To submit an article for publication, please fill out this form. We accept submissions year-round and encourage submission of well-written and interesting papers in any research field. General article requirements are very flexible, and if your article is selected for publication you will work with an editor who will help you revise your paper for final publication in CURJ. Please read the following additional guidelines before submitting:
- Articles should be based on research conducted at Caltech or JPL by an undergraduate from any university, or by a Caltech undergraduate at any university.
- Articles should be accessible to a broad audience. The style guidelines below are one suggested way to achieve this goal, but they need not be rigidly followed. If your article is selected for publication an editor will help you revise your paper to meet this goal.
- Articles must not have been published in any other exclusive publication outlet. If your submission is accepted to the journal, we will request that you and your research mentor sign an exclusivity agreement.
CURJ Style Guidelines
CURJ articles should be readable by a broad audience, one with some scientific background but not necessarily any expertise in the field or subject matter of the article. Many prospective students and parents read CURJ to get a sense of undergraduate research at Caltech.
Articles should read more like Scientific American than Nature. You should focus on explaining the essence of an idea, study, or experiment rather than the technical details of its execution. It is not necessary that a researcher be able to exactly replicate your study from a CURJ article. Be interesting!
CURJ articles should be 3–6 pages in length. Longer articles are sometimes okay, but generally provide more technical detail than is necessary for the intended audience. In that case, try to pare your article down.
Articles should be structured with the following sections (though you do not need to actually call them by these names in your paper):
Introduce the general field and specific research question to the reader; your intro should hook the reader and get him interested in reading the rest of the article.
Tell the story of the research you conducted. This section encompasses what are commonly Methods and Results & Discussion in other journals. Focus on clearly explaining and connecting concepts, understanding the motivation for your particular experimental setup (why was it designed the way it was?), and imparting the major take-away lessons from your results. Don’t get bogged down in details that would only be of interest for replicating your results. Keep in mind the technical background of your expected audience and streamline explanations and mathematical derivations when necessary.
Discuss the current and future relevance of your work to the field and, if possible, to society at large. Emphasize how your work advances the field and what current results it improves upon.
Briefly discuss potential extensions of your work, remaining unanswered questions, and ideas for future projects. This section should give the reader an idea of where the field might be headed.
Further Reading (optional)
List 3–5 good general references to your field and the research topic you worked on. These references should be as accessible as possible to a general audience, but can go into more depth than your article.
Write several sentences about the author (you) and the circumstances of your research. (Was it funded by a SURF or Amgen? What lab did you work in?) Thank any research mentors and others who contributed to the success of your research.
Write interesting and catchy titles and section headings; for example, instead of “Conclusions,” consider “What’s the big picture?” These will make your article stand out to the reader and will increase the chances that your article is selected for publication.
Font style and size and other article formatting details are flexible; we ultimately publish online, so readability by an editor is the main concern for a submitted article.
Please include a references section at the end.