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Policies

The Submission Checklist: 10 Most Important Things to Know Before You Submit to Symposium

  1. All authors need a faculty advisor to submit their work. Authors MUST consult with advisors before submitting their piece. The submission form will require the name and valid email address of the advisor. A separate advisor approval form will be sent and returned to the editors before the peer review process begins.
    • If your submission contains information that is part of a larger project with the potential that your advisor may publish it in another journal, please have a discussion with your advisor before submitting to Symposium
    • If you are submitting a piece completed in a course, please provide the contact information of the professor who instructed the course and the course information (i.e. BIO 452 Cell Biology).
    • If your piece is an independent research project or article, please consult the editors for further consultation.
  2. Your work should be your own and must have been completed while you were an undergraduate student at Cal Poly. Alumni are more than welcome to submit an old piece or reflection piece.
  3. Your work should not have been published in another journal, or in the process of being reviewed by another journal (Click here for more information).
  4. Content Accepted:
    • Editorial and Commentary
    • Research & Review Articles
    • Learn By Doing: Stories from the Field (reflection pieces)
    All pieces should focus on student research, literature review, or an experience in science or mathematics.
  5. You are allowed to submit up to two articles per issue.
  6. Your submission must be a Word document file (.docx or .doc).
  7. Please remove individual identifiers (i.e. your name, student I.D. number, etc.) anywhere on the document you upload.
  8. Try to be as grammatically correct and error free as possible in your submission.
  9. Please include all references in your submission document.
  10. We love pictures and visuals! Attach all your images, graphs, tables and figures as separate files (JPEG, PNG, Excel, Word, etc.). You will be able to upload your files on the last summary page after you hit the submit button.

The Editorial Board is at your service to ensure the success of your submission. If you need assistance uploading your content, we can help you step-by-step. Do not hesistate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

The checklist above is a condensed summary of the submission requirements. Authors are highly encouraged to familiarize themselves with all of the journal policies below.

Symposium Submission Guidelines and Policies

The following are the complete policies and submission guidelines of Symposium: Student Journal of Science and Math. Upon submitting an article for publication, authors are agreeing to the Journal Policies listed below as well as the information described under the Submission Guidelines for Authors. We encourage authors to familiarize themselves with all the website content.

SECTION POLICIES

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS

JOURNAL POLICIES

Section Policies

All of the submissions must abide by the General Submission Guidelines and Formatting Requirements. They must also fit one of following categories.

If you feel your article does not fit into these sections, but you would still like to submit it for consideration, please contact the Editorial Board.

Editorial and Commentary

This section includes an evaluation of a topic of issue by the editors and reviewers of Symposium. Any reader or contributor is also welcome to submit commentary to this section. Works of this section should aim to cover topics that initiate symposium and discussion.

No abstract is required for pieces submitted to this section. Please indicate that no abstract is necessary in the required field of the submissions page.

Submissions should be no less than 500 words.

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Research & Review Articles

Reports that offer insight, in-depth analysis, or theoretical exploration on a subject in the field of science and math should be submitted for this section. The following are examples of pieces that would qualify for this section:

  1. Senior Project Proposals
  2. Investigative or Analytic Research Papers
  3. *Senior Project Research Papers, Introductions, and Summaries
  4. **Independent Research Projects

*Please Note: Senior Project Research Papers, Introductions, and Summaries MUST be approved by the senior project advisor if there is a chance that it will be published in part or as a whole to another professional journal.

**Please Note: Author’s wishing to publish an independent research project in Symposium MUST also obtain approval by a faculty advisor.

All authors must consult with the advisor they list on the submission form before submitting to Symposium.

Forms of research and review articles not listed will be considered by the Editorial Board.

All research and review articles must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, and should provide a brief overview of the entire article, including the significance of the research’s findings. Upon submitting a piece, a section for including the abstract will be provided, separate from the article body.

Submissions should be between 2,000-6,000 words, though pieces outside this range will be considered.

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Learn by Doing: Stories from the Field

Pieces in this section exhibit Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto. The section promotes student recounts and reflections from experiences in the fields of science and math. Pieces can be in any style and voice from narrative essay to documentary or reporting. Works submitted can be, but are not limited to, the following topics and experiences:

  1. Lab experiments
  2. Research opportunities
  3. Field work
  4. Internships
  5. Conference and travel experiences
  6. Study abroad programs

Articles submitted to this section must not contain any reference to results or new findings. The piece should solely focus on the experience and reflection. Photos, audio, and video that enhance the storytelling of the experience are most welcome in Learn by Doing articles.

All articles must include a brief abstract of no more than 250 words.

Submissions should be between 500-1,500 words, though pieces outside this range will be considered.

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Submission Guidelines

Mission of Symposium

Symposium: Student Journal of Science and Math gives a voice to the students of the College of Science and Mathematics performing exemplary work in their field. Symposium shares student reflections on unique academic experiences in the sciences and mathematics. If you are unsure that your submission supports Symposium’s mission, please see the Aims and Scope page.

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Who Can Submit?

Symposium accepts original article submissions from the following authors, provided he or she owns the copyright to the work or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article:

  1. Students of the College of Science and Math (COSAM) may submit work related to their field of study.
  2. Students who are non-COSAM majors are eligible to submit their pieces if they are related to science or mathematics experiences.
  3. Collaboration pieces of two or more authors are welcome to be submitted given one of the contributing authors is a COSAM major.
  4. Alumni may submit a reflection piece for the Learn By Doing: Stories from the Field section or a piece completed during their time as a student at Cal Poly.
Authors with a Cal Poly email can log into their account using their Cal Poly username and password to submit an article. Authors may also choose to create a new account with an alternate email address (e.g. Yahoo, Gmail).

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General Submission Rules

  1. Submissions must have been completed within the author’s undergraduate career at Cal Poly.
  2. All pieces must focus on student research, literature review, or an experience in science or mathematics (refer to Aims and Scope).
  3. Submissions should be properly prepared for blind review, with no individually identifiable information/references to the authors included in the document (refer to Symposium’s Policies for more information on the reviewing process).
  4. All authors listed on the submission must meet the requirements for authorship outlined in the journal’s policies.
  5. If an author would like to submit multiple articles, they should limit the number of submissions to review to two articles per issue.
  6. Cover Letter: This is a private message that will be read by the editor(s). The purpose of a cover letter is to state the importance and/or significance of the work. This can also be used to pose comments or questions to the editor. The cover letter will be uploaded separately in the title page entry field to preserve the blind review process.
  7. Manuscripts are expected to be free of most grammatical and typographical errors.
  8. Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic).
    • Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to Symposium, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at Symposium. If you have concerns about the submission terms for Symposium, please contact the editors.
  9. Important: Authors are required to list an advisor for the piece they are submitting. It is required to have a dialogue with your advisor and gain approval prior to submitting to Symposium. A separate advisor approval form will be sent and returned to the editors before the peer review process begins.
  10. All requirements specific to their respective type of submission (Editorial and Commentary, Research and Review Articles, Learn by Doing) have been satisfied. See the guidelines by submission type above.

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Document Formatting Requirements

The Editorial Board of Symposium has created the following guidelines and procedures for standardized formatting of articles. This has been done to provide an equal opportunity for all applicants to be considered for publication. All submissions to Symposium should be made using the online submission form. Submissions to Symposium must comply with ALL items on the following checklist. Non-compliant submissions will be returned to authors for revision.

  1. All submissions must be in the form of a word document (.doc or .docx).
  2. Submissions should be typed in no less than an 11-point font and must be double-spaced.
  3. All references and in-text citations should abide by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (APA citation style).
  4. Any other media files (listed below) should be available as separate files to be uploaded as supplementary content during the submission process. During submission, there will be a section provided to include any additional files. See the guidelines below for formatting these files.
    • Figures and Tables:
      • All figures (charts/graphs) should be submitted as Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx) files. Multiple charts/graphs may be submitted as separate Excel files, or may be submitted as separate worksheets in one Excel workbook file. All tables should be submitted as a separate Word (.doc or .docx) file (multiple tables may be included in the same Word file).
      • Figures and tables should be clearly labeled, with appropriate captions listed directly under each figure or table. There should be clear markers within the submission to identify the placement of each figure/table.
      Illustrations and Pictures:
      • Images (either for inclusion in the submission or supplementary files) should be submitted as separate, high quality, uncompressed image files (no lower than 300 dpi) in either .GIF, .PNG, or .JPG format. Image file names should be as precise as possible, and a corresponding marker should be placed within the submission to identify placement of each image. Image captions, as appropriate, should be included in square brackets in the manuscript immediately following the marker.
      Multimedia (Audio or Video):
      • Multimedia files (either as primary submissions or supplementary files) should be submitted as separate high quality files. Audio files should be in either .WAV, .AIF/.AIFF or .MP3 format. Video files should be in either .AVI, .MP4 or .MOV format. If a multimedia file is not explicitly referenced in the manuscript, its proposed use should be mentioned in the author's Note to the Editors & Reviewers section of the online submission.

      If authors wish to submit multimedia files in alternative formats, please consult the editors prior to submission.

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Citation Style

Symposium implements APA style for citations. References and in-text citation style should follow the author/date parenthetical citation format described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010).

Before submitting an article, authors should familiarize themselves with the journal style, and format their article accordingly. Non-adherence to the journal style, including the points described below and citation style in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010), may lead to delays in review and publication.

Please note that manuscripts need to implement APA style ONLY for the reference page and in-text citations. General citation examples:

  1. Journal Article Reference:
    Fraser, S. E. (1980). A differential adhesion approach to the patterning of nerve connections. Developmental Biology, 79, 453-456.
  2. In-text Citation:
    (Fraser, 1980)

For a full guide for references and citations, authors may wish to consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab APA Formatting and Style Guide, which is freely available online.

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Footnotes/Endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes should not be used for citation purposes (see Citation Style above). Use notes only for supplemental comments or narrative asides.

If your paper contains fifteen (15) or more footnotes, they should be formatted as Endnotes in a separate section immediately preceding the References.

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Reference Page

The accuracy and completeness of the references are the responsibility of the author. Failure to submit accurate and properly formatted references may delay review and publication. References to unpublished material may be included. If such material may be of help in the evaluation of the paper, copies should be made available to the editor.

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Journal Policies

Authors published in Symposium: Student Journal of Science and Math retain copyright of their work. Upon submission of an article, authors are asked to indicate their agreement to grant to the public an open-access license. The license permits any user to download, print out, archive, create derivative works and distribute the article, so long as appropriate credit is given to the authors and initial place of publication. The license ensures that your article will be as widely available as possible and that it can be included in any relevant archive.

Please read about the Creative Commons Attribution License before submitting your paper.

It will be the responsibility of the authors to check and secure all necessary copyright permissions for the use of third-party materials in their manuscript.

Copyright

As a condition of publication in in Symposium, all authors agree to the following terms of licensing and copyright ownership

  1. First publication rights to original work accepted for publication is granted to Symposium but copyright for all work published in the journal is retained by the author(s).
  2. Works published in Symposium will be distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC). By granting a CC-BY-NC license in their work, authors retain copyright ownership of the work, but they give explicit permission for others to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy the work, as long as the use is for non-commercial purposes and the original source and author(s) are cited (i.e. a complete reference citation and link to the Symposium website). No permission is required from the author(s) or the publishers for such use. According to the terms of the CC BY-NC license, any reuse or redistribution must indicate the original CC BY-NC license terms of the work.
    • Exceptions to the application of the CC BY-NC license may be granted at the editors’ discretion if reasonable extenuating circumstances exist. Such exceptions must be granted in writing by the editors of Symposium; in the absence of a written exception, the CC BY-NC license will be applied to all published works.
    Authors may use and reuse their work as they like as long as they include an acknowledgement of the article’s initial publication in Symposium.
  3. Authors are permitted to post their work online in institutional/disciplinary repositories or on their own websites. Pre-print versions posted online should include a citation and link to the final published version in Symposium as soon as the issue is available; post-print versions (including the final publisher's PDF) should include a citation and link to the journal's website.

All materials published on the Symposium website are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license, unless otherwise noted.

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Corresponding Author Responsibilities

A corresponding author is the student who submits the manuscript and any related files (e.g. photos, media, etc.). From the moment of submission to publication, all communication related to the manuscript will be with the corresponding author. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that all authors are aware of and approve the submission of the manuscript, its content, authorship, and order of authorship. Confirmation of this action is required at submission of all manuscripts.

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Originality

Symposium accepts new and original work. To submit to this journal, the article must fulfill the following criteria:
  1. Articles cannot have been published previously
  2. Articles may not be simultaneously submitted elsewhere
  3. Articles are not under review for another publication

The journal editors will assume that submission of an article to this journal implies that all the foregoing conditions are applicable.

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Peer Review Process

Symposium implements a double-blind peer review process. The following is the step-by-step description of the process:

  1. Authors must obtain consent from a research or academic advisor before proceeding through the peer review process. The editors may contact the advisor at any time during the peer review process if validity of the document is in question.
    • If your submission contains information that is part of a larger project with the potential that your advisor may publish it in another journal, please have a discussion with your advisor before submitting to Symposium
    • If you are submitting a piece completed in a course, please provide the contact information of the professor who instructed the course and the course information (i.e. BIO 452 Cell Biology).
    • If your piece is an independent research project or article, please consult the editors for further consultation.
  2. The Editorial Board will perform an initial review of all submitted manuscripts and may reject papers that are clearly outside of the scope of the journal.
    • The editors may strongly encourage the author to request a faculty or professor to review the manuscript if a submission exhibits potential but requires extensive stylistic revision.
  3. Manuscripts within the scope will be sent to at least two reviewers.
    • Reviewers will not receive or be able to view any documentation or metadata that includes individually identifiable author information.
  4. If the manuscript is approved for publication by the reviewers, authors will be provided with similarly blinded reviewer comments and suggestions to aid in the revision of the manuscripts before final publication.
    • Authors are expected to submit manuscripts free of major typographical and grammatical errors, and may be requested to perform additional editing on their manuscripts if it is deemed necessary.
  5. Once all revisions have been made, the Copy Editors and the Editor-in-Chief will make the final checks before approval.
  6. If necessary, questionable components of manuscripts may be sent to advisors or faculty within the discipline of the article’s topic to make final evaluations and confirmation of the material.

The review and revision process takes, on average, eight to ten weeks. Authors may not submit the manuscript to other publications while a review is in progress.

Masking Manuscripts Prior to Submission

The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring the submitted manuscript has been appropriately prepared for blind review. No individually identifiable information/references to the author(s) should be included in the manuscript. Acknowledgments should not be included in the manuscript; they must be placed in the Cover Letter which is uploaded separately during the submission process.

In addition to removing all individually identifiable information from within the document, the corresponding author should check the Microsoft Word document properties and remove any identifiable information. For information on removing this information, please consult Microsoft help documentation or contact the editors.

All supplemental files (figures, images, data sets, etc.) should also have any individually identifiable information removed prior to submission.

Only the Title Page submitted with the manuscript should contain identifiable information, and will be submitted/uploaded separate from the manuscript file to preserve the blind review process.

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Correction, Retraction, and Removal

Correction: Despite copious re-reading and writing efforts, errors may appear in a submission. Timely and effective corrections of such errors are the mark of responsible authors and editors. Symposium will publish a correction if the scholarly record is seriously affected (e.g., if accuracy/intended meaning, scientific reproducibility, author reputation, or journal reputation is judged to be compromised). Corrections that do not affect the article’s overall message or significantly alter the reader's understanding of the article (e.g. misspellings, grammatical errors) will not be made. When a correction is published, it will link to and from the work. The correction will be added to the original work, so that readers will receive the original work and the correction. All corrections will be as concise as possible.

Retraction: Symposium reserves the right to retract items, with a retraction defined as a public disavowal, not an erasure or removal. Retractions will occur if the editors and editorial board finds that the main conclusion of the work is undermined, or if subsequent information about the work comes to light of which the authors or the editors were not aware at the time of publication. Infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, inaccurate claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data will also result in retraction of the work.

Removal: Some circumstances may necessitate removal of a work from Symposium. This will occur when the article is judged by the editors and editorial board to be defamatory, if it infringes on legal rights, or if there is a reasonable expectation that it will be subject to a court order. The bibliographic information about the work will be retained online, but the work will no longer be available through Symposium. A note will be added to indicate that the item was removed for legal reasons.

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Human Subjects Research

All research involving human participants must have been approved by the authors' institutional review board or equivalent committee(s) and that board must be named by the authors in the manuscript.

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Originality

Users of the Symposium website and/or software agree not to misuse the Symposium service or software in any way.

The failure of Symposium to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between Symposium and the author(s) regarding submission of the article.

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Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the Symposium website and/or software agree not to misuse the Symposium service or software in any way.

The failure of Symposium to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between Symposium and the author(s) regarding submission of the article.

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Contact the Editors

If you have a question or concern about your submission that was not answered in Symposium’s Submission Guidelines or Policies, please contact the Editorial Board with your inquiry.