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Bioethics club to debut first UConn undergraduate peer-reviewed journal

By Loumarie Rodriguez
On December 3, 2012

The Bioethics club will be printing the first and only undergrad peer-reviewed journal at UConn called "The Ethical Biologist" focusing on bioethical issues for spring semester 2013.
The club that consists of 25 to 30 members typically focuses on a variety of issues to discuss within their meetings such as stem cell research, cloning, animal testing, etc. However because certain topics cannot be discussed in length in meetings club members came up with the idea of creating the journal that students can write about topics they find interesting. It also creates an outlet to focus on various subjects that were not discussed in meetings.
The peer-reviewed journal was an original idea that the past two presidents of the club had discussed however it wasn't until this semester did the idea start finally coming together according to the president of the club Megan Rowland, a 5th semester psychology and physiology and neurobiology double major.
"We originally thought about doing a newsletter but with lengthy submissions a peer review journal was better," said Rowland.
The club hopes that with the journal that students will be more aware of what bioethics is and how interesting and relevant it is to everyday life. They are also hoping to get more people in involved in the peer reviewing process. They also expect that the final product of the journal will be between 30 to 60 pages depending on the approved content.
The club is USG funded and were also given money to hire a web developer in order to create a professional looking website. Once the website is launched, which is expected by the end of the semester, their peer review journal articles will be found online. As for the print editions they plan to disperse copies all over campus and hope to get a few copies archived into the library.
So far the journal has received many submissions to be printed including from other schools such as the Air Force Academy. Rowland says thanks to their club adviser, Hallie Liberto of the philosophy department, Liberto is very involved with the bioethics community and promoted the journal to different schools.
The journal is currently being edited by trained students who learn how to comment on the content and are usually from the writing center. Typically, two students review the manuscripts that are sent in and check on the clarity and grammar of the content then the final decision is made to either accept or reject it. If there are multiple articles of the same content they will be sent to a technical review board of doctors and lawyers who will go over the article to see which is most accurate and a sound argument. Tymoteusz Siwy, a 3rd-semester animal science and pathobiology major makes the final decisions on what manuscripts and articles need revisions as the managing editor.
The journal is currently in the layout phase and their final deadline for submissions is December 16. They are also looking for more people who are interested in manuscript reviewing and for more editors as well. Once the journal is launched next semester there will be a release party and a series of speakers to come in according to Emily Anne Raymond a 5th semester English major, who is in charge of arranging events.
"We encourage people to check [the journal] out and the club as well," said Alex Lawton 3rd-semester molecular and cell biology major and member of the club.

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