How to get published as an undergraduate

Mark McCahill
Ian McIver

Groundings

You will all be familiar with academic journals, but have you ever thought of being published in one? If you are an undergraduate student, studying a subject within the arts, humanities, and social sciences, Groundings is for you.

Groundings is an undergraduate peer-reviewed journal, published annually on a cross-disciplinary theme. The journal, founded in 2007 by GU Dialectic Society, is entirely student-run, and offers a venue for undergraduates to publish their work, as well as the opportunity to be involved in the process of editing and producing an academic journal. Now in its sixth volume, this year we are looking for submissions on the theme of ‘Voice and Power’.

There are many reasons to submit to Groundings. Firstly, it allows you to be formally published in print, and each volume is held by the Glasgow University Library, as well as other libraries across the UK, including the British Library, the Bodleian, and the National Library of Scotland. Not only is it nice to see your name in print, but it also enhances your CV; this year, for the first time, all authors will receive recognition on their transcript, through the HEAR scheme. Groundings can even act as a stepping-stone to future publication in scholarly journals, and the editorial process can help you improve your writing skills.

But don’t just take our word for it. Peter Slater, a fourth year English Literature student, published in Volume Five (on the theme of ‘Individuals and Extremes’), described his experience with Groundings as ‘one of the highlights of my undergraduate degree. The thrill of being published has given me an early, motivating taste of a career path and lifestyle that I’m keen on pursuing.’ Sibyl Adam, also a final year English student published last year, highlighted that ‘often academia can be very intimidating’, but said that the nature of the editorial process and the exclusive focus on undergraduates helps develop confidence in academic writing.

Submissions are made anonymous and selected by a peer-review process. Authors who are chosen for publication are then assigned an Editorial Board member to work one-to-one with them to help polish their piece for publication.

The value of Groundings has also been recognised by academics. Nine members of University staff have joined the Advisory Board of Groundings, who help select the winner of the £100 prize for best article. But this recognition extends beyond Glasgow. Earlier this year, a new collaborative journal, Groundings Ancients, was established in concert with the Heads of Colleges at each of the Ancient Universities of Scotland. It will run in parallel, publishing the top three articles from Groundings alongside the best three from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

This is a fantastic opportunity for students at the University of Glasgow, so get writing!

Groundings invites GU undergraduates in the arts, humanities and social sciences to submit articles of up to 4000 words (which can be adapted course essays, dissertation chapters, or bespoke) on the theme of ‘Voice and Power’, no later than 1st February 2013. Email submissions/enquiries: [email protected] Full details: www.gudialectic.co.uk/groundings.html. You can also find Groundings on Facebook.