L-R: Dr Thomas Acton, Head of J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics and NovoVerse Editorial Board Member, Joanne Duffy, Researcher and Undergraduate Conference Representative, Dr Trevor Clohessy, Researcher and NovoVerse Editor-in-Chief, Tomás Ó Síocháin, External Engagement Programme Manager NUI Galway an NovoVerse Advisory Board Member. Photo: NUI Galway.
NUI Galway today (18 October 2017) launched NovoVerse, a new eJournal dedicated to publishing undergraduate student research. This type of research is defined as, ‘an inquiry or investigation conducted by undergraduate students that makes an original, intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline’. Itsaim is to support students as researchers by promoting their work in the disciplines of higher education.
Dr Trevor Clohessy, editor-in-chief and post-doctoral researcher from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “Our aim is to motivate undergraduate students in a supporting but diligent environment, to engage in the craft of innovative and empirically rigorous academic research writing, which is then published and disseminated to a wider public audience, where the authors of accepted research papers will be invited to present their research at the annual NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference.”
The NovoVerse eJournal project involves specific stakeholders in the review and publication process: undergraduates (Authors), postgraduates (Mentors) and academics (Stewards). This undergraduate eJournal will be underpinned by an action research element that will provide a project template for increasing awareness of the importance of undergraduate research communication and dissemination at a national level.
Dr Clohessy added: “The benefits for students who publish their research in NovoVerse are multifold. While initially being rolled out as a pilot project for business and information undergraduates, it will be scaled up to include all other NUI Galway undergraduate disciplines in early 2018. It also welcomes articles from a broad range of topics submitted from single or multiple authors and papers from students at other institutions. Theoretical and practical research (including case studies and project reports) providing useful insights will be considered. Our editorial philosophy is to strive for a balance between theoretical and practical topics. All accepted research articles will be published electronically on the NovoVerse eJournal website.”
The NovoVerse submission process:
· An undergraduate student submits their research article.
· The article is reviewed by a group of postgraduate research students.
· A decision is then made whether to publish the article.
· The student receives constructive feedback on their submission regardless of the article being accepted or not.
· The entire process is monitored by a senior editorial panel.
· If the paper is accepted and published, the student will present their research as a poster or presentation at the annual NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference.
NUI Galway has a number of industry partners with whom undergraduates complete their final year project, and they will be made aware of the eJournal to ensure they become familiar with some of the innovative research the students are carrying out. The students can use the hyperlink to their published paper to include with their resumes, LinkedIn profiles and research portfolios to showcase their writing, research and report writing skills.
NovoVerse will serve as a beacon that will highlight the innovative research being conducted by NUI Galway undergraduate students. For example, in 2016, some fourth year Business Information Systems students competed in the Global Undergraduate Student Blackstone Competition, which presented students around the world with a single challenge: Solve a Campus Problem.Their entry ‘UniConnect’, which doubled as their final year project, was a mobile app which consolidated all of the social and academic data of students’ lives into one place. Out of 105 entries across 17 global universities the students finished in fifth place following first round voting.
A report on the eJournal will be completed by NUI Galway at the end of 2017 to provide a blueprint for a national rolled out version of the project. This report will detail the benefits of the project, lessons learnt and the benefits of a national pan-undergraduate platform.
NovoVerse is sponsored by a Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching research grant.