I am strongly committed to supporting undergraduate students to publish their work, either in the public arena (on blogs, in magazines, etc) or in academic journals.
Most research supervisors – including me! – want their postgraduate students to publish. But it is much rarer for academics to provide the opportunity, encouragement and support for undergraduates to do the same. I am committed to providing this.
My students have the opportunity to complete publishable (or potentially publishable) assignments in all my courses. I am very proud of all their achievements.
In SCOM1001 students have the option to write a blog post for assessment that is posted on the undergraduate science communication students’ blog, Sandpaw. What is particularly terrific about this is that many students’ posts have received a lot of web traffic for a small blog (for example Natalie’s post on nanoparticles in sunscreen and Natalia Lee’s post on body modifications each received over 200 unique views in 2012) and/or have achieved a high presence in Google searches. Examples of the latter are:
- a post by Sam Needham on people’s misunderstandings about quantum physics. This post makes the top 3 hits of more than 1 million in Google searches for the search terms ‘misunderstanding’ and ‘quantum’ or ‘misunderstanding’ and ‘physics’
- Harry Bennetto’s post on cross-pollination of genetically modified crop plants makes the first page in Google searches for ‘GM’ and ‘cross-pollination’
- Natalie’s nanoparticles in sunscreen post (above) makes the second page of Google hits for the terms ‘nanoparticles’ and ‘sunscreen’
- Madeline Hastings’ post on the ‘warrior gene’ makes the second page on Google for ‘warrior gene’.
In SCOM3003 students are strongly encouraged to write up their data for journal publication if it is of good enough quality. As of April 2014:
- student Naomi Shadbolt has published her research in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia (see Shadbolt et al. in publications list)
- student Amy Dobos has had her research accepted for publication in Public Understanding of Science (see Dobos et al. in publications list)
- Watch this space and/or subscribe to the site blog for updates.
In SCOM2003 students have the option to participate in a group research project for an attempt at journal publication.
- The 2010 cohort have already published their paper in the prestigious International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement.
- The 2011 cohort have posted a formal research report on the Sandpaw blog.
- A publication attempt for the 2012 cohort is underway, and the 2013 cohort are considering their options. Progress will be updated here and on the site blog.
In 2011 student Rami Ibo published an article about SCOM2003 in the magazine Chemistry in Australia, highlighting some creative assessment he completed in the course: