Hello and welcome to the second installment of The Making of the Digital Literature Review. The Digital Literature Review is created though the hard work and contributions of all of its individual undergraduate members. These members are divided into three teams (Design, Editorial, and Publicity) at the start of each issue, and they collectively work throughout the semester in order to edit, produce, and publish the Digital Literature Review. The start of school year begins with the teams studying a particular theme designated for that year, under the guidance of a professor. The next semester involves receiving submissions for the journal and readying them for publication.
In this post, we will cover the duties and responsibilities of the members of the Editorial team, as well as have the team members share their personal thoughts and experiences about the immersive class. They will cover the challenges they’ve had to endure as well as their triumphs throughout the semester as they collectively worked to improve the content and accuracy of Ball State’s Digital Literature Review.
The responsibilities of the Editorial team:
- Review submissions to the journal for quality
- Send acceptance/refusals to authors
- Copy edit accepted submissions to the journal
- Review and copy edit the DLR in its final stages
Responsibilities and course work as a student in this immersive learning class:
- Study the material of the designated theme for the year
- Assigned blog entries for our DLR blog
- Write for the DLR blog and possibly for the English Department blog
- Create a capstone project
Our Editorial Team members:
Esther Wolfe, Team Leader, Senior
Sadie Brown, Senior
Nikole Darnell, Sophomore
Caitlin Dashiell, Senior
Kathryn Hampshire, Sophomore
Bryce Longenberger, Junior
Isabel Vazquez, Junior
What was it like building the Editorial team and putting into practice your process?
Esther: We really wanted to build on the foundation from last year. This year it was more about making the process more efficient. It was especially important in training the new members in our editorial process: creating dress rehearsals, and training processes.
Nikole: Some parts of the process could get overwhelming considering that you would have to show up to class on certain days and copyedit huge sections of text. I mean it’s feasible to get it all done, but just be ready to work hard when you come into the team.
Kathryn: Even though I knew this was the team I wanted to be a part of, I didn’t really know what to expect. It ended up being a lot more than I did expect though, and that was just really exciting as the year progressed. I thought it would be a lot of copyediting, but it turned out to be a lot more than that, which was really great.
Isabel: It was great to see such a large group working together to achieve one goal. Especially since I was able to still voice my opinions and be heard when I thought somethings should be changed. It’s a real confidence builder to know that I could polish my new skills and apply them to a real world experience.
So how did your team overcome the big challenges during the course of the year?
Kathryn: Well one of the big things we worried about was how to keep our documents straight. We were really concerned that our system wouldn’t be efficient enough. Fortunately we came up with a great folder system that really helped us get ourselves organized and keep all the various versions of documents separate.
Bryce & Kathryn: We can talk about how tough it was to work on our peers’ submissions to the journal.
It was an issue that really came up a lot. We had to make sure we remained professional and respectful because some of these papers were from people we see every day. Everyone was really thorough and approached each paper so carefully and honestly that I think that everyone was able to accept that we had made the right decisions.
We knew that every factor we could think of was considered and our decisions were made based on that.
Isabel: I think the most stressful part was just not having any idea what to expect. I’d never really done any immersive class work before and so this whole thing was a completely new experience to me. By the end of the semester I felt a lot more confident in my abilities, and I know if I need to do this type of thing again, I’ll have no problems.
Discuss some of the best things you experienced on the Editorial team.
Esther: I think another thing that might be challenging about the editorial team is that, even if you try, you can never anticipate all of the things that are going to pop up. So we just tried to make sure we had a protocol in place about how to react and deal with those things that just popped up on the day-to-day basis.
Isabel: It was really cool if I was struggling that I could approach the other members and get help. That really helped when I was learning to sculpt this level of academic work and to tailor it to a specific audience.
If you’re interested in joining the DLR team for the upcoming issue, contact Dr. Joyce Huff.