Curiosity: The Undergraduate Research Journal of Utah State University

The submission deadline for publication in 2020 has passed. All submissions received at this point will be considered for publication in 2021

Curiosity is an online, mentor-reviewed, open access working-paper series run by students and faculty at Utah State University. The Journal is supported by the Office of Research. We are dedicated to the publication of research conducted by university undergraduates in any discipline. Any research articles, short stories, poetry, photography, films, and/or other creative works authored by USU’s undergraduates are accepted.

All undergraduate students at Utah State University are encouraged to submit their research or creative work for publication. If you are unsure whether or not your project is viable for submission, please contact us. Journal submissions are accepted year-round for online publication each spring. All submissions must be reviewed and accepted by the student’s faculty mentor before they are accepted for submission. Every approved submission will be published.

Click here to visit Curiosity’s Site
Click here to submit your project

Information and Policies

What is it?

Working papers are pre-publication versions of academic or creative articles. These papers are typically based on preliminary findings, but the work is complete enough to be shared. These papers may also be small parts of larger projects to be completed later. The thing to note is that these papers have the potential to evolve. While you may submit completed course-based research and other projects, this journal is most interested in seeking out research and creative work that is in progress.

What is accepted?

If you are working on a research project that is part of a larger lab project, you can submit your work for publication before collecting years of data! While we do require a portion of the research to be complete and effective enough to draw conclusions from, it is not required to be fully completed. Great examples of this are:

  • Course-based research that was part of a larger class project, but has solid conclusions on its own.
  • Preliminary result of a pilot test that you are able to evaluate future directions from
  • Smaller studies on a topic outlined by a research lab or creative group you are in
  • Art pieces from a larger collection that you are creating
  • URCO Grant Reports
  • Honors Theses
  • And More!

If you are concerned about whether or not your project applies, please talk to your faculty mentor or email Amelia Ashby at

All materials MUST be submitted by the primary author. If you are in a group, discuss the author order prior to submission, as this is something of great importance in the academic field. If you have any concerns about this, please contact your faculty mentor.

You will need to provide the following:

  • Primary Author’s name, college, and department
  • Where you have presented/where you are planning to present the research or creative work (NECESSARY FOR PUBLICATION)
  • All Co-Author information
  • Faculty Mentor information
  • Your Project Title
  • A Technical Abstract
    • This would be the typical abstract required. It may include jargon, definitions, etc. This is so those who are in your field can understand what is technically happening.
  • Non-technical summary
    • This would be an abstract of your work that does not have any jargon or difficult terms. It will be reviewed for clarity. This is so those who are not in your field can get a grasp on what your research is.
  • Author Involvement Statement
    • This is a short statement that details how the primary author contributed to the research or creative work. It should list how they got involved in the project, what parts of the project they primarily focused on, and how they plan to leverage this opportunity in the future.
  • 1st letter of support
    • Written by the faculty mentor. For more information, see the Letter of Support tab.
  • Any documents
    • Research articles, summaries of image/video submissions, etc.
  • Any images or videos
    • Art, short films, etc.
  • At least 3 Key words to describe your work
    • ie. undergraduate, neuroscience, fMRI…

Curiosity will publish all acceptable student submissions. An acceptable submission has used the Journal Template and has been approved by a faculty mentor.


The first author on the project will submit their work to Curiosity through the form linked above. It is the first author’s responsibility to include all authors’ names on the submission. All submissions must be edited prior to submission. The Editorial Board will review each submission for necessary formatting and content edits. All research articles must follow the template in its entirety. If documents are in the incorrect format, they will be sent back to the student for corrections.

Mentor Review

The student(s) should make sure that their submission is approved by their mentor before submission. During the submission process, the author will be prompted to upload a Letter of Support written by their faculty mentor. For more information on what should be included in the letter of support, please see the Letter of Support tab.


All submissions will be reviewed by a member of the Editorial Board for clarity, formatting, and content. Following the review, the author will be notified of the acceptance of their article, pending edits. It is then up to the author to make the required edits and obtain a second letter of support written by second faculty member. You will be given suggestions of possible faculty members to reach out to for this second letter of support. For more information on what will be required in this second letter, please see the Letter of Support tab.


Once we have received your edited submission along with the second letter of support, you will be approved for publication! The journal will be published in early April of each year.

Every submission will require a two Letters of Support in order to be considered for publication.

First Letter of Support

This letter of support will be submitted along with the initial submission materials and should be written by the student(s) faculty mentors. The mentor who writes the first letter of support should be fully informed on what the project was, how it was completed, and how the student was involved in the project. This letter should include the following:

  • Outline of the qualifications of the author(s).
  • Outline how the project fits within the definition of undergraduate research or a creative opportunity
  • Provide a statement of support for the submission

If you have any questions about what is required in this letter, please contact Amelia Ashby at

Second Letter of Support

This letter of support will be submitted along with the final version of the project, with completed edits as suggested by the editorial board. This letter should be written by a separate faculty member that may or may not have had prior knowledge of the project. When the editorial board suggests edits to the original submission, they will also include a list of possible faculty members to ask for this second letter. This letter should include:

  • How any edits were addressed
  • Faculty’s reaction to the project and author
  • Faculty’s support (or lack thereof) of the publication of the project.

If the second letter of support suggests that it is not published, it may go through a second round of edits. Otherwise, the project will be immediately sent for publication.

Who Can Submit?

Any Utah State University undergraduate student may submit an original article to be considered for publication in Curiosity provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer).

General Submission Rules

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: “publication” in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to Curiosity, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at Curiosity. If you have concerns about the submission terms, please contact us.

Authors and DigitalCommons@USU

In consideration for publication of the article, the authors assign to DigitalCommons@USU all copyright in the article, subject to the expansive personal–use exceptions described below.

Attribution and Usage Policies

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted by a personal-use exemption or by written agreement of DigitalCommons@USU, requires credit to DigitalCommons@USU as copyright holder (e.g., DigitalCommons@USU © 2014).

Personal-use Exceptions

The following uses are always permitted to the author(s) and do not require further permission from DigitalCommons@USU provided the author does not alter the format or content of the articles, including the copyright notification:

  • Storage and back-up of the article on the author’s computer(s) and digital media (e.g., diskettes, back-up servers, Zip disks, etc.), provided that the article stored on these computers and media is not readily accessible by persons other than the author(s);
  • Posting of the article on the author(s) personal website, provided that the website is non-commercial;
  • Posting of the article on the internet as part of a non-commercial open access institutional repository or other non-commercial open access publication site affiliated with the author(s)’s place of employment (e.g., a Phrenology professor at the University of Southern North Dakota can have her article appear in the University of Southern North Dakota’s Department of Phrenology online publication series); and
  • Posting of the article on a non-commercial course website for a course being taught by the author at the university or college employing the author.

People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact us.


Amelia Ashby, Undergraduate Research Student Assistant

Senior Editors:

Dr. Kenneth Bartkus, School of Business

Dr. Janice Brahney, College of Natural Resources

Dr. Ryan Seedall, College of Education and Human Services

Editorial Board:

Christine Hartmann, College of Education and Human Services

Elizabeth Simpson, College of Science

Wesley Mills, College of Science

Katie Griffin, College of the Arts

Madeleine Bell, College of Natural Resources

Lauren Pack, College of Humanities and Social Science