General Guidelines

  • JSO is a peer-reviewed, open access journal. This format allows for rapid publication and open access to researchers across the world.
  • The initial submission requires the manuscript, cover letter, figures and tables, and supporting information. Authors may submit the manuscript in either Word or .rtf format. More detailed instructions are provided below.
  • All manuscripts must adhere to APA style, except where indicated.
  • Manuscripts submitted to JSO must contain original material. The manuscript must not be published or submitted to another journal while under review by JSO.

 Manuscript Organization

  • Manuscripts should be submitted in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. Pages should be numbered in the upper right corner, with the title page as page 1. All text should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
  • Cover letter: The cover letter should include the statement that the manuscript has not been and will not be submitted to another journal while under review by JSO. The author should also indicate a statement as to why this manuscript is appropriate for the JSO, and the type of article being submitted (i.e. research, programmatic, case study). Authors are encouraged to suggest potential reviewers, and should indicate individuals in the field who should not be considered as reviewers if there is a potential conflict of interest.
  •  Title page: The title page should contain authors names and affiliations, a descriptive title, corresponding author information, and a running title (no more than 50 characters with spaces), and key words.
  • Abstract: Page 2 will be the abstract, summarizing major points in the manuscript. The abstract should be 200 words or less.
  • Manuscript text: The text of the paper will begin on page 3, and will follow APA guidelines for formatting headings and subheadings. See for example:

The text for most submissions should include an introduction (page 3), methods, results, discussion, and references. Other formats may be more appropriate for some manuscripts, such as program descriptions and case studies.

  • Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements should be included on a separate page just before references and after the manuscript text, and should include the funding source and any other sources of support for the study.


  • In-text references should be in the following format: if two authors, list last names of both authors, followed by the date (Author1 and Author 2, date). For more than two authors, the format should be (Author1, et al., date). If there is more than one reference for a specific section, put all within the same parentheses, separated by a semicolon.
  • References Cited: This section should follow immediately after the end of the text. Citations will follow modified APA guidelines, and be listed in alphabetical order. Examples for citation sources are shown below:

Journal articles:

Cormas, P.C. and Barufaldi, J.P. (2011). The effective research-based characteristics of professional development of the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 program. Journal of Science Teacher Education22, 255-272.

Ufnar, J.A., Kuner, S., and Shepherd, V.L. (2012). Moving beyond GK-12. CBE Life Sciences Education11, 239-247.


Singer, S. R., Nielsen, N. R., and Schweingruber, H. A. (2012). Discipline based education research. Washington, DC: The National Academies.

Chapter in an edited volume:

Gordon, S. and Lavallee, D. (2001). Career transitions in competitive sport. In T. Morris & J. Summers (Eds.), Sport psychology: Theory, applications and issues (2nd ed., pp. 584-610). Brisbane, Australia: Wiley.


Allison, N. (1981). Bacterial degradation of halogenated aliphatic acids (Doctoral dissertation). Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK.

Conference paper:

United States Census Bureau. (2014). American housing survey: 2013 detailed tables. Retrieved from

Figures and Tables:

  • Figures should not be included in the manuscript text, but included either as separate files (figures) or at the end of the document (tables) after the References Cited section.
  • Figures should be uploaded as individual files in .jpg or .tif format.
  • Captions for figures should be listed at the end of the document after the References Cited section.
  • Tables should be included at the end of the document after the Figure captions.



It is recommended that you print the submission instructions on this page for quick reference during the submission process:

Step 1: Starting the Submission

  • Copywrite Notice - Check this box to continue. 
  • Journal Section Select the appropriate article type you are submitting from the drop down menu (Research Studies, Program Descriptions, Case Studies, or Commentaries)
  • Submission Checklist Check all of these boxes before moving on.
  • Comments for the Editor If you have any comments that will assist the editors in reviewing your manuscript, please enter them here. This field is optional.

Click “Save & Continue”


Step 2: Uploading the Submission

  • Article Component - Choose "Article Text" 
  • Click on “Choose File” and then “Upload”
  • Your file name should be the lead authors last name in all CAPS, followed by an abbreviated title. Example:  SHEPHERD _STEM Literacy in K-12
  • Upload your manuscript, with the title page, manuscript text, acknowledgements, and figure captions all in one document. The cover letter and figures will be uploaded as separate files in the supplementary section. Figures can be uploaded as .jpg or .tif. Tables can be created as part of the manuscript, or as separate files. If included in the manuscript, they should follow the figure captions.

Click “Continue”

           Review DetailsClick "Continue"

          Confirm - Click "Continue" or "Add Another File" if you have images or figures to upload. 

                      If you are adding additional files such as figures or images: Choose "Other" for Article Component. Upload and click "Continue". The figure file names should be LASTNAME_STEMLiteracy_FIG1, and the figure name should also be included in the "Description" under "Review Details"

Continue to upload additional files until all figures and images have been uploaded. Then click "Continue".


Step 3: Entering the Submission’s Metadata

  • ­Title and Abstract - Enter the full title of your manuscript, then copy and paste the manuscript abstract into the text box.
  • Add any other contributers/authors to the list. 

“Click Save and Continue”


Step 4: Confirmation

       Click “Finish submission”