By Theodore Szpakowski, Contributing Writer
On Oct. 24, Musselman Library will host a Student Journal Showcase in the Apse from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This event is an opportunity for students to learn about participating in student-run journals and for everyone to meet and celebrate student editors.
At Gettysburg College, there are six peer-reviewed undergraduate journals run by students and hosted in the Cupola. The Mercury focuses on art and literary writing. The other five are focused on research: The Gettysburg Historical Journal, The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era, Gettysburg Social Sciences Review, and Gettysburg Journal for Public Policy and Gettysburg College Headquarters. These journals are openly available online for both Gettysburg College and the world with no paywall, which is why the library has decided to celebrate them during International Open Access Week.
Archer Castle ’24 first became involved with The Mercury by submitting his work. Now, he coordinates the edits made to all the journal’s poetry submissions as the Poetry Genre Head.
“It’s really great to see all of the different kinds of works people submit. Rhyming or not, long and short, meditative or funny or everything in between,” Castle said. “It’s really nice to be reminded as I go over the submissions of how much people on this campus just like to write!”
For the first-year class, journal participation can also provide credit towards the Guided Pathways program. Publication in a student journal is an exploratory experience on the Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation pathway as serving as an editor is a consequential experience. Journals will be advertising their open positions at the showcase.
Publication in a student journal can also be a way for students to show off classwork that they are proud of, as two students who published last year explained.
“I’ve always been interested in publishing, and I was really proud of the article and the analysis I did in it, so I decided to submit!” said Samantha Martin ‘24, who published a paper in the inaugural volume of the Gettysburg Journal for Public Policy last spring.
Kelly Smolik ’24 agreed, noting that the process of submitting to The Mercury was simple after she had received feedback on her work in a creative writing class last fall. She was published this spring.
Students have also recognized that there can be something special about working or writing for the journals that publish in print.
“When the physical copies come out, your name gets to be there in ink, forever!” Castle notes. “It’s a really cool feeling.”
The online editions are highly visible due to search engine optimization on the Cupola website. This means that a published work will become one of the first Google results for the author’s name, which means writing can be shown to future employers. The most downloaded work from a student journal is The Tavern in Colonial America by Steven Struzinski ’03 in The Gettysburg Historical Journal, which has been downloaded over 29,200 times.
The showcase will offer the opportunity for students to find out which journals are seeking editors, reviewers and authors. Otherwise, students can stop by just to celebrate. The library will be serving open access sugar cookies, from a cookie cutter printed in Gettysburg’s Innovation and Creativity Lab based on an openly licensed design.