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Guidelines for Authors: Journal of College Science Teaching

JCST coverWhy You Should Publish in JCST

Aims and Scope

The Journal of College Science Teaching provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on and experiences with undergraduate science courses, particularly those for nonscience majors. JCST also reports and discusses innovative teaching materials, methods, and evaluative criteria; disseminates contributions toward improving college science instruction; and describes work in disciplinary science courses that is broad enough in its approach to appeal to teachers in other scientific fields. All manuscripts are peer reviewed.

Writing Tips

  • Write clearly and concisely, organize your material logically, and use an active voice and conversational tone. Avoid abstract or technical language and be sure to define specialized terms.
  • JCST prefers to publish articles that stress interdisciplinary aspects of science teaching, so please keep topics general; other fine journals exist (e.g., Journal of Chemical Education and the American Journal of Physics) for more specialized articles.
  • Research and Teaching manuscripts should be supported by rigorous data (e.g., large data set if quantitative, or rich, deep descriptions if qualitative) and the methodology used maximizes the chance of identifying the full range of the phenomenon of interest.
  • Feature articles are any other topics related to postsecondary science teaching, such as theoretical, curricular, or innovative teaching practices. Feature articles may not include rigorous data (but are encouraged to include student outcomes when appropriate), but should still be supported by current research. 
  • Manuscripts must be original and unpublished. Credit any other author’s ideas that are used in the manuscript and explain in the text how your material builds upon, expands, or otherwise relates to work that has preceded yours.
  • All manuscripts should use APA style, 7th edition.

What About Copyright?

Copyright laws protect your work. NSTA will hold the copyright to your article to facilitate reprinting and republishing in the future. If you wish to have your article reprinted elsewhere, you need to secure permission from NSTA.

Manuscript Presentation

Your manuscript should:

  • not exceed 3,000 words (4,000 words for Research and Teaching column). Longer manuscripts may be returned for revision without being reviewed.
  • be in Word and double-spaced.
  • be written clearly and concisely with an introduction and conclusion.
  • stress interdisciplinary aspects of science teaching.
  • include a 200-word abstract of your article.
  • use SI (metric) units throughout the article.
  • have tables, graphs, and charts appropriately labeled.
  • acknowledge financial support for work reported at the end of the manuscript.
  • follow APA, 7th edition: References within the text should cite in parentheses the author’s name and year of publication; for three or more authors, the first author’s last name and “et al.” is used for the in-text citation. The full citation should be included alphabetically by author’s last name in a Reference list at the end of the article.

Photographs and illustrations

To facilitate the review process, you’ll need to submit a single, complete file. Consequently, any graphics that you would like to submit, such as figures, tables, photos, and illustrations, should be included at the end of the text file. To minimize the size of the file, you can embed low-resolution images in the file.

However, we will need you to submit high-resolution versions of the figures for use by the journal if your manuscript is accepted for publication. Please submit jpeg or tiff files of the figures, with at least 300 dpi resolution.

Students in laboratory settings must be shown following appropriate safety guidelines and wearing proper safety attire, including full-wrap, splash-proof goggles. Their faces should be visible, but they should not look directly at the camera. If the photo is used, a signed model release will be required of each student pictured.

How to submit your manuscript

Manuscripts can be submitted electronically through Manuscript Central. When submitting the manuscript, you will be asked to provide each author’s name, position, mailing address, e-mail address, home and work phone numbers, and fax number. To facilitate our blind review process, please do not include any of this information within the electronic article file that you submit.

If you have difficulty submitting the manuscript electronically, contact Wendy RubinManaging Editor.


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