Academic journal

From article repository to full-fledged journal: Vertices propels undergraduate research to new heights

Since the 1980s, Vertices has been a repository of articles where Duke undergraduates can share their original research. Now it has become a full-fledged peer-reviewed research journal, allowing students to share their scientific research like never before.

Vertices was originally a collection of student-submitted articles and online blog posts. Last spring, the organization published its first issue containing four articles, with the intention of publishing its second issue this fall. This new format lends more credibility to Vertices research, according to last year’s president, Cydney Livingston.

“We now have a format that is more comprehensive and connected in one volume versus randomly interspersed posts throughout the semester,” said Livingston, Trinity ’22. “We also hope to attract more readers and foster cohesion between the various articles we publish in one volume.”

Vertices has also expanded its team of editorial reviewers to include Duke faculty and students at Georgetown University, with the Georgetown partnership beginning when Julia Davis, The president and main academic editor of Vertices was a freshman two years ago. Vertices was also able to save each article with a digital object identifier to make the posts easily accessible online.

These structural changes have enabled Vertices to achieve its goal of matching “the caliber of undergraduate research journals at other peer institutions,” said Davis, a junior.

“It also allows them to engage in the peer review process in a lower-stakes environment that will help them in their future career paths, such as that of a faculty member at a university or college. a doctor at a university hospital,” Davis added.

Such an important transition was not without difficulties. According to Livingston, Vertices staff originally lacked expertise in website design and the skills to create an online publication.

To combat these issues, Vertices now has four committees: an Undergraduate Research Journals Committee, a Science Journals Committee, a Publishing and Access Team, and the Website Art Design and Development Committee. They’ve also created a social media team, according to Davis.

Vertices seeks to take advantage of this change and create a greater presence on campus. The journal also hopes to improve its first issue by expanding author sections, highlighting peer reviewers, and diversifying the journal by adding work from the science journal. Vertices will also revamp its training process for peer reviewers, according to Davis.

“I’m really excited to be part of this transformational leadership team that has a bigger vision for Vertices,” Davis said.