NEW INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS (as of 02/07/2013)
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) Review Article, (2) Research Article, (3) Vision 20/20 Article (4) Technical Report, (5) Task Group Report, (6) Medical Physics Letter, (7) Technical Note, (8) Correspondence, (9) Point/Counterpoint “Debate,” (10) Editorial, (11) Ph.D. Thesis Abstract (published on-line only), or (12) Special Report. 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 PXP page.
- A Review Article is an authoritative review of a subject important to the field of medical physics. It may be either invited or proffered, but will be refereed as usual. Review Articles are published on-line only.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (and Notes) should present new scientific information. For example, papers describing the dosimetric properties of a new brachytherapy source obtained by a well-established protocol (e.g. described in an AAPM Task Group report) are not encouraged. 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 the American College of Medical Physics (JACMP).
- A Task Group Report is a technical report prepared by an official task group of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). A Task Group Report is peer-reviewed in the same manner as any other submission to Medical Physics, 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 20 printed journal pages, an Executive Summary, rather than the full Task Group Report, is reviewed and, if acceptable, published on-line and in print, with a link or denoted URL to the full Task Group Report available on the AAPM web page. In special circumstances, a Task Group Report exceeding 20 pages may be published if page charges are paid.
- 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.
- 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.
- Correspondence normally addresses a scientific point in connection with a previous publication in Medical Physics.
- 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 “volunteered.” 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.
- An Editorial is a brief (usually one page or less) article of general interest to readers. It may be either invited or proffered.
- A Ph.D. Thesis Abstract is a short description of a Ph.D. research project of a recent graduate. PhD Thesis Abstracts are published on-line only.
- A Special Report is a report of general interest to medical physicists that falls outside the categories described above.
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. 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, whose decision is final.
Medical Physics does not allow co-authorship of papers submitted for publication. 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 published. 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 of a paper is a student or fellow, the corresponding author should be an experienced scientist with supervisory responsibilities. Any change in authorship after a manuscript is submitted to Medical Physics, including changes desired in future revision of the manuscript, must be approved by the Editor. In the listing of author affiliations in articles published in Medical Physics, 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 where they are published as abstracts or in a 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.
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 colleague for whom English is the first language, review and edit the paper before its submission. Manuscripts are expected to be written in excellent English and composed according to Medical Physics specifications, including article headings and references.
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.
Submission of a manuscript indicates that it has not been published previously nor concurrently submitted for publication elsewhere and this should be stated during the submission process. A cover letter of submission giving the corresponding author’s full address, email address and telephone number must be sent with each manuscript. Commercial names should not appear in the title, abstract or keywords. 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 Board of Directors and Editorial Board of the AAPM’s journal Medical Physics 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.
- 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 online submission system. Authors should also study the form and style of material recently printed in Medical Physics. Manuscripts should be submitted as a single column, double space document and not as it might appear in the journal. This is requested for ease of reviewing.
Abbreviations, symbols, units, etc. should correspond with the suggestions in the AIP Style Manual. Authors are required to use SI units. There are some modifications, such as for specification of brachytherapy sources, as described in AAPM Report No. 21. Where common laboratory practice employs conventional units, they may be employed with the SI units in parentheses.
Journals published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) 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 the AIP Journals have not used either of these commercial services, we cannot attest to the quality of their work.
- Abstract: An abstract must accompany every article (except Editorials, Point/Counterpoint “debates”, Correspondence and Errata). The abstract should be submitted both separately and 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. Because an abstract is usually reprinted in its entirety in AIP abstract journals, care should be used in writing it.
A Ph.D. Thesis Abstract should be e-mailed as a Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org (Download the Template). If the dissertation is available on line, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. This introduction should provide a context for a reader who is not intimately familiar with the issue or problem addressed in the article.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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 online submission system.
- 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 sheet. 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 submitted 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).
4W. Hendee, “Meet the Expert Session: Imaging Physics,” presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the AAPM, Houston, TX, July 27-31, 2008.
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
- 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 it 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, it is at that time they are asked to submit separate high quality figures.
- 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.
- 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. All illustrations should be submitted as separate files, that is, Figure1, Figure 2, etc.
- 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 may incur a special charge.
- For photomicrographs, scale bars should be provided that are embedded in the illustration.
- As of June 2009, the print fee for a color figure is $325 per figure.
- Submissions to Medical Physics should have line and page numbering. To add line numbers to a Word file for your manuscript/article:
- Switch to print layout view.
- From the File menu (at top left of Word window), click Page Setup, and then click the Layout tab.
- Select the following:
- Section start: Continuous
- Apply to: Whole document
- Click on the button labeled "Line Numbers" near lower left of Page Setup /
- Click in the "Add line numbering" check box.
- Use the following options:
- Start at: 1
- From text: Auto
- Count by: 5
- Numbering: Continuous
- Click on the "OK" button.
- Back on the Page Setup panel, also click on the "OK" button.
- Save your document.
- 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 the following items, but are not limited to, 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.
- 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.
- Manuscript length: Beginning with manuscripts submitted in January 2012, 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.