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I'm a sixth form student, and one day I would like to call myself an academic.

Do you know of any academic journals that are specifically for students, or would accept work from a student? I would be very much interested to hear about an organisation that does this.

Thanks.

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That's an excellent question ! –  Suresh Jan 14 '13 at 18:56
    
It may depend on the discipline, scope of research, etc. I know a few HS students who published during their (example here) but it was in a normal journal, with "older" collaborators. –  Piotr Migdal Jan 15 '13 at 19:47
    
Also, you may be rather interested in competitions for papers; e.g. the EU Contest for Young Scientist is very selective. For US, AFAIK, there is Intel Talent Search. You get a lot more (recognition, attention, money) than a publication! (In short, such competitions expect research-level things, but for high school students.) –  Piotr Migdal Jan 15 '13 at 19:48
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6 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I have never heard of an academic journal specifically meant for high school students. There might be magazines directed towards publishing projects of high school students, but I would not call these academic journals.

In regard to publishing, in principle if you have something that is of sufficient level to be published, you could just submit the paper to any journal. It would then be reviewed. The major hurdle would probably be that you do not work for a reputable institute or university. You could try and remedy this problem by looking for a supervisor who already works at an institute/university who would be willing to collaborate with you.

That said, realistically I do not know many 3rd year university students who have the level to write good and relevant academic papers. So, it might be a little far fetched to write an academic paper in high school. Than again, if you feel that your contribution is worthwhile, please feel free to ignore this advice.

Good luck!

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The major hurdle would probably be that you do not work for a reputable institute or university. — This is field-dependent. In many fields, nobody cares about your affiliation, as long as your work is good. –  JeffE Jan 22 '13 at 3:07
    
Would the "major hurdle" apply to journals that are supposedly single- or double-blinded? –  Jase Jan 22 '13 at 4:47
    
Interesting answer, Paul. As the training or experience for writing up publishable papers isn't (presumably) in place until postgrad, how might students below that level learn more about the process of planning, producing and publishing their work? –  James Feb 5 '13 at 20:08
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Publishing in early career

If the research is good enough, it will get published. The challenge is to do good-enough research as a sixth-form student. Actually, that's a challenge for any of us, at whatever stage we're at. The best example I know of, of young researchers getting published, is a paper in Biology Letters from a class of 8-10 year olds. The paper, Blackawton Bees, is a good bit of research and an entertaining read.

Principal finding ‘We discovered that bumble-bees can use a combination of colour and spatial relationships in deciding which colour of flower to forage from. We also discovered that science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before.

Actually, never mind the rest of this answer for now. If you're reading this, whoever you are, and you haven't read the paper before, just go read it now - it's free to view for all. You'll thank me (so remember to come back here afterwards ;-).

Journals for students

As far as journals specifically for students: well, they all are, really. Pretty much all of us who are reading them, are reading them for study. God knows, they're almost always so dryly written that no one would read them for pleasure.

There are exceptions. For easier reading, there's New Scientist and Scientific American; though the science sometimes suffers in the cause of circulation-friendly journalism, particularly for New Scientist.

More digestible science

And there are quite a lot of science blogs on the web, which make for more digestible reading of recent research. Unfortunately, there's also a much higher number of pseudo-science blogs on the web, that, unless you know a lot about the subject, are hard to distinguish from real science, but contain pure unadulterated nonsense. For example, Real Climate is respectable science by respected scientists; Watts Up With That is unadulterated pseudo-science nonsense; but to the unwary, they are both climate science blogs. So, for finding new science blogs, reader beware. Even well-established science blogs sometimes go off the rails, when they stray outside their area of immediate expertise.

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I'd love to see the peer reviewers' responses to this paper –  gerrit Jan 14 '13 at 9:03
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I started one with that goal in mind back in high school (I'm in college now). Although it definitely cannot compare to fully funded, top tier journals, we strive to provide a learning experience. The journal is edited by 2 sets of people, professors and other students. The professors are there to help teach both the author and the student reviewer about the journal process, and provide his or her experience when it comes to publishing and academic work.

You can check it out: The National High School Journal of Science

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As the others have suggested, this is pretty field-specific. The IEEE organization has two publications aimed at college-level students:

  • IEEE Potentials, a journal which discusses both research and careers. The articles are quite thorough and are written in the same form other IEEE journals, but assume less background.

  • IEEE Spectrum, a publication which is a cross between a journal and a magazine. There are in-depth articles on engineering topics, but also more light discussions of fun side projects. I strongly recommend this for any high school student interested in engineering.

These are both geared towards engineering with a focus on electrical engineering, although other subdisciplines are covered as well. Again, I strongly recommend both of these for any undergraduate or advanced high school student interesting in engineering.

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Specific answers depend on the field. There exist conferences that have special categories for students. For example, the European Space Agency offers logistical support for students' balloon and rockets experiments, and related conferences have dedicated categories for students of any level. Those conferences include proceedings, which means that it's possible to publish a proceedings paper. This is different from a peer-reviewed paper, and slightly less ambitious because it's not peer-reviewed; it is, however, checked for basic quality by the session convener.

An example of such a conference is the ESA PAC Symposium. As mentioned, this is a quite specific answer for a quite specific field. However, depending on the field you're interested in, perhaps such conferences exist for you too. You're best bet in this case would be to browse websites for relevant conferences and see if they have special student categories.

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What subject are you interested in? In mathematics I know of College Mathematics Journal published by the MAA and despite its name, I think a good chunk of its material is accessible to high schoolers.

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