Section Policies

Section Policies

Below is information about the different sections that JMBE publishes. Potential authors are encouraged to review the section policies for the section they are interested in. To see the full Author Guidelines and resources for each section or to submit a manuscript, you must visit the JMBE submission site: jmbesubmissions.asm.org.

Letters to the Editor

JMBE welcomes letters that directly address articles published in this or other biology education journals. Letters must include relevant data or literature references that provide evidence for the stance of the author. In addition, these letters must be written in the interest of generating informed discussion amongst the readership. Authors must follow the online submission procedures, as outlined on the website. Letters will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief for suitability and shall be published at her discretion.

Research Section

Research articles typically report original, hypothesis-driven, scholarly research that addresses teaching and learning and other facets of science education. Articles that address social science or qualitative work are also welcome. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • >  Evidence-based learning activities and courses that have been rigorously evaluated through the systematic collection and analysis of assessment data
  • >  Rigorous assessments of teaching delivery methods and/or approaches that enhance student learning in the sciences
  • >  Scholarly work that describes how science students learn
  • >  Student attitudes, motivations and other factors in STEM retention
  • >  Validation of the outcomes of a particular strategy or program
  • >  Student perceptions of value, self-efficacy, or understanding
  • >  Evidence-based studies of program effectiveness or engagement in science education
  • >  Assessment of learning activities, courses, and programs organized according to national standards and curriculum guidelines (e.g., recommended core curricula from ASM, HAPS, or APS for microbiology, anatomy, or physiology education, respectively, or concept inventories in biology, genetics, nature of science, and more)

Perspectives Section

Perspectives articles are aimed at placing into broader view a particular, current topic or problem of specific interest to science educators. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • >  Assessment methods
  • >  Student engagement
  • >  Curricular changes
  • >  Faculty development
  • >  K-20 and graduate and/or professional education
  • >  Approaches to various educational challenges
  • >  Current advances and future directions in science education

The manuscript should: (1) identify the education problem or challenge by presenting referenced data to substantiate the problem or challenge; (2) describe previous scholarly attempts to address the problem; (3) although not the impetus for the article, how does the author's study or work address the problem or challenge and help resolve the issue; and (4) offer a viewpoint as to the next steps to be taken. To keep the discussion focused, we recommend having no more than two authors for Perspectives articles, though exceptions can be made.

Curriculum Section

Curriculum articles describe innovative classroom and laboratory activities ready for adoption by instructors teaching biology.  Detailed instructions for student and directions for instructor preparation and use are important components of all curriculum articles.  To facilitate ready use of the activity all institution specific references (e.g., course numbers, facilities) should be absent.  Curriculum articles also:

  • >  List learning objectives
  • >  Use high-impact pedagogical practices that engage students in thinking beyond knowledge and comprehension (e.g., about application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation)
  • >  Describe previous use of the activity in the classroom or laboratory
  • >  Include examples of student data and/or outcomes expected from the activity
  • >  Provide suggestions for determining student learning
  • >  Provide adequate support materials (e.g., references to background information, student worksheets, answer keys, sources of materials, etc.)
  • >  Present results of assessment of student achievement of learning objectives
  • >  Suggest possible modifications and/or extensions

Tips and Tools Section

Manuscripts in this journal section describe practical, technical, and feasible advice for improving teaching and learning in the science classroom or laboratory.  Brief, novel, ready-to-use best practices for teaching scientific concepts are welcome.  Articles in this section present quick ideas and practices that have not been rigorously tested.  Assessment of the topic is welcome but NOT required. Topics for Tips and Tools may include but are not limited to:

  • >  Novel classroom, laboratory, or field activities
  • >  Independent project ideas
  • >  Service learning ideas
  • >  Class management approaches
  • >  Assessment tools
  • >  Career education
  • >  Outreach activities

Review Section

Review manuscripts provide constructive critique of material that facilitates undergraduate students' understanding about the biological world.  More than a descriptive overview, a useful review compares the text edition or digital resource to previous versions or similar alternatives, in a way that helps the potential adopter make an informed choice.

  • >  Manuscripts may include reviews of new books, textbooks, videos, digital resources, or other multimedia of use in science education.
  • >  Suggestions for items to be reviewed are accepted throughout the year and must include the title, author, publisher, and distributor information, including cost.
  • >  Reviews of journal articles (Journal Watch) and websites (Web Watch) are welcome.
  • >  Especially helpful is if the reviewer has used the text or resource in their teaching and can include details or specific examples of sections, activities, or programs they found either well-done, marginal, or of little help.
  • >  All reviews need not be glowingly positive and in some cases the Editor may request a "point" and "counterpoint" opinion from more than one reviewer.
  • >  The goal will consistently be to provide useful and trustworthy information about resources for educators who are struggling to choose among a myriad of available options.
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