Why Submit?

  • The fact that excellent student work goes unread by anyone other than a single professor is unfortunate, and undergraduate journals are important contributions to the research community across the disciplines.
  • Going through the process of preparation of a manuscript for submission, as well as the peer review process, is excellent preparation for graduate studies. Of course, even if you aren't considering graduate work, the experience will deepen your learning and improve some of your skills. 
  • If your paper goes to review, you will receive constructive feedback from experts in your field, regardless of whether the piece is accepted for publication.
  • USURJ is an Open Access journal, meaning that its articles have further reach since there are no fees for authors or those who want to access articles. USURJ is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The standards for inclusion in this quality-controlled list of journals are rigorous.

You can peruse USURJ issues here.

For other examples, please refer to the archives of the journals listed below. Keep in mind that we aim to publish work from a wide variety of disciplines and approaches. Other undergraduate journals should be viewed as what is possible, not a collection of templates. 

Peruse these other multidisciplinary undergraduate research journals for examples of research papers: 

Studies by Undergraduate Researchers at Guelph

Stanford Undergraduate Research Journal

The American Journal of Undergraduate Research

Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Who Can Submit?

  • Undergraduate students in any college or program at the U of S are eligible to submit their articles to USURJ, as long as that work was done while the student was enrolled at the U of S.
  • Students who complete work while studying abroad, but who are still registered U of S students, are eligible to submit work to USURJ.
  • As well, those who finished their U of S undergraduate degree within the last two years are eligible to submit work done as an undergraduate student at the University of Saskatchewan.
  • USURJ accepts multi-authored papers.

What Can I Submit?

  • USURJ accepts submissions of original research and review articles from across the disciplines, and there is no deadline for submission. If you wish to submit more than two items to one issue, please contact the Editors-in-Chief at usurj@usask.ca.
  • A review article critiques and/or synthesizes current research in a given area. It assesses the current state of knowledge of a given topic, assesses the implications of current research, comments on validity, draws new conclusions, and suggests future directions for research in this area.
  • USURJ also accept submissions of art work twice a year: in early November and in early March. We do not accept multimedia submissions; however, USURJ may accept multimedia work in the future. Contact us at usurj@usask.ca for more information.
  • USURJ does not accept submissions of creative writing as there is a U of S journal for this already: The Fieldstone Review.

There is no word limit for submissions to USURJ. 

So as not to compromise USURJ's mandate to publish original work, articles that have been previously published in another journal are ineligible for publication in USURJ. USURJ allows articles to be submitted to another journal following publication in USURJ. However, authors should review the journal's submission policies to ensure that prior publication in an undergraduate research journal does not preclude publication.

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the journal, we do not prescribe a specific style manual. Instead, authors should use whatever documentation style is common in their discipline and take care to use it consistently. We ask that when you submit your paper, you specify on your information page which documentation style you are using, and to edit it carefully to ensure the citations and formatting are done correctly. See the Library Citation Style Guide for more information. Please submit your paper in Word, not as a pdf.

When you submit your work to USURJ, you will be asked to select a disciplinary category (humanities and fine arts, social sciences, health sciences, natural sciences, or interdisciplinary), but we can change the category if need be.

  • A research paper in the social sciences qualifies as any paper that presents original research, which may be quantitative, qualitative, or theoretical; synthesizes or presents a new theoretical conclusion from existing research or literature; serves as a review or collection of existing research or theories; presents a new perspective on pre-existing or original research; interprets data from a prior study; or attempts to cohesively and coherently account for a paradigm or approach within topics traditionally represented by the social sciences.
  • Research papers in the humanities and fine arts cover a broad spectrum and may deal with literature, history, philosophy, visual or performing arts, linguistics, classics, or any topic focused on the study of human culture. Such research papers focus on comparison, analysis, and/or aesthetics more than the empiricism stressed in the natural, health, or social sciences.
  • For health sciences and natural sciences, research can take a few different forms. At the undergraduate level, some students will be performing their own experiments and creating original, primary research articles. Undergraduate students may also synthesize the ideas in primary research articles and write a review article.
  • An interdisciplinary research paper communicates knowledge through “research that combines the skills and perspectives of multiple disciplines” [1].  Repko and Szostak (2017) write that the “prefix inter means ‘between, among, in the midst,’ or ‘defined from two or more’ . . . [so] the starting point for understanding the meaning of interdisciplinary studies is between two or more fields of study” (3).  For example, research papers may bring together the field of history and the field of psychology in an analysis of the history of mental illness. Some research papers, though, come from fields of study that are already interdisciplinary, such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Rural and Urban Development, or Land Use and Environmental Studies.  In sum, an interdisciplinary research paper submission will extend beyond a single disciplinary perspective to form an integrated understanding or meaning (Repko and Szostak, 2017). Book: Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory, 3rd Ed. London: Sage. 2017.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1955232/

How Do I Submit?

First, register as an author on the USURJ submission and review website, usask.ca/usurj. Second, follow the prompts on the submission and review website to submit your article as a Microsoft Word, RTF, or OpenOffice file, along with an abstract. Complete Author Guidelines can be found under the “Submit” tab at www.usask.ca/urj. Next, upload your information page as a supplementary file. Finally, fill out the USURJ Publication Agreement (be sure to read it carefully as it contains very important information regarding ethics, author rights, and co-authorship). If you cannot find the faculty member required to sign your agreement in person, have them scan it or photograph it and email it to you, or have another professor familiar with the assignment sign it and do the same. Finally, upload the publication agreement as a supplementary file after you submit your paper and information page. You can photograph it (save as a common file type, such as a jpeg), or scan it.

A departmental administrative assistant should be able to contact a professor on sabbatical. However, if your efforts are unsuccessful after a period, please contact the department head or another professor who is familiar with the work, who may sign the Publication Agreement.

I’ve Submitted My Work. What Now?

Your submission will initially be reviewed by the USURJ Editorial Board and, provided it falls within the scope of the journal, the Editorial Board will forward the article to faculty reviewers with appropriate expertise. (The complete Review Policy can be found under the “Submissions” tab at www.usask.ca/urj.) After the article has been reviewed, the Editorial Board will make a decision regarding publication of your article and you will be provided comments and suggestions to revise the paper, if required. Once you have finished the revisions in the allotted time frame, your article or review will be again reviewed by the Editorial Board. Provided revisions are satisfactory, the article will be copy edited and layout will be finalized. If selected for publication, your article will be published in a future issue of USURJ.

Yes. You will be notified whether or not your paper is accepted, rejected, or accepted with revisions. Regardless, you will receive constructive feedback on your paper from the reviewers (professors in the field). The review process can be very slow as it's dependent on how quickly we can find reviewers, so if you haven't heard from the editors for some time, please just get in contact with them. Also, you can log in to usask.ca/usurj using the username and password provided when first registering. Go to "User Home," click on "Author" and then click the "Status" tab under "Active Submissions." This will tell you where your article is in the selection and editing process.

We have moved to continuous publication (publishing as we go rather than waiting until we have enough papers for an issue), and this usually will happen during regular session (September to April).  The papers published prior to early December and early April will be collected into an issue, which will be launched and celebrated at that time. The review process can be very slow as it's dependent on how quickly we can find reviewers, so if you haven't heard from the editors for some time, please just get in contact with them. Log in to www.usask.ca/usurj using the username and password provided when first registering. Go to "User Home," click on "Author" and then click the "Status" tab under "Active Submissions." This will tell you where your article is in the selection and editing process.

Peer review refers to the evaluation of work by individuals within a similar field of study. Articles submitted to USURJ will generally be reviewed by scholars in the relevant field(s). Peer review allows the Editorial Board to make informed, fair assessments of articles in order to determine suitability for publication, and provides invaluable feedback to authors regarding strengths of their article and areas requiring improvement. The complete peer review process can be found on the Review Policy page under the “Submissions” tab. USURJ employs a double-blind review process which means that the author’s identity will be concealed from the reviewers and vice versa.

Getting Involved with USURJ

  • University of Saskatchewan undergraduate students hold the majority of USURJ staff positions. They are supported by a small number of graduate, staff, and faculty advisers. For a complete list, please see the Editorial Board page. Each term, students may apply to volunteer for USURJ positions with a cover letter, résumé, and academic transcripts. We put out a call for applications each spring. These volunteer positions average anywhere from 2-6 hours a week of work during regular session, with busier times in November and March. Senior Editors can expect to work an average of 3-6 hours a week. Please contact us any time if you have questions: usurj@usask.ca
  • If you would like to contribute to undergraduate student development by becoming a USURJ reviewer, visit Become A Reviewer.