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Author Guidelines

inquiry-ACES (i-ACES) Undergraduate Research Journal



i-ACES recognizes and encourages high quality undergraduate research and provides a forum for students to directly participate in the writing, peer review, and publication process. The main goal of the journal is to advance undergraduate research through written communication of research findings and direct participation in the peer-review and the publication process. 


i-ACES accepts manuscripts of the following types:


  1. Full Report/Full Paper

Choose this option if the research has not been published in another peer-reviewed journal and there is no plan to do so in the future. The paper must include a Title Page (with affiliations), an Abstract, and Keywords in addition to the manuscript body (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgements, and References). Manuscripts are limited to a maximum of 25 pages including all text, tables, and graphics.


  1. Abstract Only

Choose this option if whole or part of the research work has been published in another peer-reviewed journal, or if there is a plan to do so in the future and publishing an abstract does not jeopardize future publication. An abstract provides readers with information enabling them to judge the nature and significance of the topic, the adequacy of the investigative strategy, the nature of the results, and the conclusions. The length of the abstract is limited to no more than 250 words.


  1. Working Paper

Choose this option to submit preliminary versions of research intended for future peer-review publication.  Working papers are aimed at generating discussion and feedback to the authors for improvement.


  1. Review Paper/Literature Review

Choose this option if you are submitting a literature review/review paper.  A literature review or review paper is a written summary of the critical points of current knowledge of a particular topic including substantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions. Manuscripts are limited to a maximum of 20 pages.


  1. Research Reflection Paper

Choose this option to submit a brief description of how a research project was conducted, perhaps reflecting on the development of the key research questions, hypotheses or expectations, the approach and methods that were used, and the significance of the findings of the research and their implications. Manuscripts are limited to a maximum of 10 pages.


  1. Letters to the Editor

Choose this option if you have issues of concern related to a previously published paper in this journal.  In academic publishing, Letters to the Editor of an academic journal are usually open post-publication reviews of a paper, often critical of some aspect of the original paper. The authors of the original paper may respond to the letter with a letter of their own.


Any queries should be directed to Dr. Anton G. Endress, Editor-in-Chief (aendress@illinois.edu).

How to Submit:

Your research advisor’s approval is required in order to submit your manuscript.  Ask your advisor to submit your manuscript to the i-ACES Editorial Office (i-ACES@illinois.edu) as an e-mail attachment with a confirmation message that s/he approves the manuscript’s online publication and there is no conflict in copyrights.


Manuscript Preparation:


Your submitted manuscript must include a Title Page (with affiliations), an Abstract, and Keywords List in addition to the manuscript body (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgements, and References). Only manuscripts prepared in the exact format will be typically considered.  However, if different section or subsection headings are more appropriate for your manuscript, please substitute them in the template attached. At the current time, the online submission system is not being used.  Only papers submitted by the research advisor (corresponding author) via email attachment will be reviewed and accepted.


Your manuscript should be prepared in Microsoft Word and conform to the following standards:

  1. Format specified above
  2. Use the attached template
  3. Double spaced text (abstract is single space
  4. Numbered lines
  5. One inch margins, two columns
  6. References and citations in the format detailed below

Citing References:


In-text referencing

The format of in-text referencing varies with the number of articles being cited to support a specific point, the number of individuals co-authoring an individual article, and/or whether the authors are part of the narrative text or simply included within a list of publications.

•      "… were shown (Johnson & Van Hoot 2005; Cairns 2008; Plafkin et al. 2009)"

•      "... according to Cutting & Hough-Goldstein (2013)…"

•      "(R. Davis 2009, Harvard University, Boston, MA, personal communication)"


Notice the following format specifications for in-text referencing:

•      Use chronological order

•      Substitute '&' instead for 'and' in citations having two (2) authors,

•      Use the senior author’s name followed by et al. for all citations co-authored by three or more individuals (Note: a different format rule is used in the References section for such multiply-authored articles.)

•      'et al.' is not italicized

•      No comma is placed between the author names and year of the publication

•      Separate citations using semicolons

•      Identify unpublished studies and include affiliation on personal communications.


References or Works Cited Section

Here are some examples of common entries for a References section. Only include previously published or ‘in press’ articles. References are listed in alphabetic order by the name of the senior author and then by publication date when you have cited more than one of the senior author’s publications. Article titles and journal names are not abbreviated. Citation of theses, reports and web-based information is only acceptable when no other source of information is available, and URLs must be provided. Note the absence of punctuation and spaces, issue numbers, and periodical abbreviations.


Scholarly journal articles:

Kroeker KJ, Micheli F, Gambi MC (2013) Ocean acidification causes ecosystem shifts via altered competitive interactions. Nature Climate Change 3:156-159

McIntosh TE, Rosatte RC, Hamr J, Murray DL (2014) Patterns of mortality and factors influencing survival of a recently restored elk population in Ontario, Canada. Restoration Ecology (in press)



Myers JL, Well AD (2002) Research design and statistical analysis. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Articles/sections from books, conference papers, etc.:

Leverenz JW, Lev DJ (1987) Effects of carbon dioxide-induced climate changes in the natural ranges of six major commercial tree species in the western United States. Pages 123-155 In: Shands WE, Hoffman JS (eds) The greenhouse effect, climate change, and U.S. forests. The Conservation Foundation, Washington, D.C.


McKneeley JA (1995) The interaction between biological diversity and cultural diversity. International Conference on Indigenous Peoples, Environment, and Development, Zurich, 15-18 May 1995. International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland


Plafkin JL, Barbour MT, Porter KD, Gross SK, Hughes RM (1989) Rapid bioassessment protocols for use in streams and rivers: benthic macro-invertebrates and fish. EPA/444/ 4-89-001. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.



Newmark WD (1986) Mammalian richness, colonization an extinction in western North American national parks. PhD Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2006-2010) National Climatic Data Center http://www.erh.noaa.gov/iln/climate.htm (accessed 13 February 2010)


All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.