Research Support Fund investment in library resources contributes to student publication

In Fall 2017, Rachel McNally, a fourth-year Politics Honours student at Acadia University, published her first scholarly article. “Common European Asylum System: Contradictions and Crises” investigates and exposes critical discrepancies in refugee asylum policy within the European Union (EU). The article can be found online in the Carleton Review of International Affairs.

According to McNally, electronic resources accessed through Acadia’s Vaughan Memorial Library played an important role in her research. In addition to consulting books, sources from the EU and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and reports and information from various NGOs, McNally cited articles from 9 different digital journals in her recently published paper, all accessed through the library’s online catalogue.

Acadia’s collection of digital journals, including those consulted by McNally, are partially funded by the Research Support Fund (RSF). The RSF is a permanent federal funding program that provides Canadian universities and colleges with an annual grant to help pay for a portion of their indirect costs of research. In 2017, Acadia invested $225,000 of the RSF grant into digital journal subscriptions for the library, available for researchers such as faculty and students like McNally.

Ann Smith, Acadia’s University Librarian, comments, "It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the Research Support Fund for accessing thousands of cutting edge and influential digital journals. The Library stretches the Research Support Fund money as far as possible by participating in the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN).  This national partnership of 75 universities negotiates both the best license terms for use and reuse of digital journals and coverage across all disciplines."

Beyond the research for her published article, McNally explains that class readings and other research projects often require consulting journals online. Specifically, she comments, “Right now, for my thesis research and a Directed Reading Course on refugee sponsorship, many of my readings come directly from the Library’s electronic resource collection.”

Before McNally started at Acadia, she wasn’t certain what she wanted to study. An interest in global justice issues inspired her to pursue Politics and from year one she was hooked: “[Politics] is so immediately relevant to everyday life. My courses help me understand how the world became the way it is now, what’s wrong with it, and how it may possibly change.” Now in her fourth year of study, McNally is a scholar, a published author, and the winner of the Larry Collins Prize in Political Science for a previous essay.

Read Rachel McNally’s recent publication here.

Learn more about the Research Support Fund here.

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