Frequently Asked Questions

Journal Related

How often does the CUSJ publish, and who publishes the CUSJ?

The CUSJ publishes annually in the Spring semester by the Columbia University Libraries.

What rights do the authors published in the CUSJ retain?

Authors published in the CUSJ retain all rights to their work except the right to publish (or submit for publication) that work, in part or whole, in any other another undergraduate-level publication.

What kind of papers does the CUSJ publish?

The CUSJ publishes manuscripts that are well-written, informative, original, and are primarily authored by undergraduates. While papers published in the CUSJ are professional-level and contribute to the body of scientific research as a whole, manuscripts published in the CUSJ would not be suitable for publication in journals such as Nature or Science based either on their undergraduate authorship or research quality.

Oftentimes, papers published in the CUSJ are manuscripts that detail a portion of a much larger project and focus on the work completed by an undergraduate student instead of the project as a whole, or are papers reflective of truly independent-study projects crafted by their undergraduate authors.

Who is eligible to submit to the CUSJ?

Currently, the CUSJ publishes manuscripts authored by undergraduate students enrolled at a US university.

In which databases does the CUSJ appear?

The CUSJ is indexed by Google Scholar, the Directory of Open-Access JournalsUlrich’s Periodicals Directory, and the Columbia University Libraries. The CUSJ is archived institutionally by Columbia University and is a member of Stanford’s LOCKSS trans-institutional archival system. Additionally, a Google search will often find our first-authors.

Does publishing in the CUSJ preclude publication in other professional-level journals (e.g. Nature, Science)?

Authors published in the CUSJ retain the right to submit their manuscript to any non-undergraduate publication after it appears in the CUSJ (e.g. Nature, Science). However, if that manuscript appears in the CUSJ, these professional-level publications often consider that manuscript as already published (e.g. we have confirmation from Neuron that this is the case).

What if I want to submit a manuscript about a project but my PI (1) has already submitted it to another journal, or (2) will submit it to a journal this year or the next?

If a note is provided to cusj@columbia.edu at the time of submission, CUSJ will review the submitted manuscript but will not publish it until the appropriate issue (we will delay its publication by 1 or 2 issues). This allows the undergraduate student involved to gain valuable experience by learning about the CUSJ‘s  peer review process through submitting a manuscript to the CUSJ, a professional-level journal, without jeopardizing its publication as a whole in a professional-level journal.

When will I hear back after I submit?

The CUSJ will provide an acceptance date each year when collecting submissions for the annual journal. Email cusj@columbia.edu with any questions. Generally, we will get back to you regarding the first round of review in the first months of the spring semester and the final review in March.

Where do I submit a paper?

Our actual submission portal is offsite and requires registration for a new account. Once you create an account, you can upload and submit a manuscript on the portal. Don’t forget to upload the Author Agreement and to follow the Submission Template. See the Submission Guidelines tab for more details.

Symposium Related

Who can present at the Spring Symposium?

Students who have completed scientific research and are currently attending an undergraduate institution in the United States are eligible to submit an abstract for consideration in the Spring Symposium.

How do I apply to present at the Spring Symposium?

Every spring we make a call for applications. Applications require each student to submit an abstract and basic information about themselves and their research.

Who will I meet at the Spring Symposium?

You will meet top researchers and professors from Columbia and the New York City area. Additionally, you will meet top undergraduate researchers from multiple institutions and Columbia University undergraduate researchers.

Where is the Spring Symposium located and when does it happen?

The Spring Symposium is an annual event held at Columbia University in March or April of the spring semester. Generally it is held in Lerner Hall on the Columbia Morningside Campus on a Sunday afternoon and lasts for about two hours.

If I am accepted to present, will I give a poster presentation or a powerpoint presentation?

All students with abstracts accepted for presentation will prepare a poster. Students must bring their own posters.

Can I bring guests?

Absolutely!