Submission Overview

Submission Process

All submissions must be uploaded to our Submittable submission website which can be found by clicking the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of Authors will be prompted to create a free Submittable account prior to submitting their work by visiting the submission form. The Managing Editors review the submissions to ensure all required forms and information are provided. Submissions that do not conform to the guidelines detailed in this document may not be considered for publication. The Managing Editors and Editor-in-Chief collaboratively determine final acceptance of submissions for publication. Authors are informed of acceptance or rejection, and Author information of accepted submissions is released to the Editors of Content to initiate the Editing Processes.

Editing Processes

After Author information is released to the Editors, the Editors are responsible for initiating contact with the submission Author(s) and overseeing the Editing Process. At least one member of the Faculty Advisory Board then reviews and contributes to the changes made by the Editors. The submission is then formatted in the layout of the journal and published at the end of the semester! Selected submissions will be published online in our website or digital publication, if not in print format.

Submission Types

JUST currently accepts two main types of submissions detailed below, both of which are subject to the peer-reviewed submission and editing processes.


  • Primary Research Papers. Research papers are primary sources of work conducted by undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, within the science and technology disciplines. Research papers contain original data gained through scientific methodology. Discussions must present critical data analysis, implications, and relevancy to the field.

  • Secondary Research Papers. Secondary research papers, or review articles, integrate the findings from numerous peer-reviewed papers to discuss a current topic in the field. Authors must synthesize and critically analyze previously published data in a detailed and concise manner, with the composite conclusion informative to the field in question.


Editorials are critical analyses presenting a well-researched perspective or opinion on a controversial, innovative, or less well-known topic in the field. Editorials express viewpoints through objective analyses of recent events and discoveries in the field in question. They should evoke public interest, thought, and action. These articles are addressed at and are relevant for a general audience, and are brief, about 2-3 pages in length.

Scientific Photographs

JUST is now accepting submissions of scientific photographs taken by undergraduates in the course of their research. These photographs will be evaluated by the editorial committee and if chosen, will be featured in our print and online issues! Topics can include biological subjects like immunostaining, chemistry, physics, engineering or any other branch of science. If you are unsure about whether your photo is appropriate, feel free to submit it for consideration or email us at with questions. Please submit photos in the maximum resolution possible.

Submission Information

JUST Authorship Eligibility

  1. Primary author(s) must be (a) current undergraduate(s) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; however, recent graduates are eligible to publish research completed as an undergraduate within six months of graduation.

  2. The submitted manuscript must be original research, with the primary author(s) conducting a majority of the work. Only one submission is allowed per author per semester.

  3. The article as written cannot be under review or previously published in any other undergraduate publication, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus or elsewhere.

  4. Undergraduates may submit work done at other national and international institutions, but preference will be given to research done under the supervision of University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty.

  5. The primary author(s) must be willing to work with JUST editors to revise the submission during the selection and editing processes.

  6. All authors and affiliated faculty advisers must consent to the terms specified in these JUST Submission and Editorial Guidelines by submitting the Author Consent Form with their manuscript or editorial at the time of submission.

Authorship Consent and Rights

Authors retain complete copyright to their work. It is the responsibility of the submitting party to ensure that no information included in the publication compromises confidentiality or copyright. Upon initial submission, all authors and faculty supervisors must provide consent to the submission itself, as well as to the editing and publishing processes. Senior thesis reports and research pertaining to specific UW courses must have consent from all involved faculty at the time of submission. Reproduction of work published in JUST is not allowed without the permission of all authors and faculty supervisors concerning the article in question.

Articles published in JUST may be published in higher-impact  journals (e.g. Science), pending the exclusivity of rights of the journal in question. Note that journals may deny publication of research that is in review or has been published in another journal. Inform JUST as to where your paper has been or may be published. JUST reserves the right to reject any submission.

Manuscript Guidelines

  1. Title

    A concise description of the research that does not contain acronyms or abbreviations.

  2. Abstract

    A summary of the research in 150-200 words. The abstract should begin with a background explaining the study context and the hypothesis. Methods includes a concise description of the study design and its key features. Results presents the primary data with statistical significance. Conclude with a discussion of the main findings with implications and relevancy to the field, and provide study limitations.

  3. Introduction

    The background on the topic, with the research intent and study objectives clearly stated.

  4. Methods

    Description of the protocol, techniques, and statistical analyses employed, with sufficient detail to ensure that the study can be replicated.

  5. Results

    Present quantitative results in tables. All tables and figures should be accompanied with a descriptive legend. Avoid repetitive presentation of data between tables and text. Include error bars, confidence intervals, and p-values as appropriate.

  6. Discussion

    Interpret the results within the context of the original hypothesis and background. Analyze and relate the results to previous findings within peer-reviewed literature. Discuss limitations of the study and implications to future work and the field.

  7. Conclusion

    Provide a final statement on the significance of the research and its role within the field.

  8. Acknowledgements

    Recognize persons who contributed to the work, including non-author or supervisor collaborators and sources of funding.

  9. References

    See References guide below.

  1. Title

    A concise description of the research that does not contain acronyms or abbreviations.

  2. Abstract

    A summary of the review in 150-200 words. The abstract should include an introduction to the subject, a description of the major research findings, a conclusion analyzing these findings, and implications and relevancy to the field.

  3. Introduction

    Provide background on the topic, and clearly state the research intent and study objectives. Include the importance of the subject to the field.

  4. Body

    Present the findings of numerous peer-reviewed articles in a logical order, and include methodology as needed.

  5. Conclusion

    Provide a final statement on the significance of the research and its current and future implications within the field.

  6. Acknowledgements

    Recognize persons who contributed to the work, including non-author or supervisor collaborators and sources of funding.

  7. References

    See References guide below.


Manuscripts and Editorials should be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or .pdf format. Text should be double-spaced, with 12-point font, 1″ margins, and in Times New Roman. Writing should be free from typographical and grammatical errors. Refrain from using underlining, bolding, and italics, with the exception of references and headings as needed.

Submit all figures and tables together in a single zipped folder (click to learn how to zip files in a folder) in addition to your manuscript or editorial. Tables may be submitted within the submission text or in a zipped folder. It is preferred that Tables are editable and cell-based. All other Figures must be submitted in a zipped folder. “Figure captions must be submitted within the text of the paper immediately following the paragraph in which the figure is first cited. Do not include the figure captions with the figure files themselves or submit them in a separate document” (PLoS Guidelines). Figures must be at least 300 dpi and in .tiff, .jpg, or .png format. Tables may be in any Excel format. Refer to all Figures and Tables using in-text citation abbreviation with Arabic numerals (e.g. Fig. 1, Fig.2 or Table #). Each figure and table must be numbered and labelled, with captions adequate enough to stand alone from the text. Captions and legends should be in 8-12-point font, Times New Roman.

Non-original figures and tables included within the submission must be accompanied by written permission from the copyright owner. This statement of permission must be provided to JUST prior to publication. Failure to provide proper documentation of non-original material will result in rejection of submission for publication. For Manuscript submissions, see the “Authorship Consent and Rights” form for more information regarding Copyright.

References must follow the Public Library of Science (PLoS) reference style, the Vancouver Style. References must be listed at the end of the manuscript in sequential order. In text, use the reference number in brackets. Abbreviate journals using common abbreviations found in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases. For journals in which there are more than six authors, use et al. in citation. Separate author names with commas.

Published papers are cited in the following format:
Last Name, First Initial. Title. Journal. Year; Volume Number (Issue Number): Page Numbers.

For additional PLoS referencing information:

Editorial Guidelines

Editorials are critical analyses presenting a well-researched perspective or opinion on a controversial, innovative, or less well-known topic in the field. Editorials express viewpoints through objective analyses of recent events and discoveries in the field in question.

JUST publishes editorials that exemplify our mission: making scientific research accessible to the public, and supporting undergraduate research at UW-Madison. Authors should structure their work around these tenets. For example, writing about recent science done at UW-Madison, or about a less well known science topic that has wide impacts on the world would both support JUST’s mission.

They should evoke public interest, thought, and action. These articles must be addressed to a general audience. In other words, use jargon sparingly (or define it), favor strong, concise statements over lengthy and involved explanations, and write for non-experts in the field. These stories are generally brief, about 2-4 pages in length.

Editorials should follow the same formatting, figure, and reference guidelines that are listed for manuscripts above.

  1. Opinion/Commentary (persuasive): Provides commentary on topics or events linked to the science and technology fields, and draws in relevant research and ideas from political, legal, and ethics perspectives. These usually have an argument or persuasion structure to them, where the writer has a view on an issue and uses logic and argument to back it up. The opinion that the writer has should feel important and relevant to the general public.

  2. Topic Review (informative): Provides a brief review of a current topic when the writer would like to address the topic from a particular angle. Could be used to inform readers on emerging topics in science. In general, these need to be backed up by primary literature in the field and should be written while thinking about why the topic is important or relevant to people’s lives.

  3. Inter-Journal Discussion (persuasive): Provides commentary on current or past articles from the same journal, and offers critiques for these articles. Can be similar in structure to the Opinion/Commentary category.

  4. Spotlight/Interview (informative): Provides a more in depth look at a narrow topic. Usually this involves interviewing a professor or staff member at UW-Madison about their research, career, and recent work. Writers should dive into the world of their topic, reading the background literature, talking through ideas with the people involved, and synthesizing all the information to give a complete rendering of their topic to the reader.

  5. Science News/Recent Discovery (informative and journalistic): Provides an in-depth analysis of a science news item or recent scientific advance or discovery, preferably at UW-Madison. This category is the most journalistic type of editorial and is usually relatively short. Material can include an interview, analysis of recent literature, etc.

  6. Feature (informative): Provides a well researched and deeply thoughtful review and analysis of a very specific project, program, institution or similar. These tend to be longer and more directed.

  7. Essay/Longform (persuasive): Provides a necessary perspective on an important issue, policy, controversy or other timely topic. Essays should incorporate many sources including primary research and academic literature across fields. These should combine factual reporting with a compelling narrative to present your argument/opinion.

*this is not an exhaustive list of editorial types, nor are these types entirely separate from one another, many other types and structures of articles could work great as long as they are well researched, structured, and compelling

Persuasive articles:

  • Introduction: Raise an issue or pose a question to the field. Provide adequate background information to warrant why this issue should discussed/why this question should be addressed.

  • Suggestion of Answers: Offer an opinion or provide answers to the question posed in the introduction in a clear and concise manner.

  • Provide Evidence to Support Answers: Support your answer or opinion with references to peer-reviewed sources and a discussion of common viewpoints in the field.

  • Discussion of Counter-Evidence: Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and literature, and discuss gaps or discrepancies in knowledge.

  • Brief Conclusion: End with a clear statement on why you addressed this question or issue, and the implications of this topic to the field in question. Could discuss ethical, legal, and/or political implications here as well.

Informational articles:

  • General Background: Introduce a recent scientific discovery, up-and-coming topic in STEM, or a news-related event with scientific relevance. Provide adequate background information on the social relevance of this discovery/topic.

  • Scientific Review: Provide scientific information you believe is useful to the reader. This could include a brief history of research on the topic (using peer-reviewed articles), a review of the newest research being performed (using peer-reviewed articles), any accessible elements of the theory behind the research or the topic in general.

  • Discussion of future directions: A discussion of popular opinions of where the field is headed and/or your opinion of where the field is headed, with sources cited appropriately.

  • Brief Conclusion: End with a clear statement summarizing the context, current state, and future directions of the issue you addressed. Could also include a finishing statement of the social relevance of the topic.

*these are not strict rules, they are loose guidelines intended to help you put together a well structured and organized article, authors can tweak the structure of their article according to its needs


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