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Student research journal to be published April 6


Several people tried to start a research journal at some point in history at FGCU. Unfortunately, the journal lost momentum and faded into the past. This semester, a group of students and three faculty members are determined to start it back up.

Aquila, which is Latin for eagle, is the name of the FGCU student research journal. All graduate and undergraduate students of every discipline are eligible to submit work to Aquila.

The journal is student-driven, which means students will manage the entire project with the help of their faculty advisers. The faculty advisers of the journal are Melodie Eichbauer, who doubles as an assistant professor of medieval history and the assistant director of the Honors Program, and Peter Reuter, an assistant professor of health sciences. However, Billy Gunnels, the director of undergraduate studies, has also helped with the process.

“The students are the editorial board, they’re the copy editors, they do the layout — all major decisions are made by students,” Eichbauer said.

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The journal will be published twice every year — once during the fall semester and another during the spring semester.

“We want to make sure we’re keeping up with everybody’s research cycle,” Eichbauer said.

Eichbauer said the journal is looking to partner with the Writing Center on campus so that they could potentially be in charge of the first step of editing with prospective authors. After the center covers the basics, the official peer review with the journal’s editorial board would begin.

The peer review process has two main layers. First, a member of the board who is from the same field as the research paper reads it and checks for content accuracy and grammar mistakes. Then, someone from a different field looks at it and makes sure it is understandable for everyone.

“At the end of the day, scholarship is being able to present your ideas to the public and the public isn’t discipline specific,” Eichbauer said. “So, if science can understand what liberal arts is saying and conversely, liberal arts can understand what science is saying and everybody can understand each others’ material then that’s good writing.”

Students can submit work in any writing style.

“Our house style is your style,” Eichbauer said.

A registered student organization was created on the fall semester of 2015 as an effort to recruit students and create a formal group of students who could manage the journal. Also, a course was open under the Honors Program so that students could register for the board. Eichbauer said the plan is to open the course to all students soon.

“I did not know much of Aquila until I took the class,” said Leigh Brawner, a member of the course. “I think this is beneficial to all students — not just the ones submitting it. Students reading it can learn too.”

A website will be set where all of the publications will be posted. Additionally, printed editions will be given for free to all of the authors and certain members of the community such as members, Foundation members and Board of Trustees members.

“We don’t want just Honors students,” Eichbauer said. “It’s going to be very selective,” Eichbauer said. “We want this to be a reputable journal, but we’re also want to be very positive so students can improve their work.”

Students can submit two types of work to Aquila — research articles of 2,500 to 5000 words or communications of approximately 1,500 words. The communications will consist of work that students want to share but is not quite done.

This semester, the journal will be published on April 6 and will present articles from English, communication, marine science, biology and engineering.

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