First-Ever Student-Edited Electronic Journal Released

screenshot of website

A screenshot of the new Instars electronic journal that was launched recently

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Students in the Department of Entomology now have another place to showcase their research as assistant lecturer Dr. Adrienne Brundage’s Entomology 481 Science Writing course released its first-ever online journal this month.

The journal, named “Instars: A Journal of Undergraduate Research,” is an open-access journal that features a compilation of research project papers that have been done by former and current undergraduate students both in the department’s Entomology and Forensic and Investigative Sciences programs.

Students served as peer editors during the planning stages last fall. Brundage said they were placed in small groups of two to three and tasked with reviewing each submission for proper content, format and grammar by using a standardized rubric for submitting papers professionally.

After the review, each group then submitted a written article analysis on each submission, basing their critiques on grammar, style and content. The article analysis was then passed onto three different groups with a final publication decision after the third review. She said that at the end of the semester, the students voted on 15 to 20 papers that were submitted to the journal as their final project.

Some of the articles in the inaugural edition featured research projects including population survey of Haematobia irritans flies on cattle, mosquito surveillance in Brazos County, ticks, and several papers on forensic entomology topics. The papers were submitted by both current and former students of ENTO 423, ENTO 208, and FIVS 435 courses.

Brundage was very pleased with the launch and is looking forward to working on the next edition.

“I’m really excited that this came together,” she said. “It shows a huge amount of work from the students, and I know that each student was very proud of what he or she contributed to this journal. I anticipate that the journal will continue to grow each semester, and I look forward to inviting submissions from any student in any of our classes.”

She also appreciated the students’ hard work and was proud of what they have accomplished during the class last semester to make the publication possible.

“The students worked very, very hard on this journal. Since it was the first issue, they had no model to follow, and had to figure out a lot of the problems themselves,” she said. “This shows how dedicated they were to this process and how much they wanted to make this product a success. I hope they are proud of their work.”

The journal can be found at https://journals.tdl.org/instars/index.php/instars

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