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>  News Releases >   2008 >   May

Dartmouth undergraduate publication celebrates 10 successful years

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 05/14/08 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp • (603) 646-3661

Will Schpero
DUJS President Will Schpero (photo by Tilman Dette '10)

Colleges, by nature, are always changing. Students come and go, and often their on-campus initiatives fade after graduation. That's why it's a notable milestone when a campus student journal can celebrate 10 years of continuous publishing history, which the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science will do this spring.

Established in 1998, DUJS publishes a mix of peer-reviewed student research papers and feature stories written by DUJS staff. The students have a rigorous and competitive editorial policy. Research submissions need a faculty recommendation, and only 30 to 40 percent are accepted.

"The students who write articles or submit research for publication in the DUJS do not have advanced degrees and decades of laboratory experience. What they do have, however, is a genuine intellectual interest in the sciences and a strong academic grounding in their field of interest," says William Schpero, a member of the class of 2010 and the current president of DUJS.

DUJS will celebrate their anniversary in conjunction with the Wetterhahn Science Symposium at Dartmouth on May 22. The symposium, sponsored in partnership with the Women in Science Project, will feature a keynote address by Dr. Pamela Hines, senior editor at Science, at 4 p.m. in Wilder 104 on the Dartmouth campus.

Articles in DUJS cover a wide variety of scientific disciplines and themes, from the current state of artificial intelligence research to the health risks of artificial sweeteners, from the decline of biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest to the use of lasers in surgery. The diversity of stories adds to its appeal. The journal has become a showpiece of sorts for both prospective and current students. "I think undergrads use it to get an idea of what might be possible for them if they do research here," says Ursula Gibson, associate professor of engineering at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering.

Gibson has been an advisor to the group from the beginning, and she's one of many advisors from different disciplines. "I'm impressed that it is student inspired, student run, and the students have kept it rolling and continued the high level of content," she says.

The editorial staff of DUJS at a recent meeting
The editorial staff of DUJS at a recent meeting (photo by Tilman Dette '10)

Working on the journal addresses many students' extra-curricular interests. "I'm really interested in science communication, and in making scientific news accessible to everyone," says biology major Laura Sternick, a member of the class of 2008, and DUJS editor in chief emeritus. "I also enjoy collaborating with the other students. It takes a lot of work to put each issue together, and we rely on each other to complete all the writing, editing, and layout to meet our deadlines."

More than 220 students have published 240 articles in the DUJS. This represents 22 printed issues over the last 10 years. Their online presence has been enhanced in recent months, and DUJS often hosts visiting speakers on campus, such as writers from The New York Times and from The New England Journal of Medicine. The DUJS was even mentioned prominently in a May 2001 story in Nature about student science journals.

"I find the DUJS to be a medium of personal growth for me," says Frank Glaser, an art history major in the class of 2008 and president emeritus of DUJS. "I am proud that a decade's worth of Dartmouth students have been impacted positively by the journal's strong presence in their midst. Scientists here and elsewhere have been genuinely interested in the developments propagated by the journal, as evidenced by the worldwide subscriptions."

Adds current DUJS President Schpero, "The credibility of the journal is enhanced by a devotion to ethical decision-making and a focus on getting the facts right the first time around," says Schpero. "The DUJS serves to enhance scientific dialogue and inform students about each other's work, which in turn allows for collaboration and peer-to-peer learning." 

To fellow students eager to try their hand at science writing or interested in launching a journal, Editor Emeritus Sternick offers this advice, "Just think about your audience and try to find the best combination of clarity, logic, brevity, and supporting evidence."

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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