UMD Undergraduate Research Journal

Staff Job Descriptions

Scientific Terrapin is an all-volunteer undergraduate organization. You can apply to any staff section at any time by emailing your resume and your preferred staff position to the editor-in-chief.

Our staff consists of four substaffs: executive, editorial, news/features, and graphics/marketing.

  • Executive: editor-in-chief and treasurer. Candidates are elected to this position during a general body meeting.
  • Editorial: divided into applied/physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences sections. Each section has a managing editor and a set of junior editors. Managing editors are promoted from junior editors that show outstanding commitment and skill. Junior editors are selected from applicants based on ability to think analytically about papers in their field and provide constructive feedback about how data is interpreted and presented.
  • News/Features: news/features editor and staff writers. The news/features editor is promoted from a staff writer who show additional editing and mangaging skills. News/features writers are selected from applicants who have a good knowledge of science news on campus and can conduct interviews and take photographs to develop a cohesive story.
  • Graphics/Marketing: graphics/marketing chair, graphics staff, and webmaster. The graphics/marketing chair is promoted from a graphics staff member who shows outstanding commitment and managing skill. Graphics staff members are selected from applicants who have had previous experience with InDesign, Photoshop, and/or web development tools. The webmaster is selected from applicants who are familiar with HTML, PHP, and CSS.

The editor-in-chief EIC) is responsible for managing the entire journal. The EIC will facilitate communication between substaffs, handle conflicts, make sure that deadlines are met, and keep tabs on the current status of each substaff by keeping correspondence with managing editors and meeting with each substaff during meetings. The EIC is responsible for setting the meeting agenda, running each meeting, and emailing an announcement before and a summary after each meeting. The EIC will take charge of recruiting new members and soliciting submissions by posting to the listservs and designing and guiding the marketing and distribution strategy with the graphics chair. The EIC will handle administrative issues promptly be responding to all emails on the official account, making sure that the website is kept up-to-date, and monitoring the budget and printing status with the help of the treasurer. The EIC will represent Scientific Terrapin to the SGA, Stamp, and the faculty sponsor, and will further take charge of applying for outside funding. Furthermore, the EIC is responsible for managing outreach by ensuring that Scientific Terrapin is represented at events such as Maryland Day and Undergraduate Research Day, setting up meetings with faculty to inform them about the journal, and arranging the symposium.

The treasurer is responsible for managing the funds of the journal. The treasurer will ensure that the SGA registration is renewed each year, that the membership list and constitution are up to date, and that the meeting room is reserved. The treasurer and one other representative are responsible for attending all mandatory SGA trainings to ensure that the journal is properly funded each term. Furthermore, the treasurer will find the most cost efficient printer by soliciting quotes and will work with the printer and the faculty sponsor to see that the journal is printed and paid for.

Section Editor:
Section editors are responsible for ensuring that all submissions are reviewed in a timely manner according to our review process. Section editors will determine the eligibility of the submission for publication, find appropriate faculty reviewers, and conduct final edits on all accepted submissions as needed. Section editors are in charge of managing communication with all junior editors, faculty reviewers, authors, and the rest of the journal staff. Section editors are responsible for ensuring that each accepted manuscript moves through the review processes and is submitted to graphics staff according to the review timeline. Finally, section editors will run substaff meetings and journal club discussions for their section.

Junior Editor:
Junior editors are responsible for editing the papers accepted by their section according to a schedule set by the section editor. Junior editors will first identify grammatical and scientific mistakes and suggest improvements. Junior editors will then perform a second round of edits after the author returns the second draft. Junior editors are expected to return edits in a timely manner and have the option to participate in a journal club within their section in which they propose papers in the field and read and discuss one proposed paper each week during the meeting.

News/Features Editor:
The news/features editor coordinates the news and feature stories to be published in Scientific Terrapin. The editor sets a schedule for expected drafts and deliver edits on all articles in a timely manner. The editor must guide and keep track of the development of news/feature stories.

Staff Writers:
Staff writers are charged with covering local science news and delving into the work of campus researchers for Scientific Terrapin. Writers should have constant knowledge of current news and upcoming events relating to the University of Maryland science community. All staff writers are expected to contribute, at minimum, two news or feature stories per publication cycle and meet deadlines set by the news/features editor. Staff writers propose their own articles, pursue relevant interviews and research, submit drafts to the news/features, and take or get permissions for photos and figures that will complement the story.

Graphics/Marketing Chair:
The graphics chair makes final edits to the layouts according to the semester's style guide and lays out the final journal. The chair is responsible for creating a marketing plan with the editor-in-chief and the graphics/marketing staff and ensuring that that plan is carried out throughout the semester. The chair should design the color scheme and front cover of the journal and complete other layouts as necessary to ensure the final layout is complete in a timely manner. The chair is in charge of communicating with the section editors and news/features editors to ensure all materials are received and copy-edited, working with the printer to see that the journals are printed correctly, and helping to set up the symposium with the editor-in-chief.

Graphics/Marketing Staff:
Graphics and marketing staffers are responsible for designing journal layouts and promotional materials. Graphics staffers are expected to have working knowledge of InDesign and to produce at least two layouts for the journal each semester, according to their own design and the style guide. Marketing staffers must contribute and pursue ideas for soliciting submissions and recruiting staffers. This includes designing and posting posters, contacting Stamp and other relevant organizations, managing the Facebook page and group, and running chalking and advertisement campaigns.

The webmaster is in charge of managing the website. The webmaster is expected to add new articles published at the end of each semester to the website. The webmaster is responsible for updating relevant pages that change semesterly (eg staff list, submissions script, and submission deadline) as well as other pages according to requests by the editor-in-chief. The webmaster is also charged with improving the website to make it more professional and user-friendly according to his/her own discretion.

All members are expected to attend as many meetings as possible and to inform their managing editor (section editors, news/features editor, and graphics chair) or the editor-in-chief if they cannot make a meeting. Staff members may hold more than one position within the staff (eg a social sciences junior editor may also write articles as a journalist). However, staff members are expected to meet the deadlines set by all substaffs they choose to work for. All staff are further expected to respond to emails promptly and keep in constant contact with their managing editor. Managing editors are expected to relay relevant updates to the graphics staff and to the editor-in-chief and to keep to the deadlines set by the review process.