April 10th, 2012 | Tags : Journal Publishing, Macalester College | Category : Publishing, Student Work

Macalester College’s Tapestries: Student Journal as a Teaching Tool

Tim Tamminga, bepress

I recently visited Macalester College where Terri Fishel, the Director of Libraries, invited me to sit in on a class in which the students were working on the journal Tapestries, published through Macalester’s Digital Commons repository.

During this particular class the students were working through the issues of copyright and privacy. For example, if an art student submitted a video that included third party content, should that video be allowed in the journal? What constitutes fair use or copyright infringement?

The students themselves run the journal. One student is selected as chief editor and each of the other students takes on specific editorial roles. They seek submissions from Macalester students in a variety of classes and departments.  The students have to actively engage in marketing and publicity in order to get submissions.  They plan the publicity program themselves. This year, the editors will visit other history, humanities, and fine arts classes and challenge students to submit their best works.

I love this use of the journal as a research and a teaching mechanism.  Through this process, students learn about scholarly publishing, evaluate the quality of peers’ work, and grapple with many of the issues faced by professional editors and their reviewers.

Dr. Jane Rhodes, Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and Chair of the American Histories Program, teaches the class through which the journal is annually published, and Terri provides guidance about scholarly publishing and the publishing platform.