Information for Contributors

Content criteria

SSS is currently accepting submissions across four technique types: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy/Auger electron spectroscopy (XPS/AES), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), low energy ion scattering (LEIS) spectroscopy, and optical measurements including spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis).

SSS submissions must include:

  • A completed technique-appropriate template
  • Survey and high-resolution scans (for XPS & SIMS)
  • Digital data files (the x, y pairs of the raw data) as ASCII files
  • At final revision, each figure/Spectrum in a separate file and in one of the following formats: PostScript, EPS, TIFF or production-ready PDF

In addition, to be published in SSS, the submission must be free of errors and ambiguities, be written clearly, and be within the scope of topics covered by the journal.

Submissions must be in English and conform to the style consistent with articles published in SSS as denoted in the templates. Authors should adopt a particular way of writing their names in the byline and use the same name for all publications. This practice makes indexes more useful and less confusing.

Since SSS is devoted to archiving surface science spectra, submission of (X,Y) data sets which have been previously published or are under consideration for publication in another form, such as a figure in another scientific journal article, is permissible. Submissions are accepted with the understanding that they (the submission in its entirety) have not been copyrighted, published, or accepted for publication elsewhere. A signed copyright transfer form will be required for publication.

How to Prepare Your Manuscript Submission


Depending on the type of submission that you are making, you will prepare your work starting with one of the template documents, which can be found below. The template file types are MS Word. Follow the instructions within the template to generate your article. Additional instructions for each technique type (XPS/AES, SIMS, LEIS and optical property measurements) can be found in the technique specific instructions documents, also shown below. Please carefully follow the directions in each specific template to create figures and complete tables accurately. This will help avoid any delays in submission review and processing.

Spectral categories include:

  • Reference - spectra of such quality they can be used to define energy scales or calibration reference points.
  • Comparison - spectra from well-defined materials, often obtained as a prelude to the study of related compositions in laboratory or field trials.
  • Technical - spectra of technological materials, often featuring multiple near-surface layers arising from manufacture or environmental exposure.

Due to the comprehensive nature of the XPS/AES submissions, there are also additional instructions for completing those templates.


Your abstract should summarize and include key information about the specimens and spectra, such as specimen material, measurement procedures, and significance of the research. Remember that abstracts typically are reused verbatim by abstracting and indexing services so your abstract needs to stand on its own. Please avoid citing references in the abstract and using the abstract as a catch-all to insert information that is more appropriate for other data fields.

Video Abstract Submissions:

Authors may provide a video abstract with their submission.

  • A video abstract provides a brief overview of what is discussed in the article in the format of a short video.
  • It is a supplement to the abstract and does not replace the abstract.
  • Editors will review all video abstracts and may recommend revisions.
  • The review process for invited manuscripts will not change if you provide a video abstract.
  • Referees have the option to comment on the video abstract and all supplementary materials.
  • Video abstracts will be embedded directly into the HTML version of your article.
  • They can be viewed seamlessly with the click of a button.
  • There is no need to download any additional software or make any changes to your browser.
  • MP4 is the preferred format for video abstracts. Please follow these specifications: Codec: H.264 aka MPEG-4 AVC or MPEG-4 Part 10 Audio Codec: AAC
  • AVI, MOV, MPEG, MPG, QT, and WMV will also be accepted.
  • Videos must be less than 20 MB and have an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 4:3.
  • To include a video abstract with your article, please upload it during your submission and designate the file type as “Video Abstract”.

References should be formatted as follows:

  1. Gomez, R. J. Belen, M. Kiehlbauch, and E. S. Aydil, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 22, 606 (2004).
    H. Lamb, Hydrodynamics, 6th ed. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1940), pp. 573, 645.

Author Declarations

Authors are required to include a Conflict of Interest statement and, if required, an Ethics Approval statement. Ethics approval statements are required for research article submissions that include experiments using animals and/or human subjects.

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is any personal interest or relationship that may be affected by publication of the submitted manuscript. A conflict of interest may exist from owning a patent or stock; being a member of a board of directors, advisory board, or committee for a company; receiving speaker or consultancy honoraria; etc. All potential conflicts directly related to the submitted work should be disclosed and any conflict arising from three years before the start of the work should be disclosed.
If there are no conflicts to report, the authors must state that they have no conflicts to disclose. Examples of conflict of interest disclosure statements, including financial and non-financial interests and intellectual property, are given below:

Financial interests
  • {Author’s initials or name} reports grant(s) from {name of organization} and speaking honoraria for {insert name of organization} during the conduct of the study.
  • {Author’s initials or name} reports personal fees from {name of organization} outside the submitted work.
  • {Author’s initials or name} is a paid consultant for {name of organization} and owns stock in {name of company}.
Non-financial interests
  • {Author’s initials or name} is an unpaid member of {name of organization}.
  • {Author’s initials or name} is on the advisory board of {name of organization}.
Intellectual property
  • {Author’s initials or name} has Patent {patent number} {pending/issued/licensed}.
No conflicts of interest
  • The authors have no conflicts to disclose.

For more information on conflicts of interest, please see AIP Publishing’s policy and the conflict of interest disclosure form provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

Ethics Approval

Any research article containing experiments using animals and/or human subjects must include a statement that the authors obtained ethics approval. Ethics approval statements must include the institutional and/or licensing committee(s) approving the experiments. For research using human participants, the statement must indicate that informed consent was obtained from all participants or why this was not necessary. 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)
Author Contributions
  • A list of authors and their specific contributions, known as a CRediT (Contribution Role Taxonomy) Statement, is now required for all submissions in accordance with the NISO standard.
  • Please see the CRediT portion of our Ethics and Policy page for more information and how to develop this statement.
  • The Corresponding author is responsible for providing accurate contribution descriptions for each author listed on the manuscript. Also, they must ensure that all authors have reviewed, discussed, and agreed to the complete statement.
  • CrediT statements will be published as part of the article, appearing in the Author Contribution section in the full text view and pdf/version of record.

Supplemental Data Files

Surface Science Spectra is a database and journal hybrid and as such relies heavily upon the supporting data files. To that end, we supply additional detailed instructions regarding file type and naming scheme for these files. This information can be found in this file: Surface Science Spectra Information on Supplemental Data Files. Please note, within the body of the submission template, you are asked to complete a few tables to provide further details on your data. Please utilize the file name that you create from these instructions to populate the Spectral ID column in the tables within the body of the template document. Detailed information for managing the tables within the templates can be found in the templates themselves and within the instruction documents, available in the section above labeled “Templates”.

Data Availability Statement

Submissions are required to include a data availability statement. This statement should be placed between Acknowledgements and References. If you are using one of the templates, there is additional guidance provided. You can also review the instructions and templates, using the following link:

Submitting and processing your Submission

Once your submission is prepared, go to the journal's web-based submission site and log in or create a profile to proceed with the submission process. The Peer X-Press (PXP) site will collect all the necessary information including but not limited to your data files, permissions information, and your signed License to Publish Agreement.

Any missing information will be brought to your attention via email from the editorial office ( Revised submissions should include a letter giving specific responses to the reviewer(s), a list of changes made to the manuscript, and any issues raised by the Editor’s technical edit. Instructions on submitting your revised submission will be included in communication from the editorial office.


The AVS Publications Office email for Surface Science Spectra is Mail can be sent to AVS Publications Office, 51 Kilmayne Drive, Suite 201, Cary, NC 27511, ph.: 919-226-0091.

If your paper is accepted for publication, you will be notified by the Editor. Accepted papers are sent to AIP Publishing LLC for production. Correspondence about proofs and links for reprints and publication charges will be sent to the author during the production stage from AIP Publishing LLC. Send all correspondence about the production of your paper to or AVS Journals, AIP Publishing LLC, 1305 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 110, Melville, NY 11747. Include your AIPP paper number, author, and journal in your correspondence.

Proofs of processed manuscripts

Accepted submissions are sent to AIP Publishing for production and publication, and the final peer-reviewed data files are incorporated into the complete SSS database and corresponding data visualization and referencing tool, eSpectra. After AIP Publishing creates the pages of your article, you will receive an email with a URL and PIN to download the proof. There are instructions for downloading and returning your proof on that website. Although a few corrections in a proof are unavoidable, the cost of making extensive changes or of correcting mistakes caused by careless preparation of the article will be charged to the author. Unless corrected proofs are returned punctually, your paper will be published in uncorrected form and will be so labeled.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters available for author names

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. In order to participate in this free service, interested authors must include Chinese, Japanese, or Korean characters within the author list of their submission when submitting or resubmitting. The publisher does not offer a translation service and will not insert names; this is the author’s responsibility. To participate, authors must prepare their submissions using Microsoft Word or using the CJK LaTeX package.

Open Access

There are no page charges required for publishing. Authors have the option during submission to indicate if they would like the article to publish as open access. There is a $2200 fee for open access.

Publication Ethics and Responsibilities

The below site provides a full library of information including but not limited to: Conflicts of Interest, Ethics, Licensing Terms, Web posting guidelines, Rights and permissions, and Copyright and re-use FAQs.

Author Responsibilities

As a Member Society of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and as a close partner, AVS adheres to AIP’s policies outlined in their statement of ethics and responsibilities for authors submitting to AVS journals.

Web Posting Guidelines and Statement of Ethics

As a Member Society of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and a close partner, AVS adheres to AIP’s policies outlined in their statement of ethics and responsibilities for authors submitting to AVS Journals.

View Web Posting Guidelines.

Supplemental Material

Authors may upload supplemental data files and other information on the WCF.

Tutorial Videos

For Windows and Apple/Mac/iPad based platforms and browsers

  1. Access and downloading Surface Science Spectra Data -
  2. Opening Data Surface Science Spectra in Excel -
  3. Open your Surface Science Spectra data in Casa XPS -