How to Get Published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a male student holding something while looking at the camera

How to Get Published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators

In a 2023 report, the World Health Organization shed light on how climate change is causing more severe health crises globally. There is a need to raise awareness and provide solutions to these problems, and one effective way to do so is through student research. Here’s where the Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI) comes in—it’s where young scientists can publish their work on important global issues. Through research, they not only add to scientific knowledge but also influence public policy.

Let’s explore the submission guidelines for the Journal of Emerging Investigators. Who can submit? What are the formatting requirements? We’ll also offer valuable tips on crafting an outstanding research paper to enhance your chances of getting published and making a difference.

What Is the Journal of Emerging Investigators?

The Journal of Emerging Investigators is an open-access journal where middle and high school students can publish their original research in the biological and physical sciences. With guidance from a teacher or advisor, young scientists can submit their research, get feedback, and see their work published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

A mother and her student looking at her laptop.

Since it started in 2012, JEI has published many student papers and encouraged over 200 grad students, postdocs, and professors from all over the United States to get involved in the editorial and review processes. By emphasizing mentorship, the journal creates a collaborative and educational environment for everyone.

Journal of Emerging Investigators Submission Guidelines

Before you submit to the Journal of Emerging Investigators, here’s everything you need to know:


To send your work to JEI, you’ll need at least two authors: one or more student authors and a senior mentor.

For student authors, take note of the following:

  • If you’re a middle or high school student from anywhere around the globe, you’re welcome to share your research with JEI. Just ensure you send your manuscript before starting university.
  • No need for fancy university labs or advanced techniques to qualify.

Next, every manuscript requires a senior mentor as the last author. This could be:

  • a teacher
  • a professor from a college or university
  • a postdoctoral fellow
  • a senior graduate student if the research was conducted in a school or university setting
  • a parent if you did your research at home

Here are other authorship requirements:

  • Undergraduate students aren’t eligible to be senior authors for JEI submissions.
  • You must get permission from all authors before submitting your manuscript. This ensures that everyone listed as an author agrees with the content and consents to its publication.
  • Due to laws concerning minors, a student’s parent or legal guardian must submit the manuscript to JEI on behalf of the student author.

Important note: JEI only allows one submission from student authors at a time. Senior mentors, however, may have multiple submissions with JEI at once.

Research topics

You’re welcome to submit hypothesis-driven research on any topic, particularly those related to public health. JEI, however, currently does not accept manuscripts related to COVID-19.

Manuscript requirements

  • Formatting: Use the JEI manuscript template and follow the instructions closely to ensure your submission meets all formatting requirements.
  • Citation: Properly cite any outside sources of information, data, or software. Follow JEI’s reference formatting guidelines to give appropriate credit and maintain the credibility of your manuscript.
  • Ethical considerations: If your study involves human subjects or vertebrate animals, don’t forget to include documentation of regulatory approval. This is important for ethical compliance and the integrity of your research.

To help you keep track of all the requirements, you can download JEI’s submission checklist.

Review process

JEI’s review process is entirely run by volunteers. They include graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, science professionals, and science writers. Your manuscript goes through over eight reviewers before it’s published. They’ll give you feedback to fine-tune your work, suggesting improvements or even new experiments.

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Here are the stages your manuscript will undergo:

Process Description
Pre-Review Your manuscript might need some tweaks here, or it could move straight to scientific review. Either way, it’s officially “submitted.”
Scientific Review Here, you’ll get an email update. Then, there are three possible outcomes:


1. Accept, pending presentation changes

2. Accept, pending scientific and presentation changes

3. Reject


Even if your manuscript is accepted, you’ll still have some more edits to do until it’s finalized. JEI doesn’t often reject papers, usually only for major plagiarism or if the research doesn’t have proper approval.


If your research paper needs revisions, it’s “under review,” and once you’ve made those changes, it’s “in revision.”

Copy Editing Once your manuscript moves to copy editing, you’ll get another email. It’s now “accepted, pending copy edit revisions.” After that’s done, it’s officially “accepted.”
Publication Your manuscript goes to a Proofing Editor for the finishing touches. While it’s being turned into the final PDF, it’s “in press.” Once it’s up on the JEI website, it’s “published,” and you’re good to go without any further citation worries.

Submission fees

There’s a $35 fee when you submit to JEI. This money helps cover the costs of handling each manuscript in the review process. This fee is the only one you’ll need to pay for submitting and getting published with JEI. Paying this fee, though, doesn’t guarantee that your manuscript will be published.

If shelling out $35 is tough for you, you can ask for a waiver right here.


At JEI, you’ve got some flexibility with submission deadlines—it’s rolling, so you can send in your manuscript whenever it’s ready.

As for how long it takes, that can vary. It depends on the time of year, how many submissions are in the system, and how quickly authors make revisions. Usually, though, because of all the careful reviewing, it can take around 7-8 months.

From May through September, JEI gets swamped with submissions, which can slow things down by about two weeks at each stage of the review process. So, if you’re wondering about your manuscript, hold off on reaching out to JEI until at least a week after the timeline given in the latest decision email.

How to submit

If you’re a student, your teacher, mentor, or lab’s Principal Investigator (PI) needs to be the one to submit your manuscript. You shouldn’t do it yourself.

Once everything’s good to go, your senior mentor will need to send your manuscript through JEI’s Editorial Manager portal. For the detailed instructions on how to do this, check out the submission guide JEI provides.

Tips for Getting Published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators

If you want to get your work published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators, here are some tips to help you out:

1. Pick a clear and relevant research question.

Think about what really interests you and plays to your strengths. For example, if you’re all about environmental science, maybe dive into how local pollutants mess with a nearby water source. Make sure your question is specific and focused, like “How do nitrates from agricultural runoff affect the population of freshwater algae in Lake XYZ?” A clear question will keep you on track throughout your research.

To fine-tune your question, do a quick scan of the existing research out there. Look for gaps or unanswered questions that your study could fill. This step’s super important because it helps you come up with a question that’s not just interesting but also adds something new to the field.

2. Conduct thorough background research.

Start by gathering info from reliable sources like peer-reviewed journals, books, and credible websites. Hit up academic databases like PubMed, Google Scholar, and JSTOR to find articles that relate to your topic. Take good notes and organize them neatly to build up your knowledge.

While you’re at it, pay attention to the main findings, how they did their experiments, and any limits they ran into. This info helps you plan your own study better and steer clear of common traps. Plus, understanding the bigger picture helps you come up with hypotheses and experiments that really make sense.

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3. Design a solid methodology.

Lay out your experiment steps super clearly, making sure anyone could follow along and get the same results. If you’re testing how nitrates affect algae, spell out the nitrate levels, the type of algae, and how long you’re running the test. Describe your control and test groups in detail, and explain how you’re going to crunch the data.

Think about any sneaky variables that might mess with your results. And don’t forget to lay out your plan for collecting and analyzing data. Be clear about the stats you’re using to make sense of your results, like t-tests or ANOVA. With a top-notch methodology, your research becomes super reliable and way more likely to get published in JEI.

4. Get your data right.

Set up a system for collecting data that’s super organized and minimizes mistakes. Write down every single step you take, even if you stray from your original plan. This level of detail helps others recreate your study and trust your data.

Once you’ve got your data, it’s time to crunch some numbers. Start with basic stats to see the big picture of your data. Then, use fancier stats to test out your ideas. Carefully collecting and analyzing your data ensures your study’s conclusions are rock-solid and boost the credibility of your research.

5. Present your findings clearly.

Use visuals like tables, graphs, and charts to make your data easy to understand. Make sure everything’s labeled clearly, and throw in a legend if needed. Then, give a quick rundown of what your visuals show, without diving into interpretation. Save that for later.

When you write the interpretation, keep it separate from your results. Use the discussion section to connect your findings to your original question and compare them to what others have found. Clear presentation helps readers see why your research matters and how it fits into the bigger picture.

6. Cite sources properly.

Follow JEI’s rules for formatting your references to a T. Smoothly weave your citations into your writing to back up your points. Don’t go overboard, though—just sprinkle them in where they make sense.

Make sure all your sources are credible and actually relate to what you’re studying. By citing properly, you show you’ve done your research right and lay a solid foundation for your arguments.

7. Stick to the journal’s rules.

Now, onto formatting. Download their template. Pay attention to stuff like font type, size, margins, and section headings. Proper formatting makes your work look pro and helps reviewers focus on what really matters—your content.

8. Nail your abstract.

Start strong by laying out your research question or goal right off the bat. Something like, “This study investigates the impact of nitrate pollution on the growth of freshwater algae in Lake XYZ.” Then, give a quick rundown of how you did your study: “Experiments were conducted using varying concentrations of nitrates, and algae growth was measured over a four-week period.” Keep it snappy and clear.

Next up, summarize your main findings and why they matter. Highlight the big stuff: “High nitrate levels were found to significantly increase algae growth, suggesting a potential risk for harmful algal blooms.” Wrap it all up with a line about why your study is important. For example, “These findings emphasize the need for better management of agricultural runoff to protect freshwater ecosystems.”

Two women checking something on a site.

9. Get feedback.

Don’t go it alone—get your research mentors and peers in on the action. They might spot slip-ups in your data or suggest ways to beef up your discussion. Getting solid advice from people in the know helps you polish your paper and squash any potential weak spots.

And think about setting up a group feedback session where you can get input from a bunch of different angles at once. Teamwork makes the dream work, right? By tapping into your mentors and peers, you can really level up your research paper and boost its chances of hitting the pages of JEI.

10. Polish it up.

Start by reading through the whole thing and picking out spots that need some improving. Focus on making your arguments clear, smoothing out the flow of ideas, and nailing down your language. Make sure each paragraph leads nicely into the next, and that you’re sticking to your main research question throughout. Your intro should set the scene, while your conclusion ties everything up neatly.

Once you’ve tweaked the content, it’s proofreading time. Hunt down any sneaky grammar errors, typos, or formatting blunders. Use your spell check and grammar tools, but also give it a read out loud to catch any funky phrases. Keep an eye on those tech terms too.

11. Be ready for the reviewers’ comments.

Think about what the reviewers might come at you with and tackle those issues head-on. If your sample size is on the small side, own up to it and talk about how it might affect your results. Being upfront about your study’s limits shows you’re not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.

And when the feedback comes rolling in, take it like a champ. Make those revisions, addressing every single point those reviewers throw at you. If they want more detail on your methods, spill the beans. And if you disagree with something, keep it respectful but firm in your response.

Journal of Emerging Investigators Sample Paper

Now, let’s take a look at a sample article from the Journal of Emerging Investigators. It’s a great way to see what kind of stuff the journal is into.

“High School Students’ Attitudes Towards Diverse Cultures and Ethnicities” by Audrin Yi and Meghan Moran


Yi and Moran dug into how kids in ninth and tenth grade feel about having different cultures and backgrounds in their school. They surveyed 67 students from all sorts of backgrounds, like White, Native American (Navajo), Hispanic, and Mixed races.

Turns out, most of the students were cool with other cultures, but Hispanic students sometimes felt judged because of where they came from. Some Native American students felt like their culture wasn’t appreciated by their school or friends, and some even didn’t like certain ethnic groups. The study found that having friends from different backgrounds made students more positive about other cultures. This could be super helpful for shaping school programs.

Side view of a woman using her laptop.

Why it got published

First off, it dives into a hot topic: how diversity influences student attitudes in today’s melting pot society. They dig into how different backgrounds shape how students see things and interact, giving us some solid insights into how schools handle cultural diversity.

Another thing that makes this paper shine is its methodology. They cast a wide net, surveying 67 students from all walks of life, so they get a good read on attitudes from different ethnic groups. They even break down the numbers for each group, which adds some extra transparency and trustworthiness.

But what really seals the deal is how they lay out their findings and what they mean for the real world. And they back it all up with hard numbers, which makes their points hit home even harder. Plus, they discuss how schools can actually use this info to make things better for everyone.

All in all, this paper ticks all the boxes for what JEI wants to see: it tackles a big issue head-on, does its homework with a solid method, and serves up findings that pack a punch and can actually make a difference in the real world.

If you want to study more sample papers, you can check out JEI’s previously published articles here.


Think of the Journal of Emerging Investigators as your go-to spot for budding researchers. Stick to their guidelines and our tips, and you’re on your way to crafting a manuscript that will turn heads. Getting published in the journal will unlock doors to all sorts of future academic and professional opportunities.


What research topics does the Journal of Emerging Investigators accept?

The Journal of Emerging Investigators accepts research across all scientific fields. These include biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and health sciences. They focus on studies that impact public health and welcome interdisciplinary and social science research.

What is the acceptance rate of the Journal of Emerging Investigators?

The acceptance rate is around 70%. Most submissions are accepted as long as they meet the journal’s quality standards.

Does the Journal of Emerging Investigators charge submission fees?

There is a $35 submission fee. This is the only fee—there’s no additional publication fee once your article is accepted. If the fee is a financial burden, you can request a waiver.

When is the deadline for submission to the Journal of Emerging Investigators?

There is no specific deadline. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis, so you can submit your research paper at any time throughout the year.

Does the Journal of Emerging Investigators accept multiple submissions?

Student authors can only submit one paper at a time. However, senior mentors may have multiple submissions simultaneously.


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