The Marpeck Undergraduate Research Journal (MURJ) is a multidisciplinary journal in its pilot year, incorporating students from Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas.
MURJ entertains submissions from students in all academic departments of both institutions. Initial funding for this project has been provided by the Marpeck Fund, which links a number of Anabaptist institutions of higher education in North America. The journal can be found online at marpeckjournal.bethelks.edu.
Why an undergraduate research journal?
The ability to provide substantive opportunities for undergraduate research is one of the distinct advantages of small colleges and universities like ours. For the most part, students work directly with Ph.D.-holding professors who have active research careers, in relatively small classes. The pedagogical benefits of this kind of work, however, are even greater when one’s research has a real audience beyond one’s instructor, and when that work goes through some process of review. An undergraduate research journal that spans Mennonite higher education is an exciting way to make this kind of learning possible for students in our classrooms.
Benefits for students:
- New pedagogical opportunities: learn to think and write more clearly through a disciplined process of review and revision
- Building academic experience and credentials
- Links to other people, institutions and places
Benefits for faculty
- Working towards a portfolio of exemplary student papers for reference in class
- Growing the culture of vibrant scholarly research on our campuses by incorporating students
- Simply engaging in new, student-contributed research
Linking Bethel and CMU both as co-operators and as audiences for each other’s research work is critical for these benefits. The communal, Anabaptist ethos of the Marpeck schools both provides students with a real audience comprised of people they don’t know, while limiting that audience to a sympathetic group who can identify with the larger project, and thus be more likely to read and engage. A journal like this represents a significant step toward realizing a vision of collaborative scholarship among the Marpeck schools. This can help our institutions develop distinctive cultures of research, and offer ways in which faculty and alumni can nurture, support and benefit from the work of current students from institutions other than those with which they have firsthand experience.
Call for papers
Students at Bethel and CMU are already involved in substantive scholarly research, so there are already student papers that could soon be prepared for submission. Faculty of all academic fields at both institutions should recall student papers they have read in the last year that should be considered for submission (though papers from previous years may also be considered).
Faculty should reach out to students who have recently submitted outstanding papers to let them know, see if there is interest, and encourage them to submit. The hope is to publish 7-8 papers (3-4 from each institution), so papers should be exceptional. Faculty referral is required by way of signature on the submission form.
Please consult the “Submission Guidelines for Authors.”
Submission guidelines for authors
To submit your paper, complete the paper submission form, including your referring faculty’s signature, and an abstract of 250-300 words and attach it along with a copy of your paper in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, by Oct. 1, 2019.
As a multidisciplinary journal, there is no prescriptive journal style sheet for authorial voice or citation style, etc., but these must be internally consistent, and appropriate within the relevant academic field.
- APA, MLA, Chicago (including Turabian and Chicago-based, e.g. SBL)
- Footnotes, endnotes, and in-text citations are all acceptable.
- File Format: .docx or .doc
- Length: Maximum 25 pages (although some leeway may be given for time considerations)
- Font: Times New Roman, 12pt for body, 10pt for notes
- Notes: Footnotes or endnotes are acceptable
- Layout: 1-inch margins, double spaced, numbered pages
- Tables and Figures: .jpg, .tiff, .png; 400–600dpi
- Images should be submitted in a separate file
- Tables should be placed at the end of the word document
- Note table or image location within the paper, numbered sequentially as they appear in the paper (e.g.: <table_1>; <figure_3>)
- List image captions or descriptions at the end of the word document (e.g. “table_1.data from my study”; “figure_3.graph of my data”)
- Place the paper title, or an abbreviated form, in the header of the document
- Remove identifying markers to assist in making the review process anonymous. Wherever possible, papers will be reviewed by a faculty member from the other campus.
For research conducted directly using human or animal subjects (for example, in psychology or biology), please include a description of any ethical review of the research that was performed, and for studies involving human subjects, include information about how participants were recruited for the study, and of any process undertaken to obtain informed consent from participants.
Published materials will be protected under the Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
This entails that the author is free to share—i.e. copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following terms:
Attribution—The author must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. The author may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
Non Commercial—The author may not use the material for commercial purposes.
No Derivatives—If the author remixes, transforms, or builds upon the material, the author may not distribute the modified material.
For more information, please consult the Creative Commons website