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2013 IR All-Star: Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Illinois Wesleyan University

August 13, 2013

694d12875b121cabfef778dea9433ff3Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Scholarly Communications Librarian, is one of bepress’s 2013 IR All-Stars because of her early vision and compelling advocacy for the value of student research in the IR, and specifically for student-edited journals. In 2008, very few schools were willing to take a chance on student journals in their IRs – in fact there were only about 12 published on Digital Commons at that time (there are now over 100). Thanks to her example, student journals are now a staple in most repository and library-led publishing programs. Stephanie demonstrated that giving students the tools of publishing is an important new way to teach information literacy, prepare young scholars for a career in research, and enrich faculty mentorship at universities of all shapes and sizes.

One of Digital Commons @ IWU’s most remarkable student-edited journals is the Undergraduate Economic Review. Founded in 2005, UER now has a 20% acceptance rate and gets submissions from around the world including Great Britain, Asia, and Europe. The student-edited journal is fortunate to have as mentors and advisors both Stephanie and Professor Michael Seeborg from IWU’s Economics Department. Both Dr. Seeborg and Sijia Song, UER’s Editor-in-Chief from 2012-2013, see student-run journals like UER as incredible learning experiences for students and as assets for the university. In a webinar last spring, Sijia spoke of his work on the journal as “an invaluable learning experience,” citing a dramatic improvement in critical thinking, communication, writing, and leadership skills.

It’s clear that through projects like this, Stephanie has aligned the goals of the repository with Illinois Wesleyan’s commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.  She has also cast a wide net to include all forms of student research and creative activity in Illinois Wesleyan’s Digital Commons, including the university’s annual John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference.

Stephanie has also been one of the most consistently visible and active members of the Digital Commons community, producing collaborative research and presentations for a variety of local and national events.  This year alone, Stephanie coedited an open access book of essays related to scholarly communication, titled Common Ground at the Nexus of Information Literacy and Scholarly Communication. She is a co-author of “A Survey of Library Support for Formal Undergraduate Research Programs,” to be published in College and Research Libraries, July 2014. Stephanie is also a compelling speaker and has presented at several conferences this year. To see a complete list of Stephanie Davis-Kahl’s work, visit her SelectedWorks page: http://works.bepress.com/stephanie_davis_kahl/.

To learn more about bepress’s 2013 IR All-Stars, see our announcement here.

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