Political Science Student Journals: What Students Publish and Why Student Publishing Matters
by Michaelene Cox, Illinois State University and Jaimie M. Kent, Illinois State University
Whereas there is a substantial body of scholarship assessing the merits of student journals, and an equally sizable amount of how-to-publish advice for students in higher education, there is little empirical research exploring the content of disciplinary student publications. To gain a sense of what political science students are publishing, this study examines articles in three peer-reviewed student journals of politics between 2005 and 2015: The Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, Critique, and Politikon. Content analysis reveals the nature of published student work by subfield, methodology, and topic, with findings discussed in the context of research trends in the profession and the debate about advantages and disadvantages of student journal publishing. A survey of graduate directors and student publishers indicates that student publishing can be both an academic accomplishment as well as an intrinsically rewarding experience.