Research Event Guidelines

Research Guidelines



Ability to write a research paper that is well-organized and appropriately follows each individual event’s guidelines and instructions.

The required content components for the research paper are described in each individual Event Description.


  1. Your written report may not exceed FIVE PAGES - 12 pt., 1.5 spaced plus a 2-Part Appendix (see below)  

  2. Include a cover page that indicates the title of the paper, authors, school, team A or B (if applicable)


Ability to find, evaluate and correctly use credible sources.


  • All research papers must be built upon information acquired from a minimum of 3 PRIMARY SOURCES.  These sources may help the students develop their scientific knowledge of the subject and/or provide an example/model from which their engineering design or scientific procedures are based.


PRIMARY SOURCES:  Articles found in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Nature, Science, and Journal of Chemical Education.  Peer-reviewed professional journals are available at post-secondary academic libraries.  Open-access, peer-reviewed journals that are accessed online are acceptable.  Magazines such as Discover, Science News, Popular Science and Scientific American, although informatory are not peer-reviewed professional journals.  The Suggested Resources for Information Search found on the Information Search Guide, lists resources that peer-reviewed scientific journals may be accessed.


  • Internet sources may also be utilized for research, but may not be the only source of information.  Resources will be evaluated by judges in terms of their authority on content, educational value and quality (vetted, researched and informed).   


  • Students are highly encouraged to seek assistance from experts beyond their coaches.  A list of all people who provided assistance should be included with brief description about the aspect of the research with which they assisted as part of your Appendix Part 1. 


  • For more information on using primary, peer-reviewed sources and writing citations using the ACS style refer to the following videos: NJCO Part 1: Using Research Literature and NJCO Part 2: Writing Citations in ACS Style.

  • Photocopies of the first three pages of each primary source used in your paper must be submitted as part of your Appendix Part 2. (Three pages required to ensure more than an abstract is obtained).