By Tayiba Ahmed
How exciting must it be to get your work recognized and published as an undergrad student? To have your name printed in a journal? To experience, even as an undergrad student, being a part of a process that professors go through? Fortunately, American University of Sharjah (AUS) provides opportunities for its students to gain experience beyond the boundaries of a classroom. Economist Diwan, a new student-run academic journal, offers a platform for AUS students to publish their research in economics and related fields. The journal, which published its first issue this semester, operates under the AUS Department of Economics in the School of Business Administration (SBA), and is the result of the mutual effort between students and Dr. Ismail Genc, Head of the Department of Economics.
Every semester, students work on various research projects as part of their coursework. In fact, according to Jason Torion, co-founder of Economist Diwan, some of the courses offered by the Department of Economics, such as Introduction to Econometrics and Advanced Econometrics, are solely centered on empirical research. Being a part of Economist Diwan is a chance for students to experience having that research published and is a great addition to their resumes. However, it is a learning experience not just for the students who want their papers published, but also for those students on the editorial board. Since the journal mimics the publishing process of professional academic journals, it provides the students involved more insight on the publication process.
One aim of the journal, which will publish an issue once every semester, is to create an environment where student researchers are encouraged to adopt the behavior and understanding that research is more than just part of coursework—it is an ongoing process. In fact, many students carry the research work done as part of their senior projects into their graduate studies as they work towards a master’s degree or PhD.
Although the papers eligible for publication in Economist Diwan need to be related to the field of economics, the submission is not limited to economics majors. The pool of papers submitted to the editorial board includes submissions gained as a result of a call for submissions through email sent to students enrolled in SBA, along with papers recommended by professors. However, the main criteria is that the papers should include empirical research and should therefore be mathematically backed. Before publication, students can approach professors, get their work reviewed and work with the professors to improve their papers based on the journal’s requirements.
“I hope that by publishing their early work, our student authors will achieve two objectives: offer interesting reading to peers in their discipline and incentivize fellow students to follow suit and start engaging in quality research, too,” said Dr. Jörg Bley, Dean of SBA.
Although for now the submissions are limited to AUS students, the journal’s long-term goal is to include work done by students in other universities in the region. According to Mehr Patni and Jason Paulo Torion, co-founders and chief editors of Economist Diwan, the journal aims to become “a gateway and foundation for aspiring and self-motivated young economists to be able to independently conduct research, even at the undergraduate stage and experience its publication. We envision this student-run journal to be one that even students outside AUS will proudly contribute to. We want to plant seeds that will hopefully bloom into what is a student research community in the UAE.”
If you’re interested in economics, this journal is a great way for you to get an insight about how economic theories and research methods are applied. Articles in the first issue address the following topics: the impact of unemployment on property crime, the relationship between urbanization and suicide in Japan and Korea, and quantifying the oil price plunge.
Tayiba Ahmed is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah.