Philosophy of PURE Insights

For more information, please see PURE Insights Aims and Scope page.

Who Can Submit?

In recognition of the variety of scholarly explorations made by WOU students, submissions to PURE Insights of all kinds such as technical papers, research articles, expository articles, poems, short stories, photographs, videos, and other creative works from all academic disciplines are welcome. Each submission must be the original work of at least one undergraduate student with at least one WOU faculty mentor. The primary author or creator of the work must be a current or recently graduated undergraduate student. Materials may be submitted within one year of graduation, though the majority of the work on the submission should be conducted while the student author(s) are working toward an undergraduate degree at Western Oregon University.

Anyone who meets the above criteria may submit original work to be considered for publication provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the work.

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General Submission Rules

Each submission must be acknowledged and approved by the faculty sponsor(s). The faculty sponsor may be listed as a co-author if warranted by his/her contributions. Submitted work cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in a journal or book, though simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please note on submission cover sheet if your manuscript is being submitted to a professional journal or is currently under review by a professional journal as well as the name of the journal. Authors are to notify the managing editor and their faculty sponsor(s) within 48 hours upon the manuscript's acceptance elsewhere. Dual submission to a professional journal is allowed as long as the article is pulled from PURE Insights prior to the PURE Insights publication. Once an article is published in a PURE Insights volume, it is not eligible for removal.

Submissions that demonstrate original thought or a new way of looking at an interesting problem or question are sought. Submissions based on original student research, original student art or creative writing pieces, or performances of original student works are preferred. All submissions should include a bibliography of references for all sources consulted. Authors submitting creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, critical essays, or artwork are encouraged to also consider the Northwest Passage, a WOU publication for creative works, as an alternate publication option.

Whenever possible, submissions included in the Undergraduate Research Journal should be accessible to a general audience. Try to limit the use of extremely specialized terminology and avoid references to pre-existing theories and literature in the field without adequate explanation.[a] For creative arts pieces or submissions that are not in English, please provide an abstract or brief description written in English.

Submissions that use human participants should include the date of approval and number assigned by WOU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) on Human Participants. Please see the IRB website for additional information about this process.

If you have concerns about the submission terms for PURE Insights, please contact the editors.

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Formatting Requirements

Please see specific section submission guidelines for detailed instructions.

Ideally, articles and short stories should be between 1500 and 2500 words (5-10 pages), but longer or shorter submissions can be considered at the discretion of individual section editors.  Research articles should be submitted with an abstract (approximately 150-200 words) that engages the reader’s attention and clearly summarizes the author’s research and conclusions.

In general, manuscripts must be typed, in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and be accompanied by a cover sheet and abstract. Other than on the cover sheet, the papers should NOT include information that can identify the authors (e.g., name, class, professor, major).

Citation style may be indicated by section submission guidelines. If no style is indicated or no guidelines exist for the section you are submitting to, please use a consistent style throughout the submission and state which style you are using on the submissions cover sheet.

Polished writing, including correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling, makes a positive impression on the reader and is important to the finished article.  

Video submissions typically should not exceed 15 minutes in length, though longer creative works may be considered. Preferred formats are QuickTime .MOV, Windows .AVI, .MPG files, or MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format with MP3 audio. Resolution is recommended at 640x480 for better viewing across most platforms. Online submissions typically should not exceed 100MB in size. Larger files will require special arrangements with the managing editor

It is understood that the current state of technology of Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) is such that there are no, and can be no, guarantees that documents in PDF will work perfectly with all possible hardware and software configurations that readers may have.

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Rights for Authors and Digital Commons@WOU

As further described in our submission agreement (the Submission Agreement), in consideration for publication of the article, the authors assign to Digital Commons@WOU all copyright in the article, subject to the expansive personal--use exceptions described below.

Attribution and Usage Policies

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted by a personal-use exemption or by written agreement of Digital Commons@WOU, requires credit to Digital Commons@WOU as copyright holder (e.g., Digital Commons@WOU © 2023).

Personal-use Exceptions

The following uses are always permitted to the author(s) and do not require further permission from Digital Commons@WOU provided the author does not alter the format or content of the submissions, including the copyright notification:

  • Storage and back-up of the article on the author's computer(s) and digital media (e.g., diskettes, back-up servers, Zip disks, etc.), provided that the article stored on these computers and media is not readily accessible by persons other than the author(s); and
  • Posting of the article on the author(s) personal website, provided that the website is non-commercial;

People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the editors.

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General Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the Digital Commons@WOU website and/or software agree not to misuse the Digital Commons@WOU service or software in any way.

The failure of Digital Commons@WOU to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between Digital Commons@WOU and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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Guidelines for Reviewers and Editors

Reviewing for PURE Insights - Last updated April 23, 2018