If you are working as a research assistant for a faculty member, you do not have the right to disseminate any findings from the project without the permission of your supervisor. If the research project is your own (e.g. you developed the research question, designed the project, and conducted the study), you similarly have rights to your work that should be respected, but you still need to ensure that anyone who has contributed to your project is credited appropriately.
The order in which authors are listed for a journal article usually conveys their role in the project, with the lead researcher listed first or last, depending on the discipline. Your supervisor will be able to advise you on the conventions of your field.
Who will be listed as authors for the article may play a role in your decisions of where to publish. Undergraduate research journals welcome work from student authors. MRU students have also published in major journals in their discipline, but in most cases a faculty member is the lead author of the article.
Some of the factors that may feed into a journal’s reputation include whether the articles are peer reviewed, how often the work in the journal is cited by others, the history of the publication, and the potential sponsors of the journal (e.g. a professional association). Your faculty supervisor is a great source of advice on how particular publications are viewed by those working in the discipline.
There are some journals who make false promises to researchers about the rigour of their peer review process and importance in the field in order to make money. You may come across these predatory journals in searches, and it is important to learn how to recognize them. For more information on what to look for, check out our resources on predatory publishing.
Read the journal’s aims and scope to ensure your work is appropriate for their audience. Typically, the journal’s website will also list the types of articles they are looking for (empirical research only, reviews of existing work, etc.) along with specific requirements around word limits and formatting. It is also worth reviewing articles they have published in the past to see if other researchers who used similar methods to yours (e.g. qualitative studies) have been published by the journal. It will give you a sense of whether the journal’s peer reviewers have experience in reviewing those types of studies.
This list is maintained by the Council of Undergraduate Research. Some journals limit submissions to students at particular institutions, so review the websites carefully to ensure that you are eligible to submit to them.
Another way to share the results of your research is by depositing it in our Open Access Repository. Browse the student research currently available in the repository including honours theses, research posters, and past winners of the Library’s Award for Research Excellence.