The Exeter Undergraduate Science Journal promises to be a much needed means of representation for students in CEMPS and CLES across for all of Exeter’s students, Penryn and St Lukes included. As part of the University of Exeter we have a cornucopia of exceptional undergraduates, but as of yet, little more proof of their abilities than their grades.

Project of the Year VP Education award

In a growing world of exceptional people, even the best need more than a first. We have little to no academic representation for our students, and worse, no examples of a students ability to produce quality scientific content. Until now.

Founded and edited by Liam Taylor from CLES and Peter Joyce from CEMPS, the journal is a journal written by undergraduates for (but not limited to) undergraduates. It won the Project of the Year VP Education award for being a remarkable and necessary project back in April and its first edition is out now. Our own Science section will be looking to collaborate with the award winning journal even further in the future.

The journal itself is impressive; it maintains a simplistic, sophisticated design whilst remaining eye catching and intriguing. It sets itself apart from most other Exeter publications that I am aware of in its aesthetic, and of course it’s content. In short it will be hard to miss in the coming weeks, dotted precariously around the campuses.

The cover of the journal in all of its glory
The Cover of the Undergraduate STEM Journal. Source: The Journal’s Founders.

On the inside we get just what is said on the tin. Split into three sections, the journal has articles on lighter topics, our own branch of pop culture “Popular Science”, in-depth and insightful analytical Essays, and an assortment of structured, in-depth reports. The content itself varies from the truly intriguing for the most part to slightly repetitive and maybe dry in places. Certainly though nothing that success and more contributors can’t fix.

For those of you concerned about the legitimacy of the journal, fear not! All of the submissions were peer-reviewed before release by academics in the various fields to ensure the integrity of the publication, so you can sleep easy knowing the science is quality science and has been deemed both accurate and attires to a certain standard.

The journal is made up of a total of 14 entries over 38 pages. All of the entries are fully referenced and are accompanied with relevant figures and tables. Authors are accredited by name at the beginning of their article, although unfortunately without much more than that, so you can’t go follow your new favourite science writers on twitter.

Undergraduate STEM students couldn’t have asked for much more

Laid out and formatted like any other academic journal, the pages are easy on the eye and well structured, though some do fall into the potentially inevitable academic journal archetype of big block text.

The 14 writers were recruited through word-of-mouth and posters around the campuses but as a first edition the founders wanted something of a soft launch, so don’t worry if you didn’t know about it. You do now! The call for submissions from any STEM student is already out for next year – you need only get in touch with the journal through Facebook message and begin negotiations for your favourite essays.

Like the Exépose, the Undergraduate journal aims to provide equal opportunities to STEM students who are part of the University regardless of their physical location. This is both a noble and difficult task with the limited links between the campuses acting as a barrier. Nonetheless the journal was advertised fairly in each and every location and will no doubt continue to do so throughout its shelf life time.

Now for the conclusion. Overall, Exeter’s first undergraduate STEM journal is a deservingly awarded project, a wonderful idea, and something that I feel we sorely need as STEM students. I think that I speak for the whole Exépose science team when I say we are excited to see what happens next. Undergraduate STEM students couldn’t have asked for much more, until now.

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