Helping students understand the value of peer-reviewed research is one of the primary
responsibilities of an academic library. One way library publishers can contribute to the teaching
objectives of their institutions is through the establishment of course-based journals.
Course-base journals are set up for a particular course, such as English 435. The instructor acts
as the editor, and the students serve as authors and reviewers. A librarian participates as a
consultant on issues of technology (e.g., installing and hosting the journal publishing software,
such as the open source Open Journal Systems application), publishing (providing an overview
of the publishing workflow, including peer-review and introducing new concepts such as ORCID,
ISSNs, or DOIs), licensing (introducing Creative Commons and issues of author rights), and
visibility (helping the journal extend its reach through marketing and social media.
The benefits of using a course journal include:
Eliminating the “disposable assignment” and providing students’ with a global audience,
increasing their motivation to put their best effort into their work; Teaching students about scholarly publishing and improving their information literacy
skills through hands-on experiential learning rather than by lecture or demonstration; Educating the next generation of scholars about the value of open access, open education, and open source software; Having students learn from one another through peer review and providing constructive
criticism; Providing students with the opportunity to revise their work, learn from their mistakes,
and make their final work stronger; Highlights the value of the university by showcasing the final, revised version of student research and creative work; Provides an ongoing record of student achievement with each published issue; Post-publication commenting reduces the barrier between the classroom and the broader community. This session will provide a case study of Simon Fraser University Library’s course-based journal
program, including reactions from faculty and student participants.