Submission Policies


Philosophy of Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas

This journal publishes original undergraduate research that investigates ideas concerning American democracy understood in the broad contexts of political philosophy, history, literature, economics, sociology, culture studies, and other disciplines. For more information, please see the Aims & Scope page of Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas.

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Who Can Submit?

Any current undergraduate can submit an original article to be considered for publication in Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas provided that he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. If you are no longer an undergraduate, you can submit a piece of work that was completed during your undergraduate career, as long as the submission comes within one year of your graduation date. The journal will work with current or recent graduates through the review process, even if the author is no longer an undergraduate student, so long as the work under review was completed during the author's undergraduate career. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights of their works. The journal does not require authors to pay a fee to submit their work.

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General Submission Rules

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas. If you have concerns about the submission terms for Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas, please contact the editors.

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Submission Formatting

Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas encourages short papers of 1,500- to 2,500-words that engage in communicating the questions, theories, and analysis of the work to the general public. All papers should have an abstract that does not exceed 150 words. All papers must have a references page. The abstract and citations on the references page do not count toward the word count of the article.

Other formatting includes:

  • The submission should not include a title page. The submission must not include any biographic information (e.g., name, email address, institution, so forth).
  • Font should be 12 point for text, including footnotes and references.
  • Everything should be double-spaced (including text, footnotes, and references
  • Page numbers are required on all pages.
  • Please use footnotes and refrain from using endnotes.
  • In-text citations are to be in the Author-Date system in the following format (Author Year, Pages). Note there is no comma between the author and the year. Separate mass citations with a semicolon.
  • Please include complete first and family names in the reference list.
  • We expect the use of the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style for final acceptance only; not at the point of submission).
  • Any tables or figures should be placed in the manuscript where they are to appear or have placeholders for the exact location (e.g., [Table 1 Here]).
Although bepress can provide limited technical support, it is ultimately the responsibility of the author to produce an electronic version of the article as a high-quality PDF (Adobe's Portable Document Format) file, or a Microsoft Word, WordPerfect or RTF file that can be converted to a PDF file.

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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Peer Review Process

  1. A manuscript is submitted to the journal. It is desk-reviewed by one of the editors. The editor assesses if the manuscript meets the journal's submission guidelines, aims and scopes, and meets the standards of the journal. If the editor determines the manuscript is unlikely to survive the peer review process due to any of these reasons, the manuscript may be desk rejected. If the manuscript is desk-rejected, the editor may provide the authors with guidance and feedback on how to produce a new submission to Compass that meets the standards of the journal.
  2. If the manuscript passes the desk review stage, it enters the double-blind review process. The names and identities of the reviewers and authors remain anonymous during this process. The editor invites a qualified reviewer to provide constructive feedback and mentorship for the manuscript.
  3. Since one of the aims of Compass is to mentor undergraduates as they navigate the peer review process for what is likely their first time, the manuscript is only reviewed by one reviewer. This ensures that the author only responds to a single set of constructive feedback. Multiple reviewers can produce contradictory feedback that can overwhelm even an established scholar. Thus, the procedures at Compass balances the double-blind review process with the mentoring and development of young scholars.
  4. The reviewer produces constructive feedback and comments that are sent to the editor. The reviewer can suggest that the manuscript be rejected if the reviewer finds factual errors, incorrect analyses, or other fundamental errors that the manuscript is unable to resolve. Outside of these major issues, the reviewer produces constructive feedback that mentors the author on how to improve the manuscript. The reviewer can suggest that the manuscript is acceptable for publication, acceptable for publication with minor revisions, or acceptable for publication with major revisions.
  5. The editor returns the reviewer feedback to the author. The author uses detailed feedback and mentorship from the reviewer to make the necessary changes to improve the manuscript. The editor may assist the author in this stage of the revision process if the author requires help to engage with the constructive criticism of the reviewer. The editor may also communicate with the reviewer to bring additional feedback to the author of the manuscript while preserving the double-blind review.
  6. Upon receiving the revised manuscript, the editor reevaluates the manuscript to determine if the author has addressed the reviewer's concerns and met the journal's academic quality standard. If necessary, the editor may send the revised manuscript back to the reviewer for the reviewer to determine if the manuscript successfully engages with the initial feedback. At this stage, the editor can determine if the manuscript is accepted for publication, conditionally accepted with minor revisions, requires a second round of revisions, or is rejected. The final decision for publication is made by the editors
  7. If the editor determines the manuscript is rejected the review process is over. If the editor determines the manuscript needs a second round of revisions, the manuscript returns to the author with a clear statement of necessary revisions from the editor. The editors, on their own, will determine if the manuscript is acceptable for publication after this second round of revisions. If the manuscript is conditionally accepted with minor revisions, the editors will accept the manuscript if it addresses/resolves all the minor revisions that are detailed by the editor.
  8. Once a manuscript is accepted for publication, it will undergo the final proofreading and copyediting process. The proof pages of the manuscript will be sent to the author for final review and confirmation of publication of the manuscript.

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Rights for Authors and JSU Digital Commons

As further described in our submission agreement (the Submission Agreement), in consideration for publication of the article, the authors assign to JSU Digital Commons 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 JSU Digital Commons, requires credit to JSU Digital Commons as copyright holder (e.g., JSU Digital Commons © 2023).

Personal-use Exceptions

The following uses are always permitted to the author(s) and do not require further permission from JSU Digital Commons provided the author does not alter the format or content of the articles, 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);
  • Posting of the article on the author(s) personal website, provided that the website is non-commercial;
  • Posting of the article on the internet as part of a non-commercial open access institutional repository or other non-commercial open access publication site affiliated with the author(s)'s place of employment (e.g., a Phrenology professor at the University of Southern North Dakota can have her article appear in the University of Southern North Dakota's Department of Phrenology online publication series); and
  • Posting of the article on a non-commercial course website for a course being taught by the author at the university or college employing the author.

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

General Terms and Conditions of Use

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

The failure of JSU Digital Commons 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 JSU Digital Commons and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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