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APS Redefines Length: How much is a picture worth?
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- Subject: APS Redefines Length: How much is a picture worth?
- From: "APS ASSOCPUB" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2011 20:18:04 EDT
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APS Redefines Length: How much is a picture worth? Ridge, NY, 14 July 2011 -- A goal for Letters and short papers is to communicate key results and findings efficiently and concisely. Authors work hard in many cases to maximize the material presented within the constraints of the printed page. Since page formatting occurs after scientific review, and despite conscientious attempts by many authors to adhere to APS style when submitting their work, formatting changes are often required; our current scheme to estimate length, in spite of our best efforts, is fairly inaccurate. This naturally leads to frustration, especially when authors are faced with the arduous task of further editing and revising their work during the proof stage, which sometimes leads to concessions in the clarity of the text and the quality and quantity of referencing. The tension between clearly communicating the primary research results of an investigation and giving proper attribution to prior literature frequently leads to compromises that can be detrimental to physics research. Technological changes have moved publishing to electronic-first publication where the print version has been relegated to simply another display mode. Distribution in HTML and EPUB formats, for example, changes the reading environment and reduces the need for strict pagination. Therefore, in an effort to streamline the calculation of length, the APS journals will no longer use the printed page as the determining factor for length. Instead the journals will now use word counts (or word equivalents for tables, figures, and equations) to establish length; for details please see http://publish.aps.org/authors/length-guide. The title, byline, abstract, acknowledgment, and references will not be included in these counts allowing authors the freedom to appropriately credit coworkers, funding sources, and the previous literature, bringing all relevant references to the attention of readers. This new method for determining length will be easier for authors to calculate in advance, and lead to fewer length-associated revisions in proof, yet still retain the quality of concise communication that is a virtue of short papers. We will also use this opportunity to integrate references contained in Supplemental Material into the paper. This will expand the ease by which readers can gain a broad perspective over the relevant literature and help to ensure that these articles receive the credit they deserve. This new method for constraining length was implemented on 11 July 2011. You may spot the effect of this change mainly in PRL where we fully expect to see a good number of Letters run onto a fifth page. We hope that authors will find this method easier to use, and that it will reduce delays in the review and proof stages and lead to more comprehensive referencing. The relative efficiency of this scheme, together with other ongoing efforts to control our operational expenses, also allows the APS subscription price-per-article, which we strive to keep among the lowest of any physics journals, to be unaffected by this change. A picture is worth 170 words, not one thousand, according to our scheme. Contact: Daniel T. Kulp, Editorial Director, American Physical Society, email@example.com About APS: The American Physical Society (www.aps.org) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents 48,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, DC.
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