Manuscripts may be submitted in several formats: Articles, Communications, and Letters to the Editor. Letters to the Editor include Notes, Comments, Responses, and Errata. In addition to the above formats which appear in most issues, JCP also occasionally publishes Special Topic Sections. Manuscripts submitted to the Journal should have some broad interest to workers in more than one subfield of Chemical Physics. Papers on more specialized topics, which will be of interest to a limited number of readers in only one subfield, should be submitted to more specialized journals.
Most manuscripts are submitted as Articles. These are intended to be novel, clear, concise, and definitive reports of research in areas appropriate to the Journal. Articles should not contain previously published material and should have a significant quantity of new material. Authors should avoid spreading related results over several papers when the scientific argument would be made more persuasive by grouping many results in a single paper. The utility of new methods or techniques should be demonstrated, often by a significant example using the new method. 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 reference to relevant published literature, but material that is exclusively review in nature is not appropriate. While there is no length limit for Articles, authors should make every effort to keep the manuscript as short as possible consistent with a clear description of the research. It is often appropriate to present a piece of work as a single, longer article rather than breaking the work down into several shorter articles. However, in all cases, the editors will have to be satisfied that the length of an article is appropriate for the information that it contains.
Notes are similar to Articles in that they are short but complete research reports. Notes are limited to two journal pages. The algorithm by which the length of Letters to the Editor is estimated may be found in the first issue of each volume.
Communications are preliminary reports of highly significant work whose rapid publication will be important to a relatively large number of workers in the field. Communications may be complete themselves or may be followed by Articles, which present substantial additional significant information. Communications have a length limit of 3500 words. Communications are given priority attention in both the peer-review and production processes.
Estimating the length of JCP Communications
Manuscripts should not exceed 3500 words.
Authors are advised to use the JCP styles included in the REVTeX 4.1 package for all submissions to JCP. If the double-column version of the manuscript obtained using the "reprint" option fits on four pages (excluding abstract, author list, acknowledgments, and references), the length is acceptable.
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Highlight the manuscript text, excluding abstract, author list, acknowledgements and references, and note the word count at the bottom of the screen. Add to that the word-count-equivalents for figures, tables and equations as follows:
- Figures: An average single-clumn figure will displace 220 words. For a more accurate estimation, use the following: [(150/aspect ratio) + 20 words] for single-column figures, and [(300/(0.5 x aspect ratio)) + 40 words] for double-column figures. Aspect ratio = width/height.
- Tables:6.5 words per line, plus 13 words for single-column tables. 13 words per line, plus 26 words for double-column tables.
- Equations:16 words per row for single-column equations. 32 words per row for double-column equations.
If the total number of words (text + figures + tables + equations) is 3500 or less, the length is acceptable.
Comments are Letters that discuss and supplement papers previously published in the Journal. Although Comments are often criticism by authors other than those of the original paper, they can be comments on an author's own work. Comments should address nontrivial points of interest to readers other than the authors of the Comment and the paper being commented on. Comments by others than the authors of the previously published work being discussed will normally be submitted for review to the authors of the original paper, and these authors will be given the opportunity to submit a Response for simultaneous publication. The editors will iterate between authors of the Comment and authors of the Response as long as, in the Editor's opinion, the process leads to improvement in the manuscripts. When the Editor feels that further review between the authors is unlikely to result in improvement, the Editor will usually ask the advice of an independent and anonymous referee. Both Comment and Response must independently satisfy the criteria for acceptance. That is, while the author of the original paper is given the opportunity to submit a Response, there is no requirement that the Response be published even if the Comment is published. Both the Comment and the Response are each limited to two journal pages. In deciding on the acceptability of Comments and Responses, the Editors will attempt to publish only material that will significantly improve the reader's understanding of the topic under discussion and will attempt to be fair to both sets of authors. These criteria often require significantly more time for the review process than is the case with Articles.
Errata are intended to be corrections of errors in previously published papers. These may be either errors introduced in the publication process by either the author or the publisher, or errors in the research that were only discovered after the paper has been 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, Note, or Comment.
Perspective Articles are intended as overviews of significant emerging areas or areas of increasing importance to readers of the Journal. These articles are intended to provide an introduction of the subject to scientists who have not themselves worked on the problem, and also to provide a summary of the state-of-the-art to experts in the field. Focus Perspective Articles will be published infrequently on no fixed schedule, and will be commissioned by the Editors.
Special Topic sections will be published occasionally and on no fixed schedule. These are intended to be reports of new research results that significantly advance our understanding of the field, and they will be reviewed using the usual criteria for Articles in the Journal. Special Topic sections may be assembled by the regular Editors or by a guest Editor. In all cases, the final decision regarding acceptance of a manuscript will be with the regular Editors.
The Editors and AIP encourage authors to submit supplemental material that may only be of interest to a few readers who are working on the problem for example, for publication alongside their manuscript. Long data tables, large numbers of figures, and long and detailed portions of text not necessary for an overall understanding of the scientific argument of the paper are appropriate. Supplemental material is linked to the electronic version of the journal and is immediately available to the interested reader. Long data sets are more useful to the reader when published this way as there is at least the possibility of electronic manipulation by the reader. There is no restriction on the format of supplemental files, but the Editors strongly encourage the use of ASCII text for the presentation of data. Word processing packages change in time, and ASCII text files are more likely to be readable in the future. Formats such as PDF and PostScript that cannot be edited are less useful to the reader who wishes to manipulate the data.