Table of Contents
|Criteria for Publication
Format and Content The Review Process
|Ethical Guidelines for Biological Research
Guidelines for Stem Cell Research
Recombinant DNA Research Guidelines
Clinical Trials Registry
Reporting Experimental Design
The field of bioengineering has changed the way we perceive the future of medicine, human health, and biological phenomena. This once burgeoning discipline now represents a substantial force globally, and it is clear that the bioengineering research community will continue to have far-reaching effects on not only our fundamental understanding of the complexity of biological systems, but on the translation of these fundamentals to industry and the clinic. A substantial number of global industries rely on, or are supported by, bioengineering principles, practices, and discoveries.
APL Bioengineering publishes high-impact articles in pursuit of these biological, medical, and technological advances. Manuscripts submitted to APL Bioengineering must present at least one of the following two categories of research:
- Fundamental research that significantly advances the understanding of physics and engineering of biological systems
- Translational research that applies physics and engineering principles and methods to significantly advance medicine or enhance human health
Note that while we accept submissions that substantially describe novel quantitative models or theories that deepen our understanding of underlying physical processes of biological systems, your research must be validated with appropriate experimental results.
Language standard: It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that manuscripts are written clearly. A manuscript can be rejected if the scientific meaning is unclear due to poor English. Manuscripts that do not meet APL Bioengineering’s language standard will be returned to the authors for rewrite before peer review, during the review process and/or if provisionally accepted pending language editing.
Because good science has no value unless it is clearly communicated, AIP Publishing recommends that authors use AIPP Author Services to improve the quality of your paper’s written English. AIPP Author Services was developed in line with our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for all authors. Using this service ensures that your paper will be free of language deficiencies, so editors and reviewers will be able to fully understand your research during the review process. A native English-speaking subject matter expert of AIP Author Services will correct spelling, grammar and punctuation and verify the use and consistency of technical terms and content in your paper. Note that this is not a requirement or a guarantee of acceptance for review or publication.
APL Bioengineering is published once quarterly (4 issues per year) by AIP Publishing. The journal publishes one original research manuscript in the format of an Article. We also publish Reviews and Perspectives.
Articles contain novel and significant findings relevant to the majority of researchers in the field. The timeliness, relevance of the research, and clarity of presentation are important factors that we consider when evaluating Article submissions.
Although there is no length limit, manuscripts should be as concise as possible and present a clear description of the research. As a guideline, the main text of an Article (excluding title and references) should contain approximately 3500 words. Articles should include sufficient experimental information to allow other researchers to reproduce the reported results. Authors may include supplementary material, including video or other multimedia files. In all cases, the editors decide whether the length of an article is appropriate for the information presented.
Reviews published in APL Bioengineering are succinct overviews that detail recent progress in a topic in bioengineering. Reviews are by invitation only and should be written in a way that enhances or introduces the work to researchers in the field.
Perspectives cover emerging topics or highlight a recent discovery in the field of bioengineering. They provide a forward-looking discussion on the direction of a particular sub-field. Perspectives differ from Reviews in that they can present personal viewpoints from leaders in the field. These are by invitation only.
Special topic issues are published occasionally and contain a grouping of Articles, Reviews, and/or Perspectives on a topic of current or emerging interest. These are intended to be reports of original research that significantly advance our understanding of the field. Editors review Special Topics using the usual publication criteria. Journal editors or guest editors may assemble a Special Topic.
Comments and Responses: The purpose of a Comment is to discuss and supplement original research papers previously published in the journal. Although Comments are generally written by authors other than those who wrote the original Article, authors can submit a Comment on their own work. Comments should address nontrivial points of interest to readers and do not have to be aimed at the authors of the Article being commented on. Typically, the editor asks independent and anonymous referees to review Comments. In addition, Comments are typically sent to the authors of the original Article for review. Authors of the original Article may submit a Response to the Comment for simultaneous publication. Please see the section on the review process below for more details.
The editors will iterate between authors of the Comment and authors of the Response as long as the process leads to improvement in the Comment and Response. Both Comment and Response must independently satisfy the criteria for acceptance. That is, while the author of the original paper may submit a Response, there is no requirement for the journal to publish the Response, even if the Comment is published. The Comment and the Response are each limited to about 1000 words. In deciding on the acceptability of Comments and Responses, the editors will publish only material that significantly improves the reader’s understanding of the topic; in addition, they will attempt to be fair to both sets of authors. These criteria often require significantly more time for review than do Articles.
Errata are corrections of errors in previously published papers. These may be errors introduced in the publication process by the author or the publisher, or errors in the research that were discovered after the paper was published. Errata should be confined to specific errors. Further discussion or additional work that either confirms or denies previous work should be presented as a separate Article or Comment.
The editor-in-chief, aided by the associate editors, is responsible for the content and editorial matters related to APL Bioengineering. To identify papers that meet the journal’s publication standards, the editors initially screen all submitted manuscripts. Manuscripts that pass the screening are evaluated by expert referees. Generally, two referees are sought, but decisions on publication may be made with additional reviews if required. Generally, we decide whether to publish a manuscript after one or two rounds of review. We will allow additional reviews if deemed necessary by the editors.
Authors can visit the APL Bioengineering submission site to appeal a decision on a manuscript. Your appeal must include a revised manuscript and a succinct (one page or less) explanation of the arguments in favor of reconsideration. Successful appeals focus on clarifying the suitability or importance of the work if the editors rejected your manuscript because it did not fit APL Bioengineering’s criteria for publication. If the editors rejected your manuscript based on technical issues, your appeal must rebut the technical issues raised in the referee’s reports. In your appeal, please address APL Bioengineering’s acceptance standards. Also, keep in mind that because your manuscript was initially rejected, you must provide an insight or argument that goes beyond what the editor has already learned through the review process, thereby compelling the editor to conclude that your manuscript deserves further consideration.
Consider the following points when making an appeal:
- Do not include a simple revision of the manuscript to address referees’ comments. If a simple revision would have addressed the main issue, the editors would have returned your manuscript and allowed you to update it. Do include a strong argument for why the editors should reconsider your manuscript.
- Do not resubmit the manuscript under a new manuscript number, even if it has been updated in response to reviewers’ comments. The editorial office rejects resubmissions; instead, use the appeal process to request that the editors reconsider your manuscript.
- Do not reinterpret the referees’ reports for the editors. Do provide the editors with new information or insights that might lead them to reconsider publishing your manuscript.
- Do not provide a list of articles on the same topic that have recently been published in APL Bioengineering. Do provide information that supports the novelty and importance of your work.
Allow editors at least one to two weeks to rule on an appeal to reconsider a rejected manuscript.
Relationship to other Journals
Alongside APL Bioengineering, Applied Physics Letters and other AIP Publishing journals accept submissions and publish papers in bioengineering that are relevant to their respective communities.
Internal Review Board (IRB) Guidelines for Research Involving Human or Animal Subjects
Every research article submitted to APL Bioengineering is required to include a statement in the Author Declarations section that states that the authors obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it is not required). This statement must include the names of the ethics committee or IRB, approval ID numbers, and a statement that any human participants gave informed consent before participating in the study. This applies to all Articles, including trials involving active interventions, non-intervention studies, and audits. Additional supporting documents can also be uploaded at the time you submit your manuscript.
Failure to meet the above requirements or to otherwise adhere to ethical standards in the use of animal test subjects may be grounds for manuscript rejection. Authors who would like more guidance on the accepted standards for human and animal subjects in research may consult the following documents:
- World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki
- International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals
- Guidelines for Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE)
Embryonic stem cell research must follow guidelines established by the National Academy of Sciences which is published in the National Academies Press.
A statement of approved by the institutional review committee must be stated in the Methods section of any manuscript that describes experiments involving human or animal subjects. This statement must also indicate that human subjects gave informed consent. Manuscripts describing such research must include a statement verifying that local IRB approval was obtained prior to investigations on human subjects and, was in accordance with an assurance filed with and approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if appropriate.
Any recombinant DNA research submitted to APL Bioengineering must follow the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules. Adherance to these guidelines should be described in the Methods section of your manuscript.
Per the guidelines published by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), APL Bioengineering requires that all clinical trials be registered in a public trials registry (e.g., http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).
Authors must comply with published CONSORT guidelines.
You may state the following information in the Methods section of your submitted manuscript. You may also provide additional documentation at submission by uploading supporting files.
Sample Size: For studies that involve animal subjects, authors must report statistical methods that were used to determine sample size for each experiment. Sample sizes must be reported as an exact number (as opposed to a range) for all experiments, if appropriate. Authors must also explain any discrepancies, if sample sizes change over the course of the experiment.
Replication: Authors must provide enough details about sample and data collection to enable the reader to differentiate independent data points, technical replicates, and biological replicates. Whenever appropriate, you should explicitly describe how biological replicates were acquired. When presenting results from a representative experiment, authors must specify the number of times the experiment was repeated successfully as well as discuss any limitations to the repeatability.
Randomization: Include a statement about randomization methods in the figure caption or Methods section whenever appropriate. For manuscripts that report animal experiments, a statement is required, as knowledge of randomization may influence interpretation of the results. The absence of a statement indicates there was no randomization employed in experiments.
Blinding: Whenever possible, the researcher should not be aware of how samples were distributed, assigned, and allocated during an experiment. You must include a statement describing the level of blinding for all animal experiments reported or include a statement that blinding was not possible. The absence of a statement indicates no blinding was employed in experiments.
Reporting Statistics: Authors must state, describe, and justify statistical tests used for analysis. You must include relevant statistical measures, such as mean, median, and error bars (standard deviation and standard error of the mean), used to describe the data. Regardless of overall significance, you must report the P value for each test. If the sample size of the experiment reported in the manuscript is small, authors should use statistical tests appropriate for small sample sizes or justify the use of large sample size tests.
Antibodies: The sensitivity, specificity, and reactivity of all antibodies used in any reported assay should be profiled. Authors using antibodies in their experiments and assays must report the catalog number (clone number) or primary citation for each antibody. If these sources do not provide information for the specific assays and species reported, researchers must report any validation data that they have obtained as supporting information or as a submission to an antibody database.
Cell lines: You must state the source of the cell lines (catalog number, vendor/cell bank) and any authentication details associated with that cell line (method used, results, and when the testing was last conducted). We ask authors to compare any cell lines used in assays and experiments reported in the manuscript with a list of commonly misidentified cell lines maintained by the International Cell Line Authentication Committee. If you use a cell line that is on this list, please provide and state the scientific justification in your Methods section. You must also report the mycoplasma contamination testing status for each cell line used in your experiments.