American Journal of Physics®

Submission Procedures

AJP authors: Please read the following instructions carefully before submitting your manuscript.

Is AJP the right journal for your manuscript?

The mission and scope of AJP are described in the Statement of Editorial Policy. Please be sure to read and understand this document before you submit a manuscript to AJP. Additional requirements apply to the Physics Education Research Section. Manuscripts that clearly fall outside of AJP's editorial parameters will be summarily rejected without review.

Is your manuscript ready for submission?

Before submitting your manuscript, be sure to do the following:

  • Put your best effort into the writing.  Your manuscript must be well organized and must use good English.  Quality of writing is an important criterion for acceptance at AJP. If your native language is not English, you should have someone with an excellent command of written English read your manuscript and help improve the grammar and usage. Whether or not your native language is English, you must use correct grammar, choose words carefully, and respect the reader's time by being concise.  Please download and read the AIP Style Manual for general advice on writing a good scientific article. (Note that advancing technology has made some parts of the Style Manual out of date, while a few of its rules are superseded by AJP's style conventions. Still, it is an essential reference for all authors.)

  • Pay attention to AJP's audience.  AJP publishes articles that will interest a broad diversity of physicists, most of whom are college and university teachers. Your manuscript must therefore be written for this audience. Present any needed background in your Introduction, rather than assuming that your reader has specialized knowledge or will take the time to look up references. Provide enough context to tell the reader why your article is important and interesting.

  • Do a thorough literature search.  Articles in AJP must adequately recognize prior work, whether that work was published in AJP or elsewhere.  Searching AJP is especially easy using the search function at AJP Online.  Merely citing prior work is not sufficient; you must also explain how the content of your article relates to that prior work.

  • Format your manuscript correctly.  Read and follow AJP's manuscript formatting policies, which cover everything from the high-level organization of manuscripts to the use of punctuation in literature citations.  Also be sure to download and study our sample manuscript file. If your manuscript contains figures, be sure to follow our figure preparation guidelines.

  • Prepare any supplementary materials.  Consider carefully whether it is appropriate to provide any online materials to supplement your paper. Examples might include additional figures, multimedia files, lengthy data tables, computer programs, and so on. The procedure for including such materials is described on our Manuscript Format page.

  • Proofread.  Take the time to proofread your finished manuscript carefully, and ask a few colleagues to do the same.  A manuscript full of careless errors will make a poor impression at best, and will be unintelligible at worst.  Even if you don't find outright errors, you will undoubtedly find many ways to improve the choice of words and enhance clarity.

  • Prepare a single .pdf document for submission.  For initial submissions we require a single .pdf file containing all text, endnotes, figures, and tables. 
    • You may use any software you like to prepare this file, but to avoid extensive reworking later on, we strongly suggest that you use LaTeX/REVTeX or MSWord, as described in our manuscript formatting policies.
    • The ability to create a .pdf file is built into the Macintosh operating system and is also available in most LaTeX processors and in recent versions of MSWord. For advice on creating a .pdf in older software environments, see
    • If at all possible, your .pdf file should be no larger than one megabyte in size.  If it incorporates large figures, please consult our figure preparation guidelines for suggestions on reducing figure sizes.
    • Authors who wish to remain anonymous to reviewers may simply leave their names and affiliations off of the submitted .pdf manuscript. (You must still provide your name(s) to the editors via the submission form.)

Manuscripts that are poorly written, full of errors, incorrectly formatted, or obviously incomplete will be summarily rejected without review.

Do you agree to AJP's terms?

By submitting a manuscript to AJP, you (including all coauthors) agree that the manuscript represents the original work of the author(s) and does not infringe any copyright or other right of any third parties.  You also agree that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere in any form (except for Web posting as described in AAPT's guidelines), and that it is not currently under consideration for publication by any other journal, nor will it be submitted to any other journal while it is under consideration by AJP. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, you will be required to sign a form transferring copyright to AAPT.


Authors are encouraged to upload their manuscripts to their personal Web sites and to e-print servers, as described in AAPT's guidelines.

AJP will make all reasonable attempts to maintain confidentiality during the editorial and review process. However, it is impossible to make an absolute guarantee of confidentiality, and authors must agree to hold AJP, AAPT, and our software vendor harmless in the event of any unintended release of confidential information.

The initial submission process

When your manuscript is finally ready to submit, go to the

AJP Web Submission Page

and follow the instructions. Note the following:

  • For manuscripts with multiple authors, the author who submits the manuscript should be the one who will send and receive all subsequent correspondence.
  • Be sure to select the appropriate type of submission (regular article, Notes and Discussions, Apparatus Note, Letter to the Editor, PERS, etc.).
  • The submission form will ask you to recommend several reviewers, and we greatly appreciate these recommendations, but if you have no suggestions you may leave these spaces blank.
  • Although the submission page will accept other file formats, the AJP editorial office is equipped to handle only .pdf submissions at this stage of the editorial process. Your entire manuscript, with figures and endnotes, must be in a single .pdf file.
  • You may optionally upload a cover letter (.pdf or plain text) along with your manuscript, but please do not upload any other files at this time.


Submitting a revision

After your manuscript is reviewed, it will often be appropriate to revise and resubmit it. To do so, use the same link (above) as for a new submission, but choose "resubmission" in Step 2. You will then be prompted for the manuscript number, a 5-digit number that was assigned when the editors received your initial submission.  Again, please submit your manuscript as a single .pdf file.  A single cover letter, explaining your revisions and responding to the reviewers' and editor's comments, is always required at this stage.  Do not upload any additional files unless specifically asked to by the editor.

Submitting an editable package for production

If and when your manuscript is conditionally accepted, the editor will ask you to submit an editable version of your manuscript, along with separate, publication-quality figure files and, if applicable, any supplementary materials.  At this stage it is especially important that you follow all of AJP's formatting requirements and figure preparation guidelines. If you omitted author name(s) and affiliation(s) in your initial submission, be sure to restore that information in your editable manuscript.  Move all tables to the end of the manuscript (after the endnotes), and move all figure captions to the very end, after the tables.  Name your figure files in the format AuthorNameFig01.eps or AuthorNameFig02.tiff.  Gather supplementary materials into a folder titled in the form AuthorNameEPAPS.  We encourage you to also create an author's reference .pdf file with tables and figures in approximately their desired locations; name this file in the format  Package all of your files (editable manuscript, reference .pdf manuscript, figures, and folder of supplementary materials) into a single .zip archive and upload it using the same process as described above, along with a cover letter describing your latest revisions.

Final steps

After a manuscript is accepted for publication: