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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 text was written entirely by the author(s) listed during their undergraduate or graduate study.
  • 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, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Images and data, if used, are submitted separately.
  • [Optional!] Please in the submission comment, let us know how you found out about the Stanford Undergraduate Research Journal!

Author Guidelines


Who may submit research articles to SURJ?

Current undergraduate or graduate student from any institution. The first author must have completed high school education.

Manuscripts should be submitted no more than a year after the author’s graduation.

Other Rules

Authors are welcome to submit multiple submissions (maximum of three) each submission cycle. No more than one article per author will be published in any single section of a particular issue.

Work published in SURJ may be published elsewhere. However, please be conscious of other journals’ policy regarding the exclusivity of rights, and keep SURJ informed as to where your paper has been or may be published.

Creative writing and poetry submissions will not be considered.

Only English-language submissions will be considered.

Acceptable submissions need not be summaries of ongoing or past research projects. We also consider research-oriented papers.



Please include an abstract (~200 words). Abstracts shorter than 150 words or longer than 250 words will have to be edited to fit within the range. The abstract must concisely summarise the contents of your paper and must briefly state your research question, research methodology, results, conclusions, and research implications.


The length of your manuscript should be ~2000-4000 words. Shorter or longer submissions are fine; editors will work with you to bring your paper to an acceptable length. Further length modification may be necessary at journal production time due to space constraints.

While some formatting should be used to enhance clarity, authors need not spend an excessive amount of time on purely cosmetic aspects of their submission.

File Formats

DOC, DOCX, or RTF are preferred. PDFs (including those generated from LaTeX) are acceptable as well, but you should be prepared to provide a DOC, DOCX, or RTF version during the editing process.


Images should be at least 150dpi or vector.

During the editing process, you should be prepared to provide a zip or tar.gz file with all images named as surname_fig#.extension (for example, J. Jones would name the first figure, which is a PNG, as Jones_fig1.png). Tables should be included as Excel files and should be named in the same way: surname_table#.xls or surname_table#.xlsx


End references should be numbered consecutively in the order they appear in the article. In text, identify reference with a bracketed (not superscripted) number. Please follow the IEEE reference style where ambiguities arise (

Do not include personal communications or unpublished work in the reference list; they should appear in parentheses in the text. However, if something has been accepted by a publisher but not yet published, you can include it in the reference list with (in press) at the very end of the citation.

Include the names of all authors when there are three or fewer; if more than three, list the first three only followed by “et al.” No comma preceding.

Invert authors’ names, using first name initials, no commas or periods. For example, Skipper JCA, Kittleson DJ, Hendrickson RC et al.

Abbreviate journal names (according to Index Medicus) without periods and without italics. J Immunol or Natl Acad Sci USA or J Exp Med or Blood or Cancer Res, etc.

In-text citations

Identify references with a bracketed number at the end of a cited sentence.

When citing something not included in the reference list, such as personal communication or unpublished document, use parentheses at end of the sentence. For example,

  • The survey research lacked both reliability and validity (Roberts B, unpublished dissertation, 2000).
  • The biased results wreaked havoc (Anderson K, e-mail communication, August 17, 2000).

When cross-referencing material, also use parentheses: (See Table 3.) or (For more information, see pp. 31-42.)

Number style

Number style differs between regular text and scientific/math information. For writing generally in the article, spell out numbers 1-9, use numerical thereafter. Always spell out a number that begins a sentence.

Always use numerical for all measurements, years, ages, dates, and percentages.

General style rules

Periods and commas go inside quotes; colons and semicolons outside quotes. For example,

  • “The world is asunder,” Professor Jacks said.
  • “The world is asunder”: a defeatist remark.

Use series comma with three or more items in list. For example,

  • Oscar Wilde, Nicholas Baker, and Mary Gordon are my favorite writers.

The period goes inside parentheses if it’s a separate complete sentence; outside parentheses if the information is part of a larger sentence. For example,

  • Prague’s baroque charm is fading (there’s a Dunkin Donuts in Wenceslas Square).
  • Prague’s baroque charm is fading. (See Figure 11.)

Surnames ending in ‘s’ take an extra apostrophe ‘s’ when possessive. For example,

  • The Jones’s new home.
  • Todd and Kim Abbott- the Abbotts’ new home.
  • The computers’ modems.

Use a semicolon for a related complete sentence, which is always lowercase. Use a colon as a defining statement or list. Capitalize after a colon if it is a complete sentence, lowercase if it’s a listing. For example,

  • The mapping of the Genome holds promise for future cures; it could also hold harm in the wrong hands.
  • To map all the genes in the human body, scientists employed three basic techniques: dissection, isolation, and reconfiguration.
  • There is still much research to be done: Scientists have to determine which genes are related to which diseases.


*If you're not sure whether your submission fits into H&SS or NS&E, select Other! We are totally interdisciplinary, but will make a decision as to which team is responsible for reviewing your submission

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