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Calls For Submissions Research Narratives

Research Narrative Submissions Open

We are currently open for research narrative submissions at The Upper New Review.  We’re seeking out research narratives from people pursuing knowledge in any field, all over Earth.

What can you tell us about your research endeavors, using at least 3000 words?  We don’t have a maximum word count, so long as you’re concise, tell us as much as you’d like to tell us. 

Research Narrative Submissions Deadline: November 30, 2023

The closing deadline for this round of research narrative submissions is November 30.  Don’t wait!  Ready to submit?  You can submit your research narrative on our Submittable page.  (More information on formatting specifics is available there!)

Not sure what to submit?  Keep reading!

What is research?

The Oxford Languages dictionary (the one that provides your “googled” definitions) defines research as “the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.”

We can also look to good ol’ Wikipedia for a more extensive definition:

“Research is “creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge”. It involves the collection, organization and analysis of evidence to increase understanding of a topic, characterized by a particular attentiveness to controlling sources of bias and error. These activities are characterized by accounting and controlling for biases. A research project may be an expansion of past work in the field. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects or the project as a whole.”

Wikipedia entry for Research (link)

Who is writing research narrative submissions?  

Researchers. You.  You’re conducting research.  That means you’re a researcher.  

Here at the Upper New, we’ve got a pretty loose definition of what it means to be a researcher.  See above, concerning the broadness that is the definition(s) of research.

You might be focused in the sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, the…great something to be discovered.  Maybe it’s just you.  Maybe it’s a collaborative team.  Maybe you’re in the lab.  Maybe you’re in the field.

Maybe you’re doing interdisciplinary work.  Maybe you’re doing transdisciplinary work. Maybe, just maybe, you’re defying the disciplines.  Maybe you’re completely undisciplined, in a good way.

Regardless: you’ve got questions, you’ve got methods, and you’ve got findings.  Maybe they’re just preliminary.  You’re still looking.  How’d you get here, and what are you going to do about it?

Regardless: you’ve got questions, you’ve got methods, and you’ve got findings.  Maybe they’re just preliminary.  You’re still looking. 

How’d you get here, and what are you going to do about it?

What should you submit?

We’re looking for jargon-free, approachable stories about your research process and findings, and the relevance of how your research fits into the grander scheme of things.  In other words, why are you doing what you’re doing, and what’s next?

We don’t have a maximum word count, but we hope you can be concise and engaging.  We’d rather you worry about crafting a good story that is easy to absorb for someone with a high school education.  Pretend you’re teaching people how to understand your work.  

Teach Us All!

Think of your narrative in this way: when was the last time you had to explain your research endeavor to a middle school student? 

Use words and pictures (and visualizations of data?) to tell that story of your endeavor. 

Refine it, make it into a PDF file (or something similar) and submit it to us!

Ecoliteracy logo to help promote research narrative submissions

Word Count?

We think it’s a good idea to have a minimum word count, though: please make sure your narrative is at least 3000 words.  Likely it will be nearer to 5000 words.  But, as long as it is at least 3000 words, concise, and engaging, you should be off to a good start achieving what we’re looking for.

Need some additional inspiration?  Check out our Foundations and Prompts, or perhaps our take on A Sense of Place.

The Publication Process

This hybrid publication process will be, essentially, a combination of writing, images, and multimedia content.  You may or may not be able to share the data sets associated with your research, but if you can (even if it’s anonymized, etc.), that would be great.

We also like the idea of sharing analysis syntax or protocols, which would make it much easier for other folks to replicate and verify your work, should that be relevant to the way you’re doing research.

You will need the following things to complete your submission: a cover letter and appropriate files representing your work, including the narrative.

We have a publication protocol in place, with several phases happening once your work is accepted for publication in The Upper New Review.  Part of this process includes the option for an interview, which may be included in one of the podcast series we hope to begin releasing in 2024.

We’re looking forward to seeing your work!  Submit ASAP!

Research Narrative Submissions: Share this opportunity!

Please follow our social media pages on the networks you use.  We’re currently creating a presence on the following four platforms:

We would appreciate if you would share this post about research narrative submissions in your digital communities, such as:

  • Social media networks (including local/global Facebook groups)
  • Listservs and discussion forums (such as industrial trade groups and alumni groups)
  • Direct email and SMS messaging sent to people who would be interested in submitting research narratives
  • Sending the information to community organizations such as schools and libraries
  • Sending the information to faculty and administrators of relevant college and university academic divisions and departments (your own, or elsewhere)

Please tell all your colleagues about this great new opportunity.  And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the process.

Thank you!

By The Upper New Review

The Upper New Review is an environmental literary arts magazine based in the Upper New River basin, which intersects the states of North Carolina and Virginia in the United States of America in present-day North America. We are seeking out place-based creative works from all over the globe.