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  1. Sarah Fankhauser
  2. Associate Professor of Biology
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Journal of Emerging Investigators
  1. Scott Soldat-Valenzuela
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottsoldatvalenzuela/
  3. Executive Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Journal of Emerging Investigators

Incorporating professional science writing into high school STEM research pro...

NSF Awards: 2010333

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Publish or perish? Publication is a cornerstone to the construction and dissemination of scientific knowledge. A publication is the product of reading, writing, peer-review, and revision, and these practices are essential to the work of being a scientist. Although critical to science, these practices are rarely part of the middle or high school student science research experience. The Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI) is a science journal dedicated to mentoring middle and high school students through the peer-review and publication of their STEM research projects. Students who submit their research papers to JEI are provided constructive feedback about their science and communication from 3-4 expert reviewers in the field. 

For the students who publish with JEI, what do they gain from the experience? How might participation in such an authentic experience impact a student's understanding of science and their role within the scientific community? These are the questions that are the basis of our current research efforts. Through interviews and survey analysis, we have revealed that students who participate in publication of their papers with JEI report gains across several measures, including their confidence, self-efficacy and identity in STEM. 

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (25 posts)
  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 9, 2022 | 02:40 p.m.

    Thanks for viewing the video about our work with the Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI)! While JEI has been around for over 10 years, we're just starting our research into the impact that the program has on young scientist identity, belonging, and understanding of science. We are interested in a few things (two of which we list but also happy to extend the conversation beyond these):

    1. If you are working with students who are doing research, we would love to have them submit their research to JEI. Definitely reach out if you have questions or want to consider integrating the writing process in student research projects.

    2. We are interested in feedback/thoughts on assessment of the student participants, particularly in the area of understanding science inquiry and the role of disciplinary literacy skills (reading, writing, peer-review, and publication) in science inquiry. Currently we are administering a set of surveys when students first submit a paper and then again when their paper is published; our survey instrument is derived from elements of the PITS survey (Hanauer, et al 2016) as well as self-designed questions regarding perceptions of disciplinary literacy. 

    Thanks for taking the time to look at our work, and we look forward to the conversation!

     
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    Kaci Fankhauser
    Kelly Greene
  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 10, 2022 | 06:15 a.m.

    Check out all the student papers here: www.emerginginvestigators.org 

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 10:49 a.m.

    I can't believe I haven't heard of this incredible journal sooner! Thank you for this video and for the work you have been doing.

    You seem to already be asking and seeking answers to important questions around assessing the impact of the journal process on emerging scientists. There are a few areas I'm particularly curious about:

    Where does student impetus for submitting to the journal come from, and what difference does this make? For instance, what if submitting to the journal is a class-wide project?

    Most journal processes often involve a lot of revision, and also often result in something not ultimately being published. How often is "rejection" a part of the JEI process, and how is that handled. If rejection is not an outcome, what does that mean in terms of students' understanding of the larger process of peer-reviewed science?

     
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    Sarah Fankhauser
  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 10, 2022 | 11:07 a.m.

    Thanks for checking us out! Happy to answer your questions:

    1. Student impetus comes from a variety of places: some are submitting their science fair projects, some are submitting classroom based research, some are totally independent/curiosity-driven, and some are entire classrooms submitting one paper:)

    2. JEI only "rejects" papers based on plagiarism or some other ethical concern (there have been a handful of these over the last 10 years). That being said, there is some attrition from students who decide not to resubmit their papers after the peer-review process. One thing we're interested in is understanding if students gain the same benefits even if they don't resubmit their paper and end up publishing. 

  • Icon for: Ekundayo Shittu

    Ekundayo Shittu

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 10:58 a.m.

    This is awesome! Talk about a risk-free process of learning about the academic publication journey from an early age. This is fantastic! I voted!!

     
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    Sarah Fankhauser
  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 10, 2022 | 11:07 a.m.

    Thank you!!!

  • Icon for: Connie Flanagan

    Connie Flanagan

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 02:51 p.m.

    Really like your orientation to including youth in all phases of the science process and thought that the stages in one of your last pictures - from students defining the problem to interpreting and communicating the results resonated with what some are now referring to as civic or community science - i.e., members of the local community own the science. In the final phase of our project there is a student forum that involves hundreds of students from schools across the region where each team of students presents in a public way what they did and learned. not only do the students get great positive public feedback but - because they hear from fellow students they never met - they gain a sense of being part of a larger movement of people using science for public good. However, although they are emerging investigators, they don't do science in the typical way that journals publish.

  • Icon for: Jayashree Balakrishna

    Jayashree Balakrishna

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 09:36 p.m.

    Amazing idea. Is there such a journal for college freshman.

    In our STEM summer academy which went virtual thanks to COVID and even before that we found that having students just create and do short presentations each day about what they learned had a profound effect on their engagement in the program. Knowing they would have to present and wanting to do good presentations they were more enthusiastic and engaged. I can only imagine the impact of actually publishing and the learning as they go through the process.

  • Icon for: Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Co-Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 11, 2022 | 03:44 p.m.

    Hi Jayashree,

    Thanks so much for commenting on our video and learning more about the Journal of Emerging Investigators. We currently work with middle and high school students. I'm not sure if there is a similar solution for college freshmen.

    Is your summer academy for secondary or college students?

     

  • Icon for: Jayashree Balakrishna

    Jayashree Balakrishna

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2022 | 07:37 p.m.

    Hi Scott,

    our Summer Academy was for high school students. We had high school students come with their teachers, and our college students as TAs and instructors from our college. Our College students were near-peer mentors to the high school students. 

  • Icon for: Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Co-Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 13, 2022 | 05:51 p.m.

    That sounds like a great way to build a solid foundation for each year. 

  • May 11, 2022 | 12:24 p.m.

    This is an amazing project! I was wondering how are you recruiting the students, and also the reviewers?

     
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    Amy Robertson
  • Icon for: Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Co-Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 11, 2022 | 01:55 p.m.

    Hi Meltem,

    Thanks for viewing our video. The Journal has a network of 200 grad and post-doctoral students who volunteer to review student submissions. They all participate in our review certification process and must pass a test. We recruit volunteers from a variety of universities throughout the United States.

    Students find us by searching, through their classroom teacher and referrals from other students. Last year we received over 500 student submissions. Of the students who followed the entire process, we published over 150 student articles. You can see them here https://emerginginvestigators.org/articles.

    Thank you!!

    Scott Soldat-Valenzuela
    Executive Director

    Timezone: MST-AZ Email: scott@emerginginvestigators.org Website: www.emerginginvestigators.org Phone: 480-381-1935
     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Amy Robertson
  • Icon for: Andresse St Rose

    Andresse St Rose

    Facilitator
    Director of Educational Research and Evaluation
    May 11, 2022 | 05:29 p.m.

    I am really glad to learn about this journal and of course to hear about the study. Authentic experiences are so critical to building and nuturing interest in science. You mentioned that you have a network of 200+ reviewers and with a 10 year track record must receive a fairly substantial number of submissions. How many submissions do you receive on average and do you collect demographic information on your authors? 

  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 12, 2022 | 01:45 a.m.

    Thanks Andresse! In the last year we have received around 400 papers. We do collect demographic data, we have a high % of Asian and Southeast Asian students submitting, and a little over 50% female students. Something we’re very interested in is increasing student participation from other backgrounds, including from minoritized and rural backgrounds. We are doing the third annual “mini PhD” camp this summer that integrates the writing of a manuscript into a multi-week research project for students who must come from a disadvantaged or minoritized background. 

  • Icon for: Rosa Alfaro

    Rosa Alfaro

    University of Texas at El Paso
    May 11, 2022 | 07:01 p.m.

    What a great video.  I like how you are exposing students early to learning that there's a process for getting their work published.

  • Icon for: Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Scott Soldat-Valenzuela

    Co-Presenter
    Executive Director
    May 13, 2022 | 05:52 p.m.

    Thank you, Rosa. It's been an amazing journey for our students and the Journal.

  • Icon for: Karen Hammerness

    Karen Hammerness

    May 11, 2022 | 09:52 p.m.

    What a wonderful idea and important (but rare) learning experience you are providing for students! This is so exciting. We have been working with high school students doing mentored research, and when we asked them about the science practices and experiences they had in their mentored research, almost half of them reported having regular opportunities to share their learnings at an academic conference or to present their work to an audience, which surprised us. I will have to look back at our data and see what we asked about writing results...I'm not sure we specifically asked that. This opportunity to publish, for a wide group of students, with mentored experiences around revision and feedback, is so important as a way to complete that full experience of mentored research. I will be telling my colleagues about this, and urging them to see the video! 

  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 12, 2022 | 01:46 a.m.

    Thanks Karen!!

  • Icon for: Janet Coffey

    Janet Coffey

    Facilitator
    Program Director, Science Learning
    May 13, 2022 | 03:12 a.m.

    Very interesting idea - and your data sounds quite promising on its impact. It seems that better understanding the peer review process also could lend itself to a deeper understanding of the role of consensus and community in scientific knowledge production which could contribute to trust in science, and appropriate skepticism when warranted.  Do you have data that speaks to participants' relationships to science in their everyday lives?  For example, how they consume and share science?  How do they use it to make decisions?  (Particularly from those participants who did not go on to pursue careers in science.)  Great work!  

  • May 16, 2022 | 12:56 p.m.

    This is a wonderful opportunity for middle and high school students! How do secondary schools/educators typically learn about this opportunity? 

  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 17, 2022 | 04:51 p.m.

    Thanks! Teachers generally learn about us through workshops and word-of-mouth! So please spread the word:)

  • Icon for: Amy Robertson

    Amy Robertson

    Researcher
    May 16, 2022 | 07:02 p.m.

     Wow, this is amazing!  Passing on to all of the middle and high school teachers in my network.

     
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    Sarah Fankhauser
  • May 17, 2022 | 03:33 p.m.

    This is such a wonderful project and I'm kinda ashamed that I wasn't aware of it earlier (!). 
    I have many questions and would love to have a conversation if you are at all interested: We have an 'open science' platform to support students in their own human behavior studies (www.mindhive.science). We have a peer review environment where students provide anonymous feedback to study proposals generated by students from other schools (preregistered report 'light' so to speak ;) and we would love to know more about your 'lessons learned' and discuss a possible collaboration/integration!

  • Icon for: Sarah Fankhauser

    Sarah Fankhauser

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor of Biology
    May 17, 2022 | 04:55 p.m.

    Thank you! And please reach out to us to chat about lessons learned and a possible collaboration: Sarah.fankhauser@emory.edu. Looking forward to hearing from you! 

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