Three Bishop’s students of the Department of Politics and the Department of Economics published their research in the Undergraduate Journal of Politics, Policy and Society (UJPPS), in an issue themed around Politics in the Pandemic. UJPPS publishes peer-reviewed work of undergraduate students in social sciences and humanities, and provides a platform for aspiring academics to gain experience in publishing, research, and critical thinking while contributing to current debates and discussions in their disciplines.
Evelyne Verrette is a second-year student majoring in International Political Economy with an Honours in Economics. Last summer, thanks to the BU Foundation, she was awarded one of the Bishop’s Research Training Award for her research project Buying Local Initiatives in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: An analysis of Their Effectiveness. This project, under the supervision of Dr. Marianne Vigneault of the Department of Economics, analyzed the economic and social effectiveness of buying local initiatives by governments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea for this project sparked because, for the first in a long period, with the pandemic context, countries had no choice but to look inward to provide their population with the goods (e.g., masks) they needed. It was also a good match with Evelyne’s interests for economic development and public policy, and with her knowledge of international trade and business theories. About her project, Evelyne says: It was my first research project ever, and I am glad to have done it, as I have been considering it for few years! I love solving problems, especially social problems. I also love reporting and writing on observable phenomena. I value the importance of knowledge creation in building societies that are innovative and resilient. My project embodied this reality, having decided to tackle the topic of buying local policies as an economic recovery strategy in a crisis that had just begun. Through the publication of her research, Evelyne gained first-hand experience into the process of editing and presenting a research paper.
Matthew Rainsford (Double Major in Political Studies and International Relations) and John-James Blanchette (Honours in Political Studies, minor in Economics and International Studies) published their independent research Elections and leadership: The impact of Coronavirus on the Democratic Process. This project examined how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected elections and the electability of political candidates. Getting their work published was a multi-step progress that took a few months from start to production. We spent a couple weeks writing and organizing the paper, before we submitted it. Eventually, we received news that the journal was interested in publishing our paper, which moved us onto the reviewing process. The editors would provide feedback on the substance of the paper (flawed arguments, run on sentences, clarity) which we would use to ensure that the paper meets the standards of the journal. The paper went through two review stages before moving onto copyediting. In the copyediting stage, our editor would pass through the entire paper and make small edits herself to things like spacing, capitalization, indentation and less so the substance of the paper. This was the fastest of the publishing stages, taking only about a day. Once the copyediting stage was complete, the journal accepted the final draft of our paper, and we waited a couple more months until it was eventually published in February 2021, Matthew and John-James had to say on the publishing process. Publishing pushed their academic abilities and has been a growth experience for them, especially regarding their academic writing skills. It was a challenging experience for us, but it was absolutely worth it.
All students wished to thank their supervisors and peers for their support.
You can read their papers online: