As you determine what final product you will have your student researchers complete, you may want to have them write their paper in a format to be submitted to a journal accepts papers from high school students. If you know from the beginning this is one of your goals, I would teach the documentation style of the specific to which students will be submitting. Having peer-edited (by scientists, not high school peers) journals is a wonderful way to provide your students with an authentic audience. As I learn about these, I will post them here on this page. As of now, I know of two. The Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI), and Journal of Experimental Secondary Science (JESS). Below I've copied and pasted the website descriptions below, with my comments following.
The Journal of Emerging Investigators
"The Journal of Emerging Investigators is an open-access journal that publishes original research written by middle and high school students in biological and physical science. JEI provides students, under the guidance of a teacher or advisor, the opportunity to submit and gain feedback on original research and to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Because grade-school students often lack access to formal research institutions, we expect that the work submitted by students may come from classroom-based projects, science fair projects, or other forms of mentor-supervised research.
"It is our goal to engage students in inquiry based science with the intent to publish their high-quality work in a prestigious national journal. We promote the opportunity for students to develop their own research and scientific questions, submit their work and receive critical feedback from Harvard trained scientists. In summary, it is the intention of this publication to promote science education in its truest form: by developing questions and thinking about and testing hypotheses."
JEI is a student-run organization from Harvard. I am especially impressed with this journal. I have been in contact with Sarah Fankhauser the President of the JEI journal and am very excited about what they are doing. They are working hard to get the word out about their journal, as their first issue was in March 2012.
Sarah sent me the following graphic to help students understand the process of publishing in a journal. Even if your students don't submit, reviewing this with them will help them see the extensive process researcher go through to get their studies visible to a large scientific audience. It also shows the importance of peer-review.
Journal of Experimental Secondary Science
"JESS is a professionally reviewed academic journal, which exclusively publishes original research articles written by high school students. Submissions are reviewed by college professors and research scientists, who are chosen based on their expertise in the particular area of science that each article addresses. We are recognized by the Library of Congress, the NSTA, and all articles are indexed on multiple journal databases designed for research scientists. Our mission, through our rigorous review process, is to teach students to write articles in the academically accepted format, to promote student research, improve science literacy, and to display the most exceptional works that are products of students, their teachers, and the schools they attend. A publication in JESS shows a student’s true scientific aptitude and is, of course, an outstanding addition to a student’s college application."
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