Stavreva helps develop new research platform

When it comes to research, it can be difficult for first-year college students to get started.

Professor of English Katy Stavreva

Cornell College Professor of English Katy Stavreva is playing a key role in developing a new research platform that helps students through the process by connecting them to scholarly information. She is working on the project with Gale, a company that has partnered with libraries around the world to inspire learning opportunities, to launch the Gale Researcher platform.

Professor Stavreva said she was approached by the company in October of 2015 to develop two series of ebooks for use in introductory college courses to introduce the field of British Literature.

The first series is expected to come out in December 2016, while the second should wrap up by the end of January 2017. The goal of the new platform is for students to spend less time finding scholarly materials for their research projects and more time thinking critically about the materials.

“As editor, I was first responsible for mapping the series content, which really amounts to mapping the foundations of the field of British literary studies,” Stavreva said. “This is no small challenge because the field is not only dynamic, but there are numerous ideologies and theories involved in deciding who and what may be foundational in it. The publisher asked for two series of 10 volumes each, with nine to 10 essays per volume, whose scopes I developed.”

Interim Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Consulting Librarian Jennifer Rouse

Stavreva proposed new authors for the British Literature portion of the platform, which included Cornell’s Interim Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Consulting Librarian Jennifer Rouse.

According to the abstract for Rouse’s piece, her essay provides an overview of the literary research process, ranging from the beginning stages of thinking critically about literary texts, defining and shaping research questions, to centering the research project within a scholarly conversation.

“My essay on the literary research process is important to this volume because it grounds undergraduate students in the practice and process of reading and thinking critically so that they are able to research responsibly—all, in the end, to start thinking about their own voices as scholars and where they fit in these big wonderful conversations about literature,” Rouse said.

Stavreva said she is enjoying the experience, the chance to think more broadly about the field as a whole, and to provide editorial guidance to writers.

“I am grateful to my liberal arts teaching experience at Cornell, which has challenged me to think constantly about the big picture of learning,” Stavreva said. “I am thrilled to be able to contribute to the way the discipline is introduced to the new generation of learners. Having never worked in professional publishing before, this was a new adventure, which allowed me to connect with and learn from amazing scholars and publishing professionals.”

For more information, please contact Cornell College Public Relations Director Jill Hawk at 319.895.4232 or