Polygence blog / Research Opportunities and Ideas

Top 5 Neuroscience Journals for High School Students to Publish Their Research

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Neuroscience explores the inner workings of the brain and nervous system, revealing the complex nature behind our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. For many high schoolers, the opportunity to understand their own thoughts makes them eager to dive into the world of neuroscience. If that sounds like you and you’re interested in researching neuroscience, then you might want to consider also exploring a journal where you can publish your research. Publishing your work in a journal looks great on your resume, adds credibility to the amazing work that you’ve done, and in some cases can also allow you to have your work reviewed by leading scientists. In this article, we’ll go over the top neuroscience journals and what they offer. If you’re interested in learning more about the general idea of high school research journals and the nuances between different types of journals, check out our top 20 journals for high schoolers.

Our List of Neuroscience Journals

1. National High School Journal of Science (NHSJS)

NHSJS is a free, student-run, and peer-reviewed journal designed for high school students. According to their website, they have a high standard for submissions and also have their own Scientist Advisory Board consisting of professional researchers. The Scientist Advisory Board is actively involved in the review process and will provide valuable feedback if your research makes it to the peer review stage. Submission types include original research papers as well as short articles such as reports that describe significant developments in the field, reviews of books, films, or exhibitions that would be of interest to NHSJS readers, and papers that present issues that have policy implications. For the topic of neuroscience specifically, NHSJS has published several neuroscience research papers which you can check out here for inspiration. 

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: Throughout the year

  • Type of research: Original research papers, short articles (reports, reviews, policy papers)


2. International Youth Neuroscience Association Journal (IYNA)

IYNA Journal is run by high school and undergraduate college students and is not a peer-reviewed journal. In this submission process, you write and submit a research article about a neuroscience topic of your choosing, and the article will undergo two rounds of formatting where you will receive feedback and make edits accordingly. The article will then go through two rounds of editing where junior and senior editors will put the final touches on your article. If your article makes it to publication, the leadership team will compile your article and around 10 others to be uploaded onto the IYNA website. Although this journal is neuroscience-specific and reputable, the one downside is that the submission to publication turnaround takes 3-6 months. You can check out past IYNA journal issues to get inspiration and see what others have been writing about!

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: Throughout the year

  • Type of research: Original research articles

3. Stanford Neuroscience Journal Club

This club/mentoring program was initiated by two Stanford neuroscience professors to mentor high school students interested in neuroscience. In this program, students participate in once-a-month meetings where students and Stanford scientists read and discuss literature and newsworthy developments in the field of neuroscience. This program is a bit different from the others on our list given that it’s not an actual journal where you can publish your research, but we still think that this program is valuable given that it helps students become familiar with scientific literature. Students can see how research is written and formatted so that when they write their own research paper they have an idea of how it’s done. Further, this program gives great access to expert neuroscientists where you can ask them questions and learn from them in an informal environment which isn’t possible through a traditional journal review process.

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: Applications for 2024/2024 will open in early Spring 2024

  • Type of research: General scientific literature

4. Grey Matters

This undergraduate neuroscience journal was founded by students at the University of Washington. Each quarter, Grey Matters publishes a neuroscience journal that is edited and illustrated entirely by undergraduate students. The journal has gained a strong reputation, and it’s published 20 issues with over 200 articles. Moreover, unlike other student journals that ask students to submit articles, Grey Matters first asks writers to submit a research proposal, and upon approval, writers are paired with an undergraduate editor and an artist who can make illustrations to complement the article. We love this mentorship format as it allows you to learn from other students and collaborate when most other journals are very individualistic. There’s also the interdisciplinary nature of the journal, which combines artistic expression with scientific research, that makes this journal stand out. Although the journal is technically for undergraduates, high school students should have no problems submitting research proposals, as Grey Matters’ goal is to make neuroscience research as accessible as possible.

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: N/A

  • Type of research: Research articles in neuroscience

5. IMPULSE

An international, online neuroscience journal for undergraduate publications, IMPULSE has students worldwide reviewing submissions with the help of Faculty Advisors who are experienced in neuroscience research. For the submission process, students will receive suggestions within two months of submission before submitting the revised version to be approved by the board. The IMPULSE website includes common reasons for rejections which you can review here. The journal has a strong reputation given that it’s been around since 2003 and like Grey Matters although it’s targeted towards undergraduate students, thorough research conducted by high school students should also be considered by the board.

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: Rolling

  • Type of research: Research articles in neuroscience

Strategy for Submitting to Multiple Neuroscience Journals

Ultimately, your paper can only be published in one peer-reviewed journal. Submitting the same paper to multiple peer-reviewed journals at the same time is not allowed, so keep that in mind if you choose to submit to a peer-reviewed journal. If your work is not accepted by one journal, however, then you are free to submit that work to your next choice and so on. It helps that for the journals listed in this article most of them don’t have fixed deadlines, so if your article does not get selected at one journal you can immediately apply to another. Keep in mind however that journals will often have different formatting and citation guidelines, so don’t  just copy and paste the same submission to every journal! Take the time to carefully read through the submission guidelines and make edits accordingly - this will give you the best shot of having your paper published!

Satisfy your neuroscience curiosity with a project to fit your schedule

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own. We also offer options to explore multiple topics, or to showcase your final product!

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