Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal

Reviewer Guidelines

  • Spectra strives to ensure validity, quality, and professional credentials. We hold our undergraduate researchers to the highest standards and encourage them to use best practices and ethical conduct.
  • Spectra is committed to helping undergraduate authors understand the writing process so that they can develop and hone necessary skills to be successful and published authors as well. Toward this goal, and as a part of our authors’ training program, we provide our undergraduate authors with the assessment rubrics used during the review process to help inform the writing process.
  • Spectra follows the double-blinded peer review policy—all personal identifiers are removed to ensure that reviewers don’t know the identity of authors—by referees who have direct or closely related disciplinary expertise.
  • Each submission to Spectra is considered by the Editorial Board first for completeness and compliance and then assigned to the subject editor within a week. The subject editor then assigns the manuscript to two on-campus experts (also known as referees) who are asked to review it and return their feedback and recommendations within 8 weeks. The length of the entire process will depend on the length of the manuscript and extent of edits and revisions.

External Review Questionnaire Section 1: Content and Structure Assessment

  1. TITLE. Is the title of the paper appropriate and likely to serve its purpose?
  2. ABSTRACT. Is the abstract specific and representative of the paper?
  3. INTRODUCTION. What is the objective or purpose of the research? Is this clearly stated?
  4. INTRODUCTION. Does the author define the general problem area? What does the author intend to discuss? Why?
  5. INTRODUCTION. Does the author try to build on past research and provide background information?
  6. INTRODUCTION. Does the author clearly establish why this research is carried out, needed and/or its potential contribution to its field?
  7. INTRODUCTION. Does the author define any terms? Are the definitions specific, useful, circular?
  8. MATERIAL AND METHODS. Does the author adequately describe and explain the materials and methods used?
  9. RESULTS. Does the author explicitly and thoroughly state the major findings?
  10. RESULTS. Are the results and conclusions are clearly and explicitly connected and supported by the author's analyses, arguments, findings or evidence?
  11. DISCUSSION AND CONSLUSIONS Does the author discuss the impact and broader implications of the findings?
  12. DISCUSSION AND CONSLUSIONS. Does the author suggest areas for further research or discussion?
  13. DISCUSSION AND CONSLUSIONS. Does the author accomplish her/his objective? Does the author do what she/he has set out to do?

External Review Questionnaire Section 2: Style and Format Assessment

  1. Does the English text of the manuscript require revision to grammar, syntax, or English expression?
  2. Are illustrations, tables or graphs used? Do they complement the text? Are they the best method to present data, or are they unnecessary?
  3. Are the references and citations formatted correctly?
  4. Do you wish to identify yourself to the author?
  5. Please enter any additional confidential remarks for the editor here:

Overall Recommendation:

  1. Accept
  2. Accept with minor revisions
  3. Accept with major revisions
  4. Reject