the research culture here on campus.
We invite you to explore the online platform of the journal: https://ugresearchjournals.illinois.edu/index.php/ujlc
We are also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/litcritjournaluiuc
To learn more about Re:Search and opportunities to be involved, please visit our microsite: www.publish.illinois.edu/undergradliterarycriticismjournal
Nick Millman, Editor in Chief of Re:Search