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Socheolas: Critical reflections on the establishment of a peer-reviewed student sociology journal in Ireland.

Author Patricia Neville, Martin J. Power, Cliona Barnes and Amanda Haynes,
Abstract On 23rd April 2009 a new reviewed journal entitled 'Socheolas: Limerick Student Journal of Sociology' was officially launched. The journal, now in its 3rd issue, is produced, edited and managed by a small team from within the Department of Sociology at the University of Limerick. The key purpose of the journal is to showcase the high-quality academic work undertaken by its undergraduate and postgraduate students. The journal offers undergraduate and first-year postgraduate students in the Department of Sociology an opportunity to improve their writing and sociological skills, both as authors and as readers of sociological research. It allows students to have first-hand experience of the process of editing and rewriting for publication in a supportive and constructive environment, while giving them the opportunity to see their work published online. This paper will document the establishment of Socheolas from its origin as part of a drive to increase the profile of sociology among both the faculty and student body in UL, to its position as a central element in the active teaching and learning culture of the department. Critical reflections of the editorial team are presented, offering key insights into the practical and theoretical challenges as well as the contribution and benefits arising from the journal's evolution and development. These practical insights are supplemented by the findings from a series of small focus groups conducted with a number of student authors. These findings illustrate the positive and negative experiences of students as well as offering insight into the value and importance placed by them on the process of writing for publication. Together, these staff and student reflections inform an overall evaluation of and critical engagement with Socheolas as it prepares to move onto the next stage of its development.
Keywords Writing sociologically, apprenticeship model, constructive feedback, writing for the real-world
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2010
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