Learning Through Research

Submission Guidelines, Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR)

General Criteria

Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) publishes scholarly work that examines effective practices and novel approaches, explores pedagogical models, and highlights the results of assessment of undergraduate research. As a peer-reviewed publication of the Council on Undergraduate Research, the journal provides useful and inspiring information that increases our understanding of undergraduate student-faculty engagement in research, scholarship, and creative work in all disciplines and at all types of higher education institutions in the United States and abroad.

SPUR publishes articles relating to all aspects of undergraduate research that are of interest to a broad readership. Articles regarding the effects of the research experience on the development and subsequent endeavors of students, as well as how to initiate, support, or sustain undergraduate research programs, are appropriate for this journal. SPUR is not the appropriate venue for publishing results of undergraduate research. Manuscripts that are unrelated to undergraduate research or focus on the success of an individual or institutional undergraduate research program without providing a substantive presentation of goals, strategies, and assessed outcomes related to the program are not suitable for publication. Manuscripts that describe novel programs that can serve as models for other institutions, those containing significant assessment of outcomes, and those articulating research on the efficacy of undergraduate research programs are particularly suitable for publication in SPUR.

Editorial Policies
SPUR is the voice of members of the Council on Undergraduate Research. All articles are peer-reviewed. Editorial judgment regarding publication of manuscripts and letters rests with the Editors. Concerns about editorial policies and decisions should be addressed to the editors.

How to Submit
Authors are encouraged to discuss disciplinary articles with the appropriate division editor prior to submission. Other inquiries about potential articles may be directed to the SPUR Editor-in-Chief. Submissions should be made at the SPUR online submission site.

Materials to Submit
• Copy of article (MS Word or compatible format, 12-point Times font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, and single-spacing between sentences).

The typical length of an article is 2000–3500 words, but longer or shorter articles may be appropriate for certain topics. Citations must be in author-date format, Chicago Manual of Style (refer to this citation guide).

• Abstract (a maximum of 130 words is recommended)

• Keywords for indexing (up to 10)

• Personal information (include institutional title, mailing address, and email address for the corresponding author and a short biographical sketch for each author)

Figures and Tables

  • Submit in a separate file; do not embed within the text. If figures are not of high quality, they will not be used. Please indicate appropriate figure placement in the text (e.g., "insert figure 1 here").
  • Submit only if figures and tables are comprehensible to readers of various disciplines and assist in the understanding of the article. Avoid unnecessary complexity and excessive detail; include only essential data.
  • Each figure should be generated in black and white (no color; avoid grayscale). All text in a figure or table should be set in Times font and single-spaced.


  • Images must be a minimum of 300 dpi. Provide photos as separate TIF or JPEG files; do not embed images in the manuscript. Also include photo captions that identify people in photos and attribute credits as appropriate. Photo release forms will need to be submitted prior to publication.

Book Reviews
SPUR publishes reviews of books and other new publications (roughly 600-700 words in length) that are deemed by the editors to be of interest to the undergraduate research community. Books or other publications will be reviewed within 12 months of publication. The book review editor will select appropriate titles for review and solicit reviewers. To ensure that the reviews are as timely as possible, the book review editor will expect to receive finished reviews within two months of assignment. Each issue of SPUR will include one review.

Suggested titles for review and book reviews should be submitted via email to:

Susan Berry Brill de Ramirez
Book Review Editor, SPUR
Dept of English, Bradley University

CUR Comments
SPUR will consider for publication scholarly commentaries from readers on issues vital to the health and vigor of the undergraduate research enterprise. CUR Comments should be limited to 250 words and must be on topics relevant to CUR’s mission. CUR Comments will be published at the sole discretion of the editors and will be edited if necessary. The writer will be shown the edited version for her/his approval.

Undergraduate Research Highlights
Undergraduate Research Highlights consist of brief descriptions of peer-reviewed research or scholarly publications in scholarly journals that have been published within the past six months. These publications must be in print and must include one or more undergraduate coauthors. Calls for submissions are disseminated quarterly and posted on the CUR website. Highlights appear in SPUR and in an online CUR archive.

Submissions should include:
• Title of the article and full journal citation (inclusive pages).

• A brief description (3-5 lines) of the research and its significance.

• Title and department or program affiliation of the faculty member.

• A brief description of the student coauthor(s). Include the year of study in which the student(s) undertook the work, the opportunity through which the work was undertaken (independent study project, summer project, REU program, senior thesis project, etc.), and the current status of the student (graduate school, employed, still
enrolled, etc.).

• The source of funding for the work.

Address Undergraduate Research Highlights questions to:

Cristin Gavin
Undergraduate Research Highlights Editor
Dept of Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham