2010 APL Information for Contributors ArchiveWhere to Submit Your Manuscript | Contact Editorial Office | Statement of Ethics and Responsibilities of Authors
Open Access | Accepted Manuscripts | How to Prepare Your Manuscript | Multimedia | Supplemental Material | Free Color Online
How to Prepare Your Illustrations | Estimates of Finished Length | Manuscript Preparation Checklist
Where to Submit Your Manuscript
Author instructions are available through a link after you successfully log into Peer X-Press. After registering and submitting information and files, you may use Peer X-Press to check on the status of your manuscript throughout the peer review process.
Manuscript materials should be submitted to the journal only in the following manner. Alternatives cannot be routinely accommodated. At least a cover-letter file must be uploaded; no more than one manuscript or article-text file should be uploaded. Via Peer X-Press, upload separate, individual files for the cover letter, article text (including title, byline, abstract, main text, appendices, references, tables, and list of figure captions), and each figure.
A cover letter should specify authors, title, Journal, the corresponding author's e-mail address, and any special requests. Unless otherwise stated, submission of a manuscript will be understood to mean that the paper has been neither copyrighted, classified, published, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere.
A duly signed transfer of copyright agreement form is required for publication in this journal. No claim is made to original U.S. Government works. Upload a signed AIP Transfer of Copyright Agreement Form when submitting your original or revised manuscript to the journal's online submission site (http://apl.peerx-press.org). See Editorial Office contact information below.
We welcome suggestions of possible reviewers. To help protect the reviewer's anonymity, we ask for at least four names, with full information on postal and e-mail addresses, telephone number, and fax number. The referee selected by the Editor may, of course, not necessarily be from the list.
The Editor strongly prefers to correspond directly with the author, rather than through the reports division or through executives of the author's laboratory. Manuscripts sent to authors for revision should be returned to the Editor within two months. A manuscript returned later than this will generally be regarded as newly submitted and will receive a new receipt date.
To support the cost of wide dissemination of research results through publication of journal pages and production of a database of articles, the author's institution is requested to pay a page charge and an article charge. For additional information, follow this link to Publication Charges.
Contact the Editorial Office for Applied Physics Letters at:
Nghi Q. Lam, Editor
Applied Physics Letters
Argonne National Laboratory
Building 203, Room R-127
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439-4843
This journal is published as part of the charter of its publisher, the American Institute of Physics (AIP), to advance and diffuse knowledge of the science of physics and its applications to human welfare. To that end, it is essential that all who participate in producing the journal conduct themselves as authors, reviewers, editors, and publishers in accord with the highest level of professional ethics and standards.
A detailed statement of what this journal expects is available here.
By submitting a manuscript to this journal, each author implicitly confirms that it meets the highest ethical standards.
Through participation in Author Select®, authors may choose open access for their published article. By supporting both publication and archiving costs through payment of an $1800 fee, authors may instruct the journal to provide free online access to the published article, in perpetuity, to any online user. A subscription to the online journal will not be required to access full-text versions of these open access articles. See details about Author Select and look for information during manuscript submission.
Authors whose manuscripts have been accepted for publication will receive correspondence informing them of the issue for which it is tentatively scheduled. Date of publication may be before the cover date of the issue. Authors may access publication data for their manuscripts online through AIP's AMSIS service.
Proofs and all subsequent correspondence pertaining to papers in the production process should be addressed to:
Applied Physics Letters
American Institute of Physics
2 Huntington Quadrangle
Melville, NY 11747-4502, USA
Telephone: +1 516-576-2416
Fax: +1 631-396-0060
Reference must be made to the AIP identification number (e.g., 001001APL), title, author, and scheduled issue date. A limited number of alterations in proof are unavoidable, but the cost of making extensive alterations after the article has been typeset may be charged to the author. Please do not address correspondence about proofs, reprints, artwork, publication charges, color printing charges, etc., to the Editor. To do so simply delays the appropriate action and response.
Through AIP's Accepted Manuscript Status Inquiry System (AMSIS), authors may access information about significant milestones for their accepted manuscript during the production process at AIP. AMSIS can be used only by authors of accepted manuscripts; authors will use Peer X-Press to monitor their submitted manuscripts during peer review.
How to Prepare Your Manuscript
English-Language Editing. Journals published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) are not able to provide free English-language editing services to authors, but those services are available to authors from several commercial vendors, including American Journal Experts ( http://www.journalexperts.com ) and SPi Professional Editing Services ( http://www.prof-editing.com ). Interested authors should contact these service providers directly. Since the AIP Journals have not used either of these commercial services, we cannot attest to the quality of their work.
For general format and style, consult recent issues of the journal. Link to the journal’s General Editorial Policies here.
Acceptable manuscript file types include Word, LaTeX, and PDF. PDF is acceptable for the review process only and a source Word or LaTex file is preferred for production. For authors who use LaTeX, REVTeX 4.1 is now available and includes style files for AIP journals and associated instructions. REVTeX 4.1 is available here.
Note for TeX users:
Please note that AIP does not compose/typeset pages in TeX. Instead we use the generic markup language XML (Extensible Markup Language). As a result, the format and layout, especially math, may look somewhat different to what was originally created in TeX.
While we appreciate the benefits to authors of preparing manuscripts in TeX, especially for math-intensive manuscripts, it is neither a cost-effective composition tool (for the volume of pages AIP currently produces) nor is it a format that can be used effectively for online publishing.
XML is critical to ensure that online content is discoverable, searchable, and accessible well into the future. It is a W3C standard that has been adopted by many publishers as well as by many software industry market leaders. Information in XML can be processed easily by computers and is both hardware and software independent. Tagged XML data is an ideal archive format as identification and extraction of specific content for reuse is relatively easy. A single XML source file is generated from authors’ TeX or Word files and feeds our entire process. All end-products and deliverables, whether print or electronic, are derived from this single XML file, reducing the chance of errors or inconsistencies.
The Manuscript, including the abstract, references, and captions, should be set up for 21.6 x 28 cm (8-1/2 x 11 in. or A4) pages with ample margins. It should be carefully proofread by the author. The manuscript must be in good scientific American English; this is the author's responsibility. Number all pages in single sequence beginning with the title and abstract page. The title page should contain the title of the article, the names and affiliations of the authors, and a short abstract. Parts of the manuscript should be arranged in the following order: title, author, affiliation, abstract, text, acknowledgments, appendices, and references. Papers should not be lengthened by unnecessary descriptions and repetitions, but neither should authors use a telegraphic style detrimental to the clarity and understanding of the paper.
Manuscripts must never exceed three journal pages. An abstract limited to about 100 words is required. In addition to the title, abstract, and references, the three-page length permits about 2000 words of text, reduced, however, by allowances for equations, tables, and figures. An average one-column figure with its caption will displace about 220 words of text. Authors are cautioned that discovery of excess length might not occur until a late stage in publication and would then result in delay and expense. Circumvention of the length limitation by division of a long article into small parts is considered to be contrary to the purpose of this journal.
A section on Comments is available for criticism or additions to Letters already in print. A Response will normally be solicited to a critical Comment. Both Comments and Responses should contain 1000 words or less.
The Title should be as concise as possible but informative enough to facilitate information retrieval. Acronyms are not allowed in the title. They should be used with considerable moderation elsewhere.
The Abstract should be limited to about 100 words and should be self-contained (contain no footnotes). It should be adequate as an index (giving all subjects, major and minor, about which new information is given), and as a summary (giving the conclusions and all results of general interest in the article). The abstract should be written as one paragraph and should not contain displayed mathematical equations or tabular material.
Authors' names should preferably be written in a standard form for all publications to facilitate indexing and avoid ambiguities.
Authors with Chinese, Japanese, or Korean names may choose to have their names published in their own language alongside the English versions of their names in the author list of their publications. For Chinese, authors may use either Simplified or Traditional characters. Chinese, Japanese, or Korean characters must be included within the author list of the manuscript when submitting or resubmitting. The manuscript must be prepared using Microsoft Word or using the CJK LaTeX package. Specific guidelines for each authoring tool are given here. To ensure that we have processed the manuscript files correctly, you must proof the PDF of the manuscript as produced by the Peer X-Press system on first submission. In addition, it is essential that you check carefully any production proofs you receive prior to the publication of your paper.
Equations should be punctuated and aligned to bring out their structure and numbered on the right. Mathematical operation signs indicating continuity of the expression should be placed at the left of the second and succeeding lines. Use × rather than a centered dot, except for scalar products of vectors. The solidus (/) should be used instead of built up fractions in running text, and in display wherever clarity would not be jeopardized. Use "exp" for complicated exponents.
Notation must be legible, clear, compact, and consistent with standard usage. All unusual symbols whose identity may not be obvious must be identified the first time they appear, and at all subsequent times when confusion might arise. Superscripts are normally set directly over subscripts; authors should note where readability or the meaning requires a special order.
References and footnotes are treated alike. They must be numbered consecutively in order of first appearance in the text and should be given in a separate double-spaced list at the end of the text material. Reference should be made to the full list of authors, rather than to first author followed by an abbreviation such as et al. References within tables should be designated by lowercase Roman letter superscripts and given at the end of the table. For the proper form, see recent issues of this journal. Preprints of cited unpublished work by the authors should be sent with the manuscript.
Separate Tables (numbered with Roman numerals in the order of their appearance in the text) should be used for all but the simplest tabular material; they should have captions that make the tables intelligible without reference to the text. The structure should be clear, with simple column headings giving all units. Unaltered computer output and notation are generally unacceptable.
AUTHOR GUIDELINES FOR MULTIMEDIA SUBMISSIONS
Multimedia files can be included in the online version of published papers. These multimedia files can be viewed by simply clicking on a link in the paper, provided the reader has a video player, such as Windows Media PlayerTM, QuickTime PlayerTM, or RealOne PlayerTM installed.
Please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing multimedia files for submission:
- When incorporating multimedia, note that the paper should be written so that the print version can be understood on its own.
- Submit all multimedia files initially with the manuscript.
- Treat all multimedia files as figures, numbered in sequence as they are referred to in text. (Multimedia files will not have a numbering scheme separate from the figures.)
- All multimedia files must be cited in the text, referred to by their figure number.
- For each multimedia file, provide a figure, which is a static representation of the multimedia file. Also provide an accompanying caption. At the end of the caption, include the phrase, "(enhanced online)."
- Video and other enhanced files should be in a format that the majority of readers can view without too much difficulty. See the multimedia guidelines below for specific submission requirements.
Acceptable file formats include QuickTime nonstreaming video (.qt or .mov), MPEG (.mpg), and DV (.dv). The preferred formats are .mov, and .mpg. Details about each of these file formats are outlined below. Note that AVI files are no longer a recommended file format, because the wide variety of AVI codecs cannot be reliably archived.
Authors must insert a representative “still” image, taken from the video, in the manuscript as a figure. This still image is not intended to convey meaning about the content of the video; rather it will be used as a static representation of the video file, which will be linked online after acceptance. Care should be taken to extract an image from the video which has reasonable clarity of fine lines and details. Acceptable file formats for still images are JPEG (.jpg) and GIF (.gif).
Acceptable file formats include PCM (.pcm), WAV (.wav), AIFF (.aif), and MP3 (.mp3) at 128 KB or greater.
General Guidelines for All Multimedia Submissions
Authors are strongly encouraged to adhere to the following guidelines when preparing multimedia files:
- The acceptable file formats outlined above are playable using standard media players, such as QuickTime and Windows Media Player. Media players should be used to check file properties and image/sound quality prior to submission. For video submissions, fonts, lines, and image details should be of sufficient size and weight to be visible when played at half size.
- Attention should be paid to the file size to make download time reasonable since streaming formats are not acceptable for submission at this time. A recommended target size for each multimedia file is 3–5 MB.
- Authors are encouraged to use one of the accepted compression codecs to minimize file sizes.
- Animations must be formatted into a standard video file.
Authors will be asked to provide some information about their multimedia files. A caption or description of the content of the media file is required (similar to a typical figure caption). Additional metadata as outlined below will also be requested. This information is optional.
- Caption/ description: Textual caption/description of the content of media object. Required.
- Type: The nature or genre of the content of the media, such as video or audio. Optional.
- Format: This should describe the media filetype, such as QuickTimeTM, DV, MPEG, PCM, or WAV. Optional.
- Duration: This is the duration of the media object playing time, in units of seconds. It is applicable to video or audio media. Optional. Frame size: For video only (not still images), the size of the video image, as height × width in pixels. Optional.
- Producer: Information about the software used to create the media object. It should include the name and version of the software (e.g., Adobe Premiere Elements v. 2.0). Optional.
Multimedia Detailed Specifications
Acceptable Video File Formats:
- QuickTime nonstreaming (.qt or .mov)
- 24 bit (millions) color
- Video Compressor/Codec
- Motion JPEG (MJPEG)
- 48,000 samples per second
- 16 bit
- Stereo or Mono
- Video Compressor/Codec
- MPEG2 (.mpg)
- MPEG4 (.mpg or .mp4)
- Video data rate 6 MB or greater
- 48,000 samples per second
- 16 bit
- Uncompressed (PCM) or MPEG Audio at 224 KB or greater
- Video Compressor/Codec
- DV (.dv)
- DV NTSC
- DV PAL
NTSC Video Parameters:
- Image size (H:V) 720:480 pixels
- Frame rate 29.97 frames per second
PAL Video Parameters:
- Image size (H:V) 720:576 pixels
- Frame rate 25 frames per second
Acceptable Audio File Formats:
- PCM, WAV, AIFF, MP3 (at 128 KB or greater)
- Audio Parameters
- 44,100 or 48,000 samples per second
- 16 bit
- Stereo or Mono
Supplemental files may be of two types:
- Files to aid the reviewer and not for publication.
- Supplementary information for publication alongside the manuscript.
Appropriate items for publication as supplemental material include; multimedia (e.g., movie files, audio files, 3D rendering files), data tables, and text (e.g., appendices) that are too lengthy or of too limited interest for inclusion in the article. Links (URLs) in the online (printed) journal article allow users to navigate directly to the associated files.
All supplemental material must be approved by the Journal Editor as part of a manuscript's normal review cycle, and must be listed in the reference section as follows: "See supplementary material at [URL will be inserted by AIP] for [give brief description of material]."
For additional information about depositing or retrieving EPAPS files, see the Supplemental Material homepage.
Free Color Online
If authors supply usable color graphics files in time for the production process, color will appear in the online journal free of charge. A usable color graphics file must be in one of the following formats: Encapsulated PostScript (.eps), PostScript (.ps), Tagged Image File Format (.tif), and Portable Document Format (.pdf)
In order to maintain online color as a free service to authors, the journal cannot accept multiple versions of the same graphics file. Authors may not submit two versions of the same illustration (e.g., one for color and one for black & white). When preparing illustrations that will appear in color in the online journal and in black & white in the printed journal, authors must ensure that: (i) colors chosen will reproduce well when printed in black & white and (ii) descriptions of figures in text and captions will be sufficiently clear for both print and online versions. This is the author’s responsibility.
If usable color graphics files are received in time for the production process, authors will see color versions of those illustrations when viewing their author proofs. (The Corresponding Author will receive e-mail notification from AIP when the proof, as a PDF file, is available for downloading.) At the proof stage, authors must insert the phrase, "(Color online)," into the captions of figures that will appear in color in the online journal and in black & white in the printed journal. This is the author’s responsibility. An example of an amended figure caption appears below:
FIG. 10. (Color online) Experimental (dotted curve) and simulated (solid curve) x-ray diffraction spectra.
The procedures for obtaining color in the printed journal remain unchanged. Authors or their institutions must bear the cost of any color they wish to use in print. See information about color printing charges here.
How to Prepare Your Illustrations
Please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing your illustrations for submission:
General Guidelines for Preparing Illustrations:
- Number figures in the order in which they appear in text.
- Label all figure parts with (a), (b), etc. Avoid any large disparity in size of lettering and labels used within one illustration.
- Prepare illustrations in the final published size, not oversized. The maximum published width for a one-column illustration is 3-3/8 inch (8.5 cm). Each illustration should be prepared for 100% reproduction in order to avoid problems arising from large reductions in size.
- In cases where reduction is required, avoid small open symbols that tend to fill in and avoid small lettering; ensure that, in the final published illustration, there is a minimum of 8-point type size (2.8 mm high; 1/8 inch high) for lettering and 0.5-point width for lines.
- Ensure that lettering and lines are dark enough, and thick enough, to reproduce clearly, especially if reduction is necessary. Remember that fine lines tend to disappear upon reduction.
Additional Guidelines for Preparation of Electronic Graphics Files:
- Acceptable formats: PostScript (.ps), Encapsulated PostScript (.eps, using either Arial or Times Roman fonts), Tagged Image File Format (.tif, lzw compressed), or Portable Document Format (.pdf).
- When submitting your manuscript, submit ALL illustrations for your paper, including line art.
- Make sure there is only ONE figure per file. Each figure file should contain all parts of the figure. For example, if Figure 1 contains three parts (a, b, c), then all parts should be combined in a single file for Figure 1.
- Set the correct orientation for each graphics file.
- Settings: Set the graphic for 600 dpi resolution for line art, 264 dpi for halftones, and 600 dpi for combinations (line art + halftone).
- Save line art as black/white bitmap, not grayscale.
- Save halftones and combinations as grayscale, not black/white bitmap.
- Submit color files at 300 dpi TIFF, PS, or EPS format. If selecting a file mode, use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) or RGB (red, green, blue).
Special Instructions for Creating a Production-Ready PDF Illustration:
For accepted manuscripts, PDF as the source file for illustrations is not preferred. However, properly prepared PDF illustration files may be used in the production process of your accepted manuscript if you adhere to the following guidelines:
- PDF should only be used as the source file for illustrations when the preferred formats (PS, EPS, or TIF) cannot be generated.
- In the PDF illustration, the resolution of any shaded or photographic images must be 600 pixels per inch (PPI).
- Within the PDF illustration, resolution of line art with no shading should be 1200 pixels per inch (PPI).
- All fonts must be embedded in the PDF.
- When creating a PDF through your application's print command, select "High Quality Print".
- Link to more detailed instructions here.
Estimates of Finished Length
As an aid to the author, we provide two guidelines for estimating the finished length of an article. The first is very simple and approximate, and can be used for rough estimates. Usually this will suffice. The second is more complex and considerably better. Neither is guaranteed. Regardless of estimates, the final journal article must be no longer than three pages.
(1) Rough Estimate
Disregard the title, authors' names and institutions, abstract, and list of references. Limit the remainder to 2000 words, or its equivalent. One "word" is 7 characters (spaces count as characters). This will produce a paper of 2 to 3 journal pages most of the time. The typical figure, with its caption, is reduced to the width of a single column, and displaces about 220 words of text. Reduce the 2000-word limit accordingly.
If there are figures of unusual size, many authors from different institutions, a lengthy abstract or list of references, many equations, or several tables, etc., the author is advised to use guideline (2) below.
(2) Refined Estimate
All calculations are made in terms of single-column lines; 118 lines equal one page. Whenever a rule gives a line equivalent for a number of words, the phrase "or fraction thereof" is to be understood. Again, one "word" is 7 characters (where spaces count as characters).
- The title takes 3 lines for every 7 words.
- Each group of authors from a single institution, with its address, takes 5 lines. If there are more than 5 authors from one institution, add 2 lines; if an institutional name and address contain more than 85 characters, add another 2 lines.
- The receipt date takes 3 lines.
- The abstract takes 2 lines for every 14 words.
- The text, not counting displayed equations, takes one line for every 9 words.
- A short equation (less than 40 characters) with no built-up fractions or matrices, etc., takes 3 lines. If it contains a built-up fraction, it takes 4 lines. If it contains a large matrix, it takes at least 2 lines per row of the matrix plus 2 lines. A long equation, typed across two columns, takes at least double these amounts; a very long complex equation may easily take 20 lines. Note that, when there are a number of two-column equations, intervening short equations will often also be given two-column space.
- Each reference or footnote takes one line for every 10 words.
- A figure, which can be reduced to one column width (8.5 cm) takes 24 lines per 10 cm of reduced height; if it requires more than one column width, it will take twice as many lines.
- Each figure caption takes one line for every 10 words. Also, there is one line between a figure and its caption, and 2 lines between captions or figures and text.
- Each line in a table and its caption become one line if the table fits into one column, and 2 lines if it is wider. Two lines separate a table from text. Large or complex tables should be calculated as if they were figures.
Manuscript Preparation Checklist
Use this checklist to avoid the most common mechanical errors in submitted manuscripts:
- The manuscript must be double-spaced throughout.
- Number all pages in single sequence.
- Type references in the style used by this journal.
- Submit cover letter, manuscript file, illustration files, and any supplemental files via Peer X-Press, the journal's online submission system, located at http://apl.peerx-press.org.
- The original figures must be in the final published size, not oversized.
- Upload a signed AIP Transfer of Copyright Agreement Form when submitting your original or revised manuscript to the journal's online submission site (http://apl.peerx-press.org). A blank copyright form is available here.
- Obtain permission for reuse of any previously published material and include proper citation information within manuscript. For guidelines and blank form click here.