What is the Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal?
The Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal (NSURJ) is the premier undergraduate research journal in the state of Nevada. Our mission is to offer students of all disciplines an opportunity to publish their work. We are dedicated to educating, supporting and providing a competitive edge for all students in the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). This is accomplished by providing an accessible, student run and highly selective peer reviewed research journal specifically for undergraduate students.
The Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) recognized that reputable research must be published in a research journal so that it can be reviewed, analyzed and tested for validity. Due to the highly competitive process to be published within a research journal, undergraduate students rarely are able to produce the caliber of research required to be in such journals. Thus, ASUN wanted to provide a medium for all current undergraduate students in the Nevada System of Higher Education to be eligible to submit to an interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal.
In March of 2011, the ASUN Senate and the Special Senate Committee on Undergraduate Research and Journals passed a legislation to create the Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal in hopes that academic research will enrich the education of undergraduate students and prepare them for future academic and professional endeavors, regardless of the field of research.
Why publish with us?
Publishing as an undergraduate student holds high merit within the academic and professional community. Publishing as an undergraduate can help add experience and professionalism to a resume or curriculum vitae (CV). After publishing with the Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal, roughly 53 percent of authors have either been accepted into a professional school program much like medical school or others, or entered an esteemed professional position in the private sector. Given the personability of the journal, publishing undergraduate work can be done in as little as eight months rather than the years that it takes to publish anywhere else. Therefore, student names can be featured in a respected journal before applying to a professional or academic program. Students can showcase their academic integrity and merit by publishing their research with the Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal.
Exclusive publishing journals in the professional field can be perceived as intimidating and time-consuming. Publishing in professional journals as an undergraduate is a fundamentally challenging task that not many undergraduate students partake in. However, the Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal has an approach towards publishing undergraduate work that makes this journal more personable. Each undergraduate that chooses to apply will have a one-on-one experience with an editor, rather than communicating with a chain of assistants to an editor like in an exclusive journal. With Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal, students will typically be able to publish their work within an eight-month period. This student-led publication outlet knows the workload of undergraduate students and is willing to flexibly work with students currently researching with dreams and aspirations to publish in their undergraduate career.
Guidelines and formatting
Deviations from the page limit and word limit will be accepted in some cases with editor approval if the paper clearly establishes that such deviations are necessary for the completeness of the research.
- Minimum 2,000 words
- Maximum 3,500 words
- Approximately 10-15 pages, double-spaced (not including figures)
- The APA citation style is required
- Times New Roman, 12pt font, double-spaced
Summary of components
The following manuscript sections will be uploaded as two separate Word documents in APA format.
Upload 1 includes:
The manuscript with the following fields:
- Contributors, mentor(s), and department of research
- Introduction/literature review
- Discussion of results
Upload 2 includes:
Editorial policy regarding manuscript review and publications
The Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal was founded with the principle that students who invest time and effort into undergraduate research should be given the opportunity to publish. Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal is an outlet for undergraduate students to publish their research, even when the manuscript is part of a bigger project, and could be viewed as incomplete on its own. The journal does not allow poor research or language to be published, but recognizes undergraduate work may not have the completeness other journals look for, given their part in bigger projects. As long as the research is scholarly with original content, the manuscript should be considered for publication. Any manuscript that seems incomplete on its own is recommended to increase in background information for it to be considered.
Each submission should represent research pointed toward a goal. Manuscripts should contain justification of the research that explains benefits the research provides towards the field. Significance of the research conducted should be specifically explained to justify the time, efforts and money dedicated to the research. Submissions should call upon primary and secondary sources to explain a phenomenon that is not well characterized. In order for a submission to be considered the submission must be thesis driven and original. Therefore, the journal does not accept reviews of literature given their lack of originality of thesis. The standard of the manuscript is expected to be higher than that of a college research paper. The development of new protocols and experiments are accepted as publishable material. Senior thesis projects and other similar projects are also accepted as publishable material and highly encouraged for submission.
To be eligible for publication, the author’s writing must be at a professional level. The manuscript must convey a professional and complete understanding of the background and research done by the author. Professionalism of these articles must include understandability for the audience reading the manuscript. The Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal is an interdisciplinary journal and the author's writing should reflect such. An appropriate length of writing will be part of consideration for publication. Articles should be a reasonable length to convey an understanding of the research. A single page article would not be a length considered for publication, just as an article with more than 40 pages, for example, would not be accepted either.
The final decision to reject or accept a manuscript belongs to the senior co-editors. The senior co-editors draw on review results from a faculty reviewer and two junior co-editors to determine whether or not the manuscript should be published. Due to the reliance of recommendation on two prior levels of review, reviews submitted are highly regarded.
The editorial staff has the right to reject a manuscript due to a lack of communication or an absence of cooperation by a researcher at any point in the submission process.
Manuscripts are rarely ready to publish when received. A majority of manuscripts require edits and revisions in a process that necessitates frequent communication and cooperation between the editorial staff and the author. This process preserves the integrity of the Journal and benefits the quality of an author’s research.
After submitting a manuscript to the Nevada State Undergraduate Research Journal an author becomes obligated to remain in contact with the editorial staff whenever necessary. An author must respond to any inquiries or revisional requests by the journal editorial staff within 21 days of receiving the initial inquiry or request. Failure to comply with this policy gives the editorial staff the right to reject a manuscript for publication.
Any exceptions to this policy will be made at the discretion of the editorial staff. Authors with legitimate reasons to be unresponsive will be thoroughly considered by staff. Legitimate reasons may include, but are not limited to, medical reasons, extended periods abroad, or family emergencies. An exception may also be made if an author informs the editors of a planned unresponsive period in a timely manner prior to the end of the period.
Authorship and mentoring policies
When submitting your article, all authors involved must be credited. Authors should be listed in descending order of involvement in the article. An author is considered anyone who explicitly wrote a portion of the paper or anyone who contributed heavily in the editing process. If two or more authors contributed equally, it is at the discretion of the authors to decide their credit order.
A mentor is someone who advises a research project. A mentor deserves credit on a publication if they request it. Mentors must sign-off on submissions and final publications. Below are some explicit examples of who may be considered a mentor:
- If your work was conducted in a laboratory, the principal investigator (PI) is a mentor for your submission.
- If your work was funded by a student grant, the mentor listed on the grant is a mentor for your submission.
- If your work was funded as part of a larger grant (e.g. National Science Foundation (NSF) or Department of Energy (DOE) grant), the PI is a mentor for your submission.
- If you were paid for the work that led to your submission, your employer is a mentor for your submission.
The review process
Submissions will be reviewed in a three-stage process. Co-junior editors will review the manuscript initially for readability and completeness. This review will consist of reading the manuscript thoroughly with the intent of baseline comprehension. The next level of review will be by the co-senior editors who will review the manuscript for its merit and completeness of research. This stage of review will consist of reviewing the manuscript strictly in its ability to communicate research professionally and understandably. The final stage of review will be conducted by a faculty reviewer who will review the manuscript at a professional level. After each stage of review has been completed, co-senior editors will notify authors of the final decision regarding the submission.
Two possible designations will be made for a submission. If a paper is publishable at the time it was first submitted, then it will be accepted for publication and featured in that volume. If the reviewers deem that the manuscript is not publishable then co-senior editors will notify the authors that the decision was revise and resubmit. Necessary revisions will need to be made along with a second submission. Upon the second submission a new round of review will be started again.
Each edition has been archived throughout the years and can be accessed free of charge. Please visit ScholarWorks to access the current and past editions of the journal. These volumes are interdisciplinary and available to showcase the knowledge that an NSHE secondary education can provide.