Editorial Policies and Instructions to Authors

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About the Journal

The Minnesota Academy of Science Journal of Student Research (MASJSR) is an online, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal for pre-collegiate student research.

By publishing MASJSR, the Minnesota Academy of Science (MAS) seeks to promote excellence in science and scientific research at all levels and provide a forum to recognize pre-collegiate students who conduct exceptional research projects.

Selection Criteria

All papers submitted to MASJSR will be assessed on their merit and scientific rigor to determine if they are suitable for publication. Papers will be reviewed by up to three independent professional scientists and academic researchers prior to being deemed acceptable for publication.

Authors are encouraged to suggest up to three potential reviewers for their manuscript. However, MASJSR is under no obligation to use or restrict review of the manuscript to the suggested reviewers.

As an exception, winning manuscripts submitted from MAS sponsored competitions will be considered to have completed the peer-review process.

Editorial Policies

The MASJSR utilizes the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (formerly the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals) developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors as a starting point. The full text of these requirements is available at www.icmje.org. All authors are responsible for understanding the requirements set forth in this document.


There are no page charges, reviewer fees, or administrative fees for publication in MASJSR.


Manuscript content must not have been previously published in any form and must not be substantially available in any public format, including websites, prior to publication. Abstracts presented at scientific conferences are not considered to be substantial. If content is publicly available in abstract format the manuscript is still eligible for publication, but the author must indicate this in the manuscript.

Manuscripts submitted to MASJSR must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere in any publicly available format.

Manuscripts submitted to MASJSR must not overlap in content already published in articles, or works in process by the same author(s). Slicing data from a single research project or study period into different manuscripts published in different journals that do not address a unique or complete aspect of the described research is not acceptable. If a manuscript has been submitted to a foreign language journal with a substantially different reader base, the author(s) must disclose this information.


After a manuscript is submitted, the author(s) must assign all intellectual property rights (US and foreign) in the submission to MASJSR, subject only to exceptions specified in the MASJSR Author Agreement. Authors’ intellectual property rights transfer to MASJSR only if a manuscript is accepted for publication.

Manuscripts published in MASJSR become the permanent property of MASJSR, and may not be published elsewhere without prior written permission from MASJSR. No material published in MASJSR may be reprinted without written permission from MASJSR.

By law, employees of the federal government cannot transfer copyright ownership; any author who is a federal employee should note this on the title page.


All authors listed in the manuscript must be willing and able to provide consent for submission and publication of the work, have participated in both the research and the writing/editing/final approval of the manuscript, and be willing and able to publicly discuss and defend the content of the manuscript. For manuscripts with multiple authors, each author must attest that they have received a copy of the complete dataset, they are in agreement with the analysis methods for the dataset, and they are in agreement with the manuscript conclusions. All authors will be required to certify their contribution to the manuscript.

The provision of funding, access to samples or study materials, or other logistical support is generally not considered sufficient to warrant authorship in the absence of other contributions. Contributions of this sort should be recognized in the Acknowledgements section.

Honorary authorships and ghost authorships (omitting an author who contributed to the manuscript according to the guidelines above) are deemed unethical and unacceptable for publication in MASJSR.

All authors, co-authors, and research mentors must sign appropriate statements for publication. Author statements should be submitted simultaneously with the manuscript.


All conflicts of interest must be disclosed in the manuscript. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial ties, academic commitments, personal relationships, or personal and religious beliefs related to the research topic. Declaring a conflict of interest does not preclude publication, however failure to declare a conflict of interest is considered to be unethical.


All manuscripts describing studies involving human subjects must indicate in the Methods section that appropriate approvals (IRB and/or other applicable approvals) were obtained and that studies were conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and all appropriate jurisdictional ethical and legal standards.

Clinical trials that meet WHO criteria for trial registration should include the trial registration number and registry in the Methods section. According to WHO, clinical trials that fall within the definition below must be registered.

“For the purposes of registration, a clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Clinical trials may also be referred to as interventional trials. Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiologic procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc. This definition includes Phase I to Phase IV trials.” (http://www.who.int/ictrp/faq/en/)

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use any survey instruments borrowed from other studies. It is generally unacceptable to adapt surveys without permission.

All subjects participating in clinical studies must give appropriate Informed Consent. This procedure should be clearly indicated in the Methods section.

Identifying details for study participants must be omitted from manuscripts in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These details include, but are not limited to, names, initials, photos, social security numbers, or hospital identification numbers. These details may only be included if reporting the details is essential to the scientific purposes and the authors have obtained the appropriate written informed consent and a HIPAA waiver. If such consent is obtained, it should be indicated in the manuscript.


Animal studies must conform to all local, regional, state, and federal guidelines and requirements for such studies. Conformance to animal welfare guidelines should be indicated in the Methods section. For more information on use of laboratory animals, please visit http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm.


Drugs should be listed by their generic names with the proprietary name and manufacturer in parentheses. The manufacturer and/or location (Manufacturer, City, State) should also be included in parentheses. Devices and commercial products should be listed as generically as possible, with the commercial name and manufacturer in parentheses.


All studies funded by NIH are required to provide their grant number in the manuscript. All funding sources should also be recognized in the Acknowledgements section.

Authors funded by NIH are required to deposit copies of their accepted manuscripts into PubMedCentral. Authors will be responsible for depositing their accepted manuscripts to satisfy this requirement.

Manuscript Format


Manuscripts should be prepared on standard page format (8.5” x 11”), double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman typeface with 1” margins. Manuscripts must be submitted in Microsoft Word 1997 or later.

Manuscripts should be divided into the following sections in order:

  1. Title page
  2. Funding sources and conflicts of interest
  3. Keywords
  4. Abstract
  5. Abbreviations
  6. Body of text
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References
  9. Tables
  10. Figure legends
  11. Figures

Pages should be numbered consecutively beginning with the Abstract. Specific instructions for each section follow.


The title page must include the following information:

  • The full manuscript title. Registered clinical studies should include the registration number in the title.
  • The names of all authors in order determined by the authors. Please note this order is how author names will appear in the final article and how author names will be submitted for indexing services.
  • The authors’ institutional affiliations.
  • Full contact information for the corresponding author. Please supply full name, address, phone, fax (if available), and at least one email address.


Any funding sources for the study should appear on page 2 of the manuscript. All potential conflicts of interest for each author should be detailed. If no conflict of interest is present, an explicit declaration of no conflict must be made.


Please provide up to five keywords for use when indexing the article.


All abbreviations used in the text should be clearly identified. Because MASJSR is an interdisciplinary journal, do not assume that standard abbreviations in your field will be understood by all readers.


The abstract should start on page 3 of the manuscript. An abstract of no more than 300 words should be provided for the manuscript. For original research work, a structured abstract containing background, methods, results, and conclusions is suggested but not mandated. For registered clinical studies, the registration number must be included in the abstract.


Subheadings in the body of the text are flexible depending on the nature of the study and content of the manuscript. In an original research manuscript, the following subheadings are suggested: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions. Authors may deviate from this outline and include more subheadings at their discretion.

Authors are encouraged to utilize standardized reporting guidelines where appropriate. Standardized reporting guidelines exist for studies of diagnostic accuracy, meta-analyses and systematic reviews, observational studies in epidemiology, meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology, and randomized control trials.

Randomized clinical trials should follow the CONSORT statement recommendations for the reporting of randomized trials. More information about these guidelines can be found at www.equator-network.org.


An Acknowledgements section should recognize all individuals who contributed to the manuscript, but whose contributions did not rise to the level of authorship. This includes provision of funding, access to samples or study materials, or other logistical support. If a manuscript has multiple authors, each author should briefly detail their contribution to the manuscript.


Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of references. Authors should check references against the PubMed list of retracted articles (www.pubmed.gov) and retracted articles should not be cited. Articles that are currently in press may be cited if the accepted version of the in-press manuscript is included as supporting information with the manuscript submission. References should be cited in order of appearance, not alphabetically. Please see the Citation Guide for citation format.

Citation Guide


Authors should listed in the format “Last_Name Initials” (e.g. MacFarlane GD) with no comma separating the last name from initials and no periods included in the initials. For sources with multiple authors, include all authors in order. For sources with no author listed, include the associated organization as the author. If no organization is listed, include the primary source of the material as the author.

Dates should take the form Month Day, Year (e.g. “December 17, 2007). If the day is not available, list the month and year (e.g. “December, 2007”). If the month is not available, simply list the year. For sources accessed online, include both the date last published and the date of access. (e.g. “Published August 22, 2007, accessed December 17, 2007.”). If an article is in press, include the year and “In Press” in lieu of a date.

The first word of each title should be capitalized and all other words (barring proper nouns and names) should be lowercase. If a title has a subtitle, capitalize the first word of the subtitle (e.g. “The demographics of deep tissue injury in the United States: An analysis of the International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey 2006-2009”).

All words in the title of a journal, book, or other major publication should be capitalized except for articles (e.g. “Journal of Bone and Mineral Research”). Articles preceding the title of a publication should be left off.

Locations of publication should take the form City, State Abbreviation (e.g. “New York, NY”).

Latin names should be italicized, the genus name should be capitalized, and the species epithet should be lowercase regardless of where in the citation the name appears (e.g. “Porphyromonas gingivalis”).


Author(s). Title. Journal. Year; Volume(Issue Number):pages.

Example: Venkataramanan R, Shaw LM, Sarkozi L, Mullins R, Pirsch J, MacFarlane GD, Scheller DG, Ersfeld DL, Frick M, Fitzsimmons W, Virji M, Jain A, Brayman K, Shaked A. Clinical utility of monitoring tacrolimus concentrations in liver transplant patients. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2001; 41(5):542-551.


Author(s). Title of Book. Publisher, location of publication, year, pages.

Example: Genco RJ, Mergenhagen S, McGhee J, Lehner T, Hamada S. Molecular Basis for Pathogenesis and Molecular Targeting in Periodontal Diseases. American Society of Microbiology, Washington, DC, 1994, pp. 247-255.


Author(s). Title of article. In: Title of Book. Editor(s), eds. Publisher, location of publication, year, pages.

Example: Herzberg MC, MacFarlane GD, Liu PX, Erickson PR. The platelet as an inflammatory cell in periodontal diseases: Interactions with Porphyromonas gingivalis. In: Molecular Basis for Pathogenesis and Molecular Targeting in Periodontal Diseases. Genco RJ, Mergenhagen S, McGhee J, Lehner T, Hamada S, eds. American Society of Microbiology, Washington, DC, 1994, pp. 247-255.


Author(s). Title of webpage. URL. Date of publication, date of access.

Example: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Legislative update. http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/LegislativeUpdate/index.html. Published April 3, 2013, accessed June 26, 2014.


Author(s). Title of article. Newspaper. Date of publication.

Example: Liptak A. Major ruling shields privacy of cellphones. New York Times. June 25, 2014.


Creator(s). Title of media [format]. Publisher or location of content. Date of publication.

Example: APS Physics. The quest for dark matter [video]. YouTube.com. April 14, 2014.


Personal communication should not appear in your reference list but should be included in in-text citations. In-text citations of personal communication should take the form:

(personal communication, date of communication)

Example: (personal communication, June 26, 2014).


Tables should be prepared in Microsoft Word using the Table format without gridlines. Table Headings should be self-explanatory and contain units of measure where appropriate. Table footnotes should be kept to a minimum, using the following symbols in order: *, **, †, ††, ‡, ‡‡, §, §§.

Tables should appear on separate pages.

Figures should be submitted as JPEG files. A resolution of at least 600 dpi is recommended for optimal reproduction. Figure legends should start on a separate page.