ACES@illinois Undergraduate Research Journal

ACES@illinois undergraduate research journal is a premier undergraduate research journal founded by the Teaching Academy of the College of ACES to advance undergraduate research and provide a venue for publication for distinguished undergraduate researchers.

Submission Guidelines

PDF Version

Type of article

_ Full report

Choose this option if the research work has not been published in another peer reviewed journal, and there is no plan to do so in the future. A full report will be published immediately after acceptance.

_ Summary report

Choose this option if whole or part of the research work has been published in another peer reviewed journal, or there is a plan to do so in the future. Choose one of the following three options.

This work may be made available to public:

_ Immediately upon acceptance

_ After the date_______________

_ After further notice by the advisor

Once the work is published, obtain a copyright clearance from the journal where the work is published. Either a student or advisor can assume this responsibility. Also, submit a link to the published article.

Approval by advisor

Approval by your research advisor is required before submitting. Request your advisor to email confirmation of approval to the AURJ editor.

IDEALS license agreement

I agree to the IDEALS license agreement available at This is a non-exclusive license that allows the University of Illinois to make available the work on the web, to make copies for preservation purposes, and to migrate the format of the work for preservation purposes. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

Format and organization of a report

The following guidelines apply for both full and summary reports. A summary report differs from full report in two aspects:

  1. A full report has no page limit although conciseness is critical for acceptance to publication, whereas a summary report is maximum 2 pages including figures and tables and excluding references.
  2. Abstract is not required for summary report.

Use Microsoft Word with 12 point Times New Roman for texts and single spaced with 1” margins. Organize a manuscript in the following order. You may use this instruction as a template.


State as specific as possible the objective or main finding of your research. Limited to 120 characters with spaces.

Author information

List authors in the following order:

  1. Student: name, major, current standing (year)
  2. Co-authors (if any): name
  3. Advisor: name, department, email


Select the most important information from each of background, methods, results and conclusions in 250 words or less. No information that is not described in the main text should be included in the Abstract section.


Present information concisely in the following order:

  1. Provide introductory information of your research topic so that students outside of your discipline can understand what your research is about.
  2. State what is known or current status that highlights what is unknown or to be accomplished. The highlighted work to be done should lead to the objectives of the study.
  3. Conclude the section by stating objectives/hypotheses that are specific to the work you did.


Provide concise description of study design and methods you used so that readers can understand and replicate what you did.


  • This is the main part of the manuscript. Provide what was found. Construct this section around figures and tables. Highlight important data in text.
  • Insert tables and figures in the results section.
  • Avoid/minimize citing work by others in this section. Cite work by others in Introduction and Discussion.


  • The primary objective of this section is to interpret how the new findings fit into the present knowledge. Start with and focus on the major significance of the study that addresses the objectives.
  • The secondary objective is to assure/assess reliability of your data by addressing discrepancies and consistencies with previous studies.
  • State conclusions in the last paragraph. Recap the most significant findings and their interpretations in results/discussion. Conclusions should be the answer to the objectives stated in the Introduction section. Propose future (further) studies, if there should be any.
  • A figure summarizing conclusions is helpful and may be added, but not required. For summary report, including a summary figure is recommended.


Acknowledge funding sources of the research, and individuals who contributed to the study, but are not included as authors.


Use a format commonly used in your discipline. Inclusion of a title of a reference is recommended. In scientific writing, all statements must be followed by supporting references.

Manuscript Review Guidelines

PDF Version

Please comment on the overall quality of the paper and provide a detailed criticism of its specific weaknesses and deficiencies.

A. Manuscript as a whole, grammar, style, clarity, readability

  1. What is the overall quality of the paper? Is it satisfactory or unsatisfactory for this journal?
  2. The English style and grammar are satisfactory?
  3. The language of the paper is clearly written?
  4. The argument put forth is well organized and consistent throughout?

B. Title

  1. Does it adequately depict nature of study? Too long? Too short?

C. Abstract

  1. Does it adequately describe study, principal results, and conclusions?

D. Individual sections of the manuscript

1. Introduction:
  1. Does the introduction clearly describe the background of the study, which can be understood by scientists outside discipline?
  2. Is the objective or hypothesis clearly stated?

2. Method:

  1. The experimental methods employed adequate or correct?
  2. Are the methods sufficiently clear and complete to allow repetition of the work?

3. Results:

  1. Are the data properly analyzed and interpreted? If not, what is your interpretation?
  2. Are the tables, charts and graphs satisfactory? If not, what modifications and/or additions are required? Were the data improperly used or did the author interpret them incorrectly? Is the data their own?
  3. Have the best methods of presenting the data been used?
  4. Significant figures: Has an estimate of variability of the data been provided, if necessary? Have averages and other derived numbers been cut off at the actual significant figure, or have excessive digits been used?

4. Discussion:

  1. Are the relevant issues adequately discussed?
  2. Are unresolved points and unanswered questions brought out?
  3. Are conclusions supported by the results?

5. References:

  1. Are appropriate references cited to support each statement?

E. Organization of manuscript and method presentation

  1. Gross deficiencies in style and format, method of presentation, use of language, spelling, etc. may be pointed out.
  2. The manuscript fits within the Aims & Scope of the Journal.
  3. The manuscript closely follows the Journalís Author Guidelines.

F. Award consideration

  1. Should the manuscript be considered for annual awards (i.e ;top 5%)?


_____Reject __ Accept with major revisions _____Accept with minor revisions _____Accept AS IS

Send the review as an email attachment to the editor (Editor-in-chief: Manabu Nakamura).

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
pdfpdf AURJManuscriptReviewGuidelines.pdf manage 14.5 K 25 Apr 2012 - 14:35 SarahShreeves ACES@Illinois Undergraduate Research Journal - Manuscript Review Guidelines
pdfpdf AURJ_SubmissionGuide.pdf manage 24.4 K 20 Apr 2012 - 13:53 SarahShreeves ACES@Illinois Undergraduate Research Journal - Submission Guidelines
Topic revision: r3 - 25 Apr 2012 - 14:40:02 - SarahShreeves
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