This project has ambitious aims to bring to fruition a high quality undergraduate publication consisting of original scientific research papers, reviews, textbooks reviews and conference proceedings. As part of the initiative the project team established processes, resources and capacity for two issues of a new, peer reviewed, health science journal per annum.
This is the first MTU Health Sciences Journal and also the first MTU student-led journal.
This will provide learning opportunities for all biomedical science undergraduate students on submitting research papers, reviewing papers, editing a journal, reviewing new textbooks, reading the journal or integrating the journal into their professional training. In addition, it will develop a skillset within our undergraduates for scholarly activity that strengthens capacity for communication and CPD.
To ensure the embedding of the initiative a self-sustaining and rolling panel of student editors/reviewers will be enabled by recruiting authors as editors.
As part of the initiative, there will be a new MTU authored open educational resource consisting of instructional media to train students in the areas of peer review, journal editing, ethics and open science. This will provide a template for other disciplines in MTU and beyond to develop undergraduate journals.
How did the project work towards its aims?
A structured project plan was established at the start of the initiative with key deliverables including:
- Partnering Department of Biomedical Sciences team members with MTU Library and utilise MTU’s Open Access Repository, SWORD, to host and provide support to the online undergraduate journal.
- Identifying students’ current and future research outputs to provide ongoing content for journal
- Collaborating with the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning, MTU Cork campuses to develop training tools and processes including instructional media to train students in areas of peer review, open science, ethics and journal editing. Formatted these media as SCORM compliant OER format
- Recruiting current Biological Sciences staff in support of the journal i.e. being paired with a student peer reviewer to guide them through process
- Recruiting a panel of student peer reviewers and editors, made of up of Biological Science students from 3rd & 4th year to ensure knowledge and experience consistently being developed within student cohort
- Collaboration with MTU Arts Office to create a competition for the cover art with a dual funded prize
- Commissioned a designer to design Journal cover and journal marketing material based on competition winning artwork
On completion of the above phases, the Journal was published and launched by MTU President, Professor Maggie Cusack.
To support dissemination a webinar to share work and launch journal to help develop professional skills including event organization and project management is planned.
Project dissemination has taken a number of formats to support the launch of the Journal, and the transferability of the initiative to other discipline areas, including:
- The Journal itself: Open Access Journal
- Department of TEL interpreted project participants ideas and created a series of training modules in a SCORM compliant Open Educational Resources that will allow students and professional staff to learn how to replicate this project framework.
- Open Access Training Modules:
- Online training seminar series
- Online Journal Launch by MTU president
The project plans to develop a series of papers and case studies to share the process of Journal creation and a longitudinal study of student success.
How might this project develop over the next 2-5 years?
- The students through the curriculum will provide an ongoing source of high-quality journal content for sustainability of journal
- The four proposers are now adjunct editors will provide commitment to the project and expertise in digital publishing and in the field of biomedical science:
- Dr Cotter, First year co-ordinator and incoming director of the programme & Dr Lucey, fourth year co-ordinator, current president of the ACSLM (professional body for medical scientists) undertake to provide fundamental support to the journal on ongoing basis. Both regularly review papers for scientific journals.
- As the library collaborators and institutional repository managers, Ms Hanrahan and Ms Ahern, will provide support consisting of permanent hosting and preservation of the journal and content on SWORD site. Furthermore, we have promise of support and guidance from the Digital Scholarship and Research Data Management Librarians. The licence for this journal’s platform is subscribed annually by MTU.
- The SCORM compliant, open format of the training modules allows for their constant modification and updating when required. They will also be available to any other teams with access to the internet to utilise and modify.
- Journal support will be available on an ongoing basis by the library in MTU, confirmed by Head Librarian, Jean Ricken.
WHO ARE THE PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS?
Biomedical Sciences Staff – Adjunct Editors
- Dr. Brigid Lucey
- Dr. Lesley Cotter
Library Staff – Adjunct Editors
- Sinéad Hanrahan
- Thérèse Ahern
Biomedical Sciences Student Editorial Team
- Shane Cusack
- Ruth Delahunty
- Katie O'Brien
- Evelyn Hayes
- Cliodhna Ó Shúilleabháin et al
Arts Office – Cover Art Competition Collaboration Team
- Sarah Morey
- Kevin Tuohy