Menu Close

Submit to SPARK

About the SPARK Digital Platform

SPARK is an open access, multimodal, digital platform. The COSP Writing Initiative created SPARK with the following values in mind: community building, innovation, creativity, public scholarship, and social justice. We believe that COSP scholars can build a stronger network and community by sharing their research and crafting engaging stories about why their research matters. 

Language accessibility is essential to making research meaningful for communities both inside and outside academic institutions. Language can empower and disempower, create inclusive or exclusive environments. At SPARK, we believe using accessible language to communicate graduate research stories provides better opportunities to foster dialogue, learning, and demonstrate impact.

Who We Write For

SPARK is first and foremost a public platform for COSP Scholars and alumni to share their research with one another; however, we also hope COSP Scholars will use the platform to share their work professionally with researchers at other institutions, and individuals/communities that may be impacted by their research. 

What We Look For

  • Stories that take risks by inspiring new ways to communicate research in higher education. We welcome stories that are bold, non-traditional, and imaginatively engage with research areas. We hope to provide a home for rigorous creative scholarship (e.g., graphic novels, poetry essays, artwork).  
  • Compelling research stories from ALL disciplines and fields that place graduate research in the context of broader issues of why their research matters and how their research transforms people, ideas, disciplines, communities, and institutions.   
  • Research stories that draw from diverse disciplinary frameworks, methods, and ideas, prompting interdisciplinary dialogue and insights.  

Submission Guidelines & Policies

Who Can Submit

SPARK accepts research stories from COSP Scholars and COSP Alumni.

What to Submit

SPARK accepts research stories in written text format, digital podcast submissions, and visual images. We highly encourage visuals to accompany written texts and podcast submissions.  

Types of Submissions

  • Research stories (text) 750-1,500 words
  • Original creative scholarship (text) 750-1,500 words 
  • Podcast stories 10-30 minutes
  • Original visuals (i.e. images, photography, artwork, models) 
  • Have a cool idea? Let’s talk!

Format for Submissions

  • All submissions should follow the citation style in your discipline.
  • All texts must be submitted in Microsoft Word, and use doc.docx. files.
  • All podcasts must be submitted using mp3. 
  • All original visual materials must be appropriately captioned and submitted using jpg or png. 

Submission & Editorial Review Process

SPARK is an annual publication. We plan to have the second issue available on our platform in late Spring Semester, 2022. The site link will be shared widely on COSP social media, COSP events, and COSP Writing Initiative materials. 

All submissions for consideration must be completed using the SPARK Submission Form. Our submission window is from September 2021-December 2021. Once a work is submitted, the author will receive a confirmation email.  

 Writing Consultation Approach

The SPARK Editorial Board brings a writing consultancy approach to our editing process. All authors whose submissions are accepted for publication are expected to work closely with a SPARK Editorial Board member(s) to develop their piece. We view this process as collaborative. Contributors are expected to have a minimum of two 1-hour writing consultations with their editors. This process takes between 4-6 weeks.  

Once notified of acceptance, a SPARK Editorial Board member will reach out via email to schedule a writing consultation with the author(s) of submission. The purpose of the initial writing consultation is for editors to learn more about the contributor(s)’ vision of their piece, and to listen to the concerns and questions of the contributor(s). At that time, the editor may also ask clarifying questions, and address the revision process.  After the initial writing consultation, editors will provide detailed written feedback to the contributor(s) and set up a second writing consultation. The purpose of the second consultation is for the editor and contributor to discuss feedback. This may include editing feedback related to style, organization, presentation, flow, and clarity of ideas. Contributors will have 3-4 weeks to submit revisions and may choose to request additional consultations as necessary.  

Final Editing

All writing consultations and revisions must be completed by March 2022. At that time, all submissions will undergo a final editing process by the SPARK Editorial Board. Grammar, punctuation, and syntax errors will be addressed and corrected. Authors will be notified and consulted for any significant edits. 

Other Considerations

Once a work is published on the SPARK platform, if corrections and errors come to the SPARK Editorial Board Collective’s attention, we will contact the author to amend the errors. A correction statement will be included on the site, describing the correction/error.  

Allegations of plagiarism and false fabrication will be taken seriously and investigated by the SPARK Editorial Board. If plagiarism is detected, the work may be removed from the site and a retraction statement issued on the site.  

All work published on the SPARK platform will have a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. With this license, the author(s) retains the copyrights to their work. The CC-BY-NC-ND licence grants permissions for all users to quote, download, copy, and distribute the work as long as appropriate credit is attributed to the author(s), the work is used for non-commercial purposes, and the work is not modified, altered or transformed.