Author: Will Holmes
On Oct. 31, college students around the world finalized their research and submitted their articles to the selection staff of Occidental’s prestigious undergraduate research journal Global Perspectives. Of the hundreds of submissions, only the five most outstanding submissions will be published in the “Human Rights” issue this spring.
Started in the late 1970’s and funded by Occidental’s Politics and DWA departments, Global Perspectives allows undergraduate students the rare opportunity to publish international issue pieces in a distinguished academic journal. Each year, Global Perspectives invites students of DWA-type majors in over one thousand universities internationally to submit entries.
Last year Global Perspectives published students from a variety of schools ranging from the University of British Columbia and Syracuse to Occidental. The exact entry guidelines vary from year to year, but the articles must be between 1000 and 5000 words in length and relate to the central theme of the issue. Entries are generally collected in the fall and the chosen are selected, edited and published entirely by Occidental students by early spring semester.
The theme for the journal this year, according to the Global Perspectives web site, is “human rights, as they exist in morality and in law at both the national and international level.” However, Global Perspective staff maintains that the submission guidelines are flexible so as not to stifle applicant creativity.
“One of the most interesting parts of Global Perspectives is to see what people will send us and how they rationalize it to being ‘on topic,'” Editor in Chief and DWA major Claire Anderson (junior) said in an e-mail interview.
The Spring 2008 issue reflects the Global Perspectives selection staff’s topical interpretation. While “Religion and Politics” was last year’s running theme, article topics ranged from a detailed overview of “George Bush’s Strategic Religion Politics,” to a hypothetical “One-State Solution [to the conflict] in Israel and Palestine.”
After the submissions are collected, nine Occidental students select the articles from hundreds of eager applicants. On Dec. 23 Global Perspectives will announce the selected articles and begin the painstaking process of editing.
“Once a student submits a piece and it makes it to being a piece we want to publish, it goes through our intensive round of edits, and then we resend it to the student to make sure the changes are ok,” Anderson said. The editors work hard to ensure that each article meets the Global Perspectives standard of excellence that has made the journal an international success.
Despite the tremendous work involved as an editor for Global Perspectives, those who participate cite the journal as an important part of their collegiate lives. “I wanted to emerge myself in a scholarly project outside of my coursework,” Senior Editor Jessica Simes, a junior Sociology major, said through a recent e-mail interview. “I began as a copyeditor and a friend of mine, who was the Editor-in-Chief my sophomore year suggested I apply to the editorial board.” Simes currently enjoys the creative power she employs as one of Global Perspectives’ Chief Editors.
For Anderson, who also began as a copyeditor during her sophomore year, the joy of putting her “mark on Global Perspectives this year by branding/legitimizing it to be a truly recognizable and respected undergraduate journal” makes the long hours spent reading and editing articles worthwhile.
Applications for editorial position closed on Sept. 12, however both Anderson and Simes encourage all interested students, regardless of major, to submit an article for selection. “This is such an amazing chance for exceptional undergraduate work to be published,” Anderson said. “I think it’s something everybody should take advantage of — you never know what we’re looking for.”
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