CALS student Eddie Ruiz, a junior majoring in genetics, is one of the co-founders of The Journal of Undergraduate Science and Technology (JUST), a new journal that will highlight the research of UW-Madison undergraduates. Ruiz and fellow co-founder Stephanie Seymour, a junior studying molecular biology and economics, are excited to give more undergraduates an opportunity to go through the publication process and share their findings.

Eddie Ruiz and Stephanie Seymour in a teaching laboratory at the Discovery Building.

“People tend to think undergrads are working on small parts of a research project,” says Ruiz, who works in the lab of cardiology professor and stem cell researcher Timothy Kamp. “While this is definitely true, there are also many students like me and Stephanie who are working independently on research projects that justify greater attention.”

JUST, which is a registered student organization, will publish peer-reviewed studies whose first authors are UW–Madison undergraduates working in any scientific discipline that typically produces research for publication. It would likely be Madison’s first foray into a journal format that is already popular at other research universities such as Caltech, Harvard and Texas. There is also a national publication, the American Journal of Undergraduate Research.

With hundreds of undergraduates participating each year in UW–Madison’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, and a long list of friends and acquaintances already interested in writing up their work, Ruiz and Seymour — who will serve as the journal’s first co-editors-in-chief — expect plenty of interest when they open their first window for submissions on Jan. 19.

Until then, they are recruiting other undergraduate volunteers to fill the panel of reviewers who will scrutinize submissions and to edit, design and market the publication. Students can apply through JUST’s website.

“We want everyone involved in the management of the journal to get a unique scientific experience,” Seymour says. “We want the writers to learn how to be better writers and the peer reviewers to learn about the peer review process, so when they go to graduate school and become scientists they have that knowledge.”

Read the full UW-Madison news release about this effort here