Undergraduate research work in economics, mathematics, international relations, finance and public policy is being recognized through a research journal founded by students at The University of Texas at Austin.
The Developing Economist‘s inaugural issue was published in the spring, but the process of creating it began much earlier.
Members of UT Austin chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE), an economic honors society, conceived the idea in the spring of 2013 after students saw the quality of undergraduate economics research being produced at the university. The founders set out to provide a means for showcasing undergraduate research through a peer-reviewed publication.
Robert McDowall, an economics and mathematics alumnus, is a founding member of the journal and served as its chairman.
“The idea came about as our team recognized an opportunity to foster communication amongst our own students and faculty, while forming an avenue for the publication of undergraduate research across the nation,” says McDowall. “We hope the journal can inspire students early in their undergraduate careers to start thinking about pursuing their own research interests.”
Student staff members of The Developing Economist spent the fall of 2013 securing funding for the journal and contacting other institutions to increase awareness and encourage submissions.
At the beginning of the spring 2014 semester, the editing process began. Submissions from around the country were judged by a team of student editors and economics faculty members, who identified the best papers. Those selected then went through a revision process and a final selection round before publication.
Christina Kent, an economics and mathematics senior, became the journal’s new editor-in-chief after she worked as managing editor on the first issue. Kent is working hard to make sure The Developing Economist is around for years to come.
“I’m working with other editors to ensure that the journal is sustainable,” Kent says. “Currently, we have to reapply for funding each year to keep the journal going, so we would like to set up an endowment so that the future editors have reliable access to funding.”
Previously, the project has been funded through grants from the ODE national chapter and The University of Texas at Austin.
Mario Peña, the 2014-2015 president of ODE, wants to focus on the growth of the journal during his term. He’s also eager to showcase more UT Austin undergraduate work.
“I would like to encourage any students doing related research to submit their papers to us by the Dec. 31 deadline and participate to be a part of our journal,” Peña says. “Some of the greatest papers published last year came from UT undergrads, and we would like to continue to give the opportunity to our students to publish their work.”
To read the inaugural issue of The Developing Economist, click here.