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Author Guidelines

Authors should follow the guidelines for content, style, and formatting in 

  • French, D.P. and Harmon, M.G. 2022. Investigating Biology: A Laboratory Resource Manual.  2022 Edition. Tophatmonocle Corp., Toronto, Ontario.
  • Pechenik, J.A. 2016. A Short Guide to Writing about Biology. 9th Edition. Pearson Longman Publishers: NY

When submitting manuscripts, authors should also include as supplemental material:

  • All Excel and Logger pro data files
  • Letters to the Editor (optional)

 The order of authorship should be alphabetical unless the authors agree on an order that reflects the relative contribution to the manuscript and explain it on the Description of Authorship form.


The following criteria will be used to assess manuscripts.  Initial Manuscripts will receive extensive comments rather than ratings.


BIOL 1114 Manuscript Rubric









Title (5%)


Uninformative title (e.g. just repeats investigation number or pre-set question)

Descriptive and engaging title

Introduction (15%)

Objectives unclear; no rationale given for the research. Little knowledge demonstrated of research field. Hypothesis(es) lacking or poorly-written and not testable. Research lacks novelty completely   

Objectives are somewhat clear and complete. Background and rationale are presented, but link to question(s) not entirely clear. Adequate demonstration of knowledge of the research field. Hypothesis(es) adequately written and testable, but link to problem and objectives not entirely clear. Research has some degree of novelty

Question and objectives are clearly stated and complete. Concise background/context provided. Rationale for question(s) directly linked to background information. Clear knowledge of the research field. Hypothesis(es) well-written, testable, and fully and logically addresses the question, reflects current theory, and indicates consideration of appropriate alternatives. Research is distinctly novel

Methods (20%)

Methods are not described, poorly described, and/or do not match hypothesis(es).

Most of the steps are described adequately, but link to hypothesis(es) unclear. There is some question about the adequacy of controls or whether variables described are confounded with others.

All steps are described fully and succinctly. Methods allow testing of hypothesis (es), a proper control or comparison group is present, and design leads to unbiased results. Variables used are not confounded (i.e. the effect of each variable is clearly separated from that of others).



Results poorly presented. Graphs/Tables are missing or uninterpretable. No relevant data collected or are inferences. No Analysis. Results lack  novelty

Sufficient data collected. Results presented and explained adequately. Graphs/Tables and captions lack some clarity or sufficient detail and may not all be referenced in text. Analysis is weak. Interpretation present when it should not be. Results are reasonably novel

Sufficient data collected. Clear and concise presentation of results. Graphs &/or Tables are appropriate, clearly labeled, descriptively captioned and referenced in the narrative. Results are described with trends indicated clearly, but not interpreted. Analysis is well conducted and appropriate. Results are distinctly novel

Discussion (25%)

Interpretation absent or inappropriate with respect to original hypothesis(es). Offers nothing novel to JIBI.

Interpretation addresses original hypothesis(es) adequately.  Weak or absent consideration of alternative potential interpretations. Implications or future research discussed minimally. Contributes something new to JIBI.

Interpretation well-reasoned and entirely consistent with original hypothesis(es) and well supported by data. Alternative potential interpretations are addressed cogently. Implications & future research discussed well. Contributes new ideas to JIBI.

References (See Policy on academic integrity) (5%)

Inadequate references;  minimal  attempt to paraphrase and cite materials properly

References are used adequately. All work is properly paraphrased and cited.

Authors provide a comprehensive list of properly-cited, current, peer-reviewed literature. All citations are included with no additional references. All work is properly paraphrased and cited.

Communication and Style


Demonstrates poor communication skills. Format/style guidelines not followed. Reviewers’ comments are completely ignored.

Demonstrates adequate communication skills. Moderate presentation quality. Format/style guidelines followed inconsistently. Few if any mistakes; organization and style are adequate. Reviewers’ comments addressed incompletely.

Demonstrates excellent communication skills. Clear, concise, and well-organized. Writing is grammatically correct, flows well, and is engaging. No spelling errors. Format/style guidelines followed to exacting standards. (Almost) all reviewers’ comments addressed well.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. By checking this box, we verify that all files related to this submission are of the group's own creation. By checking this box, we also understand that if plagiarized material is found within the contents of this submission, and not removed before the final submission, we will receive a 0.

  2. By checking this box, we understand that our mentor must be added as an author on this and all submissions.

  3. By checking this box, we understand that if anyone is absent and/or late to lab then the group will write down what the absent/late member needs to do to make up for their missed time in lab. This statement will be given to the mentor and the missing student(s) and submitted to the Authorship Form on the Biology 1114 website.

  4. By checking this box, we understand that our manuscript is a Word Document (.docx), has line numbers, and all figures and tables are presented as pictures.

  5. By checking this box, we understand that we must enter our section and group numbers into the Comments to the Editor box below. By checking this box, we also understand that no additional information aside from section and group numbers will be entered into the Comments to the Editor box.


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