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A Look Into Lucerna: UMKC’s Undergraduate Research Journal

Empowering UMKC undergraduates to publish interdisciplinary research
Lucerna+team+voting+on+ratings.+
Lauren Zoller/Roo News
Lucerna team voting on ratings.

  Lucerna, UMKC’s undergraduate research journal, is on the lookout for students who want to publish their research in a recognized journal.

  “There are essays about LGBTQ topics to math to the Spanish Inquisition,” said Theo Raitzer, managing editor of Lucerna and a junior studying economics. “Our goal is to be interdisciplinary, and we get submissions from people all across the university, just writing about things they’re interested in.” 

  Submissions are open to undergraduate students in all programs and fields of study at UMKC. Produced by the Honors Program, Lucerna gives students the opportunity to submit their research, receive feedback, potentially be published and present their work at the annual Lucerna symposium on March 14.

 “I think a lot of people are intimidated by the fact that this is a real research journal,” said Anna Shaw, marketing and design co-coordinator at Lucerna and sophomore studying biology and chemistry. “Your research paper doesn’t have to be perfect when it comes in. If it’s something you haven’t worked on recently but you’ve done in the past year, it works.”

  The Lucerna reviewing and editing team is consistently working on two volumes of the journal at a time. Submissions are now open for the 2025 journal, but they are also in the process of producing the March 2024 edition.

  Lucerna accepts research papers all year long but makes an effort in December and May to encourage submissions.

  Dr. Henrietta Wood, faculty advisor for Lucerna, said it’s better to submit in December in order to reap more benefits and a better chance at being accepted. “The reviewers who are doing work with December submissions will give feedback, and it gives students the opportunity to resubmit for the May deadline if they are not accepted the first time.” 

  Lucerna accepts submissions from currently enrolled UMKC undergraduates whose research was completed under a UMKC faculty member for a course. The research papers cannot be considered for publication elsewhere or have been published previously.

  Each essay gets at least two reviews where feedback is given anonymously against a rubric.

  Editor-in-Chief of Lucerna, Lauren Ferguson, said the reviewers give a score on the writer’s clarity, originality, organization and argument. Learn more about requirements here

  “My favorite part about Lucerna is that everyone has a great time working on it,” said Marisa McKay, the public relations co-supervisor and a senior majoring in history. “It’s a great accomplishment at the end of the year to have a collection of students’ work that is in a legit journal.”

  The next priority deadline for submission is May 10. Undergraduate students can submit their work here

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