The editors of the American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher are joining together to issue a call for papers for special collections on the physics of the environment, sustainability, and climate change.
Our readers are well aware of the pressing global problems in these areas and the contributions that physicists have made in the past (including the 2021 Nobel Prize). Many physics teachers are looking for ways to better prepare our students to understand these problems as citizens and to address them as scientists. And we suspect that many of our readers have already found ways to teach these topics but have not thought to describe their work as a paper and share it with others. A special collection is our way of bringing together these individuals, motivating authors to share resources that will be collected in a convenient form for other readers.
Linking special issues of AJP and TPT is, as far as we know, a first for the two journals, and it provides an excellent avenue for sharing ideas on all levels. To which journal should you send your contribution?
The Physics Teacher focuses on physics instruction at the introductory level, both in secondary schools and in universities, and also on teaching physics concepts as part of general education courses; the benchmark length for a TPT article is 2000 words. The American Journal of Physics focuses on physics instruction beyond the introductory level, mostly at the undergraduate level but also including graduate level instruction when the topic is of high interest or broad usefulness. Both journals publish some papers on history and philosophy of physics and outreach to the general public, and authors of these papers are encouraged to contact the editors to determine which journal is more appropriate. More information on our editorial policies is found on our web pages.1,2
Submissions across the range of instructional materials are encouraged: examples include demonstrations, laboratory experiments, short units, homework problems, course outlines, and curricular sequences. In choosing what to submit, focus on how your work can be useful to your colleagues, rather than merely on how successful was your implementation. It’s challenging to describe an entire semester-long course in a brief paper, so if you’ve developed a really novel and successful course, consider writing a textbook! However, if there’s a nugget that you think will be useful to readers, then please submit it. We also welcome (and in some cases, require) supporting material such as course handouts to be shared as supplementary material.
We hope to publish these issues in late spring or early fall 2023, so to allow time for review, please aim to submit your papers by November 30, 2022.
Are you really excited about this topic? Consider serving as a guest editor for these special issues. Guest editors will oversee the review process in conjunction with the journal editor and work with authors of accepted papers to edit their work to improve the presentation. Contact Beth Parks at email@example.com or Gary White at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. A modest stipend is available.
We are looking forward to sharing the creative and innovative ways that our community has found to address these difficult issues.
– Beth Parks, Editor, AJP
– Gary White, Editor, TPT