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Guidelines for Engineering-Based Projects

All manuscripts published in JEI must be hypothesis-driven research. Hypotheses are a crucial part of the scientific thinking process, and professional scientific endeavors revolve around posing and testing hypotheses. We believe that it is important for students who publish with JEI to practice rigorous scientific thinking. This means that manuscripts that merely introduce an invention, no matter how impressive it is, are not appropriate for JEI. Here are some common examples of unacceptable “hypotheses” relating to engineering projects:

  • I hypothesize that my invention will work
  • I hypothesize that I can build this invention

In this guide, we will describe a few of the best strategies to convert your engineering-based manuscript into a hypothesis-driven one publishable with JEI. We will use some examples of submissions that we received in the past that failed our Pre-Review process because they did not pose a clear hypothesis and provide guidance on how to revise them.

Converting your engineering-based project to a hypothesis-driven manuscript

It is often possible to convert an engineering-based manuscript to a hypothesis-driven one by adding a few experiments, and sometimes just by changing the way it is presented. Here are two strategies to convert manuscripts that involve engineering and optimization projects to also include a clear, experimentally tested hypothesis, with examples drawn from previous JEI submissions.

1. Use your device or algorithm to address a scientific question

This is the best way to use your invention to write a hypothesis-driven manuscript acceptable for JEI publication. Below are some examples of JEI manuscripts that use the invention/optimization to pose a question and perform a series of experiments to test the hypothesis using their invention.

2. Compare your technology/computational algorithm with an existing method or device.

If an invention or computational algorithm explores a different way to accomplish a goal more efficiently or more accurately, you can design an experiment where you compare your invention with an existing method, and test whether your invention or computational algorithm outperforms the other method. However, you must include the following information for this approach to be acceptable:

  • Give a clear justification for why an improvement on the existing method/device was necessary. Give examples of problems associated with conventional method.
  • Predict specifically in which aspect you hypothesize your invention will outperform the previous device.
  • Give concrete reasons about why you think so and back your claim up with previous research or theoretical background.

These requirements are necessary to ensure that you have thought critically about your inventions.

Links to Manuscripts

Feel free to contact the JEI Editorial Staff if you have any more questions about how to write a hypothesis-driven manuscript for JEI. Find the links to the full manuscripts mentioned above, as well as some other engineering-based manuscripts below:

Modeling Energy Produced by Solar Panels

Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

Testing Various Synthetic And Natural Fiber Materials for Soundproofing

More Efficient Helicopter Blades Based on Whale Tubercles