UMD Undergraduate Research Journal

Review Process

The review process for submitted manuscripts is composed of 4 parts: two rounds of staff editing, editing by anonymous University faculty, and copy editing. After each of the first 3 rounds of edits, the authors will receive compiled versions of all edits via track changes and comments. The authors will then be responsible for revising their manuscript accordingly and returning a revised version within 1 week of receiving each round of edits. If authors are not prompt in their response, their manuscripts may be delayed until the next publication cycle or cancelled.

Staff Edits (Round 1) - Content:

  • The research is justified
  • The paper provides new information to the field
  • Title: specific to the findings in the paper, appropriate to the methodology, concise
  • Abstract: comprehensive and concise overview of the paper
  • Introduction: sufficient background information
  • Methods: reliable, appropriate for the goals of the study, carried out correctly
  • Results: comprehensive, nothing extraneous, support the conclusions
  • Conclusions: comprehensive, do not reach beyond the scope of the methodology
  • References: appropriate, cited according to the IEEE standards with unabbreviated journal names.
  • Acknowledgements: appropriate and comprehensive, but concise
  • Figures: appropriate, informative, clear

Staff Edits (Round 2) - Grammar and Clarity:

  • The paper uses proper English grammar
  • Sentence structure is clear and appropriate
  • The proper tenses are used: present tense to describe facts or a state of the universe and past tense to describe what was done or observed in the experiment
  • Abbreviations are done properly (e.g. acronyms: first use is unabbreviated and includes the acronym in parentheses after the word)
  • Field-specific conventions are followed
  • Information is presented in a clear and logical manner
  • The structure of the paper is reasonable

Faculty Edits
A University of Maryland faculty member, selected for each submission based on field of research and willingness to edit, will anonymously review the manuscript assigned to them and return comments on content and grammar at their discretion.

Copy Edits
This round of edits will be performed by various members of the Scientific Terrapin staff and will consist of correcting formatting and grammatical errors introduced or missed in the review process and laying out of the journal. This is the only part of the review process in which the manuscripts will be directly changed without the authors' consent or knowledge.

The review and publication schedule is detailed below. This is a relative deadline schedule. This means that rather than absolute dates by which certain tasks must be completed, the schedule details maximum times allowed for tasks. Thus, if a task is completed earlier than expected, the maximum time for the next task will stay the same and the deadline will be earlier as a result.