Publishing in Journals

Academic Writing and Submitting Papers

AAPT Winter 2016 Session Slides - Presentation from Noah Finkelstein and Charles Henderson about academic writing

Reviewing Suggestions (Advice for writing a paper review)

Writing Good Negative Reviews

Sample Reviews

Scimago Journal & Country Ranking

This portal provides information to assess and analyze scientific domains.

**Scimago advice for publishing: Look at the manuscript cited in your paper in order to decide where to publish.**

Journals of Interest and requirements

We introduce some journals where Physics Education Research is published, even thought there are more options to publish. (If you are looking for some other options you can go to University of Maryland list also). We are providing the basic information to consider when submitting a paper in these journals, and the link for more detailed information in the official websites.

American Journal of Physics

  • Reference format: AIP Style Manual

  • Length: Typically between 4000 to 5000 words (plus equations, tables, and figures if appropriate), but shorter manuscripts are encouraged. Supplementary material and online material are allowed.

  • Types of Work Published: "The official description of papers to be submitted to PER Section of the AJP is found online. To simplify that carefully crafted policy carries some dangers, so what follows is advice without being policy. In thinking about journals, the criteria is often to think of the audience that reads it. A paper in the PER Section of AJP should be of interest to the generalist physicist who finds interest in insightful ways of thinking about physics and how students learn. Typically, a paper in the PER Section will be about college level topics, because the readers are primarily university faculty. Papers should build on a foundation of data and be consistent with the empirical and theoretical traditions of PER. But, a paper in the PER Section of AJP will not be read only by someone specializing in education research in the way that a paper in Phys Rev is. There is a tension between the last two sentences, and guidance should be found by looking at recent publications in the journal."

  • Note that AJP no longer accepts pure PER submissions, but continues to publish articles related to physics education practice. Refer to recent issues of the journal to clarify this distinction.

Cognition and instruction

  • Format: Style outlined in Chapter 3 of the Publication Manual of APA 6th Edition

  • Features: Color for online for free, for printed version you can cover the fee to print in color. No length specifications, it depends on the type of research format.

  • Types of Work Published: "Among education journals, Cognition and Instruction ’s distinctive niche is rigorous study of foundational issues concerning the mental, socio-cultural, and mediational processes and conditions of learning and intellectual competence. For these purposes, both “cognition” and “instruction” must be interpreted broadly. The journal preferentially attends to the “how” of learning and intellectual practices. A balance of well-reasoned theory and careful and reflective empirical technique is typical. Representative topics include:

    • Design experiments: Investigation of design principles for, implementation and functioning of innovative contexts for learning, including those made possible by new technologies.

    • The development and nurturing of interest and identity.

    • Teaching preparation and performance, including cultural and institutional aspects.

    • The nature of knowledge and meta-knowledge in the breadth of school subjects.

    • The relations between in- and out-of-school knowledge and performance.

    • Skilled performance in professional contexts.

    • Classroom and broader cultural practices fostering equitable access to learning.

    • Old and new literacies; the role of representation in individual and communal thought.

    • Well-motivated theoretical innovation; the development and study of empirical methods. "

International Journal of Science Education

  • Length: No more than 25 Pages

  • Format: Formatting instructions

  • Types of Work Published: The journal carries five types of article:

    • Empirical research papers: These are accounts of qualitative or quantitative enquiries that are based on a critical review of relevant literature, include an account of the methods and procedures used, present the conclusions reached, draw implications for educational practice, and point to possible future research.

    • Innovations: These are accounts of innovations intended to improve teaching and/or learning, including their justification, development, implementation, and an evidence-based and critical evaluation of the contribution made to their stated aims.

    • Position papers: These discuss the origin and nature of identified problems, challenges, or opportunities, either being faced or likely to be faced by the practice of science education across the world.

    • Theoretical papers: These discuss the nature and academic standing of theories about research into, and the practice of, science education.

    • Letters to the Editor: These are responses to, or comments upon, papers of any of the above four types that have been published in the journal. Letters to the Editor are published at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.

Journal of Learning Science

  • Length: Typically 10,000 to 15,000 words, except for submissions to the Reports and Reflections section, which are typically 6,000–8,000 words.

  • Format: Publication Manual of APA 6th Edition

  • Features: Color allowed in the online version with no additional cost.

  • Types of Work Published: JLS articles draw on theoretical frameworks from such diverse fields as cognitive science, sociocultural theory, educational psychology, computer science, and anthropology. Submissions are not limited to any particular research method, but must be based on rigorous analyses that present new insights into how people learn and/or how learning can be supported and enhanced.

  • Successful submissions should position their argument within extant literature in the learning sciences. They should reflect the core practices and foci that have defined the learning sciences as a field: privileging design in methodology and pedagogy; emphasizing interdisciplinarity and methodological innovation; grounding research in real-world contexts; answering questions about learning process and mechanism, alongside outcomes; pursuing technological and pedagogical innovation; and maintaining a strong connection between research and practice.

Journal of Reseach in Science Teaching

  • Monthly publication, except June and July. It is one volume with ten issues per year.

  • Abstract: Limited to 300 words.

  • Length: Typically up to 20 (single spaced) pages. It allows tables and figures, colored figures allowed (but not online supplementary materials). For longer manuscripts, the authors needs to include a letter explaining why it can only be properly presented in a longer format.

  • Reference format: APA

Physical Review: Physics Education Research

  • No length specification, open all year. Allows color and online supplementary materials.

  • Types of Work Published: "Physical Review – Physics Education Research (PR-PER) is the archival research journal for the field of Physics Education Research (PER). The journal covers the full range of experimental and theoretical research related to the teaching and/or learning of physics. Unlike other journals that publish physics education research, PR-PER is the only journal that has physics education researchers as its primary audience. As part of the American Physical Society’s Physical Review series, PR-PER shares in and contributes to the reputation of the Physical Review journals as among the leading international journals in Physics. Successful papers in PR-PER should build on prior work and advance the knowledge base of physics education research." This journal used to be called "Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research (PRST-PER)."

Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings

  • Features: PERC Proceedings is the written record of the scholarly work presented at the annual Physics Education Research Conference. (Annual publication)

  • Length: 4 pages

  • Consult the PERC Proceeding Style Guide Summary for format specifications. Color figures are allowed.

  • The proceedings cover the full range of experimental and theoretical research on the teaching and/or learning of physics. The editors welcome submission of significant or final results as well as preliminary research results and discussions of works in progress.

The Physics Teacher

  • Monthly publication, except in June, July and August.

  • Length: ~4 pages, normally should not exceed 2000 words.

  • Format: AIP Style Manual

  • The focus of The Physics Teacher is on the introductory-level physics course. The papers we publish are aimed at teachers of that course in high schools, two- and four-year colleges, and universities. Papers reporting the results of research projects or announcing new physics theories are not suitable for The Physics Teacher. Technical correctness is only one factor used in the selection of papers for publication. The principal criterion for acceptance is whether, in the opinion of the editors, the paper would be sufficiently useful and interesting to practicing teachers of introductory-level physics.