Reviewer Guidelines

The Cougar Journal of Undergraduate Research is a preprint platform that provides access to high quality, original research conducted by undergraduate students at CSUSM. Each submission undergoes review by the Editorial Board, which consists of faculty at CSUSM. Students should expect to receive comments back by the Editorial Board within four weeks after submission.

Submission Rubric

The Editorial Board will use the following rubrics (adapted from the UNLV Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal) in evaluating submissions:

Section 1: Content and Structure Assessment (rank from Strongly Agree → Strongly Disagree)

  1. TITLE. The title of the paper is appropriate and likely to serve its purpose.
  2. ABSTRACT. The abstract is specific, and representative of the paper.
  3. INTRODUCTION. The objective or purpose of the research is clearly stated.
  4. INTRODUCTION. The authors define the general problem area and make it clear what they intend to discuss.
  5. INTRODUCTION. The authors try to build on past research and provide background information.
  6. INTRODUCTION. The authors clearly establish why this research is carried out, needed and/or its potential contribution to its field.
  7. INTRODUCTION. If necessary, the authors provide specific and useful definitions of any  terms.
  8. MATERIAL AND METHODS. The authors adequately describe and explain the materials and methods used.
  9. RESULTS. The authors explicitly and thoroughly state the major findings.
  10. RESULTS. The results and conclusions are clearly and explicitly connected and supported by the authors’ analyses, arguments, findings or evidence.
  11. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS The authors discuss the impact and broader implications of the findings.
  12. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS. The authors suggest areas for further research or discussion.
  13. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS. The authors accomplish their objective and do what they set out to do.

Section 2: Style and Format Assessment  (rank from Strongly Agree → Strongly Disagree)

  1. WORD CHOICE. The authors use appropriate vocabulary for the topic, and maintain neutrality in choice of words and terms rather than using emotionally charged and/or biased language.
  2. The manuscript employs proper grammar, syntax, and English expressions and does not require any revisions.
  3. The illustrations, tables or graphs that are used (if any) complement the text and are the best method to present data.
  4. The authors have adequately cited the most pertinent literature.
  5. The references and citations are correctly formatted.
  6. Has any material in the manuscript been previously published? (If so, where?)
  7. (Free response) Please indicate any errors or necessary improvements to the discussions of fact, interpretation, or calculations.
  8. Do you wish to identify yourself to the author? Yes/No
  9. Please enter any additional confidential remarks for the editor here:
  10. Overall Recommendation: Accept? Accept with minor revisions? Accept with major revisions? Reject?