An Online, Open Access, Student-Authored and Peer-Reviewed eJournal in Biotechnology

Oranmiyan Nelson, Clive Waldron, Terence L. Marsh, Jessica L. Knott, John M. Quick, Nathan T. Lounds, Timothy Barney, Brendan Guenther, George M. Garrity

Full Text: Presentation


Since 2005, MMG 445 Basic Biotechnology has been taught as a blended course, incorporating faculty lectures and student presentations on a wide range of current topics, and online publishing of student writing. Unlike traditional courses that rely on periodic examination to evaluate student performance, our students are evaluated on their performance as authors and reviewers, gaining valuable experience in a process that is fundamental to the scienti?c process. At the end of each semester, student articles that survive the rigors of peer-review and the editorial process are published in an Open Access eJournal that provides students with tangible evidence of their competence as nascent members of the scienti?c community. We have also begun to integrate faculty and student-generated online videos (similar to JoVE or SciVee). The model of learning is for open inquiry where students choose a topic of personal interest and take responsibility for the quality of their work. Traf?cking manuscripts among authors, reviewers and editors is an intricate process, especially when the entire process must be completed within the time constraints of an academic semester (7d peer-review cycle, 28d from submission to publication), and detailed information about student performance must be collected and retained. We have been able to accomplish this through the adoption of the Open Journal Systems editorial environment from the Public Knowledge Project (OJS, This open source application not only provides all the necessary features to follow papers through the complete editorial process, but also provides the tools to publish content on the Web and incorporate supplemental information to enrich each article and to integrate the eJournal with the full course content, including streaming video of topical lectures, announcements, and other course related materials. Contents of the eJournal appear in Google Scholar, and other indices and many papers have been viewed thousands of times since publication. The journal can be viewed at


biotechnology, instruction, peer review, writing, presentation, online video