Focus and Coverage
Review of Scientific Instruments (RSI) publishes novel advancements in scientific instrumentation, apparatuses, techniques of experimental measurement, and related mathematical analysis. Its content includes publication of regular and review articles on instruments covering all areas of science including physics, chemistry, and biology. RSI regularly publishes conference proceedings of two conferences, the High-Temperature Plasma Diagnostics topical conference and the International Conference on Ion Sources. Special Topic sections may also be published on new developments or on recently held workshops in instrumentation
Review of Scientific Instruments covers timely reports on advances in instrumentation within areas of research that include:
Optics, Atoms and Molecules, Spectroscopy, Photon Detectors, Particle Sources, Particle Detectors, Nuclear Physics, Fusion, Plasmas, Microscopy and Imaging, Condensed Matter and Materials Chemistry, Biology and Medicine,
Gravity, Geophysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Electronics, Electromagnetic Technology, Microwaves, Thermometry, Thermal Diffusivity, Acoustics, Sensors and Actuators, MEMS, NEMS and General Instruments.
2015 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2016)*:
Among top 3 highly cited journals in Instruments and Instrumentation
|Five-Year Impact Factor
|Article Influence Score
* Data from the 2015 Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016).
The international standard serial number (ISSN) for Review of Scientific Instruments is 0034-6748.
The CODEN is RSINAK.
- Richard C. Pardo
- Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
- Ian G. Brown: Consulting Editor for the ICIS Conference
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
- James R. Matey: Consulting Editor for Invited Reviews and Invited Articles
- National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA
- Kenneth M. Young: Consulting Editor for the HTPD Conference
- Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ, USA
- David M. Bartels
- University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
- Chin-Tu Chen
- The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Jonathan C. Lang
- Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
- Xinghua Lu
- Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, People's Republic of China
Associate Editor for New Products
- Andreas Mandelis
- University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Editor, 2000-2015: Albert T. Macrander
Editor, 1979-1999: Thomas H. Braid
Editor, 1954-1978: J. B. Horner Kuper
Editor, 1940-1954: Gaylord P. Harnwell
Editor, 1940: Joseph A. Becker
Editor, 1932-1939: F. K. Richtmyer
Editor, 1930-1932: Paul D. Foote
John Clarke (University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA)
Utkan Demirci (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School)
Javier Fochesatto (University of Alaska Fairbanks)
Juan C. Lasheras (Center for Medical Device and Instrumentation, Institute of engineering in Medicine, UC San Diego)
Zvi G. Loewy (Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, Touro College of Pharmacy)
Jerry A. Nolen (Argonne National Laboratory, Physics Division)
Alessandro Olivo (University College London)
Mario Podesta (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory)
Xiaohu Qiu (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
David N. Seidman (Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA)
Matthew Y. Sfeir (Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA)
Isaac Silvera (Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA)
Joseph Stroscio (National Institute of Standards & Technology)
Zoltan Takats (Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine)
Yuxiang Weng (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics)
Irene Zanette (Technische Universitat Muenchen, Physics Department)
Michael A. Duncan (University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA)
Kamil L. Ekinci (Boston University, Boston, MA, USA)
Jill (Elizabeth) Foley (Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, Princeton, NJ, USA)
Heinz Graafsma (DESY, HASYlab, Hamburg, Germany)
Andreas J. Heinrich (IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA, USA)
Jamie K. Hobbs (University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom)
The Review Process
(RSI) is published by the AIP Publishing. RSI welcomes submission of original papers on scientific instruments, apparatus, technique of experimental measurement, or related data analysis. The traditional emphasis has been on instruments and methods used for scientific research. Although primarily a physics journal, papers across all areas of science are considered for publication. Papers on research instruments in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, astronomy, geophysics, and materials science are encouraged and welcomed. Papers on electronics or experimental methods are appropriate in so far as they relate to a clearly defined instrument or measurement.
The Editor of RSI, aided by the Associate and Consulting Editors and by the Editorial Board, is responsible for the content and other editorial matters related to the Journal. Manuscripts submitted are first screened by the editors, and those within the scope of the Journal are sent to an expert referee for evaluation. A manuscript may be sent to a second reviewer as deemed necessary by the Associate Editor or Editor. It is the intention to reach a decision on the basis of no more than two rounds of reviewing. Only for exceptional cases will a third review be undertaken. All additional reviews create delay, and requests for a new reviewer are often inappropriate in conjunction with significant modification to a manuscript. A decision after significant changes have been made is usually left to the reviewer requesting the changes. Authors must respond within 120 days when an electronic link is left open for resubmission or the manuscript file will be closed. Authors are strongly encouraged to make suggestions for potential reviewers upon submission. However, suggestions for specific reviewers may not be followed. Papers far afield and possibly suitable in the editor's opinion, but for which no suitable expert referee can be found after some considerable time spent searching, may be refused by the Editor. An author may appeal a decision to reject a manuscript by making a request to the Editor that the case be reviewed by the Executive Director of AIP. The Executive Director will not make direct decisions whether or not a paper should be accepted for publication, but rather will assess whether procedures were followed properly. Additional rounds of review or adjudication would only be called for if proper procedures were not followed. An author wishing to initiate an appeal should do so through the associate or consulting editor who handled his or her manuscript.
Types of Papers and Their Content
The goal of Review of Scientific Instruments is to provide an archive of scholarly research that enables readers to practice the use of innovative instrumentation, measurement techniques and data analysis methods. It has a stronger “how to” than “what we found” character.
Contributed Articles: Contributed articles present detailed descriptions of innovative and newly tested instruments, measurement techniques, or data analysis methods. In almost all cases, physical data to demonstrate performance is needed, and papers that only propose a new instrument, technique or method are not considered suitable. In most cases, papers that present results of finite-element-analyses without comparison to physical data are not appropriate. For large instruments that involve a long period of construction and typically are built by a facility (e.g., an interferometer for detection of gravity waves), a description of the instrument or of a component of the full instrument along with the performance that is expected based on simulation or numerical modeling specific to the component may be suitable. However, reports of minor changes that would lead to serial publications on the same instrument are not suitable. Nor are papers of a "narrative" nature which describe the instrumental experience of one author or a single research group in the process of designing an instrument or through several generations of a type of instrument. The Editor has found that these often discuss unsuccessful instruments. Papers on a new experimental technique as applied to a published instrument may be suitable, but such papers are closely scrutinized for novelty and for the significance of the technique. Papers reporting new results without providing new information on the instrument used for the measurement or on the measurement technique are not suitable, and authors of such manuscripts are referred to other journals. Authors should present new results selectively and only when the results are decidedly informative on an instrument, measurement technique, or data analysis method. Papers claiming to be novel only on the basis of lower cost are not considered appropriate for publication in RSI. However, many such papers describe more elegant solutions to previously solved instrumental problems, and the particular solution can have other advantages besides lower cost. A generic “low cost” can be mentioned in passing but novelty sufficient for publication will be judged solely on technical grounds. Cost cannot be referenced in the title, nor can prices be quoted anywhere in the text. Manuscripts principally about a commercial instrument will be refused by the Editor. Papers written for the purpose of making a selection of the “best” or “most suitable” commercial unit are not appropriate. Experience with such cases has resulted in either 1) a negative reaction from a supplier who feels their product has been unfairly represented or 2) a positive reaction leading to the view that RSI papers can serve as a form of advertising. Both reactions are unwanted.
It is appropriate to present a detailed description of an instrument, technique or method in RSI, as described above, and a detailed description of the results of the use of the instrument, technique or method elsewhere.
Notes: Shorter papers can be submitted for publication as an RSI Note. These may not exceed three journal pages and are intended to describe components or techniques that do not fulfill the above requirements for an RSI article, but are nonetheless of value to the scientific community. Notes can be used to report on a significantly updated and improved instrument. Just as for Articles, Notes should contain a comparison to physical data and to demonstrate performance. Authors should present new results selectively and only when the results are decidedly informative on an instrument, measurement technique, or data analysis method. A manuscript that follows quickly upon the acceptance of a prior submission by the same author group on the same or a closely related topic will be closely scrutinized by the Editor for fresh novelty and may be returned to the author for length reduction to a Note-length manuscript.
Conference Proceedings: RSI publishes the Proceedings of only two conferences: the International Conference on Ion Sources (ICIS) and the Topical Conference on High-Temperature Plasma Diagnostics (HTPD). Each of these has an assigned Consulting Editor. Solicitations for publication of additional conference proceedings will be referred to the AIP Conference Proceedings series.
Invited Reviews: Invited Reviews are commissioned by the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers. They should be of sufficient length to cover the significant published work of many authors on the topic of the review. These types of manuscripts are classic reviews of an entire instrumental/measurement science field. Manuscripts submitted for publication as an Invited Review are routinely sent to two reviewers in parallel by the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers who also handles the subsequent correspondence. Invited Reviews are placed first in a particular issue and are requested to provide artwork to be placed on the cover of the issue in which they appear. Typically, there is only one Invited Review or Invited Article per issue. There is no charge for color figures in print and online versions of Invited Reviews, but the decision of which figures will be printed in color is at the discretion of both the Consulting Editor and Head Editor. Suggestions for Invited Review topics may be directed to the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers via the RSI editorial office. Detailed instructions for authors of invited papers are available from the Consulting editor.
Invited Articles: Invited Articles are commissioned by the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers and can be written to describe a specific instrument or measurement technique. That is, unlike an Invited Review, there is no need to cover an entire field of instrumentation. Tutorial papers can also be invited for submission as Invited Articles. Manuscripts submitted for publication as an Invited Article are routinely sent to two reviewers in parallel by the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers who also handles the subsequent correspondence. Invited Articles are placed first in a particular issue and are requested to provide artwork to be placed on the cover of the issue in which the paper appears. Typically, there is only one Invited Review or Invited Article per issue. There is no charge for color figures in print and online versions of Invited Articles, but the decision of which figures will be printed in color is at the discretion of both the Consulting Editor and Head Editor. Suggestions for Invited Article topics may be directed to the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers via the RSI editorial office. Detailed instructions for authors of invited papers are available from the Consulting editor.
Tutorials: An Invited Review or an Invited Article may be designated as an Invited Tutorial by the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers, in consultation with the Head Editor and the authors. Though all RSI papers are expected to have some tutorial aspect, this designation can be useful to both peer reviewers and to journal readers.
Contributed Reviews: RSI will consider for publication contributed manuscripts that correspond to Invited Reviews, as described above, but that may be contributed without first being invited by the Consulting Editor for Invited Papers. As one example, when a new instrumental development is initiated in a research group, a detailed study of that instrumental field with an exhaustive review of the literature will likely first take place. The results of that literature review can be described in a manuscript submitted as a Contributed Review. Authors should strive for a balanced and fair overview of the instrumental field of interest. Manuscripts submitted for publication as a Contributed Review are routinely sent to two reviewers in parallel by the Consulting Editor who also handles the subsequent correspondence. In very select cases, a Contributed Review may be upgraded to an Invited Review – but this is not the recommended path to an Invited Review. There is no charge for color figures in print and online versions of Contributed Reviews, but the decision of which figures will be printed in color is at the discretion of both the Consulting Editor and Head Editor.
Criteria for Publication
The major criterion for publication is technical novelty. A published instrument is not considered to be novel. Referees are asked to assess the merit of papers as bearing on a new instrument, new measurement technique or new data analysis method. Explicit claims of novelty in the text of a paper are often too self-serving and unnecessary. However, explanations of novelty may be solicited by the editor in case an author wishes to rebut a negative review. Each manuscript must meet the criteria for publication independently. Consequently, authors who submit two papers covering the same new instrument will be asked to combine them. The policy leading to the decision that papers should be combined applies, in particular, to manuscripts submitted in parallel by the same author group where one covers only the theory of an instrument reported in the accompanying manuscript. Each submitted manuscript must stand on its own and must separately satisfy the criteria set out in these General Editorial Policies. Acceptance for publication of one manuscript can never be contingent on the acceptance of another manuscript under peer review. Similarly, in cases where a new manuscript is submitted before the peer review process is concluded on an earlier submission by the same author group on a closely related topic, the new manuscript will be refused by the Editor, but may be resubmitted at a later date. This policy is intended to guard against double publication of the same content should a reviewer of the first paper request inclusion of material contained in the new submission. Mandatory excess page fees will be imposed for papers longer than 10 printed pages; this policy does not pertain to invited articles or invited review articles.
Papers covering material previously published in any English language peer reviewed journal (except in the case of Invited Reviews or Invited Articles) will be refused. RSI will consider for publication papers that contain some material previously published, but not yet peer reviewed, as in a non-peer-reviewed conference proceedings paper. However, such papers should have significant new content, and it is not acceptable to simply resubmit the verbatim text of a paper that has previously appeared in a non-peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Authors may be asked to supply preprints or reprints related to the topic of the submitted manuscript. Authors are strongly encouraged to upload closely related papers or preprints as supplemental files at the time of submission.
The focus of all papers should be on a scientific research readership, and papers should describe work done on research concerning an instrument, measurement technique or related data analysis method. Papers describing a commercially available instrument will be refused. RSI papers are not intended to advertise instruments for sale. The New Products section can, however, be used to describe commercial instruments.
Authors publishing in Review of Scientific Instruments will retain copyright and are required to complete an exclusive license to publish agreement. It is a tradition of long standing that submission to the Journal implies that the work has neither been previously copyrighted nor accepted for publication elsewhere. Since completion of the License to Publish Agreement is required before publication, electronic acceptance of the Agreement during the submission process can prevent unnecessary delays. RSI also requires authors to inform the editors if a paper has been previously submitted to another journal, whether or not it is currently active with that journal.
A paper may be returned to the corresponding author for no other reason than that it suffers due to poor English. Papers must be understandable and communicate an unambiguous message. The editors and staff can make only a limited number of edits, and it is the responsibility of the authors to obtain help from a colleague who is fluent in English if that is needed. Most problems occur when there are nuances in meaning, and the authors bear the primary responsibility for clarity. Poor English may ultimately be a reason to refuse a paper.
Retraction and Correction Policies
AIP takes its responsibility to maintain the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record of our content for all end users very seriously. AIP places great importance on the authority of articles after they have been published and our policy is based on best practice in the academic publishing community. Changes to articles after they have been published online may only be made under the circumstances outlined in AIP's Retraction and Correction Policies which can be accessed here.
It is possible to transfer a rejected manuscript to another AIP journal for consideration. A list and descriptions can be found here. If you feel that your manuscript would be appropriate for publication in another of AIP's journals you may request a transfer by email. Please note that transferring manuscript files does not guarantee that the manuscript will be considered by the receiving journal. It is only meant to offer the technical facility to allow transfer of manuscript files and correspondence without the inconvenience of having to resubmit from journal to journal.
AIP Publishing grants to the author(s) of papers submitted to RSI the right to post their accepted manuscript anywhere on the Web immediately after acceptance by AIP Publishing. 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 an RSI paper. Related specifications and details are available here.
Page & Open Access Charges
Although Review of Scientific Instruments carries no regular page charge, for any regular published article that exceeds 10 (ten) journal pages, a mandatory fee of $150 per page will be added for each page in excess of ten (10) pages.
Through participation in Author Select® and payment of a $2200 fee in support of both publication and archiving costs, authors may instruct the journal to provide free online access to a published article, in perpetuity, to any online user. More details on this option may be found in the Open Access Publication section of this website. Authors may indicate their intention to participate in Author Select when submitting new or revised manuscripts at the journal’s submission website.
Inquiries concerning page charges and open access fees should be addressed to:
Publication Page Charge & Reprints
1305 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747-4502
Telephone: 1-800-344-6909 (U.S. and Canada) or +1 516-576-2270
Fax: +1 516-349-9704
Illustrations will appear in color in the online journal free of charge to authors. To take advantage of this free service, authors must (i) supply usable color graphics files (.eps, .ps, .tif, or .pdf only), (ii) transmit graphics files in time for utilization during the production process, (iii) submit only one version of each graphics file, (iv) ensure that colors chosen will reproduce well when printed in black & white, and (v) ensure that descriptions of figures in text will be sufficiently clear for both print and online versions.
Authors or their institutions must bear the cost of any color they wish to use in the printed journal. As of 1 January 2009, a fixed rate of $325 for each color figure applies for color in print. For multipart figures, a single charge will apply only if all parts are submitted as a single piece of artwork.
For color in the printed journal, authors are required to sign an acknowledgment of color charges prior to publication of an article with color figures.
Direct inquiries concerning free online color and color printing charges to AIP Production Services.
Contact the RSI Editorial Office at:
Review of Scientific Instruments
1305 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747-4300, USA
Telephone: +1 516-576-2323
AIP Publishing Production Office
Authors of accepted manuscripts may contact the AIP Production Office at:
Editorial SupervisorReview of Scientific Instruments
1305 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747-4300, USA
Telephone: +1 516-576-2619
Fax: +1 516-576-2233
(contact for information on accepted papers in the production process)