Scope and Criteria for Publication
Journal of Applied Physics considers for publication full-length manuscripts that significantly advance understanding in applied physics and closely related disciplines and are likely to have a noteworthy impact on the relevant scientific communities. These manuscripts can be any of the five following types:
- Articles – original research studies
- Methods – new or improved experimental or computational techniques
- Reviews – comprehensive overviews of a field of research
- Perspectives – author opinions on the direction of a field
- Tutorials – educational tools at the advanced-graduate level
Articles and Methods must contain new results, fully describe relevant concepts, methods, and techniques, provide rigorous data and analysis, meet the journal's language standard, contain figures of high quality, and reference foundational and recent papers in journals of a similar or overlapping scope. Manuscripts selected by the Editors as especially important or interesting will be highlighted as an Editor’s Pick, a Feature Article, with a Scilight, or with a Press Release.
By submitting a manuscript to Journal of Applied Physics, the authors affirm that it is has neither been published nor is currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. The corresponding author, who is responsible for receiving and responding to messages from the Journal, is required to provide a statement on dual publication and certify that all co-authors have agreed to the submitted version. Proper citations of literature sources must always be provided in the manuscript, and copyright permissions need to be obtained by the authors from the original Publishers if figures or tables are reused. More information on proper manuscript formatting is given in the Author Instructions.
Please see the "Format and Content" section below for more details on these manuscript types.
Re-use of Material from Conference Proceedings
Although Journal of Applied Physics has no objections to authors who wish to make fair and reasonable re-use of material from their conference proceedings paper, such re-use must comply in full with the standards and ethics of scientific publishing. See the Publisher’s site on Ethics for Authors for more information.
The Review Process
The Editor-in-Chief, supported by the Deputy and Associate Editors, is responsible for the content and other editorial matters related to the journal.
Submitted manuscripts are initially screened by the Editor-in-Chief or a Deputy Editor. If the manuscript appears to fall within the scope of the Journal and may meet the criteria for publication, it will be assigned to an Associate Editor who has the appropriate scientific expertise to determine whether to send the manuscript to be peer reviewed. Manuscripts that pass this two-tier screening process are sent, by the Associate Editor, to at least two expert reviewers for evaluation. This evaluation assures a focused, fair, and high-quality peer review process.
The Editorial team welcomes authors’ suggestions of appropriate reviewers and gives serious consideration to requests that a manuscript not be sent to a particular reviewer. In both cases, the editors regard these as suggestions only.
The Editor’s decision considers the recommendations of the expert reviewers. The Editor decides which recommendations to accept and determines when enough reviewer input has been received to make a decision. The Editor makes the final decision about whether a manuscript is accepted for publication.
When Reviewers agree to assess manuscripts submitted to Journal of Applied Physics, they are asked to address the following points:
- The results are original, timely, and significantly advance the knowledge of applied physics or a closely related discipline.
- The background information, including concepts, methods, and techniques, is thoroughly described.
- Sufficient data and rigorous analysis are presented.
- The conclusions are likely to have a noteworthy impact on the relevant scientific communities.
- The manuscript is written in proper English, well organized, and free from ambiguities.
- The title is descriptive of the manuscript contents, concise, interesting, and free of acronyms.
- The abstract is a clear, concise, and adequate description of the manuscript content.
- The figures are necessary, adequate, well-presented, and clearly labeled.
- The reference list includes foundational and recent papers in journals of a similar or overlapping scope.
Based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the assigned Associate Editor issues one of the following decisions, which are generally described by the following:
- Publish as is: The manuscript can be published immediately.
- Minor revision: The manuscript is likely to be acceptable for publication after revision, commonly without further review.
- Major revision: It is not clear if the manuscript will become acceptable for publication, even after revision. The revised manuscript will require further review and may require additional revision. It is generally unacceptable for a revised manuscript to be given a decision of Major revision.
- Reject: The manuscript is not suitable for Journal of Applied Physics.
Authors who receive requests for Major or Minor revisions should follow the advice of the reviewers and Editors if they believe that this advice will improve the manuscript. All resubmissions should be accompanied by a detailed description of how the authors have addressed the comments of the reviewers. In particular, a detailed discussion is required on any point which the authors have not followed the advice of the reviewers. A manuscript will only generally be returned to the authors for major revisions once. If major revisions are required after a subsequent review, it will be inferred that the paper is not converging to a publishable form. In general, this will lead to a decision to reject the manuscript. On all resubmissions, the Editor will decide whether the advice of additional reviewers is necessary in order to make a decision on the manuscript.
The editors reject a manuscript when it does not fit the scope or acceptance criteria of Journal of Applied Physics. Editorial rejection is based on the editor’s assessment of factors including but not limited to scope, degree of advancement of applied physics and closely related disciplines, language standard, technical quality, and potential impact. Rejection after review generally results from the assessment of novelty, importance, impact, or technical concerns uncovered in the review process. There are other reasons that a manuscript may not be accepted for publication. For example, if a large number of potential reviewers turn down the invitation to review a paper, this may be seen as an indication that the work does not fit well with the Journal’s mission and audience. In such cases, the editors will return the manuscript so that the authors can pursue a more appropriate journal. In some cases, the editors may recommend transfer to AIP Advances, an open access journal having a broader scope and mission than Journal of Applied Physics.
Authors can appeal a rejection by sending an email to the editorial office at firstname.lastname@example.org. The appeal must include succinct (one page or less) reasons in favor of reconsideration. Successful appeals focus on clarifying the suitability or importance of the work if the editors rejected the manuscript because it did not fit the Journal’s mission or did not meet the standards for novelty, importance, or potential impact. If the editors rejected the manuscript based on technical issues, the appeal must convincingly disprove all conceptual and/or technical issues raised in the reviewers’ reports. An appeal must address how the manuscript meets the Journal’s acceptance criteria and must provide arguments that go beyond what the editor has already learned through the review process.
Examples of approaches that do not lead to successful appeals include:
- A revision of the paper to address reviewers’ comments. If a simple revision would have addressed the main issue, the editors would have returned your manuscript and allowed you to update it.
- Reinterpreting the reviewers’ reports for the editor. In particular, it is not appropriate to highlight positive remarks and downplay or omit critical comments.
- Engaging in personal attacks on the reviewers or editor.
- Providing a list of papers on the same topic that have been published in Journal of Applied Physics. This may create concerns about the novelty or importance of the work.
Appeals of decisions to reject manuscripts may be granted by the deciding Editor. To deny an appeal, at least two editors must agree to the decision.
If the editors determine that the authors have convincing arguments for reconsideration, i.e., the appeal is accepted, the authors may be asked to submit a revised manuscript. In these cases, the authors must include a detailed letter including all arguments of the appeal and list of changes made to the manuscript (the “Response Letter”). The editor will continue the normal review process, which may include additional review. Note that a granted appeal does not imply acceptance of the manuscript to be published.
Rejection of an appeal is a final decision by the Editors. Any subsequent appeal will be reviewed by the Publisher at AIP Publishing. The Publisher will not decide whether a paper should be accepted for publication but rather will assess whether procedures were followed properly. Additional rounds of review or adjudication are warranted only if the Publisher determines that proper procedures were not followed.
Resubmission of a rejected manuscript is inappropriate, and the resubmitted manuscript will be rejected. Resubmission of a new manuscript closely related to a previously-rejected manuscript is only appropriate if accompanied with a detailed description of changes that convincingly show how the previously identified shortcomings have been addressed.
Format and Content
Information for the authors
Visit our Author Resource Center for more information on preparing your manuscript.
Articles are full length, in-depth, clear, and definitive reports on novel and timely research studies in areas appropriate to the Journal. Articles should not contain previously published material and should have a significant quantity of new material. Routine experiments or calculations that simply extend previous methods to a new system are not appropriate unless the results are used to significantly advance the solution of an important problem. Authors should place their work in context by referencing relevant published literature, including foundational and recent papers in journals of a similar or overlapping scope; however, material that is exclusively review in nature is not appropriate. Avoid claims of novelty, such as “novel” or "for the first time," even when qualified by clauses such as "to our knowledge.” Articles should include sufficient details to allow others to reproduce the reported results. Authors may include supplementary material, and we encourage video or multimedia files.
Methods are full length, scientific papers on original and innovative experimental, computational, or theoretical techniques in applied physics. Methods papers should present new results that validate the method, demonstrate its applicability to a problem of interest, illustrate its technological improvement over available approaches, and include all the technical details needed for its independent replication. Methods papers can involve the development of an entirely new technique or a significant advance to an existing technique. For Methods papers, the significance and novelty of the advance is the new or improved method itself. The use of new experimental instrumentation or computational or theoretical tools for a well-developed technique, or application of an existing method to new systems, do not generally fall within the scope of Methods papers. Additional guidelines may be viewed here.
The Journal of Applied Physics also publishes Special Topic Collections, Reviews, Invited Perspectives, and Invited Tutorials.
Special Topics are collections of invited and/or contributed papers that highlight new and innovative developments in an area of applied physics. Special Topics are approved by the Editor-in-Chief and organized by the Journal’s Editors in collaboration with external Guest Editors who are experts in the selected fields of study. Any author is welcome to submit to Special Topics when available if the content of their manuscript is suitable. Additionally, Guest Editors may encourage authors to submit Articles and Methods and invite authors to write Reviews, Perspectives, and Tutorials to the Special Topic Collection. All submissions, regardless of invitation status, proceed through the Journal’s standard peer review process.
Reviews provide a contemporary and comprehensive overview of important historical and recent accomplishments in a selected field of research. Reviews should provide context and address recent conceptual issues in a specific field, review existing theories, define experimental and numerical methods with their achievements and drawbacks, identify unsolved problems to be addressed by new approaches, and describe how significant progress has been achieved. Reviews do not present new research or contain substantial author opinions that would otherwise be appropriate for Invited Perspectives. They should serve as an entry point for researchers new to the field who wish to assess its current state.
Perspectives, by invitation from the Editor-in-Chief, are on topics currently generating a great deal of interest in the applied physics research community. They provide a look at recent advances in a subfield of applied physics and where it is headed. A Perspective needs to contain an assessment of the current status of the field, which can be achieved either through a mini-review component or with the presentation of new, unpublished data and original results. Invited Perspectives are distinctly different from Review articles in that emphasis is put on very recent developments, possibly leading to disruptive technologies, open questions, and possible solutions. Perspectives are characterized by personal views and opinions of the authors who are recognized experts in their field.
Tutorials, by invitation from the Editor-in-Chief, aim to further the mission of Journal of Applied Physics to serving the broad communities of applied physics. Tutorials are intended as educational tools at the advanced-graduate level to help shape the new generation of researchers in applied physics. Tutorials support researchers interested in improving their skills in a particular area or learning new topics or techniques. Tutorials are not required to include original research content but should explain—from an educational perspective—principles and techniques in a particular research area. They are also expected to communicate a broad overview of the objectives, results, and open questions in that area of study.
Comments and Responses (up to 3 printed pages): The purpose of a Comment is to point out and correct significant errors or deficiencies in a published Journal of Applied Physics paper, to take issue with conclusions reached, or to inject new, substantial insight or corroboration even when the article is not believed to contain an error. Comments must address scientific issues only and must be concise, substantive, and collegial. Comments should not be used as an alternative to submission of a regular paper. Controversy on all questions of priority should be avoided, as well as calling attention to an oversight in the reference list, because such comments provide no substantive benefit to the scientific community at large. The title of the Comment should read: “Comment on original title [Journal of Applied Physics, vol., page (year)].” Equations, tables, figures, and figure captions must all be considered when estimating length.
The appropriateness of a Comment is assessed by a Deputy Editor or the Editor-in-Chief. If the Comment is not sufficiently substantive to warrant consideration, it will be editorially rejected. If the Comment is determined by the Editor to be appropriate and of potential interest to the community, a Response is solicited from the authors of the original article in question. The Response must conform to the above requirements, including the maximum length of 3 printed pages. The title of the response should read: “Response to Comment on [original title] [Journal of Applied Physics, vol., page (year)].” The Response is also screened for appropriateness. If the Response is not concise, sufficiently substantive, or collegial, or the same result could be achieved by the publication of an Erratum or a regular article, the Response will be editorially rejected.
Comments and Responses are typically reviewed together by at least one anonymous reviewer. If the Comment is rejected, neither the Comment nor the Response will be published. If the Response alone is rejected, the Comment will be published without the Response. No further exchange beyond this point will be considered for publication.
Errata: Journal of Applied Physics publishes Errata in which the authors correct significant errors of substance in their published manuscripts. The title should read: Erratum: "original title" [Journal of Applied Physics, vol., page (year)]. This is followed by the authors' names and institutions and the text of the corrected version. Errata should be written concisely and clearly.
Serial publications can result in fractured literature that is less accessible, and thereby creates a disservice to the readers. We believe that the scientific community that refers to Journal of Applied Physics is better served by a comprehensive paper than by several separate articles in succession. For this reason, we strongly discourage authors from submitting manuscripts in multiple parts or in a series of ongoing work.
Please note that Journal of Applied Physics has eliminated all page charges, including excess page charges. In all cases, the editors will decide whether the manuscript’s length is appropriate for the information that it contains.
Language and Authorship Attribution
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 the Journal of Applied Physics’ 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.
Byline: The corresponding author must ensure that all co-authors approve the inclusion of their names in the byline. To remove a co-author’s name, the approval of all of the original authors is required. To add a co-author, written approval is required from that author and all of the co-authors. Please send an email to the editorial office (email@example.com) for instructions on how to provide the proper documentation to the journal. Manuscripts are not published until all of the required signatures are received.
Optional Equal Contribution declaration: In addition to the authors’ placement in the byline, it is sometimes necessary to indicate that more than one author is equally responsible for the reported results. This is accomplished by including a statement in the Author Declarations section under the subheading “Author Contributions.” The following form is used to indicate equal contributions: S. Smith and O. Jones contributed equally to this work.
Patents: Authors assume the risk of submitting a manuscript that contains patentable ideas. Neither the Journal of Applied Physics nor AIP Publishing assumes any responsibility in this regard.
Authors publishing in the Journal of Applied Physics will retain copyright and are required to complete an exclusive License to Publish Agreement. It is a long-standing tradition of that submission to the Journal implies that the work has neither been previously copyrighted nor accepted for publication elsewhere. The Journal of Applied Physics requires authors to inform the editors if a paper has been previously submitted to another journal, whether it is currently active with that journal. AIP Publishing grants to the author(s) the right to post their accepted manuscript anywhere on the web immediately after acceptance by the Journal. In addition, 12 months after publication, the final AIP Publishing version may be posted on the author's personal website, the author's institutional website, or in an institutional or funder-designated repository. It is also possible to create a link to the Journal of Applied Physics publication.
Retraction and Correction Policies
AIP Publishing takes very seriously its responsibility to maintain the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record of its content for all end users. AIP Publishing places great importance on the authority of articles after they have been published, and its policy is based on best practice in the academic publishing community. Changes to articles after they have been published online may be made only under the circumstances outlined in AIP Publishing's Retraction and Correction Policies, which can be accessed here.
If the editors decide that your manuscript is not suitable for publication in Journal of Applied Physics, you may transfer your manuscript, without resubmitting, to AIP Advances for immediate consideration. AIP Advances is a peer-reviewed, fully open-access journal covering all areas of the physical sciences. Articles published in the journal are always freely accessible to download without a subscription.
If you choose to transfer your manuscript to AIP Advances, all reviewer reports and Editor’s recommendations will be transferred along with the manuscript to facilitate a rapid decision. Once transferred, your article may be published online within 14 days, depending on the initial reviewer feedback and the Editor’s decision. This option may save you up to eight months by avoiding the resubmission and re-review process associated with submitting your manuscript to another journal. For more information about AIP Advances, visit pubs.aip.org/aip/adv.
If you wish to transfer your manuscript to another AIP Publishing journal, please contact the editorial office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request a transfer. Please note that transferring manuscript files across AIP Publishing journals does not guarantee that the manuscript will be considered by the receiving journal; manuscripts must meet that respective journal’s acceptance criteria.