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Journal of Math Circles

Information for Authors

Thank you for your interest in submitting a manuscript to the Journal of Math Circles. This open-access journal uses ScholarWorks to support the peer review process and publication of articles. All published manuscripts have unrestricted access and will remain permanently free to read and download.

JMC Article Submission Types

Manuscripts may be submitted in one of three areas:

Lesson Plans.

These papers are intended to support leaders of an outreach session or progression of sessions aligned with the Math Circle core values. Authors must identify the target audience of the session, briefly explain the underlying key mathematical ideas and provide references for further understanding of base material, outline the intended implementation of the activity, and reflect on successes and challenges of the actual implementation of the lesson. The inclusion of participant work or session video is strongly encouraged. Supplemental materials such as handouts, presentation notes, and materials lists, should be included as appendices.

Outreach Programs.

These papers are intended to support individuals or organizations in starting or sustaining outreach programs aligned with the Math Circle core values. Authors must identify the target audience of the program, explain the need for and goals of the outreach program, outline the intended implementation and management of the outreach program, and reflect on successes and challenges of the actual implementation of the program. The inclusion of participant work or session video is strongly encouraged. Supplemental materials related to the program description should be included as appendices.

Professional Development.

These papers are intended to support leaders of K-12 teacher professional development aligned with the Math Circle core values. Authors must identify the target audience of the professional development, explain how the professional development aligns with current standards and practices for mathematics teaching and learning, outline the intended implementation of the professional development, and reflect on successes and challenges of the actual implementation of the professional development. The inclusion of participant work or session video is strongly encouraged. Supplemental materials such as handouts, presentation notes, and materials lists, should be included as appendices.

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Manuscript Preparation

Submit a single, blinded PDF document for the main manuscript, as well as the original, blinded LaTeX or Word file as a supplemental document. Published manuscripts will be formatted with LaTeX.

General Formatting

Manuscripts should be single-spaced with 12-point, Times font and 1-inch margins. Text emphasis should be done with italics rather than bold font or color. Font color should be black. Exceptions may be made, but the translation to black and white should not render the material illegible or incomprehensible. When possible, pages should not have more than a quarter of the page as empty space. Do not "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph). 'Math Circle' should be capitalized.

Mathematical Formatting

Use equation editor or MathType for equations. Short mathematical expressions should be inline. Longer expressions, expressions with multiple levels (e.g. fractions), important definitions/concepts should use display math. Unusual fonts should be avoided so they are rendered correctly in the PDF document.

Figures and Tables

All figures and tables should be embedded in the text and located near the relevant text where they are cited. Figures and tables should be numbered independently and consecutively throughout the paper using Arabic numerals and APA formatting guidelines. Each figure or table should have a concise caption explaining its contents. Images should be scaled to ensure legibility and fit within the margins of the text. No font should be smaller than 6-point.

Headings

Use a decimal system of headings with no more than three levels:
1 Chapter
1.1 Section
1.1.1 Subsection

References

The reference list should be numbered and follow APA formatting guidelines. The reference list must reference all works cited, including math problems and activities. Only those works cited in the text should appear in the reference list. In-line citations should use numbers in brackets. For example, when referencing the 7th item in the Reference list, the in-line citation will be [7].

Appendices

Appendices should be included at the end of the manuscript after references. Supplemental materials such as handouts, presentation notes, and materials lists, should be included with appropriate headings in appendices. In-line references to the appendix should be included within the main text of the manuscript.

Permissions

Authors are responsible for obtaining consent and assent from participants/participant guardians to include identifiable images and artifacts. An example participant photo release form is available here but the form should be reviewed by your organization to ensure it meets the group's expectations for consent and assent.
Authors must also obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) to include figures, tables, or text passages published elsewhere. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

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Pre-Submission Checklist

  • Blinded Manuscript
    To allow for double-blind peer review, authors are responsible for removing any information that might lead a reviewer to discern their identities or affiliations.
    • Remove author names, institutions, program name, and city location of program. Replace Math Circle/Program name with “City Math Circle” or "Program," city location with “Town” or “Region,” and author names with “Author(s).”
    • Blind the abstract, manuscript title, and all files names.
    • Remove any weblinks or multimedia files (images, videos) that identify the program leaders or otherwise would make the program identifiable. You can add text describing the removed content, which will be added back to the manuscript prior to publication.
    If your submission is accepted, you will be asked to upload an un-blinded version of your paper.

  • Supplemental Files
    • Source file (Word or LaTeX).
    • Source files for all images not removed for blinding.
    • Any multimedia files linked within the manuscript and not removed for blinding.
    • Supplemental materials such as handouts, presentation notes, and materials lists, should be included as appendices.
    On the submission website, supplemental files will be submitted on the page following the submission of your main, blinded manuscript.

  • Additional information needed during online submission process.
    • Full name for all authors
    • Institution information for all authors
    • Short biographical sketch for all authors
    • Email address for the corresponding author
    • Blinded Article Title
    • 3-5 Keywords or short phrases, listed in alphabetical order
    • Blinded abstract of no more than 100 words
    • Any acknowledgments
    • If appropriate, a short description of the Math Circle/Program that includes the program name, location, website, and contact information.

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    Submission Process

  • You will be prompted to first create an account with Central Washington University when you click submit article.
  • After you have confirmed your account, you can go back to and begin the submission process.

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    Review Process

    Manuscripts are reviewed using a double-blind review process and with high expository standards. Submissions are first assessed by an editor-in-chief to determine if the manuscript is appropriate for the journal. Suitable papers are sent to at least two independent reviewers. The editors-in-chief make the final decision for all manuscript submissions.

    Reviewers will use the following review criteria:


    • Article Overview
      Briefly describe the paper. Who are the primary participants for the described activity/event/program? Describe the purpose and scope of the paper and outline the main points of discussion. What are the key takeaways and conclusions?

    • Alignment with Math Circle Core Values
      Are the mathematical tasks utilized “worthwhile” (Cai & Lester, 2010)? In other words...
      • Do the problems have important, useful mathematics embedded in them? (“Important, useful mathematics embedded” in a task means the task provides access to some of the essential questions asked by research mathematicians.)
      • Do the problems require higher-level thinking and problem solving?
      • Can the problems be approached by students in multiple ways using different solution strategies?
      • Do the problems have various solutions or allow different decisions or positions to be taken and defended?
      • Do the problems encourage student engagement and discourse?
      • Do the problems connect to other important mathematical ideas?
      • Do the problems promote the skillful use of mathematics?
    • Alignment with Math Circle Core Values: Foster Problem-Solving Habits of Mind.
      Are the (worthwhile) mathematical tasks facilitated in ways that build authentic mathematical experiences? Do participants maintain agency in driving mathematical discussions around the exploration of disciplinary mathematics? How do the facilitators guide the participants through higher-level thinking and encourage engagement and mathematical discourse?

    • Alignment with Math Circle Core Values: Community of Mathematical Thinkers and Problem Solvers.
      How well does the program or session create a connection to the broader community of mathematical practice? What role do the facilitators play in supporting these connections? How well does the program or session support the development of each participant’s mathematical identity and sense of belonging in the field of mathematics? What role do the facilitators play in supporting this development?

    • Field Based Evidence of Novel Implementation.
      Is there sufficient evidence of a novel implementation that could be reasonably adapted to another Circle? “Evidence” means student thinking in the context of lesson plans, and means participant experience in the context of professional development. In the context of an outreach program, evidence means evidence of how the development of the program meets the needs of the local community (community responsiveness).

    • Communication.
      Is the paper written and organized in a way that synthesizes evidence to provide a clear and focused message? Does the paper avoid deficit language? Are the claims made and the conclusions reached evidence-based? Are there any mathematical or grammatical errors? Are sources properly credited?

    • Quality of contribution.
      Does this paper add to the body of knowledge around Math Circle programs? What are the strengths? Are there any weaknesses that must be addressed to justify the publication of this paper?

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    Acceptance and Publication

    Final papers will be published online in a LaTeX formatted PDF.

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