I am in my last year as an undergraduate student at a top Canadian university (not sure if it matters). This is my second time publishing in the school’s journal. The requirements are 1) it meets the theme and 2) we received at least an A− in the paper. I am very excited to have my paper published as it is an underrepresented field. My professor also loved the topic.

As much as I would love to attend grad school, I cannot continue next year due to financial constraints and personal reasons. As such, I was wondering if undergrads can still publish a paper in an official journal (outside the university) if the topic is interesting? It’s a history field, more specially, human migration.

  • 3
    Would you please explain what you mean by "we received at least an A- in the paper"? Is the paper part of the class assignment?
    – Nobody
    Mar 31, 2023 at 4:10

3 Answers 3


Only rarely do journals ask about the qualifications of authors although they sometimes use university affiliation (as indicated by an institutional email address) as a kind of proxy for qualifications.

If you can persuade the referees and editor that your work merits publication, and fits with the style and goals of the journal, you will see your work in print. That said, depending on your ability to write clearly and to negotiate your way through the often obscure author-guidelines, you might find it useful to enlist the help of a more experienced person.


There is no rule that you cannot publish a paper as undergrad, however you might need quite a lot of guidance by a supervisor. The procedures from submission to the actual publication of an article might be quite complicated and cumbersome.

It is likely that the article doesn't get accepted in the current form so there might still be a significant amount of work until publication.


[short answer] undergrad, like everyone else can publish a paper.

I would rather put your 'question' differently: if undergrads can't publish a paper in an official journal.

[assumption] by journal, you alluding to academic journals.

I am very excited to have my paper published as it is an underrepresented field. My professor also loved the topic.

In the instance that your professor loves the topic, then, write up a structured abstract and engage the professor. (S)he would most likely come on board as 'co-author'.
Even if your professor doesn't come on board, writing a structured abstract will assist you in 'gathering your thoughts' and 'self-checking' your research and write-up your manuscript.
NB: structured abstract is different from traditional abstract. Not all journals request/required structured abstracts.

[structured abstract] In structured abstract, the 'different' sections are 'separated' under sub-headings. This could be: background, purpose, approach/methodology, findings, originality/conclusion

I emphasise that 'qualification' is not a requirement for publishing. Feel free to work on your 'research topic', write and submit to a journal for consideration.

PS: Some journals (actually few) actually check authors' affiliation and desk reject a paper! Don't that this too serious? Most will focus on the quality of the manuscript and not the authors.

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