In an exciting development for all undergraduate history students, the first issue of a new student-orientated online journal has just been launched. Established in partnership with nine universities across Australia, History in the Making supports education outcomes while providing an opportunity for aspiring historians to experience the peer review process and to get published.
“Students care about their education. Building a strong, supportive and collaborative community amongst Australian students is at the heart of our project,” said Stephanie Mawson, President of History in the Making Journal Association Inc. “When we conceived this initiative a year ago, our aims were ambitious – we wanted to contribute to maintaining high quality education, while connecting aspiring young historians with senior students and graduates. We see our mission as facilitating a strong mentoring program while giving students an experience of the academic peer-review process.”
The new journal hopes to attract a large readership amongst undergraduate history students nationally by showcasing the best examples of work written by peers at all levels of their degree, free-of-charge and accessible online.
According to Kathryn Ticehurst, history tutor at the University of Sydney and executive member of the association, the journal offers a powerful learning resource. “Tutors typically devote attention to teaching students what a good essay looks like,” she said. “History in the Making provides students with examples of high quality work written by their peers – these can easily be employed as a learning aide which can be integrated into any course.”
History in the Making Journal Association Inc was established as a not-for-profit organisation by postgraduate students and alumni of the University of Sydney’s history program. Students are able to actively participate in the journal by submitting articles, reviewing and editing other students’ work or providing administrative support as part of the journal collective.
The initiative has attracted strong support from all levels of the university community. The first edition of the journal attracted submissions from students across Australia, which were read by a team of over thirty volunteer reviewers and editors.
“Our review process is rigorous, and we feel that educationally everyone got a lot out of it. We make sure that even those who are rejected for publication walk away with a wealth of useful feedback to improve their writing,” Stephanie Mawson continued, “Our model of collaborative learning is innovative and so far it has had a very enthusiastic response. Judging by our successes so far, in the coming months we expect our community to grow as increasing numbers of students get involved in the project.”
In the initial stages of the project, History in the Making has been supported by the following institutions:
• Department of History, University of Sydney
• School of History and Philosophy, University of New South Wales
• School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics, University of Queensland
• School of International Studies, Flinders University
• School of Humanities, University of New England
• Department of Humanities, James Cook University
• School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University
• School of Arts and Sciences, Notre Dame University
• Department of Modern History, Macquarie University