Revised December 2011
ADVICE TO AUTHORS
Physical Review X publishes original, high quality and highly significant research. Thus, a manuscript that reports results that are already published is obviously unsuitable for Physical Review X. However, pertinent, concise review and reprise of past work that inform readers of the necessary context or background of the current work and that make the manuscript self-contained should be provided. Publication of ongoing work in a series of papers should be avoided. Instead, a single comprehensive article should be published.
All manuscripts should be prepared electronically. Acceptable typesetting formats are REVTeX (preferred), LaTeX and MSWord.
Readability of papers published in Physical Review X is an important editorial consideration. It is primarily authors' responsibility to make sure that their manuscripts are well organized and clearly written in good scientific English, in a style consistent with that of the journal (see Physical Review Style and Notation Guide). In particular, the abstract and introduction of each article should be written so as to be understandable by a broad spectrum of readers. New terminology should be introduced only when clearly needed. It should be appropriate and, if possible, convey to the reader an accurate impression of its meaning. Excessive use of acronyms should be avoided. Manuscripts requiring extensive corrective editing are not processed due to the limit of available editorial resources.
Although there is no limit to the length of research articles, the appropriate length of an article depends on the information presented in it and additional charges may apply for articles significantly longer than a certain limit (approximately 20 pages). For detailed information please see: PRX Length Guidelines.
Title and Abstract
The title should be concise and informative. Capitalize only the first word in the title, proper names, chemical symbols, etc.; other words should begin with lower-case letters, just as they would in the text. The title should not contain new terminology. For a manuscript submitted to the Comments section, its title should conform to the format "Comment on 'Title of the original paper'.''
The abstract should be self-contained and should not contain footnotes. It should describe explicitly whether the work is either theoretical or experimental, or a combination of both and present all new results and conclusions of significance or general interest. It should be about 5% of the length of the article, but less than 500 words.
As an effort to broaden the reach of publications in the journal, Physical Review X requires authors to submit a succinct, nontechnical Popular Summary that conveys to nonspecialist readers, and even nonscientific readers, the context, the essential message(s), and the significance of the work. The Summary should be concise and no longer than 250 words in length. It should have readability, scientific objectiveness, and broad appeal. Mathematical expressions should be avoided in general.
In particular, we recommend the following guideline on how to structure and write a Popular Summary: The first paragraph of the Summary should be intended for general readers, including those who may not be professional scientists. It should aim to accomplish the following in a nontechnical language: 1) giving the most pertinent general context; 2) posing the question(s) or problems or describing the issues that the underlying paper addresses and explaining why the question(s) is(are) worth asking; 3) describing succinctly (preferably in one sentence) what the paper does (or achieves) with regard to the questions.
A second paragraph (and a third, if necessary) should provide a relatively more extensive description of the actual content of the work. The level of technicality should be for nonspecialist readers who do not necessarily work in the topical area(s) that the paper covers. The language should, therefore, be as nonspecialized as possible.
A final paragraph may give an outlook to new research that may be generated or may summarize the important implications of the work.
Authors are strongly recommended to submit the required Popular Summary together with the first submission of their manuscript to minimize any unnecessary delay in the overall processing of the manuscript, although submission(s) of the Summary or its revised version(s) at later stages in the review process are possible. (For more information, please see Editorial Policies and Practices).
References to Literature
Readers benefit from complete referencing, which is necessary for placing any work in the context of the current state of research. Authors should therefore make every effort to ensure that their citations of previously published work, in journals, books and published conference proceedings, are comprehensive at the time of submission. Authors should also add to the references any relevant works published during the course of the review process and cite all relevant unpublished work, such as e-prints, preprints, internal reports, theses or results that have been reported only orally at meetings. Some of the material, especially long tables and primary data, may be deposited as Supplemental Material and should be referenced. References to classified reports or other documents with restricted circulation should be avoided.
Use of Previously Published Material
In Physical Review X articles, reproduction of figures, tables, and text material that have been published previously should be kept to a minimum and must be properly referenced. In order to reproduce figures, tables, etc., from another journal, authors must show that they have complied with the copyright and/or licensing policies of the rights holder.
Technical Guidelines on Format and Style
Acceptable typesetting formats are REVTeX (preferred), LaTeX and MSWord, and only electronic submissions are considered editorially. A copy of the manuscript in the Portable Document Format (PDF) or PostScript format may be submitted in addition. Figures should be submitted separately, preferably in PostScript or EPS format. Popular Summary can be submitted in any of the following electronic formats: Plain text, LaTeX and MSWord.
If preparing your manuscript in any MSWord format, please use standard Window fonts. To avoid translation errors in our technical processing of manuscripts, please include equations by using Design Science's MathType equation editor rather than Word's built-in editor.
The names of authors and their professional affiliations must be given in the byline at the beginning of a paper. The author who submits the paper is responsible for ensuring that all coauthors have approved the paper and for checking that the form of each name (e.g., initials versus full names) includes full given names and initials (in particular for first-time authors) unless consistency with established past use in another form must be given precedence.
If the authors are at different institutions, they may be grouped by institution with the name of the institution following each group. If the authors are not grouped by institution, the names of institutions may be listed following the list of authors. Each author's name should then be followed by a superscript number (or numbers) which refers to a similar superscript number preceding the appropriate institution (or institutions). Please choose the most concise presentation.
Footnotes to an author's name or address may be added to facilitate locating or communicating with an author. In cases of multiple authors, at least one of the authors must be designated by a footnote as "spokesperson" or "author to whom correspondence should be addressed." Email addresses of one or more corresponding authors must be provided in the corresponding footnote. All information concerning research support should appear in the acknowledgments. Footnotes which describe an author's position or title are not acceptable.
Notation should be clear, compact, and consistent with standard usage.
References and footnotes to text material, including those used in Supplemental Material, must be combined in a single list, numbered consecutively in their order of first appearance in the paper, and placed at the end of the text material. They should be designated and cited in text by on-line Arabic numerals in square brackets. Do not cite references by their numbers in the abstract.
In preparing the list of references for papers authors should be guided by the Physical Review Style and Notation Guide , especially Table I and the list of Journal Title Abbreviations, and by the corresponding material in the AIP Style Manual . The names of all authors of cited papers should normally be given unless the number of authors is greater than ten. Titles of the cited references must be explicitly given. The appropriate citation format should be: Jorge Pullin, "Breaking Barriers: A New APS Journal,'' Phys. Rev. X 1, 010101 (2011). When reference is made to internal reports or other items not available in the open literature, the author must provide sufficient information to enable the reader to obtain a copy of the referenced material.
Separate tables (numbered in the order of their first appearance) should be used for all but the simplest tabular material; they must have captions, which should make the tables intelligible without reference to the text. The structure should be clear, with simple column headings giving all units.
Figures should be planned for the column width (8.6 cm or 3 3/8 in.) of the journal. If the detail shown requires it, 1.5 or 2 columns may be used, and a note stating this choice should be given on or with such figures.
Some figures may be more effective in color. However, some readers may print out papers for reading often using black-white printers. Therefore, color figures should be prepared in such a way that the distinctions between curves are clearly visible also even when they are displayed in the black-white version. To alert readers of monochrome reproductions of the article that the archive figure is in color, begin the caption with "Color)''.
Figures should be numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text. Each figure must have a caption that makes the figure intelligible without reference to the text; specify colors in captions for color figures as appropriate. Groups of figures that share a (single) caption must be labeled "(a), (b)," etc. The figure itself should have properly labeled axes with correctly abbreviated units enclosed in parentheses.