NEW INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS (as of 08/19/2014)

Medical Physics publishes articles (which may be experimental or theoretical) broadly concerned with the relationship of physics to medicine and biology.

Submissions may be in the form of a (1) Research Article, (2) Technical Report, (3) Technical Note, (4) Medical Physics Letter, (5) Review Article, (6) Vision 20/20 Article (7) Task Group Report, (8) Special Report, (9) Point/Counterpoint “Debate,” (10) Correspondence, (11) Editorial, or (12) Ph.D. Thesis Abstract. All submissions (except Ph.D. thesis abstracts) will undergo full peer review. Submissions should not exceed 10 printed journal pages; pages beyond this limit will be charged to the author at $200 per additional page. To estimate your manuscript length, please click on the "Estimating Page Length" tab at the top of the PeerX-Press (PXP) manuscript submission page.

  1. A Research Article is a report of original experimental or theoretical research. Authors should keep in mind that attention to clarity and conciseness facilitates the review process and also the impact of the published article.
  2. A Technical Report is usually a report of an extensive series of measurements, often involving display in the form of tables or graphs, with text describing the conditions and procedures of measurement. The criteria for Technical Reports are validity and utility. Formulations of quality assurance procedures, including educational criteria, are appropriate in this category if of sufficiently broad interest. Technical Reports should present new scientific information. Reports that describe procedures of more narrow interest, including “how I do it”, “tricks of the trade”, “how I apply it to my practice”, and “helpful hints” descriptions, should be submitted to another journal, perhaps the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics (JACMP).
  3. A Technical Note is a concise description of a specific development, procedure or device which should be a solution to a specific problem and have sufficient relevance to be useful to many readers of Medical Physics. It should be concise and occupy no more than four printed pages in Medical Physics.
  4. A Medical Physics Letter is a short (3 printed journal pages or less) article on a scientific or clinical topic of overriding importance to medical physicists. A Letter is reviewed within a matter of days and is judged acceptable, acceptable with minor revisions, or rejected. A Medical Physics Letter does not preclude publication of a regular research article at a later time. Because of the timeliness of a Medical Physics Letter, any revision must be submitted within five days of receiving the Editor's decision email.
  5. A Review Article is an authoritative review of a subject important to the field of medical physics. It may be either invited or proffered. Review Articles are published online only.
  6. A Vision 20/20 Article defines the state-of-the-art development of a particular subject important to medical physics (e.g. an evolving technology), projects where the development of the subject will be in 10 years or so, and describes a strategy for moving from the current to the projected state of development of the subject. A potential author of a Vision 20/20 article should discuss the subject of the article with the Journal Editor before beginning development of the article.
  7. A Task Group Report is a technical report prepared by an official task group of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). Task Group Reports are published online only. A Task Group Report is peer-reviewed in the usual manner, except that the associate editor is appointed by the journal editor from a short list of potential associate editors proposed by the task group chair. The proposed associate editors shall not have been involved in the writing of the Task Group Report. The appointed associate editor shall select four referees: two referees from the parent committee of the Task Group who may have reviewed the report but are not report coauthors; and two referees external to the Task Group or parent committee who have not been involved as a reviewer or in any other manner in the preparation of the Task Group Report. For Task Group Reports that exceed 30 printed journal pages, an Executive Summary, rather than the full Task Group Report, is reviewed and, if acceptable, published online, with a link to the full Task Group Report available on the AAPM web page. In special circumstances, a Task Group Report exceeding 30 pages may be published if page charges are paid. Task Group Reports should have a standardized title, such as Monitor unit calculations for external photon and electron beams: Report of the AAPM Therapy Physics Committee Task Group 71.
  8. A Special Report is a report of general interest to medical physicists that falls outside the categories described above.
  9. A Point/Counterpoint “debate” is a concise article consisting of pro and con positions on a controversial issue in the discipline. These are typically invited rather than proffered. The Editor invites authors to submit articles addressing a specific topic, one for each side of the argument. Each side of the debate should be prepared by a single author unless coauthorship by both sides has been arranged prior to the start of the debate. Readers who wish to volunteer to debate a controversial issue should contact the Point/Counterpoint Moderator for instructions (Dr. Colin Orton, ortonc@comcast.net).
  10. Correspondence normally addresses a scientific point in connection with a previous publication in Medical Physics.
  11. An Editorial is a brief (usually one page or less) article of general interest to readers. It may be either invited or proffered.
  12. A Ph.D. Thesis Abstract is a short description of a Ph.D. research project of a recent graduate. Ph.D. Thesis Abstracts are published online only.

Manuscripts are normally reviewed by an Associate Editor and by two or more independent referees chosen by the Associate Editor. Suggestions by authors of appropriate Associate Editors and/or referees are always welcome. Referee comments are both general and specific. When invited to prepare a revised manuscript, it is important for the author to respond to each specific comment or suggestion in an itemized fashion. Final review is performed by the Editor.

The author submitting the manuscript is the corresponding author and is assumed to represent the interests of all authors. All correspondence will be carried out with this author. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all individuals included as authors on a manuscript have: (1) made substantial contributions to conception and design, and/or acquisition of data, and/or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafted the article and/or revised it critically for important intellectual content, and (3) given final approval of the version to be submitted for review. All authors should meet conditions (1), (2) and (3). All authors are reminded that they are accountable in the event of challenges to the veracity or integrity of the reported work and that they will be held responsible for the work if questions arise in the future about its authenticity and credibility. The corresponding author is also responsible for ensuring that no legitimate authors have been omitted. In cases where the first author is a student or fellow, the corresponding author should be an experienced investigator with supervisory responsibilities. Any change in authorship after a manuscript is submitted to Medical Physics, including changes desired in future revisions of the manuscript, must be approved by the Editor. In the listing of author affiliations in a published article, it is permissible to provide a URL to a description of the particular center or group that the authors represent.

Presenters of papers at the AAPM annual meeting are encouraged to submit their papers to Medical Physics. Presenters of papers at the RSNA annual meeting are encouraged to submit their papers either to Medical Physics or Radiology. Presenters of papers at other meetings and conferences with published abstracts or meeting proceedings also may submit their papers to Medical Physics, but the papers should be a substantial expansion of the information presented in the proceedings. Authors are encouraged to contact the Journal if they have any questions.

Manuscripts are expected to be written in excellent English and composed according to Medical Physics specifications, including article headings and references. A manuscript with poor grammar or confusing text construction may be returned to the author without review. If English is not the first language of the authors, they should have a colleague for whom English is the first language review and edit the manuscript before its submission. Journals published by the AIP Publishing LLC 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 and SPi Professional Editing Services. Interested authors should contact these service providers directly. Since AIP Publishing Journals have not used either of these commercial services, we cannot attest to the quality of their work.

The word “significant” should be used in a manuscript only in a statistical context and should be accompanied by the results of a statistical analysis. It should not be used as a modifying adjective.

A cover letter of submission giving the corresponding author’s full address, email address, and telephone number must be sent with each manuscript. Submission of a manuscript indicates that it has not been published previously nor concurrently submitted for publication elsewhere, and this should be stated in the cover letter. The AAPM Transfer of Copyright Agreement governs manuscripts accepted for publication and published articles; at no time should a manuscript under review with Medial Physics be posted or otherwise made available through any electronic outlet. Commercial names should not appear in the title, abstract, or keywords, although they may appear in the text or as footnotes.

AAPM does not tolerate plagiarism or any misrepresentation of original work. In support of this position, the AAPM Board of Directors and the Medical Physics Editorial Board have adopted policies and procedures in response to any accusation of plagiarism.

Authors should use the same form of their names in the byline of all Medical Physics submissions. This practice makes indexes more useful and less confusing.

When a revision is called for, the authors have three months within which to submit their revision, or the manuscript will be assigned a new manuscript number and considered as a new submission to the Journal. When submitting a revision, as well as including a point-by-point response, please also highlight the text where the revisions were made. Please note that we are now requiring the following for revisions:

  1. Modified article text must be highlighted
  2. Modified article text must have embedded figures and line numbers
  3. The point-by-point responses must contain the following 3 elements for every criticism
    1. Text of the original criticism
    2. Rebuttal
    3. The modified text along with line numbers in the revised article

If these requirements are not included, the revision will be sent back to the author for completion.

MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION

  1. Style: Authors are expected to follow the conventional writing, notation, and illustration style prescribed in the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Style Manual. A free copy is available here or by clicking on “General Information for Authors from AIP” at the bottom of pages in the PXP online submission system. Authors should also review the form and style of material recently printed in Medical Physics. For ease of review, manuscripts should be submitted as a single column, double-spaced document and not as it might appear in the Journal. Abbreviations, symbols, units, etc. should correspond with the suggestions in the AIP Style Manual. Authors are required to use SI units. Some modifications are acceptable, such as the specification of brachytherapy sources as described in AAPM Report No. 21. Where common laboratory practice employs conventional units, these may be employed with the SI units in parentheses.

  2. Abstract: An abstract must accompany every article (except Editorials, Point/Counterpoint “debates”, Correspondence, and Errata). The abstract should be submitted at the front of the complete manuscript (Article File). For Research Articles, Technical Reports, Technical Notes, and Medical Physics Letters, a structured abstract is required that consists of 4 parts: Purpose, Methods, Results and Conclusions. For Research Articles and Technical Reports, that abstract should not exceed 500 words. A limit of 300 words applies to Technical Notes and Medical Physics Letters.

    A Ph.D. Thesis Abstract should be e-mailed as a Word document to journal@aapm.org (Download the Template). If the dissertation is available online, please include the URL.  If not, please include references to any accessible publications by the author that relate specifically to the dissertation.  Please do not include abstracts of papers presented at scientific meetings. Ph.D. Thesis abstracts, if accepted, appear on http://www.medphys.org but not in print.
  3. Keywords: Up to 5 keywords should be chosen that capture the topic and subject matter addressed in the article. These keywords are used for bibliographic searching and indexing and should be chosen thoughtfully
  4. Format: Manuscripts must be in English and must be submitted online via the PeerX-Press system. Specific instructions for online submission are available at the PeerX-Press website.
  5. Every review and research article must include an Introduction that identifies the issue or problem addressed in the article, describes why it is important, and provides a summary of the approach to the issue or problem. The Introduction should provide a context for a reader who is not intimately familiar with the issue or problem addressed in the article.
  6. Mathematics: Mathematical expressions should be formatted as completely as possible. Do not use mathematical derivations that are easily found elsewhere in the literature; merely cite the references
  7. Tables: Extensive numerical material should be presented in tables rather than in the body of the text. Each table must have a caption that makes the data in the table intelligible without reference to the text. Complicated column headings should be avoided, but symbols used in the tables should be explained in the caption. Long tables should be avoided if possible. Footnotes to tables should be indicated by lower-case letters in the following order: *, †, ‡, #, ||, §, **. Tables should not include extensive detail that could be included in the main manuscript. Do not use vertical lines between columns. Use double horizontal lines above and below the table and single horizontal lines above and below the column headings. Tables must be inserted in the article file where mentioned in the text and not listed at the end of the article.
  8. Supplemental material: Supplemental material that is not intended to be published with the manuscript but might be useful to reviewers may be submitted under the tab “Supplemental Material”. If this material will be of use to some readers but is too limited to warrant publication in full, it may be made available to readers through the Physics Auxiliary Publications Service of the AIP Publishing in electronic (EPAPS) format. Authors interested in this service can obtain detailed information by clicking on “General Information for Authors from AIP” at the bottom of the page in the PXP online submission system.
  9. References: References should be assigned consecutive numbers as they occur in the body of the text. They should also be listed in the same order on a separate page. Titles of articles, complete lists of authors, and inclusive pagination must be included. References must be in the accessible, archival literature. “Private Communications” and commercial identifications and manuals are not appropriate for the reference list but can be identified as footnotes to the text. References should be appear in the following formats:

    1G. Kürbitz, “Electro-optic imaging,” in The Optics Encyclopedia: Basic Foundations and Practical Applications, Vol. 1, edited by Th.G. Brown, K. Creath, H. Kogelnik, M.A. Kriss, J. Schmit, M.J. Weber (Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2004), pp. 549-585.

    2G. Pang and J.A. Rowlands, “X-ray imaging: A novel direct-conversion design and its feasibility,” Med. Phys. 31, 3004-3016 (2004).

    3W.R. Hendee, G.S. Ibbott, E.G. Hendee, Radiation Therapy Physics, 3rd ed. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 2004).

    A list of standard abbreviations for journal names appears in the AIP Style Manual. Additionally, potential authors can use software tools to format references correctly and abide by the Journal’s guidelines. Such a tool is Endnote, developed by Thomson Scientific, that can be accessed here.

    Authors are urged to exclude unnecessary and/or incomplete references
  10. Illustrations: Please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing your illustrations for submission:
    • The author may now submit a single file with the low-res figures embedded in the article text where they are mentioned for the purpose of review.  After the first round of review, when the author submits a revision and it seems more likely that the manuscript will go to production, separate high-quality figures then will be required.
    • Number illustrations in the order in which they appear in the text. Place figures and their captions where they should appear in the article and not in a list at the end of the article file.
    • After the first round of review, ensure a minimum of 6-point type size and a maximum of 8-point type size [2.8 mm (1/8 in.) high] and 1-point line width within illustrations (a 3-point line width if reduction is required). Halftone images should be 300 dpi. Line art charts and graphs should be 1200 dpi. Avoid inconsistencies in lettering within individual illustrations and from one illustration to the next. Lettering and symbols cannot be handwritten. Avoid small open symbols that tend to fill in if any reduction is necessary.
    • In general, illustrations should be formatted with a white background. In cases where this is not feasible, illustrations may have a different background.
    • Color photographs and illustrations can be published only by arrangement with the Manuscripts Office and will incur a separate charge. As of June 2009, the print fee for a color figure is $325 per figure.
    • For photomicrographs, scale bars should be embedded in the illustration.
  11. Submissions to Medical Physics should have line and page numbering. To add line numbers to a Word file for your manuscript/article:
    1. Switch to print layout view.
    2. From the File menu (at top left of Word window), click Page Setup, and then click the Layout tab.
      1. Select the following:
      2. Section start: Continuous
      3. Apply to: Whole document
    3. Click on the button labeled "Line Numbers" near lower left of Page Setup / Layout panel.
      1. Click in the "Add line numbering" check box.
      2. Use the following options:
      3. Start at: 1
      4. From text: Auto
      5. Count by: 5
      6. Numbering: Continuous
      7. Click on the "OK" button.
    4. Back on the Page Setup panel, also click on the "OK" button.
    5. Save your document.
  12. Conflict of Interest: Each author of a manuscript is required to disclose any and all potential conflicts of interest that could be perceived to bias the results reported in the manuscript.  Conflicts of interest include financial interests in products and services described in the manuscript, or financial or personal relationships with manufacturers or distributors of such products and services.  Potential conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, the following items: employment, affiliation or consultancy with a company, research funding, honoraria, royalties, or speaker fees from a company, stock ownership or options in a company, or patents filed or owned jointly with a company.  Full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest should be described when a manuscript is submitted and should be disclosed in an acknowledgment at the end of the manuscript. 
  13. Proofs: Authors will be sent an email message to view, correct, and approve proofs online. Once an author sends in their corrections, no further corrections will be accepted.
  14. Manuscript length: Any published article over 10 printed pages will be charged an excess page fee of $200 per page. To estimate your manuscript length, please click on the "Estimating Page Length" tab at the top of the PXP page.

Responsibility for detecting errors rests with the author.

The quality of all figures must be checked by the author. The quality of the illustration on the proof is essentially the same as in the published manuscript.

Excessive alteration due to imperfections of the manuscript or to changes introduced by the author in proof will be charged to the author.

To avoid incurring charges or prolonging processing of contributions, authors are encouraged to follow the preceding instructions carefully.