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Why Publish at JEI?

Learn the scientific method

JEI connects students with the PhD candidates and more advanced investigators who work in university research labs. When you submit your work to JEI, these researchers will give you meaningful feedback on your science. This feedback will help provide you with ideas on how to expand your question, more thoroughly investigate your hypothesis, or more accurately interpret your results.

Share your science

JEI helps middle school and high school students communicate their research with others. Scientists build on each other’s work by formulating new questions based on what others have already found out about a phenomenon. So publishing science research in journals is crucial for science to move forward. Just like other academic journals, JEI facilitates that communication between you and other students like you.

Be recognized as a scientist

JEI helps recognize you as emerging young scientists by publishing your work. The firsthand experience of what being a scientist is like will help you prepare for pursuing more advanced science later in your career.

Who Should Publish?

Anyone can publish with JEI

We encourage all middle school or high school students to submit research that tests a reasonable hypothesis. JEI does not judge submissions based on the “cutting edge” nature of the research, and access to university labs and advanced techniques are not required. In fact, some of the most noteworthy manuscripts submitted to JEI use inexpensive, household materials in creative ways to test an interesting question. We focus on your ability to pose and successfully address an interesting scientific question, not the sophistication of the techniques.

Senior Authors

A middle school teacher, high school teacher, or college/university professor must serve as a senior author. A senior author

  1. provides guidance during the project,
  2. reviews the manuscript prior to submission,
  3. is listed as the last author on the manuscript, and
  4. provides guidance during the submission and review process.

What Makes a Project Appropriate for JEI?

You should pose an interesting, clearly-stated scientific question. You must then perform appropriately-controlled experiments to answer this question. Given the depth and complexity of scientific research, it is difficult to propose a novel scientific question that has not been addressed previously. Thus, it is not necessary that the scientific question/conclusions be truly original (although this is preferred). However, the authors MUST propose a scientific question to which they themselves do not know the answer. Furthermore, all experimental data that is not cited MUST have been experimentally obtained by the authors.

The editors at JEI recognize that students have access to different types of scientific equipment. We will focus on your ability to pose and successfully address an interesting scientific question, NOT the sophistication of the techniques. We encourage all students to enjoy the thrill of scientific inquiry.

What types of projects are NOT appropriate for JEI?

Some examples of work that are NOT appropriate for JEI are: scientific review of a topic, a description of an invention, and an ideation of a project. If your project is engineering-related or involves an invention, you should generate a hypothesis regarding that invention’s function and test the function with a rigorously designed experiment.

Importantly, data published in JEI must NOT be published in any other academic journal. If your work has been already published or is in preparation for publication in another journal, it is not appropriate for JEI.

Projects that involve vertebrate animals or human subjects

All work with human subjects and/or vertebrate animals must adhere to International Rules for Precollege Science Research. Documents for human subject consent forms and vertebrate animal forms can be found here. Download forms titled “Human Participants and Informed Consent Form” and/or “Vertebrate Animal Form.”

How to Write a Scientific Manuscript

How do I Start?

Manuscripts for JEI often have their beginnings in at-home science experiments, class assignments, science fair projects, and internships in university labs. Before beginning to write your scientific manuscript, please review the appropriate sections of a scientific manuscript here. A parent, teacher, or mentor can often help you think about your experiments and compose your thoughts before writing. Importantly, you should review the scientific literature, thinking about how previously published research informs your experiments and interpretation of the data. During the writing process, the editors at JEI are always available for contact with any questions, and can often provide feedback as you engage in writing.

Citations and plagiarism

Any of statement of fact that is not common knowledge must be cited properly. Any manuscript that fails to properly cite sources will be considered plagiarized and will be sent back to the authors for major revisions, and in extreme cases can be rejected. See the References section on “Parts of a Scientific Manuscript” to see how to properly cite.

In addition, you should not quote sentences or phrases verbatim from a source, even if the source is cited properly. Instead, you should paraphrase the sentence in your own words. See the following resources for examples of proper paraphrasing.

Scientific papers usually cite work that is published in scientific journals. However, we understand that scientific papers published in these professional journals can be inaccessible by students, both in terms of difficulty and public availability. We encourage students to use and cite readily available resources such as textbooks, encyclopedias, and science magazines. All internet sources will be assessed by the reviewers and editors. Our Resources page contains helpful links for literature search.

How to Prepare for Submission

Submission and publication are on a rolling basis. Once a manuscript successfully goes through the review and editing processes (click here for details of the Review Process) it will immediately be published online.

How do I submit a manuscript?

Manuscript must be submitted as 1) the text of the article in Word (.doc or .docx), and 2) figures either as separate images (any image file format such as .jpg, .jpeg, or .tif) or compressed together as a .zip file. Tables should be included in the Word file along with the text. You should also submit any related files such as the Human Participant Consent form. Detailed instructions about how to upload your manuscript and figures in Editorial Manager can be found here.

The maximum manuscript length (excluding the title page, references, figures and figure captions) is 10 pages (size 11 font, Times New Roman, 1.5 line spacing, 1 inch margins), but shorter manuscripts are quite acceptable.

All students that contributed to the project should be listed as authors, ordered based on their contribution to the project (largest contribution first). If multiple authors made the same contribution to the manuscript, note this by placing an asterisk next to the students’ names and a footnote on the title page. There are no restrictions on the number of authors that can contribute to a manuscript – it is acceptable for a single student or an entire class to submit a single manuscript.

Permissions and Licensing

All uncited data published in JEI must NOT be published in any other academic journal. This is particularly relevant if the research project was performed in a research lab under the guidance of a professor.

Everything published through JEI is free forever and licensed under the Creative Commons attribution non-commercial, no derivative license, so please distribute any articles that interest you!

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