Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



We are developing an experiential learning program, “Preparing Students to be Arbiters of New Scholarship,” funded by our campus teaching center. Through this work, we have found much enthusiasm for publishing student scholarship. However, we have also heard a wide range of concerns about sharing student work more widely. In this poster, we will describe how we are engaging both the enthusiasm and the concerns as rich opportunities in an experiential learning framework.

Student journal publishing is intrinsically a co-curricular experiential learning activity. Our campus’s framework for experiential learning includes: 1. Innovate and take risks 2. Solve complex problems 3. Collaborate across differences 4. Think critically and reflect on learning Our campus’s student journal editors are engaged in and passionate about their work. However, they do not have the resources they need to fully realize their own and their journals’ potentials. These students ask us in the Library for support in legitimizing their journals and in earning national recognition. Additionally, they have expressed a desire to produce their journals at a more professional level, to spend less time struggling with production workflows, and to be able to transition to new editors more smoothly. To forward their goals we have been helping student journal editors and staff become more adept at the work of publishing in the 21st century. Our campus’s teaching center awarded us a multi-year experiential learning grant, and we are using the funds to offer a formal instruction program, consult on best practices, and collaboratively develop structures to ensure that these journals are discovered and recognized for the ways they reflect on the many dimensions of the student experience. We are building this program within the framework established for experiential learning. This is a natural area of work for us, as we have been exploring the intersections of information literacy and scholarly communication. We initially focused on existing student journals, but as we discussed the program across campus, we found many more applications such as publishing prize-winning papers and culminating experience papers. Our conversations across campus were motivated by interest in learning what other kinds of needs our program might meet. We were also seeking co-funding for a publishing system. We see the need for a system that will greatly improve the production workflows, editorial processes, quality, visibility, and the reader experience of our student journals, both at the undergraduate and graduate program levels. We would also like a system that can be used for other kinds of publishing, such as conference and symposia papers, student papers, and faculty led journals. Our conversations with faculty, deans, and program directors have uncovered a fascinating range of views on student involvement in publishing. We’ve encountered enthusiasm and also concerns about publishing various types of student work. Since experiential learning involves taking risks, innovating, solving complex problems and collaborating across difference, we see these conversations as wonderful opportunities to place the work of students as arbiters of new knowledge into this framework. All of these conversations have enriched our understanding of our campus partners’ priorities and concerns. Our partners, in turn, have learned more about the Library’s role in publishing. These conversations have helped us develop specific policies around the publishing and vetting of student work. In this poster, we will describe how we are engaging both the enthusiasm and the concerns as rich learning opportunities in an experiential learning framework.


Poster presented at the ACRL National Conference 2017 in Baltimore, MD, March 24th