Library Contributes to Undergraduate Research Success

Some of the journals that have published Willis Wang's research: London School of Economics Undergraduate Political Review, Georgetown Security Studies Review, Utraque Unum, and the Michigan Journal of Asian Studies

Willis Wang (SFS‘21) has published five of his undergraduate papers in national and international academic journals, with a sixth paper accepted for publication. Resources available to all students at Georgetown—including guidance from librarians and professors—were a critical part of his research success.

Willis Wang
Willis Wang

“For fellow Hoyas who are confused about the publication process, you should reach out to subject-based experts at the Lauinger Library,” Wang said. He worked closely with Asian Studies Liaison Ding Ye as he was preparing “An Analysis of ASEAN-Taiwan Relations Under Taiwan’s Two Latest Presidents from 2008 to 2019,” published in December 2021 in the London School of Economics Undergraduate Political Review. Ye helped Wang find relevant published literature, and he also identified several journals to which Wang might submit his finished paper.

Georgetown professors provided important guidance and feedback on the papers that Wang wrote. Wang said that students shouldn’t be intimidated about asking for assistance. “Professors at Georgetown University generally like to help you publish your own papers if you reach out to them for help,” he stated. Professors Pamela Sodhy, Matthew Kroenig, Samuel Visner, and Jeremy Mathis each helped to guide the development of some of Wang’s papers that have been published.

Academic publishing can be a daunting process, but that doesn’t mean interested students shouldn’t get involved. Like all researchers, Wang’s experience has taught him that all authors, including undergraduates, interested in publishing their work need to produce a quality manuscript, which includes a clear thesis, coherent organization, counter arguments, substantial use of qualified academic sources, and proper citations. “For each academic paper, I incorporated at least 30 academic-level sources to bolster the substance and credibility of my arguments,” Wang said.

Researchers also need to be proactive, Wang added. “You should research the journals where you want to publish and see what kinds of articles the reviewers or editors are interested in,” he said. In addition to reading the articles published, most journals will have sections on “requirements” or “submissions” that specify the topics they’re interested in, length and formatting requirements, citation style, and other valuable information.

Research consultations are a service the Library offers to students and faculty in all subject areas, whether for classwork or advanced research. Librarians can help you narrow down your research topic, find and organize information, and properly cite your sources.