What is JEI?
The Journal of Emerging Investigators is an open-access journal that publishes original research in the biological and physical sciences that is written by middle and high school students. JEI provides students, under the guidance of a teacher or advisor, the opportunity to submit and gain feedback on original research and to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Because grade-school students often lack access to formal research institutions, we expect that the work submitted by students may come from classroom-based projects, science fair projects, or other forms of mentor-supervised research.
JEI is a non-profit group run and operated by graduate students at Harvard University. JEI also provides the opportunity for graduate students to participate in the editorial, review, and publication process. Our hope is that JEI will serve as an exciting new forum to engage young students in a novel kind of science education that nurtures the development and achievements of young scientists throughout the country.
How JEI Came to Be
Like any other research project, The Journal of Emerging Investigators started with an observation. At the end of several local science fairs in the Boston area, all of the hard work of the students -- all the data and the conclusions -- often went into the trash once the science fair concluded. It was disappointing to say the least, but it led to a simple question: how could we keep the work of these young scientists alive past science fair and share it more broadly?
As scientists in academia, the answer was obvious: publish or perish. Yet, there was no science journal dedicated to publishing the work of middle and high school students, which was free and also utilized a review process to engage students in critical thinking about their science. Why not start the journal we envisioned?
In 2011, Harvard graduate student Sarah Fankhauser brought the idea to her fellow graduate students at Harvard Medical School, and they instantly recognized the value and need for such a journal. Graduate students Lincoln Pasquina and Chris Wells served as JEI’s first editors-in-chief, recruiting a handful of editors and reviewers. We published our first paper in 2012 and haven’t looked back!
The Journal of Emerging Investigators engages young scientists in an essential part of the scientific process: peer-review and publication. We support young scientists in developing and answering their own scientific questions. We evaluate the work of young scientists and guide them in thinking critically about their research and communication. We provide the opportunity for young scientists to fully engage in the scientific process by publishing their research through an open-access and free journal.