The Oculus is the University of Virginia’s multidisciplinary journal of undergraduate research and the Commonwealth’s premier undergraduate research publication.
It is a journal that is compiled, edited, and published by undergraduate students on an annual basis. Articles in The Oculus cover a limitless array of topics, from American History to Electronic Music to Biochemistry. Any undergraduate who has completed a significant research project may submit their work for a chance to be published. Our past publications can be found here.
The submission deadline for this year’s journal has passed, and we will begin accepting articles for our 2021 journal in Fall 2020. Please read the Submission Guidelines below for further information.
Submission Guidelines for The Oculus
Papers of all fields are eligible for publication, provided the research was conducted and the paper written while the contributor was an undergraduate student at UVa. Papers must be in English.
Alumni may submit work within one year of graduation.
Copyright and Double Publication
Submissions must not have been previously published elsewhere; however, contributors retain all copyrights to published work and may publish their work elsewhere after publication in The Oculus.
For submissions that include images or other media from external sources, it is the author’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions.
Honor Code and Citations
The Oculus is committed to upholding the UVa honor code and expects all submissions to cite sources when appropriate. Contributors are asked to use citation standards common to their field.
Past articles have typically ranged between 7 and 35 pages, and articles longer than 35 pages are highly unlikely to be published at full length.
If your work exceeds 35 pages in length, we recommend condensing any background material or literature review in your writing, as your original research is most important to us.
You must include a 250-300 word abstract at the beginning of your paper.
Submissions must be made in MS Word (.doc or .docx) format. Please remove all identifiers (names, classes, acknowledgments) from the document prior to submission.
Please name the file “Paper title.docx”. All supporting media (images, charts, tables, figures) must be supplied in either .png or .tif file format. Please name the files “(Paper title)_1.png,” “(Paper title)_2.tif,” etc., in the order in which they appear in the paper.
Please send your submission as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should read “(your name) Oculus Submission.” In the text of the e-mail please provide:
• Your name, year, and major
• The title of your paper and what class (if applicable) the paper was written for
• When and where the research was conducted (if applicable)
• The name of your faculty advisor(s) and coauthor(s) (if applicable)
• How you heard about The Oculus
If the paper has coauthors, they must email email@example.com a statement consenting to the publication of the work in The Oculus.
If the research was conducted in a lab, your faculty advisor(s) must e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org a statement consenting to the publication of the work in The Oculus. They must also confirm that the research has not been previously published elsewhere.
Our editors evaluate both the quality of your research and the quality of your writing. The paper must contain original research and must make a reasonable contribution to the body of scholarly work in your field. In addition, the paper must be free of grammatical errors and written in a lucid, professional style.
The submissions are carefully selected by undergraduate editors who review the papers over the course of 8-10 weeks. Each submission is read and discussed by multiple editors from different fields to decide if the paper deserves another read. After several rounds of eliminations, the final selections are made and authors are notified.
The target audience for papers published in The Oculus is undergraduates, professors and faculty members at this university. The published works are expected to be generally understood by educated students both in and out of your paper’s field.
Notification of Selection for Publication
Typically, The Oculus is open for submissions during the first 3 weeks of the semester. The selection process takes several weeks and authors are notified around 10 weeks after submission. If submitted during the Fall semester, authors will be offered feedback on their papers if they are being considered for publication. Both papers submitted in the Fall and Spring semesters are considered for the annual Spring publication.