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Discovery: The SMSU Journal of Undergraduate Research

Discovery: The SMSU Journal of Undergraduate Research published by Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) is an annual peer-reviewed publication of original research articles written by SMSU undergraduates from all academic fields. Discovery’s mission is to foster intellectual creativity and provide SMSU undergraduates a forum for the exchange of ideas and research.  

Types of articles accepted for publication include original research and perspective articles. Original research articles identify motivations for research, highlight relevant literature, indicate methods utilized, and share experimental data, discussion, and conclusions. Perspective articles are not based on primary data but rather active scholarly thinking in which the author invites further discussions on a topic of interest through literature synthesis, analysis, or novelty of insight.

Discovery does not publish fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry (see SMSU’s Perceptions publication for those genres).

Questions should be directed to Discovery editor Pam Gladis at or 507/537-6813.


Those eligible to submit research articles to Discovery include

  • Current degree-seeking SMSU undergraduates.
  • Recent SMSU graduates (within a year of graduation date) who completed the submitted work while enrolled as an undergraduate student.
  • Submissions may have multiple student authors, but no faculty co-authors, as Discovery focuses on student research.
  • The submitted manuscript cannot be published or undergoing review in another undergraduate ​research journal. Works published in Discovery may be published elsewhere; however, authors should be aware of other journals’ dual publishing policies.

Formatting Guidelines

The paper should use APA citation format (7th edition). This will be used for all works submitted to Discovery regardless of subject area​ in order to ensure cohesiveness and uniformity throughout our multidisciplinary research journal.

In addition to the manuscript, the paper must include a title page that includes an abstract, a list of key terms, and any acknowledgements.

Abstract: a summary of the paper and/or project. It should be single-spaced, one paragraph, and no more than 300 words. The abstract does not serve as an introduction to the paper, but highlights major points, explains the importance of your work, describes how the problem was researched, and provides the conclusions. The abstract should not include any charts, tables, figures, footnotes, references, or other supporting information.
Key Terms:  a list of up to five alphabetized words or short phrases that describe the paper.
Acknowledgements: in this section, thank people (faculty mentors, advisors) who supported the research, and acknowledge funding sources if applicable. The editor will remove acknowledgements during the blind review process.
  • Manuscripts should generally be between 8- and 16-pages in length.
  • Text should be double-spaced using Times New Roman 12-pt font.
  • Files should use the following naming format: last name of the primary author underscore title keyword (Example: Lastname_Glucose.docx).
  • Images and data figures should be numbered and referenced in the text, but included at the end of the article. Authors should have high-resolution image files, (300 dpi) and preferably in TIFF or JPEG format. Following submission of the research paper, the editor may ask for these high-quality images during the review and acceptance process.
  • Authors with articles that include mathematical equations should correspond directly with the journal editor to address formatting matters.
  • No copyrighted material, such as figures and images, may be used in the paper without express written permission from the copyright owner.


  • Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis starting September 1 with a final deadline of January 30.
  • Discovery is published annually in late Spring/early Summer.


The following is required when submitting a manuscript to Discovery:

  • This online eligibility form must be completed when the paper is submitted. 
  • A statement of support is required from a faculty advisor; this will need to be emailed to the Discovery editor. 
  • Papers should not include identifying information (name, professor, department) in the text or references section.
  • Files should be submitted in Word format. Alternate formats may be allowed to accommodate programmatic needs (e.g., mathematical equations); contact the journal editor with questions.


  • The author will receive confirmation that Discovery has received his/her article within a week after submission.
  • Each submission will go through a two-person blind review process. One review will be completed by a faculty member within the student’s SMSU program or department and the other by an SMSU reviewer outside of the student’s main area of study.
  • Communication with the author will be through the journal editor.
  • Authors will receive notification of article acceptance or rejection within 45 days (excluding breaks and holidays) for rolling submissions, but no later than March 15.
  • The author must respond to a notification of acceptance within one week.
    • If a reply is not received within this timeframe, the original submitted article may or may not be published. 
  • After acceptance of a submission, the author will work with the editor to revise and enhance the submission for publication.
  • Authors will be provided a date by which they are expected to respond to requests for a revision of an article.
  • A student author or faculty mentor may withdraw a submission at any point up to the final double-blind review. The editor may withdraw a submission at any time before publication.

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