“Let’s start a journal!”: The Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Journal as Educational Opportunity

The University of Lethbridge is a medium-sized, primarily undergraduate, comprehensive research university on the Canadian Prairies in Alberta. It has a small but growing graduate school, within which most students are studying at the masters level. For many years, the graduate student elected representative body, the Graduate Students Association (GSA), has sponsored an annual refereed conference, Meeting of the Minds. In 2015 the GSA decided to supplement this conference with an accompanying journal, also called Meeting of the Minds. This article discusses the lessons learned in establishing this journal and overseeing its first two years of operations (and first year of publication). The article concentrates on two sets of problems: 1) philosophical, economic, and sociological issues that arose at the conceptual level while establishing a multidisciplinary, institution-focused graduate journal; and 2) technical, bibliographic, organizational, and economic issues encountered in attempting to address these conceptual concerns and ensure the long-term viability of the research accepted and published. Although the journal was not able to solve all the problems that arose during the first two years of operation, several solutions on the organizational, technological, economic, and bibliographic levels were developed that might be used by others establishing similar scholar- or student-led journals.