Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

JOSHUA allows undergrads to publish pre-med work

Many scientific academic journals are well-known in the professional research world, but there are fewer options for undergraduate students wishing to get their work published.

Started in 2002, The Journal of Science and Health at The University of Alabama, more commonly known as JOSHUA, has grown throughout the years. The journal showcases articles from all areas of science and health, with work from all fields of undergraduate research, in its annual editions.

“I view JOSHUA as a means by which students can set themselves apart from the crowd,” Guy Caldwell, professor of biological sciences and faculty advisor for the journal, said. “Every pre-med shadows a doctor, they have a good GPA, they do volunteer work, but not all of them have published a scientific article in a journal.”

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Caldwell created the journal after he started a similar one, The Washington and Lee Journal of Science, at his alma mater when he was in college. After becoming faculty advisor of the Honors Biology Club, Caldwell said he thought that would be a good place to start the journal.

He said the first couple issues of JOSHUA were heavily biology-based, but the journal now covers a broad spectrum of science and health as more people get involved.

Caldwell said one of the big decisions he made early on was to not copyright JOSHUA. Caldwell said he did this so articles in the journal could be expanded and revised in the future.

Jonathan Belanich, a senior majoring in biology and anthropology, is the current editor-in-chief. Since Belanich has served for two years, JOSHUA’s next edition, coming out in May, will be his second issue with the journal.

“It was overwhelming the first time,” Belanich said. “When the entire thing was finished, I had the tangible copies, I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve done this completely.’”

Belanich said anyone can submit a piece for publication, as long as it is a review or research article pertaining to science or health. Submissions are done online. He said after the deadline, editors sit down for a review process to pick anywhere from seven to 10 articles.

The main aim was to make the journal as broad as possible to give all students in these areas the opportunity to publish an article.

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Belanich said last year, undergraduates from other universities, including Brown and Davidson, submitted articles.

After the review process and designing is over, the journal gets sent to the publisher, who prints approximately 1,200 hard copies. Copies of JOSHUA are also available online.

“Just the reading of it, it shows what UA undergraduate research and sciences can do,” Belanich said. “Science and research is all well and good, but if it’s not published, or it’s not out there, then it’s really nothing more than data in a book.”

Belanich and his editors do all they can to spread the word about JOSHUA in hopes of encouraging students to submit and get involved. They visit classrooms, professors with labs and speak to the heads of different departments, he said.

Paula Adams, a junior majoring in biology and anthropology, is an editor with JOSHUA. She said the publication is beneficial to the University because it’s a way to show high school students who visit a way they could potentially get involved.

“It’s just a really great opportunity for undergrads to get published,” Adams said. “This is a way for them to start making a name for themselves.”

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The deadline to submit for this year’s journal is Friday.

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