Overview and Scope

The Undergraduate Journal of Experimental Microbiology and Immunology (UJEMI) publishes scientific articles authored by undergraduate students. Our suite of publications include: UJEMI, UJEMI+, UJEMI-methods, and UJEMI-PEARLS. UJEMI+ is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the publication of research articles by undergraduate students around the world. UJEMI is reserved for non-referred publication of internal UBC submissions from CURE-based projects. UJEMI+ is open for both internal and external submissions. 

Internal Submissions (UBC affiliated)

UJEMI two-stage publication process (refer to figure below). Stage 1 follows the general process of completing a CURE-based project. Data generated from the project is summarized in a draft manuscript which undergoes review by the instructor and/or teaching assistant(s) before publication in UJEMI. Student teams have the option of going through stage 2 which follows the peer review process before being published in UJEMI+.

External Submissions (non-UBC affiliated)

UJEMI+ accepts external submissions of novel, broadly relevant undergraduate research in microbiology and immunology. Manuscripts submitted from institutions outside of UBC are reviewed by the editor and, if suitable, are advanced to peer review. Externally submitted manuscripts are not required to be tied to a CURE experience, but are subject to the same stringent peer-review process as UBC-based manuscripts. We require a formal endorsement from a course instructor or researcher who mentored the student authors. See Submission Guidelines for more details. Published manuscripts include a section explicitly acknowledging this endorsement. See About UJEMI to decide if your manuscript fits within the scope of this journal. Manuscript submissions are accepted yearly until May 15th to be considered for publication in Sept of the same year. Submissions after May 15th are considered for publication in the following year. 

Peer review Process

Our objective is to facilitate a learning experience for student authors, regardless of publication outcome. Therefore, UJEMI+ provides a guided publication experience that is more educational and supportive than traditional scientific journals. We use a structured review template that encourages constructive feedback, such as asking for information or ideas that may have been overlooked and soliciting alternative interpretations where reviewers disagree with students’ conclusions. Though we do not specifically train or coach our reviewers (to ensure objectivity), we do introduce the specific aims of UJEMI+ when soliciting reviewers. Senior editors guide student authors throughout the process including meeting to discuss the purpose of peer-review before giving the reviews back to the students. In these meetings, students discuss the value of feedback and prepare to face criticism with a focus on improvement rather than defensiveness. Maintaining this approach is one of the main motivations for establishing a junior/senior editor training structure and focusing on institutionalized consistency within UJEMI.