The need for an undergraduate research journal was founded on two principles: 1) students invest time and effort into their undergraduate research, but are unable to publish it because 2) undergraduates are rarely able to produce the caliber of research necessary for inclusion into most journals. This should not be misconstrued to mean that the Referees should allow poor research or language to be published. This is just a reminder that these manuscripts are often part of a bigger research project and could seem incomplete when viewed alone. As long as the research is scholarly and the content original, the manuscript should be considered. If the manuscript seems incomplete and is unable to stand alone, NSURJ recommends that Referees suggest an increase in background information that may overlap with current, unpublished research of the group to rectify the situation.
Thesis Driven and Originality Explained
The submission should represent pointed research toward a goal. There should be a justification of the research that explains the benefit to the field, which is advanced in some way. The significance of the research to the field should be specifically and broadly explained in a way that justifies the amount of time and money dedicated to the research.
A submission that gathers primary and secondary sources to explain a phenomena that is well characterized or to summarize the current opinion of the field are neither original nor thesis driven. Conversely a submission that gathers primary and secondary sources to explain a phenomena that is not well characterized could be considered both thesis driven and original.
Submission Type Acceptability
As an interdisciplinary journal, NSURJ accepts many forms of submissions. However, NSURJ does not currently publish reviews of literature. All manuscripts must be thesis driven. NSURJ acknowledges a difference between reviews of literature and literature based research. A literature based research manuscript is appropriate as it pulls current data and opinion in a thesis driven way that offers something original and unique to the field (see above). A review of the literature is neither original nor unique and lacks a thesis, therefore, they will not be published. Senior theses are encouraged to be submitted as they are the by-product of one or more years of pointed research; while a term paper assigned by a teacher, may not fall within the scope of the journal. The standard of a manuscript is expected to be higher than that of a college research paper. Because new protocols and experiments are often developed, NSURJ includes such development as publishable material.
Articles published in NSURJ are considered publications which can be listed on CVs, Resumes, etc. and found online. The writing needs to be at a professional level. The author needs to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the background and research, and be able to convey this understanding in a reader-friendly way. Because NSURJ is interdisciplinary, the articles must be written so that a reader from any field can reasonably understand the research. This includes explanations of vocabulary specific to the discipline.
NSURJ is flexible on the length of an article. We recommend a minimum of 2,000 words and a maximum of 3,500. NSURJ expects the final length to be about 10 pages. A shorter article is acceptable, as long as it is thorough and passes the review process. Final articles that are much larger than 10 pages could be acceptable assuming that all pages are necessary and it passes the review process. Despite being flexible on length, NSURJ insists that the length of an article should be reasonable. A single page article would not be reasonable, neither would a 40+ page paper.
The final decision to reject or accept a manuscript belongs to the Senior Co-Editors. The Senior Co-Editors draw on the reviews from a minimum of two Referees and a Junior Editor to determine whether or not a manuscript should be published. The Senior Co-Editors rely on the recommendation of the Junior Editor and Referees – thus, the reviews submitted are highly regarded.