Explorations turns to online journal software created by an Aggie

As the Explorations Board gears up for another issue of the Undergraduate Research Journal, the way proposals and articles are submitted and reviewed has been changed.  The Explorations Board has turned to Scholastica, a new online journal management and publication website co-created by an Aggie, Rob Walsh, to streamline the submission and review process.

Rob Walsh
Rob Walsh ’06
– Photo courtesy of scholasticahq.com

As a student, Walsh majored in International Studies and spent his time in organizations like KANM radio and Freudian Slip while working on campus.  Working in the English Department gave Walsh a chance to see, first hand, what it takes to get a scholarly article published.  He saw the long process and many “hoops” to jump through as a thing of the past.  When the need to have an open access journal became clear, Walsh and his friends from graduate school, at the University of Chicago, created Scholastica.

According to the Scholastica website, “one night at Reynolds Club at the University of Chicago, we discussed all the problems we’ve seen within the academic publishing industry. Collectively, we’ve been on both sides:  working at academic journals, reviewing manuscripts, as well as publishing our own work. After a few cups of coffee, we decided that it wasn’t feasible for us to just wait for someone else to change to make the improvements that we believed were needed and tenable. It was up to us to do this ourselves.”

This system will greatly help the editorial board of Explorations as they start the task of reviewing and selection of Undergraduate Research articles.  With Scholastica the editorial board can login and review the same work together or on their own time, without the hassle of printing and passing around a hard copy of the work or sending multiple emails back and forth.  Faculty reviewers will also be able to login and review easily, and the multiple reviews necessary for a rigorous selection process are collated automatically by Scholastica’s software.  This facilitation is critical as Explorations continues to grow as a journal with submissions numbering 100 or more, and proposals now coming in from our Galveston and Qatar campuses as well as from sister campuses at Corpus Christi and from students who come to College Station for the summer to taste the Aggie spirit and work with our  renown faculty.

Not only does Scholastica create an easier reviewing process it also allows professors, researchers and students from across the country to publish their own works and journals for the world to see.  The cumbersome process of emailing files to a publisher and requiring complex logistics and many person-hours of coordination is now a thing of the past, with Scholastica the submission and review process has been greatly streamlined.

Contact: Chrystina Rago, chrysrago@honors.tamu.edu


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