About the Journal


The Latin word Meliora translates to “the pursuit of the better.” The journal’s title captures our mission: to improve and challenge academic discourse by amplifying emerging voices. Meliora is Barnard College’s premier, undergraduate-run, open access literary journal committed to publishing peer-reviewed, original English senior theses on a biannual basis. In this way, Meliora allows students and academics alike to utilize and expand upon authors’ ideas, forging a more accessible academic community for underrepresented young writers. Meliora features the work of student writers that offers evocative and informative new perspectives and, in doing so, seeks to convey a more nuanced portrait of literature and the human experience. 


Meliora works to provide a platform to amplify the work of emergent intellectual student thinkers to connect them to a larger academic network of peers through publication. Meliora will also serve as an accessible archive for future students and academics to utilize as a resource and source of inspiration. We have an editorial board and author base consisting entirely of Barnard undergraduates, and we aim to empower students with firsthand experience in the academic publishing process.


Meliora biannually publishes theses first written as coursework in Barnard College’s senior seminar or special project courses. As our goal is to center undergraduate voices in academic discourse, the journal only accepts submissions written within the past academic year. All submissions should be approximately 4,000 to 9,000 words in length, and we do not accept excerpts. The journal seeks to elevate innovative ideas that will expand the landscape of modern literary criticism. As such, Meliora accepts multimedia submissions in addition to cross-major student theses, incorporating images and links to videos. We hope that Meliora’s scholarship will be accessed by both Barnard students and the academic community at large. 

Open Access Policy

All articles published in Meliora are fully open access: all content is freely available without charge to the user or their institution. Additionally, users may read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. Authors retain copyright and agree to license their work with a Creative Commons Attribution License. Those interested can read more about Creative Commons licenses at creativecommons.org.

Meliora is a no-fee journal. Authors are not charged for the submission or publication of their articles and are free to deposit versions of their work in an institutional or other repository of their choice.

Archiving Policy

Meliora is archived in Columbia University’s Academic Commons. Academic Commons is Columbia University’s institutional repository, offering long-term public access to research shared by the Columbia community. A program of the Columbia University Libraries, Academic Commons provides secure, replicated storage for files in multiple formats. Academic Commons assigns a DOI and accurate metadata to each work to enhance discoverability.

Policy on Diversity and Inclusion

Meliora seeks to increase the diversity of voices represented in scholarly discourse. This diversity includes differences in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, country of origin, religious or spiritual beliefs, ability, and socioeconomic class. The journal believes that a full spectrum of identities introduces new and original perspectives into academic writing, and it simultaneously acknowledges the importance of inclusivity in these efforts. As such, Meliora commits to a culturally-conscious and gender-inclusive approach in its submissions and review process. Multiple editors review each article for acceptance and utilize an assessment approach that prioritizes the author’s ideas above their adoption of Standard Academic English. Editors’, reviewers’, and authors’ sustained commitment to values of diversity and inclusion are essential to their continued participation in the Meliora community.

Language Policy 

Meliora only accepts submissions written primarily in English, although sources and quotations may be written in other languages. The journal will not tolerate the use of hateful or derogatory verbiage in submissions or by journal board members, peer reviewers, and authors.

Code of Ethics

Meliora expects prospective authors to uphold the highest standards of professional ethics in the conduct of their work. By submitting a manuscript to this journal, the writer explicitly confirms that the work is both original and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Meliora is committed to following the principles of Barnard College’s Honor Code, including a zero tolerance policy for plagiarism in any form. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • The misappropriation of direct quotations from another person’s work without credit
  • The misappropriation of ideas or paraphrasing from another person’s work without credit
  • The failure to properly cite and reference sources 

Issues of plagiarism will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the editorial board. The editors will refer to guidelines suggested by the Barnard Honor Board.