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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice or Microsoft Word document file format.
  • Where available, DOIs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Upon acceptance of the article for publication, the author agrees to the terms in the Publication Agreement and has uploaded a signed copy of this document along with the submission.

Author Guidelines

Cover letter. Please supply a cover letter with your initial submission. This is an opportunity to discuss the importance of the submitted work and why it is appropriate for the journal. Please avoid repeating information that is already present in the abstract and introduction. The cover letter is not shared with the referees and should be used to provide confidential information such as conflicts of interest and to declare any related work that is in press or submitted elsewhere.

Title. Titles must fit on two lines in print (75 characters including spaces) and should avoid technical terms, abbreviations, and active verbs.

Authors. Corresponding author(s) should be identified with an asterisk. The primary author must be an undergraduate researcher. Senior authors should be limited to one or two and must represent mentorship only in the project.

Author’s Biography. Please include a short biography of the primary (student) author to be included with the publication. Approximately 50 words identifying your program and what your future plans are (either professionally, with respect to your research, or both).

Abstract. Provide a general introduction to the topic and a brief non-technical summary of your main results and their implication. Approximately 150 words, unreferenced.

Articles: Main text of no more than 3,500 words and 4 display items (figures, tables); as a guideline, up to 30 references. Required headings are ‘Results’, ‘Discussion’, and ‘Future Directions’. Subsection headings may be used as appropriate.

Methods. The Methods section should contain all elements necessary for the interpretation and replication of the results. Methods should be written as concisely as possible and typically do not exceed 1,000 words but may be longer if necessary. References to methods performed in other papers are acceptable.

References. List only one publication with each number. Include the title of the cited article or dataset formatted according to the guidelines of Nature magazine.

Acknowledgments (optional). Keep acknowledgments brief and do not include thanks to anonymous referees or editors, or effusive comments. Grant or contribution numbers may be acknowledged.

Author contributions. Authors must include a statement that specifies the individual contributions of each co-author. For example: "A.P.M. ‘contributed’ Y and Z; B.T.R. ‘contributed’ Y,” etc. Senior authors should have contributed to the design of experimental work, writing, or substantial revision of the submission, but not to substantial experimental work.

Author contribution statements

Authorship provides credit for a researcher’s contributions to a study and carries accountability.

Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it

Authors will have approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author's contribution to the study);

Finally, authors have agreed to both be personally accountable for the author's own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature.

Competing interests. The Midwestern Journal of Undergraduate Sciences requires that any competing interests be declared in the cover letter accompanying the submission

Materials & Correspondence. Indicate the author to whom correspondence and material requests should be addressed.

Tables. Each table should be accompanied by a short title sentence describing what the table shows. Further details can be included as footnotes to the table.


High-resolution image files are required, please ensure images are of sufficient resolution for readers, referees, and editors to properly assess the data. We prefer the figures to be supplied as separate image files rather than incorporated into the document.

Guidelines for final figure preparation are included below and here if you wish to minimize later revisions and possible delays.

Figure legends of <250 words each should begin with a brief title sentence for the whole figure and continue with a short statement of what is depicted in the figure, not the results (or data) of the experiment or the methods used. Legends should be detailed enough so that each figure and caption can, as far as possible, be understood in isolation from the main text.

Statistical information

Comprehensive information on the statistical analyses used must be included in the paper. The Methods must include a statistics section where you describe the statistical tests used and whether they were one- or two-tailed. Please ensure that the error bars are defined throughout the figures. For all statistics (including error bars), provide the EXACT n values used to calculate the statistics (reporting individual values rather than a range if n varied among experiments). For representative results, report the number of times that the measurements were repeated. Where relevant, provide exact values for both significant and non-significant P values. For ANOVAs, provide F values and degrees of freedom. For t-tests, provide t-values and degrees of freedom. Please specifically define the replicates.

Supplementary information

This should be limited to material that is essential background (for example, large data sets and calculations), but which is too large, impractical, or specialized to justify inclusion in the printed version of the article. Any figures or small tables should ideally be supplied as Extended Data, not Supplementary Information.

Computer code

Any previously unreported custom computer code used to generate results reported in the manuscript and that is central to the main claims must be made available to editors and referees upon request.

For all studies using custom code that is deemed central to the conclusions, a statement must be included in the Methods section, under the heading "Code availability", indicating whether and how the code can be accessed, including any restrictions.

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