Aletheia Editors and a Student Author Share The Top Reasons to Submit to a Scholarly Journal
While it often feels like completing an academic paper for a course, a grade, a thesis, or a presentation is the finish line for your scholarly writing process, at Alpha Chi, we want you to think bigger. The time and effort you have put into contributing your voice to the scholarly conversation can have a much larger impact on the academic world than what circulates your classroom.
At Alpha Chi, part of the way we make scholarship effective for good is by providing undergraduate students with the opportunity to publish their scholarly writing in our academic journal, Aletheia. Unlike a literary magazine or all-accepting academic magazine, Aletheia is one of the only scholarly, peer-reviewed journals for undergraduate students. Your work is chosen based on close reading and evaluation by our team of qualified editors, many of whom who have worked in scholarly publication for years. Your piece will be selected based on your own merit, hard work, and contributions to the on-going scholarly conversation, and it has the potential to reach Aletheia’s entire readership based nationwide.
But having your work published in Aletheia results in more than just “bragging rights.” Aletheia editors and authors spoke with us about the top three reasons students in Alpha Chi should without a doubt submit to Aletheia.
1) Gain Confidence and Familiarity with the Peer-Review Process.
Like many students in Alpha Chi, you have plans to continue your educational journey after you receive your undergraduate degree. In many post-secondary degrees, you will be faced with the challenge of publishing a thesis or dissertation in a peer-reviewed source. Rather than feel overwhelmed by that daunting challenge, you have the opportunity to learn and complete that process before you even graduate with your undergraduate degree.
As the founding editor of Aletheia, Dr. Tim Lindblom spoke to the National Council of Alpha Chi’s desire to provide even more opportunities to their members. As a biologist and author, Tim has published articles, written academic grants, and served as a peer reviewer for many manuscripts. He along with other members of the National Council saw the tremendous advantage they could afford students by allowing them to practice the peer review process early on in their educational journey.
“Aletheia offers the chance for undergraduates to get a great feel for the review process in a system designed to be friendly to student authors,” he says. “We can help guide them through the process and can promise a friendly and supportive review process.”
Another editor, Dr. Kathi Vosevich, agrees that the process is one of the biggest benefits to submitting to Aletheia.
“Commit to the process,” she says. “Hopefully, your submission will make it through to publication, but even if it doesn’t, you will gain valuable experience about the process that will help to get your next article published.”
The editorial staff of Aletheia ensures that each contributor receives feedback from scholars in their field, as well as determines if the piece will be published. This peer-review process involves multiple rounds of review, including a blind peer review process, which increases the caliber of articles selected for the journal.
“Peer review points to the high quality not only of the journal, but also of the article,” Kathi says. “Aletheia goes a step further by using a blind peer review process. This means that the work is carefully and thoughtfully vetted by impartial experts in the field.”
Alpha Chi member and published Aletheia author Sarah Geil Bramblett agrees. The process she undertook in her undergraduate career led to her confidence as a doctoral candidate at Georgia State University.
“I was grateful for the advice from the reviewers; revision is such a wonderful opportunity to learn and improve,” she says. “Aletheia offers a wonderful opportunity to learn how the publication process works.”
Sarah, now an instructor at GSU, encourages all of her eligible students to submit to Aletheia as early as possible.
2) Achieve the ‘Gold Standard’ on Your Resume or CV
Beyond the confidence you’ll gain to walk through the scholarly review process, publishing your work in Aletheia will stand out on your resume or CV. Regardless of if you plan to further your educational journey, or step straight into your career, publishing in an academic journal will demonstrate to employers and graduate school decision-makers that you are committed to the process of researching, writing, and revising.
“Scholarly articles are the gold standard for evaluating the work of academic professionals,” Tim says. “Getting published as an undergraduate is a remarkably rare occurrence and demonstrates an early dedication to scholarship.”
Kathi, who has been published in more than 200 publications, first volunteered with Aletheia as a Manuscript Editor and Reviewer because of her desire to see students take advantage of the opportunities the journal afforded them.
“I wanted students to learn about opportunities that I wish I’d had as an undergraduate,” she says. “I really want to promote the opportunities with Aletheia and help students understand the value of a peer-reviewed publication on their resumes and CVs.”
Kathi also notes that the thorough blind peer review process adds to the caliber of excellence that students will be able to promote on their resumes and CVs.
“The article, if published in Aletheia, shows that the research has been reviewed for quality and substance and that the student is making a significant contribution to the field. That’s a big accomplishment to help the student stand out in the crowd for grad school and job applications.”
3) Add Your Voice to the Scholarly Conversation
Aletheia offers students the opportunity to be part of something larger than themselves. When you publish your work in Aletheia, you are joining in with new thoughts and ideas. You step beyond a research consumer and become a research contributor.
Sarah, who studied psychology, English, and liberal arts (with a focus in history) for her undergraduate degree at Shorter University, submitted a paper in which she questioned the psychological trends perpetuated and suggested by literature. She specifically examined the siblings in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
“I was excited about the subject of my topic, so I was thrilled to be presented with the opportunity to share my curiosity with others,” Sarah says. “Being published in Aletheia gave me confidence that others might be receptive to my ideas.”
Editors Tim and Kathi agree—evidence that the student writer has contributed something new to the scholarly conversation is one of the clearest indications of a strong piece.
“My number one criteria is to determine if the author has contributed something new to the conversation about the topic of the submission,” Tim says. “I also look for both quality and ethical research, sound investigative procedures, and reasonable conclusions.”
“I look for articles that contribute to scholarship in new, creative, and engaging ways,” Kathi explains. “Perhaps it is easier to say what I do not look for—I do not look for literature reviews or summaries of someone else’s work. I want to see the student’s thinking, analysis, and synthesis of ideas.”
Sarah, Kathi, and Tim agree: students should submit to Aletheia for the chance to be published.
Kathi says, “Bottom line, if you don’t submit in the first place, you definitely won’t get published.”
Interested in submitting to Aletheia?
We think you should be! Submissions to Aletheia can come from any scholarly paper you have written and may be sent in at any time. To have your piece published in next fall’s issue, submissions must be received by April 1. If accepted, a submission will be published in the next available issue after it has been fully reviewed and prepared for publication. And remember, there is no per page charge on articles for Alpha Chi members.
What can you submit?
The types of work accepted in Aletheia span a variety of disciplines and forms including:
- Reports on Empirical Quantitative and Qualitative Research
- Policy Analysis
- Historical Analysis
- Case Studies
- Critical Literary or Artistic Analysis
- Novellas, Individual Short Stories, or Individual Creative Essays
- Collections of Poems
- Plays or Film Scripts
- Scores of Musical Works
- Films, Multimedia Productions, or Sound Productions
For a complete list of the work we accept, as well as further instructions on what to expect in the Aletheia submission process, visit our Journal Mission and Workflow.