Information for Contributors
Where to Submit Your Manuscript | Contact Editorial Office | Statement of Ethics and Responsibilities of Authors
Open Access | Accepted Manuscripts | How to Prepare Your Manuscript | English Language Editing Assistance |
Estimates of Finished Length | Multimedia | Supplemental Material | Free Color Online
How to Prepare Your Illustrations | Manuscript Preparation Checklist
RSI Style Files | Sample Manuscript
Where to Submit Your Manuscript
Submit manuscripts via Peer X-Press, the journal's online manuscript submission system, located at http://rsi.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 throughout the peer review process.
Upload separate, individual files for the article text (including references, tables, and captions) and for each figure. At one of the steps of the online submission process, you will be given the opportunity to include and order the individual files into a merged file (a single file containing all the converted versions of the individual uploaded files). It is the single merged file that is presented to the editors and reviewers.
If problems are experienced with the online submission process, authors should contact the Editorial Office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An optional cover letter may be uploaded. A brief description of the novelty of your manuscript is encouraged, along with reviewers to exclude (if any) and the reasons why they should be excluded. Recommendations for reviewers to include and exclude should be inputted separately within the manuscript submission system. Also any recently published paper, submitted manuscript or in press manuscript by any of the authors within the last 12 months must be uploaded as a supplemental file in .pdf format, if it is related to the subject of your manuscript.
Unless otherwise stated, submission of a manuscript will be understood to mean that the paper has been neither copyrighted, classified, published, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere.
Agreement to the terms of AIP’s Transfer of Copyright Agreement form is required for publication in this journal. No claim is made to original U.S. Government works. When submitting your original or revised manuscript to the journal's online submission site (http://rsi.peerx-press.org), you will be able to provide electronic consent to the Transfer of Copyright Agreement.
The Editor strongly prefers to correspond directly with the author, rather than through the reports division or through executives of the author's laboratory.
Although the journal carries no regular page charge, for any regular published article that exceeds 10 journal pages, a mandatory $150 page fee will be added for each page in excess of 10 pages. For additional information, follow this link to Publication Charges.
Contact the Editorial Office
Contact the Review of Scientific Instruments' Editorial Office at:
Review of Scientific Instruments
American Institute of Physics
2 Huntington Quadrangle
Melville, NY 11747-4502, USA
Statement of Ethics and Responsibilities of Authors Submitting to AIP Journals
This journal is published as part of the charter of its publisher, the American Institute of Physics (AIP), to advance and diffuse knowledge of the science of physics and its applications to human welfare. To that end, it is essential that all who participate in producing the journal conduct themselves as authors, reviewers, editors, and publishers in accord with the highest level of professional ethics and standards.
A detailed statement of what this journal expects is available here.
By submitting a manuscript to this journal, each author implicitly confirms that it meets the highest ethical standards.
Through participation in Author Select®, authors may choose open access for their published article. By supporting both publication and archiving costs through payment of a $2200 fee, authors may instruct the journal to provide free online access to the published article, in perpetuity, to any online user. A subscription to the online journal will not be required to access full-text versions of these open access articles. See details about Author Select and look for information during manuscript submission.
Authors whose manuscripts have been accepted for publication will receive correspondence informing them of the issue for which it is tentatively scheduled. Date of publication may be before the cover date of the issue. Authors may access publication data for their manuscripts online through AIP's AMSIS service.
Proofs and all subsequent correspondence pertaining to papers in the production process should be addressed to:
Review of Scientific Instruments
American Institute of Physics
2 Huntington Quadrangle
Melville, NY 11747-4502, USA
Telephone: +1 516-576-2619
Fax: +1 516-576-2233
Reference must be made to the AIP identification number (e.g., 001201RSI), title, author, and scheduled issue date. A limited number of alterations in proof are unavoidable, but the cost of making extensive alterations after the article has been typeset may be charged to the author. Please do not address correspondence about proofs, reprints, artwork, color printing charges, etc., to the Editor. To do so simply delays the appropriate action and response.
Through AIP's Accepted Manuscript Status Inquiry System (AMSIS), authors may access information about significant milestones for their accepted manuscript during the production process at AIP. AMSIS can be used only by authors of accepted manuscripts; authors will use Peer X-Press to monitor their submitted manuscripts during peer review.
General information regarding publication and color charges, and similar material may be found on the Journal Masthead of each printed issue.
How to Prepare Your Manuscript
A sample manuscript is available for download.
AIP recommends Edanz for authors who wish to have the language in their manuscripts edited by a native-English-speaking language editor who is also a scientific expert. Edanz is a global editing service with offices in Japan and China. Use of an editing service is neither a requirement nor a guarantee of acceptance for publication. Please contact Edanz directly to make arrangements for editing and to receive a quotation regarding price and time.
Acceptable manuscript file types include Word, LaTeX, and PDF. PDF is acceptable for the review process only and a source Word or LaTex file is required for production. For authors who use LaTeX, REVTeX 4.1 is now available and includes style files for AIP journals and associated instructions. REVTeX 4.1 is available here.
Note for TeX users:
Please note that AIP does not compose/typeset pages in TeX. Instead we use the generic markup language XML (Extensible Markup Language). As a result, the format and layout, especially math, may look somewhat different to what was originally created in TeX.
While we appreciate the benefits to authors of preparing manuscripts in TeX, especially for math-intensive manuscripts, it is neither a cost-effective composition tool (for the volume of pages AIP currently produces) nor is it a format that can be used effectively for online publishing.
XML is critical to ensure that online content is discoverable, searchable, and accessible well into the future. It is a W3C standard that has been adopted by many publishers as well as by many software industry market leaders. Information in XML can be processed easily by computers and is both hardware and software independent. Tagged XML data is an ideal archive format as identification and extraction of specific content for reuse is relatively easy. A single XML source file is generated from authors’ TeX or Word files and feeds our entire process. All end-products and deliverables, whether print or electronic, are derived from this single XML file, reducing the chance of errors or inconsistencies.
Invited Review Articles and Invited Articles:
Invited Review Articles and Invited Articles are published by invitation; prospective authors should consult with the Editor on proposed subject material.
Articles and Notes:
Two types of manuscripts on original material are acceptable: Articles (full length) and Notes. The latter are short contributions limited to three (3) printed pages (not generally exceeding in length eight double-spaced manuscript pages or six printed columns, including allowances for illustrations, references, and tables). Abstracts are required for manuscripts of both types. Comments on previously published articles or on other subjects of importance in instrumentation may be submitted as Letters to the Editor.
The Manuscript, including the abstract, references, and captions, should be set up for 21.6 x 28 cm (8-1/2 x 11 in. or A4) pages with ample margins. It should be carefully proofread by the author. The manuscript must be in good scientific American English; this is the author's responsibility. Number all pages in single sequence. The title page should contain the title of the article, the names of the authors, a suitable byline, and a short abstract. Parts of the manuscript should be arranged in the following order: title, author, affiliation, abstract, text, acknowledgments, appendices, and references. Figures, with figure captions, may be embedded within the manuscript to assist the reviewers. Papers should not be lengthened by unnecessary descriptions and repetitions, but neither should authors use a telegraphic style detrimental to the clarity and understanding of the paper.
The title of a paper should be as concise as possible but informative enough to facilitate information retrieval. For series publications of closely related papers, the descriptor “Part I,” or simply “I,” will not be included as part of the title of an article unless Part II has already been submitted for publication in the Journal. Part III, IV, etc., are likewise unacceptable unless the prior parts have already been accepted or have appeared in this Journal, and are properly identified in the references.
The Abstract should be self-contained (contain no footnotes). It should be adequate as an index (giving all subjects, major and minor, about which new information is given), and as a summary (giving the conclusions and all results of general interest in the article). It should be about 5% of the length of the article, but less than 500 words for full-length articles and correspondingly shorter for Notes. The abstract should be written as one paragraph and should not contain displayed mathematical equations or tabular material.
Authors' names should preferably be written in a standard form for all publications to facilitate indexing and avoid ambiguities.
Authors with Chinese, Japanese, or Korean names may choose to have their names published in their own language alongside the English versions of their names in the author list of their publications. For Chinese, authors may use either Simplified or Traditional characters. Chinese, Japanese, or Korean characters must be included within the author list of the manuscript when submitting or resubmitting. The manuscript must be prepared using Microsoft Word or using the CJK LaTeX package. Specific guidelines for each authoring tool are given here. To ensure that we have processed the manuscript files correctly, you must proof the PDF of the manuscript as produced by the Peer X-Press system on first submission. In addition, it is essential that you check carefully any production proofs you receive prior to the publication of your paper.
Equations should be punctuated and aligned to bring out their structure and numbered on the right. Mathematical operation signs indicating continuity of the expression should be placed at the left of the second and succeeding lines. Use x rather than a centered dot, except for scalar products of vectors. The solidus (/) should be used instead of built-up fractions in running text, and in display wherever clarity would not be jeopardized. Use "exp" for complicated exponents.
Notation must be legible, clear, compact, and consistent with standard usage. All unusual symbols whose identity may not be obvious must be identified the first time they appear, and at all subsequent times when confusion might arise. Superscripts are normally set directly over subscripts; authors should note where readability or the meaning requires a special order.
References and footnotes are treated alike. They must be numbered consecutively in order of first appearance in the text and should be given in a separate list at the end of the text material. Reference should be made to the full list of authors, rather than to first author followed by an abbreviation such as et al. References within tables should be designated by lowercase Roman letter superscripts and given at the end of the table. For the proper form, see recent issues of this journal. Preprints of cited unpublished work by the authors should be sent with the manuscript.
Separate Tables (numbered with Roman numerals in the order of their appearance in the text) should be used for all but the simplest tabular material; they should have captions that make the tables intelligible without reference to the text. The structure should be clear, with simple column headings giving all units. Unaltered computer output and notation are generally unacceptable.
Estimates of Finished Length
Notes are limited to three (3) journal pages, and an Article that exceeds ten (10) journal pages is subject to a mandatory excess page fee. Manuscripts limited to a maximum of four (4) figures and seven (7) pages of "double-spaced" text (including the references) will usually produce a published paper that meets the stated page limitation. A sample Note manuscript can be downloaded here.
As an aid to the author, we provide two guidelines for estimating the finished length of a Note. This guide may also be used for estimating the finished length of other types of papers published in RSI, e.g., conference proceedings articles. The first is very simple and approximate, and can be used for rough estimates. Usually this will suffice. The second is more complex and considerably better. Neither is guaranteed. Regardless of estimates, the final Note must be no longer than three pages.
(1) Rough Estimate
Disregard the title, authors' names and institutions, abstract, and list of references. Limit the remainder to 2000 words, or its equivalent. One "word" is 7 characters (spaces count as characters). This will produce a paper of 2 to 3 journal pages most of the time. The typical figure, with its caption, is reduced to the width of a single column, and displaces about 220 words of text. Reduce the 2000-word limit accordingly.
If there are figures of unusual size, many authors from different institutions, a lengthy abstract or list of references, many equations, or several tables, etc., the author is advised to use guideline (2) below.
(2) Refined Estimate
All calculations are made in terms of single-column lines; 118 lines equal one page. Whenever a rule gives a line equivalent for a number of words, the phrase "or fraction thereof" is to be understood. Again, one "word" is 7 characters (where spaces count as characters).
- The title takes 3 lines for every 7 words.
- Each group of authors from a single institution, with its address, takes 5 lines. If there are more than 5 authors from one institution, add 2 lines; if an institutional name and address contain more than 85 characters, add another 2 lines.
- The receipt date takes 3 lines.
- The abstract takes 2 lines for every 14 words.
- The text, not counting displayed equations, takes one line for every 9 words.
- A short equation (less than 40 characters) with no built-up fractions or matrices, etc., takes 3 lines. If it contains a built-up fraction, it takes 4 lines. If it contains a large matrix, it takes at least 2 lines per row of the matrix plus 2 lines. A long equation, typed across two columns, takes at least double these amounts; a very long complex equation may easily take 20 lines. Note that, when there are a number of two-column equations, intervening short equations will often also by given two-column space.
- Each reference or footnote takes one line for every 10 words.
- A figure, which can be reduced to one column width (8.5 cm) takes 24 lines per 10 cm of reduced height; if it requires more than one column width, it will take twice as many lines.
- Each figure caption takes one line for every 10 words. Also, there is one line between a figure and its caption, and 2 lines between captions or figures and text.
- Each line in a table and its caption become one line if the table fits into one column, and 2 lines if it is wider. Two lines separate a table from text. Large or complex tables should be calculated as if they were figures.
AUTHOR GUIDELINES FOR MULTIMEDIA SUBMISSIONS
Multimedia files can be included in the online version of published papers. These multimedia files can be viewed by simply clicking on a link in the paper, provided the reader has a video player, such as Windows Media PlayerTM, QuickTime PlayerTM, or RealOne PlayerTM installed.
Please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing multimedia files for submission:
- When incorporating multimedia, note that the paper should be written so that the print version can be understood on its own.
- Submit all multimedia files initially with the manuscript.
- Treat all multimedia files as figures, numbered in sequence as they are referred to in text. (Multimedia files will not have a numbering scheme separate from the figures.)
- All multimedia files must be cited in the text, referred to by their figure number.
- For each multimedia file, provide a figure, which is a static representation of the multimedia file. Also provide an accompanying caption. At the end of the caption, include the phrase, "(enhanced online)."
- Video and other enhanced files should be in a format that the majority of readers can view without too much difficulty. See the multimedia guidelines here for specific submission requirements.
Supplemental files may be of two types:
- Files to aid the reviewer and not for publication.
- Supplementary information for publication alongside the manuscript.
Appropriate items for publication as supplemental material include; multimedia (e.g., movie files, audio files, 3D rendering files), data tables, and text (e.g., appendices) that are too lengthy or of too limited interest for inclusion in the article. Links (URLs) in the online (printed) journal article allow users to navigate directly to the associated files. Note that subdirectories (folders) are not acceptable. Name files appropriately, so that all files can reside at the root directory, allowing successful linking between the published paper and its associated supplemental material.
All supplemental material must be approved by the Journal Editor as part of a manuscript’s normal review cycle, and must be listed in the reference section as follows: "See supplementary material at [URL will be inserted by AIP] for [give brief description of material]."
For additional information about depositing or retrieving supplementary material, see the Supplemental Material homepage.
How to Prepare Your Illustrations
For best results, please adhere to these guidelines when preparing your illustrations for submission.
Free Color Online
If authors supply usable color graphics files in time for the production process, color will appear in the online journal free of charge. A usable color graphics file must be in one of the following formats: Encapsulated PostScript (.eps), PostScript (.ps), Tagged Image File Format (.tif), and Portable Document Format (.pdf). No other type of color illustration is acceptable, and only one version of each graphics file will be accepted.
In order to maintain online color as a free service to authors, the journal cannot accept multiple versions of the same graphics file. Authors may not submit two versions of the same illustration (e.g., one for color and one for black & white). When preparing illustrations that will appear in color in the online journal and in black & white in the printed journal, authors must ensure that: (i) colors chosen will reproduce well when printed in black & white and (ii) descriptions of figures in text and captions will be sufficiently clear for both print and online versions. This is the author’s responsibility.
If usable color graphics files are received in time for the production process, authors will see color versions of those illustrations when viewing their author proofs. (The Corresponding Author will receive e-mail notification from AIP when the proof, as a PDF file, is available for downloading.)
Although figures will appear in color online, the printed version of the article will contain black-and-white images. Therefore, a descriptive term other than a color is needed in the caption to support the data of discussion. For example, instead of “the red and blue symbols” write “the red circles and blue squares.” By adding the descriptive terms “circles” and “squares” the print reader, seeing the image in black and white, would have a clearer picture as to what is being explained in the figure.
The procedures for obtaining color in the printed journal remain unchanged. Authors or their institutions must bear the cost of any color they wish to use in print. See information about color printing charges here.
Manuscript Preparation Checklist
A sample manuscript is available for download. Use this checklist to avoid the most common mechanical errors in submitted manuscripts:
- Number all pages in single sequence.
- Type references in the style used by this journal.
- Submit cover letter, manuscript file, illustration files, and any supplemental files via Peer X-Press, the journal's online submission system, located at http://rsi.peerx-press.org.
- The original figures must be in the final published size, not oversized.
- When submitting your original or revised manuscript to the journal’s online submission site (http://rsi.peerx-press.org), please provide electronic consent to the Transfer of Copyright Agreement.
- Obtain permission for reuse of any previously published material and include proper citation information within manuscript. For guidelines and blank form click here.