JURO@GA: online journal for undergraduate researchers

Undergraduate researchers at the University of Georgia are using web-based technology and mixed media to publish their scholarly works in the humanities, arts and social sciences via the online Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (JURO@GA).

Since JURO@GA was started in spring 2002 under the auspices of UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO), the journal staff has increased to 19 student editors, the scope of the journal has been expanded to include social science research and the Web site has moved to a more prominent and accessible space on the UGA server.

Anyone with an Internet connection can access Kelly Proctor’s comparison of environmental reporting in Chinese and American newspapers or view Jennifer Xin’s commercial artwork for a hypothetical seeding company. These two student submissions are among 16 featured in JURO@GA’s current issue, a sampling of the best presentations from CURO’s 2006 undergraduate research symposium, an event held every spring.

For the first time, JURO@GA is also featuring a special issue of select student presentations from the 2006 National Conferences for Undergraduate Research (NCUR), where more than 1,000 students participate annually.

When JURO@GA was first created with a focus on the “Best of CURO,” there were only three editors and Web site infrastructure support was provided by UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and Information Technology Outreach Services.

Subsequent issues carried this theme, but technological difficulties limited access to the articles and artwork until Jeremy Johnson, a 2005 UGA graduate in Russian and history, worked with CURO on the initial redesign and relaunch of the journal last year.

During his four years at UGA, Johnson completed Web development courses and studied other online undergraduate research journals to update JURO@GA’s format, making it more independent and more manageable with a larger student staff.

Johnson, the journal’s former managing editor, chose JURO@GA as one of two topics for his Honors theses, working under the guidance of Pamela Kleiber, associate director of UGA’s Honors Program and editor-in-chief of the journal.

Archives of past issues are available on the JURO@GA Web site, along with submission guidelines and links to other undergraduate research resources.

The Web site also includes downloadable videos from “Inside Stories,” interviews of humanities and arts faculty conducted by undergraduate researchers at UGA. This video series, a joint effort between the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and CURO, is aimed at helping undergraduates understand the research process from inspiration to product.