Whether it’s a thesis, article, image, video or some other form of creative work, Pacific students are encouraged to share their senior projects by posting them online through the library or by publishing them in an undergraduate research journal.

CommonKnowledge started in June 2009 and is Pacific University’s digital repository where students, faculty and staff are able to post their collective scholarships and creative works. The university’s library uses CommonKnowledge as a venue for sharing these works with the world, making the majority of the content accessible and downloadable to anyone.

Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian Isaac Gilman said “This is the first year that we have made a significant promotional push to get students’ senior projects into CommonKnowledge.”

When a student’s work is archived, their work will have a permanent link they can put on their resume or include it as part of a portfolio when they apply for a job or graduate school. Posting work is not considered publication but if students want to give their work a home online and they simply want to share it, CommonKnowledge is the easiest way to do that.

As a submission requirement, students interested in contributing their work to the repository need to have a faculty member from their department nominate it by contacting Isaac Gilman. There is no formal review process, so once a nominated work is received, it is posted as is.

Gilman said the primary goals of CommonKnowledge are to make the knowledge created by the Pacific community available to as large an audience as possible and to use it as a promotional tool that showcases the work done by students and faculty at Pacific University.

The Pacific Northwest Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities is a peer-reviewed journal that was started in 2010 and is published through a partnership between Pacific and Central Washington Universities. PNWJURCA is an open access journal that was started to provide an opportunity for students and their faculty mentors to share their work while receiving recognition for formal publication. Similar to CommonKnowledge, works in PNWJURCA are free to access and download. Having work in a peer-review journal is beneficial to students because they are able to list the publication on their resume.

Students interested in contributing something to the PNWJURCA must provide a cover letter from a faculty mentor stating approval for submitting the work to the journal. Works submitted undergo a formal review process by faculty members from various institutions and students may be required to revise their submission for things such as styling and formatting requirements before it’s accepted for publication. However, unlike with posting, there is no guarantee that a work will be accepted for publication.

“I would strongly encourage students to consider either posting or publishing their work. We have had students in the graduate programs at Pacific whose theses, dissertations, or other academic work have been downloaded hundreds of times,” said Gilman. “I have received emails from people across the world who have discovered Pacific students’ work and are interested in using it to inform their own study or research. There is no reason not to believe that undergraduates’ work could have the same impact. But the first step is making it visible – which means posting it or publishing it.”

For more information about CommonKnowledge and PNWJURCA please visit commons.pacificu.edu/ and commons.pacificu.edu/pnwestjurca/.

Faculty members looking to nominate a project for CommonKnowledge can contact Isaac


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