To help strengthen and expand the Essex Student Journal, the management team behind the journal are looking for academic colleagues to share their expertise and support via an advisory board. 

What does the ESJ do?

The Essex Student Journal (ESJ) is a true asset to the University. Providing our undergraduate and postgraduate taught students a platform to publish their academic papers and creative writing, the ESJ allows our students’ voices to be heard.

Alongside this, the ESJ allows our students to gain first hand experience of the publishing process in a diamond open access journal. It is therefore a key learning tool that enables growth in writing and critical reading skills, to name just a few. By introducing our students to the publishing process so early in their careers, we allow them to understand the importance of peer review, and practice the transferrable skill of communicating specialist ideas to a non-specialist audience.

Currently, our UG and PGT authors are supported by their PGR colleagues. This is through both the role of the Student Journal Editor, currently Kimia Aghasoleimani, a PGR in the department of Life Sciences, and through the support of our peer reviewers. All peer review for the ESJ is completed by Essex PGRs, allowing not only our UGs and PGTs to gain crucial feedback from their peers, but also giving PGRs a chance to gain experience of peer reviewing in a supportive environment.

Why we’re starting an academic advisory board

The model used for the publication process of ESJ papers will not be changing as a result of the advisory board, but we’re seeking academic support for a few reasons:

  • To gain subject and/or faculty level academic expertise where needed (for example in decisions around new formats of paper submissions, or support for our peer reviewers if needed).
  • To explore ideas to develop special issues.
  • To promote and advocate for the journal within departments/faculties.

The Essex Student Journal is also looking to become indexed with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to boost our visibility and enhance the value of our students’ experience working with the journal. Incorporating an advisory board is one of the criteria needed for this inclusion. 

Key tasks for members of the advisory board

  • To contribute toward decisions made by the Student Journal Editor and editorial board/editorial advisory board on decisions to be made on the journal, journal processes, and journal strategy. This could include:
    • Upcoming special issues
    • New formats for submissions
    • Specific calls for papers
    • Future Essex Student Journal conferences
    • Hiring of Student Journal Editors and/or frontrunners
  • To attend termly advisory board meetings, chaired by the Student Journal Editor.
  • Where appropriate, to provide specific expertise for the journal. This may include advising the Editors on author guidelines for this type of paper, assisting the Editors in deciding about individual papers pre or post review, and/or assisting reviewers in this area.
  • To help champion the Essex Student Journal within faculties/departments, encouraging authors to submit and reviewers to sign up, alongside raising the profile of the Essex Student Journal more widely.

What do I need to do?

If you’re interested in volunteering as one of our advisory board members, or would like to discuss the opportunity further, please email Hannah Crago ( Any volunteers can stand down from the advisory board at any time. An initial meeting of all volunteers with the Essex Student Journal team will be arranged later this term, so we look forward to meeting with you then.