The key outcome of doctoral research is the generation of new knowledge, and a key measure of the academic output of any doctoral student’s thesis is the number and quality of academic publications arising from the work. Hundreds of articles, papers, monographs and books arising from the work of UCC’s doctoral students appear in the academic literature each year. However, few outside the academic specialisation involved are likely to read these articles, and hence the knowledge generated by the students is generally accessible to relatively few people within UCC and the outside community.
In recent years, a number of aspects of graduate education in Ireland have changed profoundly. Firstly, an increasing focus is being placed on the structured development of specific skills during doctoral research, particularly the ability to communicate with a range of audiences, including the non-specialist. Secondly, in parallel, there is a growing awareness of the role of doctoral graduates in a wide range of sectors of employment beyond academia, and thus the need for employers and the wider community to understand the type of research in which these students engage. Finally, the importance of research to the development of Ireland’s economy is a key factor, and thus initiatives to make stake-holders more aware of the research being undertaken in the universities are necessary.
In the light of all these factors, UCC is launching this publication, The Boolean, as a new initiative to share the outcomes of doctoral research to a wider audience. The student authors have been challenged to describe their research in a concise and accessible manner, and have worked with peer-reviewers (from the student Editorial Board) and the academic staff editors to produce articles that successfully achieve these goals. The result is the present volume of 37 articles that describe research from across the complete span of UCC’s academic disciplines. We hope the readers will find these articles interesting, illuminating and stimulating, and will generate new opportunities for authors and readers alike.
The team responsible wish to thank, first and foremost, the authors for their contributions and their enthusiasm for the project, and also all involved in the project, listed on the next page. The journal will be available in both hard copy and on-line versions, across UCC and beyond, and will be an annual publication, to continue as a platform for doctoral students to hone their key writing and editing skills while bringing their work to the widest audience possible.
Many thanks for reading this journal, and enjoy!