Manuscript Requirements

Manuscript Requirements

All manuscripts should be submitted to the Journal of Young Investigators via the journal’s online manuscript submission and tracking system at First time users will need to create a profile.


Aims and Scope

The Journal of Young Investigators (JYI) is a multidisciplinary international journal publishing articles on all aspects of physical, biological and social sciences. We aim to feature and promote fundamental and insightful scientific research being accomplished by undergraduate students.  

Articles in the areas of physical, biological and social sciences are welcome.


Editorial policy

Senior Research Editor (SRE): Kevin T Booth (

Deputy Senior Research Editor (DSRE): Alex Waldman (

Editor-in-Chief (EIC): Daniel Chapman (

Only manuscripts adhering to the following guidelines will be considered for publication. The lead author (first author) on the manuscript is an undergraduate student at a college or university OR high school students who work with university faculty.  . If the lead author has already graduated, the manuscript must be prepared and submitted within 6 months after the lead author’s graduation. All named authors must agree to the submission of the manuscript.  


The editors encourage submission of Research Articles, Short Reports, Reviews, Mini/Focused Reviews and Letters to the Editor.

The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts without review. In such cases all three, the SRE, DSRE and EIC must agree and approve the rejection. All articles that are selected for peer review will be reviewed by two or more referees.



Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else’s work, language, thoughts or ideas as his or her own. Plagiarized manuscripts will not be accepted. The Journal of Young Investigators uses the Writecheck software to check submitted manuscripts. The editors will judge cases of plagiarism as they arise and reserve the right to reject any manuscript we feel might not be original.


Author Guidelines for Submitting Manuscripts

Article submissions must meet the following criteria before they can be sent out for review. Please note that while JYI has few restrictions for manuscripts, it is important that authors follow the guidelines discussed below in order to facilitate the review process for our staff of volunteers. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be returned to the author and not reviewed. Please read the information carefully, and format your submission accordingly. Download a PDF version of our manuscript requirements here: Author Guidelines.

Note: JYI publishes several types of manuscripts which include: Research Articles, Short Reports, Reviews, Mini/Focus-Reviews and Letters to the Editor. Each manuscript style is slightly different in section organization and content (see below).



Articles submitted to JYI must meet the following criteria:

  • The manuscript must present research completed by one or more undergraduate students. Authors may be asked to provide proof of undergraduate status. Students may submit manuscripts up to 6 months after graduation as long as all research was conducted during their undergraduate career.

  • Original research being presented in a Research manuscript must have been completed under the supervision of a mentor holding a doctoral degree or a faculty position at a post-secondary institution, other research-oriented institution, or the equivalent in industry. The mentor will be required to fill out an approval form to be submitted along with the primary author’s manuscript. Any questions about this requirement may be directed to the Senior Research Editor (

  • Research must be the author’s own work and may not have been previously published.

  • A cover letter must be provided by the corresponding author(s) that includes full contact information of the corresponding author(s) (email, phone number and fax), the title of the article, article type, a brief explanation of the major findings, significance of the work and acknowledgment that the working being submitted is not under consideration for publication at other journals.       


Article Types


Research Article

        Research Articles should report on original research and should include the following sections: abstract, introduction, material and methods, results and discussion as part of the main text. Please see below for further details regarding each section.   


Short Reports

        Short report articles are designed novel results which typically have experiments with small sample size, a short duration or only one or two key results. They follow the same format as a Research Article with the following exceptions: Abstracts should be less than 200 words, they should contain no more than two figures or tables, and main text must be less than 5 pages according to formatting guidelines set out below .  



        Reviews should be timely and focused. They should not rederive or simply combined other reviews on the same topic, but rather provide new insights, hypothesis or direction based on recent and past work in the field. They should be unbiased and should not focus on one specific author’s work. The main text should include the following sections: Abstract, introduction, methods (if needed), the “body” and discussion. Please see below for further details and explanations of each section.   

Mini/Focused Reviews

        Mini/Focused reviews are preapproved highly focused reviews which highlight a significant finding, a shifting paradigm in thinking on a specific topic or important developments in a specific or emerging field. These reviews follow the Review format with the following exceptions:  main text no longer than 5 pages with a maximum of two figures or tables and typically less than 15 references.  Pre-submission inquiry is required with an abstract and no more than a 1 page outline of the review. Please also include the 5-10 most relevant references. Pre-submission inquiries can be emailed to         


Letters to the Editor

A letter to the editor provides a unique opportunity for the reader to voice their opinions on any papers recently published in the journal. Scientific advancement is fueled by dialogue between peers and, as such, we encourage the readers of JYI to submit a letter that may critique, support, or even ask questions about a paper recently published (within 6 months of publication). These letters can also discuss topics of general interest. A letter to the editor should be concise (less than 300 words) and should not contain any malicious comments about the author(s), only comments regarding the science of the paper. The author(s) of the paper that the letter is in reference to will be given the opportunity to reply to the letter.


Research manuscripts submitted to JYI should contain the following sections:


Every manuscript should begin with a title page that includes the following information:

  • Title of the manuscript

  • Author names, including the full address of the institutional department(s) with which each author was affiliated during the research work.

  • An indication of which author will be the corresponding author after publication, along with an email contact for that author.

  • Authors should provide 5-8 keywords for indexing and identification purposes. Choose words which will help other researchers find the manuscript.  



Every article submitted to JYI must have an abstract that consists of a single paragraph of ~ 250 words. In the abstract, the author must summarize why the research was conducted, how it was conducted, and the major results and conclusions. In essence, it should contain an overview of the hypothesis, methods, results, conclusions and implications of the research. References are typically not cited in the abstract, since the reader expects a more thorough discussion in the body of the article.



The author should use the introduction to summarize current literature, present the problem his or her research addresses, why this problem is significant, and how it applies to the larger field of research. If the manuscript is novel or creative in some way, it should be clearly stated. The author should address relevant studies by other researchers; however, a full history of the topic is not needed. Finally, the author must clearly state the hypothesis (if applicable). The introduction should contain all the background information a reader needs to understand the rest of the author’s paper. This means that all important concepts should be defined. Remember: JYI caters to an audience of professionals and undergraduates from a variety of fields. For example, an author need not define an “electron”; however, a “Cooper paired electron” does require a definition.



The author should thoroughly describe the materials and methods used to investigate the problem and should briefly describe why these methods were used. There should be enough information provided to replicate the study. This section should contain no results, conclusions, or interpretations. Information should be grouped under appropriate subheadings (e.g. Techniques, Materials, Statistical tests, etc.). Authors should be sure to include the following information, when applicable:

  • Experimental handling and care of any subjects (animals, plants, humans), including ethical guidelines followed by the author(s) in their use.

  • Description of field sites (if applicable) including physical and biological features and exact location. Sample preparation techniques and the origins of samples and other materials (including human subjects). Note that if methods have been described elsewhere it is permissible to reference the original source in lieu of describing the methodology again. For example, “Samples were prepared using the same process described by Newton (2000).”

  • Details surrounding any statistical testing used, as well as the threshold used for statistical significance.



Papers submitted to JYI must have separate results and discussion sections. In the results, the author should thoroughly detail the outcomes of the experiments, tests, and/or theories developed in the research. The results should be supplemented by figures and/or tables, which should be briefly explained. An effective results section will present the key results without interpreting their meaning. All interpretation and discussion of results should be saved for the discussion section.



In this section, the author should restate the problem he or she was attempting to address and summarize how the results have addressed it. The author should discuss the significance of all the results and interpret their meaning in the context of previous studies done by other researchers in the field. Potential sources of error should be discussed. Finally, the author should tie his or her conclusions into the “big picture” by suggesting the implications and applications this research might have. The author should discuss how this research affects the field, what it adds to existing research, and what future experiments could be carried out. Remember: This section synthesizes the whole study and should be treated as the most important part of the manuscript.



All Research and Review articles must contain in-text citations and a list of references in APA, 6th edition. For sources with more than 7 authors, the reference should be written as follows: Author 1, Author 2, Author 3, Author 4, Author 5, Author 6, . . . Last Author. Followed by the rest of the reference as usual. Footnotes are not permitted. All references for peer-reviewed articles must include the doi. This should be written in the shortened format and not as a URL–for example, doi:123123/1231 and not References may include: research articles published in scientific journals, scholarly books (i.e., not textbooks), personal communications with scientists working in the field, or unpublished data (only data, no conclusions). Web sources must be scholarly in nature, such as official reports (e.g., NASA’s Report on the Effects of Long-Duration Space Flight on the Human Respiratory System). While all of the above sources are acceptable, the majority of references used in a paper should be peer-reviewed articles. Please direct any questions about the suitability of your references to the Senior Research Editor (



Authors are welcomed to submit supplementary data that directly supports their findings and conclusions. Please follow all figure and table guidelines listed below. Supplementary data should be referenced in the manuscript as: Supplementary Figure # OR Supplementary Table #.  



An acknowledgement section is not required; however, most papers include a paragraph of acknowledgements. This can include thanking individuals for assistance with experiments or interpretation of data, as well as thanking funding sources. Please note that research mentors who are listed as authors on the paper should not be mentioned in the Acknowledgments, though it is perfectly acceptable to do so if the mentor is not an author.



A conflicts of interest section needs to be included whenever a potential conflict of interest exists. For example, the author(s) must disclose any association with a company, organization, or business that could financially benefit from the results of the study. This section should be detailed and explicit, declaring any conflicts regarding design, conduct and/or execution of the study. If no conflict of interest is present, please include the following line: “The author[s] certify that they have no conflict of interest with the subject matter of this manuscript.”



Figures and tables are important components of scientific manuscripts. Each figure or table should clarify information from the study and must be able to stand alone from the rest of the article and still be understood by potential readers. To ensure this, authors must follow these guidelines:

  • Do not include figures or tables in the body of the submitted article.

    • Submit figures as separate high-resolution (300 dpi) JPEG, PDF or PNG images.

    • Submit tables in Microsoft Word in a document separate from the rest of the manuscript. Do not submit tables as non-editable images.

  • Submit all captions together at the end of the manuscript in the Figure and Tables section.

  • All figures and tables should be ordered sequentially (1,2,3…) based on the order in which they are mentioned in the text. They should be referenced within the text in this format: “The results show [...] (Figure 2).”

  • Figures and tables should be simple, clearly formatted, and indicate error using standard deviation or comparable information.

  • Captions should include a succinct title and description for each illustration, providing sufficient information for readers to understand each figure without being verbose.

Note: Authors submitting equations should additionally save each equation as a .jpg. Equations can be either submitted separately or clearly labeled in a combined file.

Note: The author must have permission to use all figures submitted with the manuscript.

Review manuscripts submitted to JYI should follow similar guidelines as Research articles, with a few exceptions.



A literature review surveys research carried out by others in a particular area of study. In writing a Review article, the author must read and evaluate studies done by other researchers, instead of conducting a new study. These manuscripts must revolve around a clearly stated thesis, and should generally contain the following sections:

  • Title page

  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Methods: This section is optional for Review articles. If included it should cover the process used for a meta-analysis of existing literature, and may detail the author’s process for finding and selecting articles used in the paper.

  • Body: Depending on the topic, the author(s) may subdivide the body portion of the manuscript into several sections. The purpose of this section is to describe and evaluate studies in detail, comparing them and discussing their implications.

  • Discussion

  • References

  • Acknowledgements (optional)

  • Conflict of interest (when applicable)

Note: Review articles should not contain Materials and Methods or Results sections.



All submissions should be formatted in the following way: typewritten in 11 Times New Roman, alignment justified, double-spaced, no page numbers, no page breaks, and with no tables or figures included within the text. Equations should be saved in either .jpg, .pdf or png. Equations can be either submitted separately or clearly labeled in a combined file. Authors may subdivide sections of their manuscripts as they deem necessary to effectively organize and communicate the content of the manuscript.



All submissions must be saved as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or docx). We are unable to accept LaTeX, PDF, or other formats. Formats in other than Microsoft Word will be rejected for review.  



JYI’s mission is to involve undergraduates in every step of the scientific publishing process and to help undergraduate research flourish. As such, the scientific quality of a manuscript is the highest priority for our editors as they review incoming papers. Quality in structure and writing are also judged in the review process for each manuscript. Papers that are strong in all three of these categories are most likely to be accepted by JYI for publication.

Download a PDF version of our manuscript requirements here: Author Guidelines.

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