High quality papers with prompt review/publication procedures

APEX publishes brief original papers with highly timely and novel research results, and with sufficiently strong impact in the relevant fields and society to merit priority handling in the review and publication processes. A new editorial team dedicated to APEX and a strict review policy for critical and prompt evaluation strengthen the publication of high-quality papers in a short time after their submission.

Publication criteria

1. Contents

APEX is a letter journal devoted solely to the prompt dissemination of up-to-date and concise reports on new findings in applied physics. Letter articles dealing with the applications of physical principles as well as those concerning the understanding of physics in view of particular applications in mind can be considered for publication in APEX. However, as a letter journal, emphasis will be given to original research studies that are timely and have strong impact particularly in developing and emerging fields of applied physics. A work of high originality but concerning a field not in a competitive area may be offered a transfer to the Rapid Communication section of the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics (JJAP).

APEX intends to accept articles that can significantly contribute to the applied physics community. The journal’s intention is illustrated in a few examples of subject areas as follows:

Articles dealing with materials must contain physics to interpret and analyze the properties of materials under discussion. Report on material growth, formation or synthesis followed by routine characterization without significant physical interpretation will not be accepted. Articles dealing with devices and processing must describe the underlying physics that is novel and interesting. Description of new devices designed or fabricated using already known procedures are usually not sufficient. Articles dealing with systems, subsystems and instruments must provide a new concept or function based on physical principles. Articles describing new systems constructed essentially using existing design methods such as circuit design tools must be sent to other technology-oriented journals.

2. Novelty and originality

The journal does not accept papers that have been either published or accepted for publication, or are under consideration for publication elsewhere. Articles presenting new but obvious results, concealing too much substantial information of the research work described, and presenting only incremental progress of the work without producing any significant advancement in applied physics, will not be accepted for publication.

The journal may accept a paper that has appeared in a similar form in publications not available to the general public, such as conference books for on-site use, internal reports, and abstracts for international conferences. However, the author(s) must cite the previous publication in the reference section of the manuscript and must also provide at the time of manuscript submission a cover letter stating the previous publication with reprint(s) attached.

The use of material previously published in an abbreviated form, such as a Rapid Communication, or in a letter journal or conference proceedings, can be permitted as a part of a new article to be published in APEX, only if the new article presents significantly more detailed data and/or results, leading to a substantially improved understanding of the subject. An explicit note should be given when another work is cited in an article.

3. Confidentiality

All articles submitted for publication in the journal are given unbiased, objective assessment by peer review. Evaluation is given solely on its scientific contributions without regard to the race, gender, religion, or political belief of the author(s). All articles are treated as confidential until they are published.

4. Authors and coauthors

Authors of articles are not restricted to members of The Japan Society of Applied Physics. All those who have made significant contributions to the research work may be listed as coauthors. When a manuscript has multiple authors, one of them should be designated as the corresponding author to receive and respond to correspondence from the editors. The corresponding author is responsible for representing all the coauthors involved in the work.

The submission of a manuscript indicates that the corresponding author certifies the following:

  • The article represents original work of the listed authors.
  • All the coauthors made significant scientific contributions to the research work reported, and agreed to submit the manuscript. All significant scientific contributors to the work were given the opportunity to be included as coauthors.
  • The manuscript has not been published nor submitted to other journals for publication.
  • The authors accept the journal’s established paper review procedures.

5. References

Readers benefit from complete references to position the described work in the context of the current research. Moreover, it is vitally important to fully acknowledge all relevant works in view of the ethical policy of the journal. Authors should therefore ensure that their citations of previously published works are comprehensive at the time of submission. This includes references to books and to published conference proceedings containing abstracts. Authors may have to cite unpublished works such as preprints, internal reports, or results that have been reported orally at meetings. Any work that appears during the course of the review process should be added to the references. The authors should take particular care to ensure that the resource information is correct so that links to referenced articles can be made successfully.

6. Citation

Authors should not use, without attribution, text, concepts, data, figures or tables in another work published by others or by themselves. Plagiarism of the others’ works and self-plagiarism are serious breaches of ethics and never permitted. If a direct quotation is appropriate, the original source should be properly cited. Figures, tables and other images reproduced from another source normally require the publisher’s permission. Articles violating this rule will be rejected.

Editorial procedures

1. Review process

The following review process will take place when a manuscript is received by the Editor-in-Chief.

  • When a manuscript has been received by the Editor-in-Chief, an acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to the author(s) via e-mail. The Editor-in-Chief chooses an editor to handle the manuscript review.
  • The submitted manuscript will be subjected to screening review for its scope, novelty, completeness, English level, and conformation to APEX policies. A manuscript not passing the screening review will immediately be returned to the authors.
  • The editor in charge will select an expert reviewer to evaluate the manuscript.
  • As a result of review, if the editor determines that minor revision by the author(s) is necessary (only once in principle), the manuscript will be returned to the authors for revision. Papers that require major revisions will be rejected.
  • Manuscripts returned to authors for revision should be resent promptly. If the revision cannot be finished within one month, the manuscript will be regarded as having been withdrawn.
  • The Editor-in-Chief will finally decide whether to accept the manuscript for publication.
  • Authors can submit a written appeal against rejection only once.

2. Manuscript revision

If the editor decides that minor revision by the author(s) is necessary, the manuscript will be returned to the authors for minor revision only once. To ensure timely publication, more than one round of reviewing should be avoided, in principle. Papers that require major revisions, as evaluated by the editor, will be rejected.

For revising a manuscript after the first review process, authors are requested to respond promptly to the reviewer’s comments that have been sent by the editor. If the revision cannot be finished within one month, the manuscript will be regarded as having been withdrawn.

On submitting the revised manuscript, authors are encouraged to attach a concise reply to all the reviewer’s recommendations and criticisms together with a list of the manuscript changes. These materials will normally be forwarded to the reviewer. Some authors copy out each of the reviewer’s comments and include their response immediately after. It is helpful for the reviewer if the locations of manuscript changes are indicated, for example, in the attachment of a second copy of the manuscript with the changes highlighted or underlined.

3. Acceptability decision

When the manuscript is revised after the first round of reviewer’s reports and the editor finds that the authors’ responses and revisions are persuasive, the manuscript is judged to be acceptable for publication by the editor. The Editor-in-Chief makes the final decision on a paper that has been judged to be acceptable by the editor, after considering the contents of the paper and the review records.

4. Reviewer candidate list

Authors are requested to submit a list of experts who are considered to be especially suited to review their article. This is particularly welcome when a highly specialized expertise is required for reviewing the article. The editor is, however, not obliged to select a reviewer from that list.

Author appeal

Authors may appeal a rejection of the article judged by the Editor-in-Chief. For making an appeal, a request in written form together with all relevant information should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief. On the Editor-in-Chief’s request, the Editorial Board members may review the case on the existing record or may ask for additional expert opinion. The Editor-in-Chief will make the final decision on the appeal, which will be sent to the authors and/or reviewers. This appeal process is carried out only once.