Preparing an Inquiry article for publication is a collaboration between authors, editors, and faculty mentors. The authors of Inquiry articles often begin with a report or essay describing their research experiences and results in a specific academic discipline, such as microbiology or studio art. Their audience is mentors, teachers, classmates, and colleagues, all of whom are familiar with the terms and concepts of the discipline. The published Inquiry, article, however, must speak to a much wider audience: to the educated general public and academic audiences worldwide.
Inquiry editors are members of that wider audience and can tell an author when a concept, process, or term is or is not clear. Often, they will propose revised sentences, a different subject organization, reordering of paragraphs—all to help the author effectively develop and convey his/her subject. They also challenge the author to make his/her research interesting and relevant. The many drafts and revisions involved afford a learning experience for everyone.
Before authors are accepted, they respond to submission questions and discuss their responses with a senior staff editor. Final acceptance is based on subsequent submission of a complete first draft. (See SUBMISSIONS.)
Research briefs are published in both the fall and spring issues of Inquiry. Typically, these briefs require two to three rounds of revision and mentor approval before publication.
Research articles and commentaries are published in the spring issue of Inquiry. For these longer pieces of writing, more extensive writing and revising are required. Author/staff editor teams work together beginning in late fall semester and continuing through March of spring semester. During this time, student editors and mentors also review drafts and verify the research methods and results described. Authors can expect to perform four to five rounds of revision on articles and commentaries. Staff editors offer guidance and try to ensure that both authors and student editors are learning how to better communicate and express themselves.
Before any piece of writing is published, authors and mentors must sign a Publication Agreement. (See below.)
September through November: Staff editors gather submissions. A student editorial board is assembled and meets. Student editors interview each other for short biographies.
October–December: Submissions are selected for the fall and spring issues, and authors begin (or complete) the revision process.
Late November: Fall issue of Inquiry is published.
December–February: Author/editor teams continue the revision process through several drafts with the goal of achieving a final draft by March 1. Student editors and mentors provide feedback. Selection and captioning of photos also take place during this time. Editors interview authors and mentors and draft short biographies.
March: An outside proofreader reviews final drafts. Staff editors design the website. Authors and mentors approve the final version of their articles and sign a publication agreement.
Early April: A test site goes up for all involved in the issue to review. A week later, the spring issue of Inquiry is published.
Although editors play a large role in the development of an article, authors and their mentors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the final content. The authors and their mentors must sign a PUBLICATION AGREEMENT before the issue goes online. An author signature verifies that the work submitted is the author’s own, and that the author has read and agrees with the points about responsibility for publication in professional journals, the uses of published work for UNH publicity purposes, and the right of Inquiry staff to edit all submissions. For some commentaries, the signature of the faculty mentor or principal teacher may not be required.