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United States Military Academy Library


Social Sciences: Undergraduate Political Science Research Journals

A guide to the academic majors within the department identifying resources used in the study of the social sciences subject fields of economics and political science (American politics and international affairs).

Purpose

This guide contains information for undergraduates interested in publication. Links are provided to each journal wherein guidelines for submissions are provided.

What is an Undergraduate Research Journal?

How many people have read your 10-page term paper? If you're like most students, the answer is probably somewhere around two: you and your professor. Exceptional work by undergraduate students, done for class or independent research, often goes unnoticed. However, research is not finished in the professional academic world until its results are shared with others. With an increasing emphasis in universities on undergraduate research experiences, many journals offer undergraduate students the chance to complete the scientific process, including writing up the finished research, having it peer reviewed, and ultimately having it published in the scientific literature.

There are several reasons that undergraduate students should consider submitting their work to an Undergraduate Research Journal:

1.      It illustrates the high quality of undergraduates' scholarly work, whether traditional data-based activity, literature reviews, or historical research. Because modeling can facilitate learning, showing students what their peers have accomplished should help to encourage ever widening circles of students to become engaged in and excited about research.

2.      Transmitting the results of one's scholarship through a printed medium requires the development of formal written communication skills. According to professional and graduate school faculty, increasing undergraduates' written communication skills would make those students more attractive for admission to post graduate training or education. Journals provide an excellent opportunity for students to list a professional publication on their resume.

3.      It increases students' success in life following graduation. The amount of time and focus required to prepare a research paper for publication prepares students for other difficult, yet rewarding tasks they will face throughout their lives.

4.      Undergraduate research is a vital component in education. The literature suggests that students take projects more seriously and learn more when the project is directed towards an external rather than an internal audience such as a class assignment.

5.      Undergraduate research journals provide an incentive for students to write papers. Writing papers empowers students to share their knowledge with others and promotes discussion in the undergraduate community to which they belong.

The journals listed in this guide all accept submissions from undergraduate students throughout the U.S. Some are published only online, while others produce a print edition. Although mostly geared toward scholarly works, many of these journals also encourage creative submissions such as fiction and art. If you are aware of journals that should be added to the list or have questions about a specific journal, please contact the owner of this guide.

"Undergraduate research not only bridges the gap between knowledge and experience but has the benefit of laying the groundwork for career exploration and development. The opportunity for undergraduates to publish in a national journal is an added value to the overall education experience and to the process of self-discovery." -- Kappa Omicron Nu Human Science Honor Society

Tips for Writers

Academic publishing requires attention to detail. Ask yourself these questions before submitting a paper to an academic journal.

  • Does my paper fit within the journal's subject area?
  • Is my paper correctly formatted?
    • Is it within the journal's word limit or page limit?
    • Are my sources properly cited in the journal's required style? (For example, APA style)
    • Have I included all the materials the journal wants me to submit? (For example, a cover letter, title page, or abstract)
  • Am I submitting my paper before the publication deadline? (Most journals in this list do not have deadlines, but some do)
  • Have I had a professor, colleague, friend, etc. proofread my paper so there are no errors?

Undergraduate Research Journals Links

These journal listings are for information purposes only. USMA librarians cannot tell you what journals to submit your paper to. It is the writer's responsibility to check the journals' websites for the most up-to-date information. This page was last updated in February 2022.

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