Undergraduate Research Submissions

Berkeley Scientific Journal publishes materials only by UC Berkeley undergraduates or recent BA/BS recipients (within one year of graduation) from UC Berkeley.

We are now accepting submissions for the Spring 2022 issue of BSJ. Please email research@bsj.berkeley.edu with any questions about the process. 

Submission Deadline: Sunday March 06, 2022 by midnight.


The Berkeley Scientific Journal publishes research papers produced by UC Berkeley undergraduates or recent BA/BS recipients (within one year of graduation) from UC Berkeley. We will also consider work produced by non-UC Berkeley undergraduates who have a strong standing in a UC Berkeley lab and have a UC Berkeley PI to sign off on their work. 

The author should work extensively with their mentor in preparing the manuscript. All authors and mentors should sign off on the PI Release Form. Please be aware that work previously published in a journal will not be considered for publication. 

Complete and send a Submission Eligibility Form and PI Release Form to research@bsj.berkeley.edu.

Submission Guidelines


Times New Roman font, 12 point size

Double spaced, 8-14 pages, including figures and references 

Initial submission: PDF file that includes the manuscript and all figures, tables, and graphs sent to research@bsj.berkeley.edu.

If accepted: Manuscript text in .doc/.docx. Each figure must be a separate high-resolution image file (TIFF, JPEG). Tables/graphs can be included in the manuscript text file or as separate Microsoft Office or image files. Equations should be written using Microsoft Word’s equation function and saved as a “.tif”. Be sure to include correctly-numbered figure legends. (PDF format is NOT accepted for the final manuscript text, figures, or tables/graphs.)

Submissions that do not follow the above submission guidelines will be sent back to the author for reformatting.


Your paper should use concise, clear language and should not contain any passive voice (with the exception of the Methods section) or first-person language. Your paper should be organized to best suit the research and field. The expectation is, however, that your writing follows this general structure: 


  • Title of paper
  • Name(s) of author(s)
  • Research sponsor (PI)
  • Major, year, department


The Abstract is a paragraph summary of the research motivations, the experimental approach, the major results, and their implications. It should not contain any references. (250 words)


In the Introduction, the author presents the problem they will address and provides background information on the significance and relevance of the topic to its field. This should include a clear statement of the hypothesis and address other relevant studies or articles by other researchers. The Introduction should be worded in a clear, concise manner that defines jargon and explains concepts for undergraduate science readers unfamiliar with the author’s field.  


The Results section details the experimental results in an organized, clear fashion without presenting any interpretations or analyses. The author should avoid including all raw data, but rather present the key results of the study. Results are substantiated by figures and tables, and subsection headings in bold font should be used to organize the section. If applicable, the statistical significance must be included.


In the Discussion, the author restates the problem and provides interpretations based on the results, addressing their relation to the initial hypothesis. They should examine the significance of their results and the limitations of their study, explaining any potential sources of error. The author should relate their findings to a bigger picture by considering implications, applications, and future experiments. They should also avoid drawing overgeneralized conclusions.


The Methods of the study should be described thoroughly so that they can be repeated with accuracy by a competent researcher. The author may use passive voice in this section to clearly and concisely detail the methods and explain why certain methods were employed. No discussion of results or sources of error should be included in the Methods section. Subsection headings should be distinguished in bold font, with preferably one subsection per method used in the experiment. Any animal studies must state IACUC approval, and any human studies must state IRB approval. The author should include company sources for any uncommon reagents or equipment. 

Figures (5-7 total) 

Figures should be clearly formatted and include error bars if applicable. Each figure should contain a one-sentence title and a brief description (less than 250 words). The figure and legend should be understandable without reference to the text.


The author should include a minimum of 15 references in APA format. The reference list should be ordered based on the order of citations in the paper; that is, the first citation should point to reference 1, the second citation reference 2, etc. Any references within the paper should be listed in superscript. 

You may find the following example references helpful for periodicals, website, book, and image references:

  1. Ryan, S.-L., Baird, A.-M., Vaz, G., Urquhart, A. J., Senge, M., Richard, D. J., . . . Davies, A. M. (2016). Drug discovery approaches utilizing three-dimensional cell culture. ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies, 14(1), 19-28. doi:10.1089/adt.2015.670
  2. Kelava, I., & Lancaster, M. A. (2016). Dishing out mini-brains: Current progress and future prospects in brain organoid research. Developmental Biology, 420(2), 199-209. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.06.037
  3. Niels Bohr Institute. (2016, February 9). The universe’s primordial soup flowing at CERN. Retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2016-02-universe-primordial-soup-cern.html
  4. Pasachoff, J. M., & Filippenko, A. (2013). The cosmos: Astronomy in the new millennium (4th ed.). Berkeley, CA: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Goldberg, E. (2013). Nitrogen dioxide at different temperatures. [Digital photograph]. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nitrogen_dioxide_at_different_temperatures.jpg


The Acknowledgements section should be used to credit others who have made the research possible, such as the PI, research assistants, or grants.