American Journal of Physics®


The American Journal of Physics is discontinuing its Physical Education Research Section after processing all manuscripts now in the system, manuscripts submitted before February 2018.

This was announced in the editorial by PER Section editor Michael Wittmann and Editor Richard Price in the January 2018 issue of AJP. In that editorial it was pointed out that AJP will continute to accept papers on physics teaching.

That editorial was not completely clear about what would be acceptable as a regular AJP paper, and what would have been acceptable as a PER Section paper, but not as a regular paper. It is, of course, impossible to be completely clear, or to give strict rules for what is acceptable as a regular paper, but the following guidelines should help:

* If the paper is more about methodology and statistics than about the   question being asked, then it is probably inappropriate as a regular   article.  In many, perhaps most papers on teaching there must be a   description of the methodology so this, of course is acceptable. If   a major part of the paper is methodology, however, it is probably   inappropriate as a regular article. For a regular paper, the details   of methodolgy can be included as supplementary material, so that   interested readers have access to all details.

* Does the paper use terms that may not (yet?) be familiar to the   typical AJP reader though the terms are common in PER circles (e.g.,   scaffolding, metacognitive)? If so, the terms can be defined in the   article. If the article becomes heavy with such special terms, it   may be a sign that the article is not suited as an AJP regular   paper.

* PER includes studies of theoretical issues that are not strongly   linked to near-term applicability to teaching. Judgment must be used   here. If the issue is sufficiently interesting, it might be   interesting to the general AJP readership. If it is primarily   interesting only to those in the PER community, then it is probably   not appropriate as an AJP paper.