Submissions and Review

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Dear authors,
Please read descriptions of AJUR’s submission and review processes in their entirety. If questions remain, please see our Q&A page.

We accept new work in all fields and reviews/interpretations in creative fields if they demonstrate sufficient novelty & contribution to the field. Graduate students and faculty are encouraged to co-author AJUR publications. International submissions are welcome. There is no submission or processing cost to authors to publish in AJUR. There are no submission deadlines. There are no word limits but the manuscript should be of a typical article length in your discipline. Your article should not have been submitted or published anywhere else.

Dear faculty mentors,
Your recommendation, which is described in item 2 below, assumes that you are cognizant of the tremendous effort of your colleagues in fulfilling their editorial and review duties. About 25 hours of volunteer-professionals’ time are spent on each paper published in AJUR. The acceptance rate at AJUR is 22%. Thus, please put in significant effort to ensure that your mentees prepare a quality manuscript fit for a peer-review as per expectations in your field and the guidelines below.

Submission Guidelines:

1) Please send an email to editor@ajuronline.org with your contact information and your paper. Please cc your faculty mentor. Please include the following information in your e-mail:

  • a) Your name, affiliated department and college/university, your academic and permanent e-mail, phone, and mailing address (college or home); your role and contribution to the manuscript; the same is required for all authors.
  • b) Your research mentor’s name, affiliation, address, and institutional e-mail address.
  • c) A list of seven potential reviewers for your manuscript (include full name, institution, phone, and email information for each). You may not contact these reviewers directly. Potential reviewers should be faculty and experts in the field of the manuscript. They may not be your former or current collaborators/ associates/ co-authors/ teachers/ mentors/ mentees. It is not required but you may also provide a list of reviewers NOT to be contacted by us.
  • d) Attach a single-spaced, single-column draft preferably in MS Word (include a docx file and a pdf) or LaTex (include an editable link and a pdf prepared using the template provided at this link https://www.overleaf.com/latex/templates/template-for-american-journal-of-undergraduate-research-ajur/kqyqpgczhgzg):
    • Use the  AJUR’s style (pdf). Please avoid the use of “I” or “we” in your abstract &/ in the text unless it is specifically required in your field.
    • Please include title, authors (must comply with the AJUR’s authorship policy below), departmental and school affiliation, state/country, e-mails, abstract, up to eight keywords, introduction, methods/procedures, results, discussion and conclusions for sciences; clearly mention the IRB/IACUC permissions in methods when humans and animals are used in research; the outline for creative fields may be subject specific.
    • Place figures, tables, and graphs in your draft in the locations where they should go.
    • Provide a paragraph describing “Student Authors” after the references.
    • Provide a “Press Summary” after the student author information by rewriting your abstract in a way that it captures in three to four sentences the scope and focus of your publication but could be easily understood by the general public and hopefully shows why your work is exciting and important.
  • e) Check the text of your e-mail and paper for completeness prior to sending them; please check the current issue for examples of published papers and adjust your manuscript accordingly.

2) Please ask your faculty research sponsor/mentor to review the submission guidelines at http://www.ajuronline.org/submissions/ , review and edit your manuscript, and send a separate e-mail to editor@ajuronline.org from an institutional account giving permission for your work to be reviewed and published in AJUR. The editor will not respond until faculty sponsor’s/mentor’s note is received. If sponsor’s/mentor’s support is not provided within ten days, the submission is automatically rejected.

AJUR’s Authorship Policy: 

The authorship list should be carefully and purposefully discussed among study personnel prior to the manuscript’s submission. Only individuals who contributed substantively to the study design, produced results presented, participated in the manuscript writing and review, and agreed to the manuscript’s contents are entitled to be co-authors. All other individuals should be duly noted in the acknowledgement section. Once an article is accepted for publication, the list of authors cannot be changed. The communicating author shall be responsible for interacting with the subject editor, the editor of AJUR, and should be available to respond to questions from interested parties in the future.

AJUR’s Reference Style:

Do not use references in your abstract. In your text, cite references by a superscript number in order of appearance. At the end of the manuscript, arrange and number (1., 2., etc.) citations in order of appearance. Follow the reference style as described in the  AJUR’s style (pdf) document. All references must include all authors, the complete title, and inclusive pagination, e.g., 1234-1237, not 1234-7. Supply DOI numbers whenever possible. Titles of journals should be abbreviated according to http://www.abbreviations.com/jas.php. Cite papers that have been accepted for publication as In Press. Reference accuracy is critical.

Review Information:

The proposed editorial review workflow for an excellent article in AJUR is as follows:

  • The editor reviews the submission for completeness and the fit for the journal and sends it to the subject editor within a week; the editor is cc’d on all communications, keeps all documents, and ensures that the review process proceeds according to the schedule. Incomplete submissions will be sent back to authors for improvements.
  • The subject editor reviews the submission for the quality of content; the subject editor may reject the paper as inadequate or request some or substantial changes made to the manuscript prior to sending it out to reviewers; the subject editor will find three expert reviewers for the paper; the list of potential reviewers will be used if other options are exhausted; the editor and authors are continuously informed of the progress.
  • Reviewers are asked to make comments on the quality of the paper in two to four weeks; reviewers are asked to be fair yet supportive of a resubmission, whenever possible.  The subject editor then will make a recommendation to the editor: the publication will be either accepted/ sent back to authors for improvements/ rejected; comments will be sent back to authors by the subject editor.  Authors must comply or explain within why they disagree with reviewers’ comments.  The updated manuscript and a separate document addressing all reviewers’ comments need to be submitted to the editor and subject editor within a month. The subject editor’s job is to make sure that the content of the article is brought up to the level of a national refereed journal’s standards: the IRB/IACUC permission should be granted prior to any work being done and should be noted in the paper; methodology used should be appropriate; proper controls should be included, and reproducibility demonstrated; sufficient novelty & contribution to the field is expected.
  • It is typical for the subject editor to send authors a direct note congratulating authors on having a review completed and making a recommendation to the editor to publish or declining the paper with clear reasons provided. If the recommendation is positive, the editor will provide a set of editorial requests and the potential publication timeline.
  • Once the finalized paper is received, AJUR’s technical/copy editor will make editorial corrections/comments within a month.  The technical/copy editor checks for the quality of writing, the proper sentence and paragraph structure, and the reference completeness and style.
  • “In Print”: Art and Copy editor prepares layouts in a month. The editor checks the paper and gets authors’ approval on layouts. It is then printed in the next quarterly edition of AJUR, placed on the AJUR’s website, and submitted to EBSCO for indexing.

The review process takes longer if authors are requested to improve their manuscript at any stage of the review. Up to a month is allocated to authors for each round of modifications. The review of any changes might take up additional time, as described in each step above. We will assist authors in getting copyright permits when needed. Please note that the review process often slows down during academic finals and US holidays. From submission to publication, it may take anywhere from three months to a year to get one’s manuscript accepted and published.

If questions remain, please see our Q&A page first. To reach the editor of AJUR, please send a note to  editor@ajuronline.org