General Editorial Policies
Focus and Coverage
The purpose of The Journal of Chemical Physics (JCP) is to bridge a gap between journals of physics and journals of chemistry by publishing quantitative research based on physical principles and techniques, as applied to "chemical" systems. Just as the fields of chemistry and physics have expanded, so have chemical physics subject areas, which include polymers, materials, surfaces/interfaces, and biological macromolecules, along with the traditional small molecule and condensed phase systems. Just as the Journal must expand into new areas, some areas once covered by the Journal will no longer be appropriate. The criteria for whether a subject is appropriate for JCP are whether there exists a significant number of readers that are active in the field and whether these readers are most likely to find the manuscript if it is published in JCP. If the bulk of the literature in a field is published in other journals with only an occasional article in JCP, the subject is not appropriate for the Journal even if at one time the literature on that subject appeared primarily in JCP. The Journal of Chemical Physics is published four times per month (48 issues per year) by the American Institute of Physics.
Format and Content
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 Focus Articles and 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 in themselves or may be followed by Articles, which present substantial additional significant information. Communications have a length limit of four journal pages. Because of the length limitation, the standard of proof required to support the scientific argument is relaxed somewhat. Scientific arguments that are plausible and, if correct, important, may be presented in Communications even if the detailed proof must be presented in a later publication. Arguments that are implausible but can be demonstrated by lengthy and detailed proof to be correct should not be presented in Communications. Communications are given priority attention in both the peer-review and production processes.
Estimating the length of JCP Communications
Manuscripts should not exceed 2800 words.
Authors are advised to use the JCP styles included in the REVTeX 4.1 package for all submissions to JCP. The double-column version of the manuscript obtained using the "reprint" option will indicate whether the length is acceptable.
If you have any questions please contact PXP Help.
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 2800 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.
Focus 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 Articles will be published infrequently on no fixed schedule, and will be commissioned by the Editors. Suggestions of topics and authors of prospective Focus Articles are welcome.
Special Topic sections will be published occasionally and on no fixed schedule. They will contain two kinds of articles. First will be Special Articles that are meant to be in-depth and critical evaluations of various aspects of research in the field. Special Articles can contain both critical review material and new research results. Second, among the Articles in the issue will be a grouping of Articles on the Special Topic. 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. All Focus Articles and Special Articles will be reviewed using criteria appropriate to the Article.
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.
All decisions regarding the acceptability of manuscripts are made by the Editors, usually on the advice of expert referees. The Editors are responsible for deciding which advice, either positive or negative, to accept and also for deciding when they have received enough advice to make a decision. In most cases, each manuscript is initially sent to two referees. Authors should follow the advice of the referees and Editor when they feel this advice will improve the paper. When they do not agree with the advice, they should write the Editor a detailed argument describing their reasons for disagreeing. In such cases, the Editor will decide if advice of an additional referee is necessary. This additional referee will usually be sent anonymous copies of the previous referees' reviews, along with the rebuttal by the authors. The review procedure and the final decision will only be made by the Editor.
If a manuscript (including Comments and Responses) contains criticism of, or is in conflict with, previously published work, this fact should be brought to the Editor's attention by the authors. In these cases, the manuscript will ordinarily be first sent to the author of the criticized paper who will be asked to review the new manuscript as an interested party. In contrast to the case of an anonymous and independent referee, the identity of the interested party will be made known to the authors of the paper under consideration and to any subsequent referees of the paper.
The Editors will not ordinarily act as conduits for discussion between the author and the referees once a decision has been made on a paper. On rare occasions, the Editors will transmit information from the author to a referee after a decision has been made. This will only be done when the Editors feel that the author is seeking scientific information from the referee that the referee is likely to have easily available. Arguments intended to convince the referee of the validity of the author's position would not be transmitted unless the Editors require further advice from the referee.
The Editors welcome suggestions of appropriate referees and will give serious consideration to requests that a manuscript not be sent to a particular referee. In both cases, these should be suggestions, not requirements. Any manuscript submitted with required restrictions on the review process will be returned to the author without review.
Appeals from decisions to reject a manuscript are handled by the Editors on an ad hoc basis. If the Editors feel that a plausible argument for reconsideration has been made, they may seek further advice. This may be from an additional referee acting in the usual capacity. In some instances, the Editor may ask an Associate Editor, a member of the Editorial Board, or an expert in whose judgment the Editor has particular confidence to review the entire file and reviewing history of the manuscript.
An author may appeal the Editor's decision to reject a manuscript by making a request to the Editor that the case be reviewed by the Publisher at AIP Publishing. The Publisher 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.
Submission of Manuscripts
Submit manuscripts via Peer X-Press, the journal's online manuscript submission system located at http://jcp.peerx-press.org/.
Author instructions are available through a link after you successfully log into Peer X-Press. After registering and submitting information and files, you may use Peer X-Press to check on the status of your manuscript through the peer review process.
Manuscripts should be submitted by a single corresponding author. In all transactions regarding a manuscript, initial submission and all revisions, the corresponding author should be acting with the knowledge and permission of all coauthors. Submission of a manuscript is a representation by all of the authors that the manuscript is an original work by all of the authors, that there are no other scientists that should be authors, that none of the material in the manuscript has been published previously, and that the manuscript or any significant piece of it is not currently under consideration elsewhere. The corresponding author of a manuscript can be changed at any point in the review and publication process by informing the Editorial office responsible for the manuscript. The previous corresponding author must request the change if this is possible. Any single author may request that the review or publication process be halted.
The Journal of Chemical Physics requests a signed copyright-transfer form, assigning the copyright to the American Institute of Physics, to be sent to the appropriate editorial office soon after manuscript submission. Since this form is required before publication, supplying it as soon as possible can prevent unnecessary delays.
For specific editorial format requirements and submission information, see Information for Contributors.
Once a manuscript has been accepted, it is forwarded to the publishers, the American Institute of Physics (AIP), at their production offices in Melville, NY. Any questions that arise during production should be directed to the AIP publication office (E-mail: email@example.com). However, the Editor will accept questions and comments regarding any aspect of the Journal, even those out of his immediate control, and will direct such questions or comments to the appropriate person at the AIP if necessary.
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.
If a manuscript is determined to be not suitable, and you feel it is appropriate for another AIP Journal, it is possible for the manuscript to be transferred easily within the AIP Journal family. AIP Journals and their respective descriptions can be found at http://journals.aip.org/. Carefully review the acceptance criteria for the journal you believe would be appropriate for your manuscript. If you wish to transfer your manuscript to another AIP journal, please email the editorial office. Please note that transferring manuscript files does not guarantee that the manuscript will be considered by the receiving journal. The transfer option by email is only offered to facilitate the transfer of manuscript files and correspondence without the inconvenience of having to re-enter data and resubmit files to a new journal.