Publish, Don’t Perish: A student’s guide to academic undergraduate journals at UBC

By the end of submissions season, you may feel close to death. File Tara Martellaro

It’s 7 a.m., you’re on your fifth Yerba and you’re furiously writing that one research paper worth 40% of your final grade. Your eyelids are so heavy you can’t even see the screen anymore. You’re also about 100 words away from asking for reparations. For legal purposes, if you’re my professor, I’m totally not speaking from personal experience.

Here at The Ubyssey, we can’t quite demand financial compensation for your academic trauma on your behalf but we can give you the next best thing: an opportunity to get your work criticized!

I’m kidding. Kind of.

Getting your work published in a journal is a great way for you to get recognition for your work. You can also hit two birds with one stone by submitting a modified term paper to an academic journal for publication.

Your friends at The Ubyssey have taken it upon themselves to help you with this process by compiling a near-comprehensive guide to all the academic publications affiliated with UBC that are willing to accept undergraduate work.

How this Guide Works

All these publications were found by Googling “UBC Journal” and browsing department websites for mentions of in-house journals. The descriptions for each publication are based on information from their websites, social media and email statements requested by The Ubyssey.

We have excluded any journals that have not been active (no updates on their website or social media) for the past year and who were not responsive to our emails. If you are aware of any active journals (literary, media, scholarly or otherwise) affiliated with UBC but not included here, please let us know!

As long as this list already is, there are also a whole bunch of journals out there that aren’t affiliated with UBC that are open to publishing work by UBC undergrads. We haven’t included them in this article but feel free to check out this website for some other options including the International Journal of Education and the Arts and the STEM fellowship journal. But for now, you can start by browsing our own list which is sorted in alphabetical order.

Note that this guide is only for strictly academic journals. There are a few journals affiliated with UBC that accept both academic and creative work that are not included here but are included in our undergrad creative publication guide.

If you want to start your own journal, check out this guide from the UBC Library. Starting your own journal would be a great way to contribute to the scholarly and creative world at UBC. Academia can be notoriously elitist at times so if you want to use publications to improve your CV for grad school, consider submitting to existing, reputable journals with rigorous peer-review processes.

Pre-Submission Checklist

Before we get into the good stuff, let’s cover some basics. If you find a journal you’re interested in, make sure that you read their “About us” or guidelines page to make sure that your work is within the scope of that journal. Your manuscript or submission should also be carefully formatted according to their submission guidelines. Keep in mind that most journals require some sort of additional documentation along with your submission, such as a cover letter, author biography, etc.

Make sure to keep track of their submission policies as well! Some journals will not accept work that has also been submitted to another journal for review. Note down the deadlines in your calendar or reminders app to make sure you don’t forget. It’s also handy to jot down the contact info for their editorial board to shoot them any questions.

The range of acceptable submissions will vary according to the journal of interest so make sure to do your own due diligence to understand the different types.

This guide won’t cover all the possible types of submissions there are but we will highlight one common type of submission that isn’t usually discussed in undergraduate classes: the review article.

Review articles are similar to the literature reviews you may have written for your WRDS 150 class. It is essentially a critical summary, evaluation and synthesis of the existing research i.e. “scholarly literature” relevant to your topic. It’s essentially a standalone literature review. Importantly, it’s different from several other types of manuscripts, such as a theory paper, mainly because they have a dedicated methodology section.

The methodology section of a review article details the processes, systems, techniques and databases you used to find, collect, select, evaluate and synthesize the literature you discuss in your article. It’s a way for other scholars to evaluate the validity of your study and potentially replicate it.

Now, for what you’re actually here for: the publications. Let’s get into it.

Academic Publications

Canadian Journal of Undergraduate Research (CJUR)

The Canadian Journal of Undergraduate Research was founded and continues to be led by a group of undergraduate students at UBC who hope to provide “an accessible platform for undergraduates to gain experience in academic publishing.” CJUR publishes research from undergraduate students in all disciplines.

Submissions are initially assessed by their editorial board, made up of senior undergraduate students, then passed onto graduate student reviewers from a variety of academic disciplines for technical feedback.

The hiring process for new editors takes place during spring through the UBC Undergraduate Research Opportunities Club

They accept submissions on a rolling basis throughout the year. Issues are published every April, August and December. You can check out their current issue on their website. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to check out their submissions guidelines first as well as their archive.

Cinephile: UBC’s Film Journal

As stated in their website, “Cinephile is a peer-reviewed journal edited by graduate students in the Cinema and Media Studies program at the University of British Columbia… [It] is intended to provide a platform to share research papers, book reviews, and reports that engage with debates appropriate to film, media, and cultural studies.“

In an email statement to The Ubyssey, Alec Christensen, one of the editors-in-chief of Cinephile, clarified that they only publish graduate level work and above.

You can check out their current issue and previous issues on their website. They clarify on their website that “[a]ll submissions must follow MLA standards for formatting and layout.” Submissions can be emailed to them directly.

Please note that the submission period for their upcoming issue has already passed earlier this October and will likely be published this Spring. They also clarified that their call for papers is usually posted in July or August.

The journal is run by volunteer UBC Cinema and Media Studies graduate students and does not recruit editorial staff outside of the program.

IONA Journal of Economics

Per their Facebook page, IONA is “an annual, student-run publication at the Vancouver School of Economics [VSE] at UBC that promotes undergraduate research in emerging economics.”

“Each paper published in the journal undergoes a double-blind peer review by our Senior and Junior Editors and a faculty review by the Faculty Advisory Committee.”

In an email statement to The Ubyssey, the editors-in-chief of Iona, Annie Chang and Rachel Lee, confirmed that they “[accept] and [encourage] submissions from students outside the VSE as long as their research has an economic angle … Interdisciplinary research is accepted and encouraged.”

They also explained the three distinct portfolios that make up the Iona Journal of Economics. The Journal publishes undergraduate economic research. The Exchange is their online magazine, the writers of which are hired during their recruitment period, and Iona Asks is their podcast run by producers also hired during their recruitment period.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, please refer to their submission guidelines and submit your piece by January 10th 2022. Make sure to check out previous volumes on their website for more info.

If you are interested in joining their team, they recruit new staff every year from late September to October.

Pacific Affairs

In an email statement to The Ubyssey, Daniel Kane, Editorial Assistant at Pacific Affairs explained that they “only publish articles that deal with important and current political, economic, and social issues facing Asia and the Pacific. Most contributions come from faculties of economics, political science, international relations, anthropology, and sociology, with some from history.”

They publish articles and book reviews from any writers with a master’s degree at minimum. Although they do not publish undergraduate work, they have published academic work by PhD students.

They accept submissions on a rolling basis and release quarterly issues. If you are interested in working for Pacific Affairs, they hire one to three student assistants during the academic year and one student assistant over the summer. Per their email, “once a student is hired, they typically stay with us on average for two years.” If a position opens up, the hiring process usually occurs during August or April/May.

Sojourners Undergraduate Journal of Sociology

Sojourners is committed to publishing undergraduate papers with a sociological perspective. It is published annually by the UBC Sociology Students Association. Undergraduate students from any faculty at UBC and outside UBC are welcome to submit their work.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to check out their submission guidelines and hand it in before December 20th, 2021 at 11:59 PM for Volume 14. You can also view all their previous issues, including their most recent publication, on their website.

As their editors-in-chief, Pooja Ramachandran and Esmé Stumborg, clarified in an email statement to The Ubyssey, If you are interested in joining their editorial staff, they usually finish recruiting editors by mid-November on an annual basis.

Tributaries

Per their website, Tributaries publishes literature, artwork and creative work related to the Asian and Asian diasporic experience.

As Tributaries did not reply to The Ubyssey’s request for further comment by the time of publication, The Ubyssey is unsure whether this journal is still active.

The Journal of Political Studies

The Journal of Political Studies is a student-run, peer- and faculty-reviewed undergraduate research journal. Per their website, “the JPS is published by the UBC Political Science Student Association in partnership with the UBC Department of Political Science.”

“[They] publish papers that span a wide variety of subfields which include Canadian and US politics, international relations, political theory and comparative politics. Papers are selected on the basis of originality of research, conceptual innovation, topicality of subject matter, and overall quality of writing.”

In an email statement to The Ubyssey, their editors-in-chief Danilo Angulo-Molina and Hannah Stojicevic encouraged upper-year undergraduate students in geography, urban studies, economics and philosophy, among others, to apply. Preferential treatment is not given to political science students.

You can learn more about their editorial and peer review process on their website. They welcome submissions from current undergraduate students at UBC from now until late December. Per their statement, the editorial team at JPS has set the submission deadline to January 6, 2022. However, if they find that they need more submissions, they normally extend this deadline.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to read over their submission guidelines and check out their previous issues.

Since most of their meetings are in person, they only recruit editorial staff from the UBC Vancouver campus during October to November.

The Undergraduate Journal of Experimental Microbiology and Immunology (UJEMI)

As stated in their website, “The Undergraduate Journal of Experimental Microbiology and Immunology (UJEMI) is dedicated to the publication of undergraduate articles in fields related to microbiology and immunology. “

UJEMI accepts works authored by undergraduate students from across the world, including all faculties at UBC.

They have four main publications: UJEMI, UJEMI+, UJEMI-Perspectives and UJEMI-Methods. More information about the differences in scope for these publications can be found on their website.

Manuscripts are due on May 15th every year for their annual publication. The peer review and publication process spans May to August and the final publication is released in early fall. Any manuscripts submitted after May 15th will be considered for the following year’s issue.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to check out their publication process outline, submission guidelines and previous issues.

UBC Journal of Historical Studies

The UBC Journal of Historical Studies, formerly known as Atlas Undergraduate Journal of World History, is a peer- and faculty-reviewed student-run publication. They publish historical research done by undergraduate students on an annual basis.

In an email statement to The Ubyssey, the editors-in-chief of the UBC Journal of Historical Studies, Narisa Song and Andrew Sandfort-Marchese, clarified that “Submissions will undergo a double-blind peer-review from the editorial board and successful submissions will be reviewed by a panel of faculty assessors.“

Per their website, “[they] are directly supported by the Department of History, the History Students Association and the Arts Undergraduate Society.”

Submissions are usually accepted during the fall and winter towards a spring publication. They accept work from all undergraduate students at UBC regardless of faculty, program or specialization.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to check out their submission guidelines and past issues for inspiration. Their call for submissions this year ends on December 28, 2021.

If you are interested in joining their team, the application period for editorial staff usually occurs during the second or third week of September on an annual basis.

“The [editorial] application usually consists of a CV, a writing sample, and an interview. The JHS will open an application for a layout editor position in early January. The layout editor will be responsible for formatting and designing the upcoming 2022 edition for publication. Proficiency in Adobe InDesign, Creative Cloud, and Microsoft Word is strongly preferred,” said their co-editors.

UBC Journal of International Affairs (JIA)

According to their website, JIA “is a student-run, internationally-distributed undergraduate publication that showcases original papers selected in a blind peer and faculty review process.”

They have a wide-ranging scope that publishes work across the spheres of international relations, international trade and development, global security affairs and the interplay of multinational corporations and states.

They are supported by the International Relations Student Association and the UBC International Relations Program

Their previous issue for the 2020-2021 school year is accessible through their website! You can also browse their past editions here. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to check out their submission guidelines first. Please note that the submission window for this year has already passed on October 24, 2021.

JIA did not reply to The Ubyssey’s request for further comment by the time of publication.

UBC Journal of Philosophical Enquiries

The UBC Journal of Philosophical Enquiries, previously known as Hemlock, “is a student-run, academic philosophy journal dedicated to publishing undergraduate philosophy research from students across Canada.”

According to their latest edition, “[t]he publication is produced in association with the UBC Philosophy Students’ Association, supported by the UBC Department of Philosophy and the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.”

Their 2019-2020 edition, Volume 1, Issue 1, can be found on their website. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to carefully read their submission guidelines beforehand.

In a statement emailed to The Ubyssey, JPE co-editors in chief Brandon Bach and Patrick Li shared that they are currently welcoming submissions from now until January 2, 2022 for the 2021-2022 edition. Students from all departments are welcome to submit a manuscript

If you are interested in joining their team, their usual recruitment period for editors and graphic designers is from mid September to late October every school year.

UBC Law Review

The UBC Law Review is, per their website, “one of Canada’s leading peer-reviewed legal journals” and is published by the UBC Law Review Society. Their mandate is “to stimulate debate and encourage discussion of the current state of the law in Canada and abroad,” preferably relating to the law in BC and Canada. They publish independent articles, book reviews and case comments.

In a statement emailed to The Ubyssey, Deborah Trotchine (Editor-in-Chief, Editorial) and Johanna Vanneste (Editor-in-Chief, Administrative) of the UBC Law Review clarified that authors do not need to be a part of the UBC Law Review Society to submit a paper and that they accept submissions from all UBC Campuses, faculties, schools, institutes and departments as well as other Canadian or international school and legal practitioners. No preference is given based on school or faculty and undergraduate work is welcome.

They publish three to four issues per year and accept submissions on a rolling basis. They publish an issue every January/February and May/June, and one to two issues every August/September.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to check out their submission guidelines and previous issues on their website. Please note that the deadline for their upcoming issue Volume 55, Issue 2 has already passed. New submissions will be considered for Volume 55, Issue 3. To be included in Issue 3, submissions need to be submitted by early-to-mid-January 2022.

If you are interested in joining their team, they recruit assistant editors in September of every year as well as an assistant business manager.

Per their statement, they only recruit students studying at the Peter A. Allard School of Law. “Students who have completed their first year at Allard are also invited to apply to the Board of Directors of the UBC Law Review Society. Most Board positions are only open to people who were Assistant Editors. Elections occur for the Board in March/early April every year. The UBC Law Review is entirely student-run and Board members manage the day-to-day operations of the journal, as well as make publication decisions.”

UBC Medical Journal

According to their website, the University of British Columbia Medical Journal (UBCMJ) is a “student-driven academic journal with a goal to engage students in dialogue in medicine.” They specifically publish academic work within the field of medicine. This includes original research, review articles, clinical reports, elective reports and commentaries on the principles and practice of medicine.

They accept work falling within a wide variety of topics “including but not limited to research, reviews, case reports, medical history, ethics, medical anthropology, epidemiology, public health, and international health.” In an email statement to The Ubyssey, their Senior Editor-in-Chief, Emily Leung, confirmed that “we do publish undergraduate work, as long as they meet our submission and editorial guidelines and pass our peer-review process.”

UBCMJ published two issues during the Spring and Fall. Their Spring 2022 call for submissions has just passed. Their next call will be around March 2022 for the Fall 2022 issue. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, make sure to check out their submission guidelines first.

If you’re looking for inspiration, their current issue for Fall 2021, Medicine of the Future, Volume 13 Issue 1 is now available! You can also browse past issues on their website.

If you would like to become part of their staff, they recruit editorial and writing staff every Fall during August and September.

UBC Press

Per their website, the UBC Press is a member of the Association of Canadian University Presses, the Association of American University Presses, the Association of Canadian Publishers, the International Federation of Scholarly Publishers and the Association of Book Publishers in British Columbia.

They publish work that make “vital contribution[s] to the democratic exchange of ideas” including books about “Canadian history, political science, the environment, Indigenous history and current issues, legal trends, social policy, sexuality studies, education, natural resources, communications, labour studies, historical geography, health policy, food studies, immigration, multiculturalism, and transnationalism” as well as “works that document and explore Asian history and contemporary society.”

They specifically publish non-fiction in the “social sciences and humanities in areas that include: history, law, Indigenous studies, political science, environmental studies, sociology, gender studies, and Asian studies.”

Their published works are first approved by the UBC Press Publication Board which is composed of appointed UBC senior faculty. Moreover, the “UBC Press reports to the UBC Vice President Research and Innovation.”

Please note that the UBC Press has four catalogues: the UBC Press which is focused on peer-reviewed books about the social sciences and humanities; On Point Press which focuses on non-fiction written for a more general audience (i.e. not just a scholarly audience); Purich Books which focuses on Indigenous studies and law; and On Campus which focuses on guides for college and university students and faculty.

If you are interested in submitting your work, make sure to look over their submission guidelines first. In an email statement to The Ubyssey, Laraine Coates, Assistant Director Marketing and Business Development, confirmed that “there would be nothing specifically barring us from publishing undergraduate work, but it would need to fit with what we publish, in the areas we publish, and pass peer review and meet with our publication board approval.”

I also recommend reading through the resources on their website to better understand how university presses work.

UBC Undergraduate Journal of Psychology (UBCUJP)

According to their website, “the UBC Undergraduate Journal of Psychology is an annual, student-run, and peer-reviewed journal.” Its goal is to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to publish their academic research. They publish academic articles across “multiple domains of psychology research, including: clinical, health, cognitive, developmental, social/personality/culture, quantitative, and behavioural neuroscience.”

It is affiliated with Psi Chi (UBC Chapter), the UBC Psychology Students’ Association and Sojourners Undergraduate Journal of Psychology.

All their previous volumes are freely accessible on their website. Their latest post on their Facebook page is from April 2020 advertising volume 6 which has not been uploaded to their website.

UBCUJP did not reply to The Ubyssey’s request for further comment by the time of publication, The Ubyssey is unsure whether this journal is still active.