Our Story

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 organization run and operated by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors across the United States.  JEI provides the opportunity for graduate students to contribute to the editorial and review process, and management of an academic journal.

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 the 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!

Our Mission

At the Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI), we believe young scientists learn best when they practice science through research, publication, peer review, and reading the research of others. We are committed to providing the tools, mentorship, and community necessary for any middle or high school student to publish their research project, and to read about the research of others. Identifying as a scientist early on is formative in empowering students to pursue their dreams, and we strive to help all students, especially those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM, recognize their potential as scientists early in their academic careers.

Our Scope

JEI emphasizes close mentorship during our publication process, allowing for meaningful connections between PhD students at top research universities, and secondary students who may one day pursue scientific careers.  We accommodate any type of scientific project – whether it's social, biological, or physical sciences – and encourage inquiry-based science that builds on previously-published scientific literature.  

We work with students and teachers from all over the world, including:

Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.