Online journal Artifacts gives students new outlet for work

Thursday, January 28, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 8:49 a.m. CST, Thursday, January 28, 2010

COLUMBIA — With three issues done and one about to hit the Web, the editors of the online journal Artifacts want more people to know about it.

Artifacts is a publication of MU's Campus Writing Program, now headed by Jeff Rice. He and his wife, Jenny Edbauer-Rice, came up with the journal in spring 2008 to create an outlet for students to present their work outside the classroom.

"There is often a lack of knowledge of what kinds of work students are doing across curriculums," Rice said.

Rice wants Artifacts to be broader in content than traditional, essay-heavy journals. Because of the freedom of the Internet, Artifacts can host multimedia assignments, podcasts and films, as well as the written word.

Edbauer-Rice, an associate professor of English, referred to the pieces selected as "real work," meaning they show scholarship.

Rice said most students produce work for a grade, and a motivation behind the journal is to give students the opportunity to aspire to greater personal fulfillment in what they create. It's the idea that "my work has value," he said.

The goal is to produce an issue every semester centered on a different theme. Artifacts caters not only to multimedia work but also to a rich range of topics. The journal's editorial board — which includes faculty from departments including English, religious studies, forestry and environmental sciences — is working on an issue that features compositions written in the English 1000 curriculum. An issue on environmental studies is in the planning stage.

Each volume gets about 30 submissions; six or seven pieces are chosen. "We are not looking for perfect work," Edbauer-Rice said.

They are looking to promote scholarship and to encourage students to take pride in their work. Edbauer-Rice said the journal is an opportunity for students to show published work on resumes and applications for graduate school and other avenues of higher learning.

Edbauer-Rice said one of the immediate goals is to expand the editorial board to include students, the idea being it would give students a more behind-the-scenes experience.

The next issue of Artifacts is due to be published this week and can be found at

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Prakasam Tata January 29, 2010 | 7:27 a.m.

Jeff and Jenny Rice should be congratulated for publishing Artifacts to encourage students to write and publish their views and take pride in their work.

I wish the publication great success.

Dr. Prakasam Tata, Ph.D., QEP
Naperville, IL 60540 USA

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