Diffusion: The UCLan Journal of Undergraduate Research
Posted on: March 20, 2014 by: Helen Hewertson
Diffusion is the University of Central Lancashire’s undergraduate research journal, published free and with open access online twice yearly in June and December at http://www.uclan.ac.uk/diffusion and annually in print from the Centre for Research-informed Teaching Crit@uclan.ac.uk ISSN 1759-6777(online) and ISSN 2043-717X (print).
UCLan actively encourages research at undergraduate level, showcasing outstanding work in Diffusion and promoting the journal as a means of sharing undergraduate research across the disciplines and the wider community.
Introduced as an inquiry-based learning incentive in 2008, Diffusion was one of the first undergraduate journals to be published in the UK and the first multi-disciplinary journal to include research papers from both the Humanities and the Sciences.
The journal is run by an experienced Editor, Carol Banks, and an Editorial Production Team made up of UCLan Staff and Students, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate. Published articles originate as coursework and are first selected and recommended by members of UCLan’s Academic Staff, who present the Editorial Team with a First Reader’s Report containing an abstract (written by the student), an informed appraisal, and their reasons for selecting each particular submission.
Once an article has been provisionally accepted, students from each specialist field are given the opportunity to participate in the editing and publication process as Second Readers / peer-reviewers, thereby developing their skills of assessment and proof-reading. For the contributors themselves, revising a coursework essay, or reducing a longer dissertation to a 5,000 word journal article (the specified word limit for Diffusion), is a valuable exercise in the learning curve which prepares new researchers for publishing at post-graduate level and beyond.
Now in its seventh year, each issue of Diffusion includes seven or eight undergraduate research papers from across the University’s many disciplines. Already published in Diffusion Volumes 1 – 6 are contributions from:
Acting; American Studies; Archaeology; Astronomy; Astrophysics; Computing; Counselling & Psychotherapy; Criminology; Dance; Economics; Education; Environmental Science; Exercise Physiology; Forensic Sciences; Geography & Environmental Management; History; Law; Languages & International Studies; Linguistics; Literature; Music (Performance); Nursing; Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences; Physiotherapy; Psychology; Psychoanalysis & Culture; Public Health & Clinical Sciences; Religion, Culture & Society; Sports Biomechanics; Tourism.
Whilst readers will undoubtedly be most interested in articles within their own fields of study, the multi-disciplinary content of Diffusion invites the fertilisation of ideas across subject specific boundaries. It also encourages contributors to present their research as clearly as possible, to make it accessible to readers outside the immediate subject area.
The next issue of Diffusion (Volume 7, Issue 1) will include articles from Environmental Studies, Forensic & Investigative Sciences, Forensic Psychology, Literature, Midwifery, Religion, and Social Work, available online in June 2014.