Having an article published in an academic journal can bring tremendous benefits to the author. They will see greater recognition in the world of academia, develop their academic writing and research skills and directly contribute to their field of study in a concrete, tangible way.
However, undergraduate students often miss out on the benefits mentioned above for several reasons – many academic journals either do not accept submissions from undergraduates or do not attempt to reach out to them in calls for submissions, and many undergraduates are unaware of the possibilities out there to have their work published. This is despite the fact it can help them stand out when trying to move into postgraduate study or seek post-university employment.
Furthermore, it can be difficult for undergraduates to gain experience in the production and editing of a journal, which can be valuable in many fields, particularly that of academic publishing.
Clearly, there is a need for undergraduate students to have a publication specifically geared towards them and their potentially valuable contributions to academia.
It was for this reason Groundings was founded in 2007 to provide an annual volume for undergraduates at the University of Glasgow to have their work published. It was originally set up by the Glasgow University Dialectic Society, but as of the 2018/2019 academic year is being managed by the GUU Libraries committee. It is a journal run entirely by and for University of Glasgow undergraduates, who founded the journal, make up the entirety of its editorial board and are the authors of all of its published articles. However, authors still have the benefit of having their articles being peer-reviewed by established academics, which helps ensure the journal maintains a high academic standard.
Groundings has so far had 11 volumes published, with the 12th in the early stages of production. It features an extraordinarily broad range of subjects covering the social sciences and humanities, with articles relating to literature, history, philosophy, classics and many more areas of study published each year
The theme of the journal changes every year, but always has a breadth which matches the journal’s wide range of subjects. Previous themes have included “Individuals, Institutions and the relations between them” and “Identity and Commemoration”. Last year’s theme was “Death, Synthesis and Disruption”. These are deliberately open ended to invite a varied range of articles for submission.
Over its 11 years in existence the journal has had great success and is available both online and in print. Copies of the journal can be found in the University of Glasgow library as well as the libraries of other institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge.
-David Laird, Groundings Deputy Editor