Annual, national, peer-reviewed journals (with students doing editorial and peer review work) dedicated to the publication of undergraduate student research have become more prevalent. The purpose of such journals is to both foster the scholarly efforts of undergraduate students and reward that work at the same time. The increased opportunities for undergraduates to publish in national venues are now part of the overall educational experience.
Undergraduate journals provide valuable learning experiences for college students by offering them a glimpse into graduate-level work as well as a public research and writing culture. Knowledge and research are translated into experience for both student writers and student editors with undergraduate journals.
Creative venues have often existed for undergraduate publications; the new trend in undergraduate publishing, however, also opens opportunities for research and non-fiction publication. Our journal, DIGITAL SPECTRUM, is connected to these larger movements in undergraduate research publishing, but we are also capitalizing on the conversations that are happening in relation to open access publishing as well as multimedia textual production. Because first year college writers are introduced to intensive politics and processes of academic, professional, and/or or public writing, this is the perfect time and place to add new voices and perspectives.