November 16, 2001
GSA launches new online journal
Grad students volunteer time and talent
Understanding the past through oral history, predicting hunting patterns in Western Canada and overcoming the fear of death are a sample of topics covered in the inaugural edition of Crossing Boundaries, a new online journal produced by the University of Alberta Graduate Student Association (GSA).
"It's unique," said Wendy Chrapko, managing editor of the journal and vice-president (academic) of the GSA. "I don't think anyone else is doing it in Canada."
Crossing Boundaries, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year and gives U of A graduate students a forum to share their research and prepare for the editing process of the academic world. Its first edition is located at http://www.ualberta.ca/GSA/ejournal/vol1no1/front.htm
"Some programs strongly encourage you to publish a certain number of papers and for many grad students that venue isn't there," said Chrapko, a master's student in psychiatry. "It maybe doesn't have the same prestige as Science or Nature but it still is published and gives them practice on what to expect later in their career."
GSA president Brad Wuetherick came up with the idea for Crossing Boundaries. Because more graduate students are expected to publish their work, and most of the space in academic journals goes to professors, Wuetherick thought providing a peer-reviewed journal would be a perfect solution for U of A students.
"We were also looking at several options to build a better support network for our students and this seemed like one that we could do that didn't cost a lot of money, yet provided a valuable service," said Wuetherick, a master's student in history. "We also wanted to make sure it was interdisciplinary because there is so much happening on campus, and this first issue is indicative of the diversity here."
The articles came from varying faculties, by students in computing science, rural economy and health promotion studies. Once students submit a paper, the work is sent to two editors -- also graduate students in the same or similar research area -- and it undergoes a vigorous editing process, said Chrapko.
"Everyone on the editorial board is a volunteer and a graduate student and is likely working on this in the evening, but I think people are willing to put in the time because they realize the importance of having such a journal to contribute to," said Chrapko. "It's a great opportunity."