Physiological Reviews publishes comprehensive, analytical, and
critical reviews by authors whose research has had a major influence on
the development of the topic reviewed. An invitation to prepare a review
usually originates with the Editorial Board. A good review presents new concepts
or approaches that are the result of the contributions of several
laboratories engaged in research on the subject.
The Editor extends the formal invitation, monitors the progress of the
review, and is the person to whom the completed manuscript should be
submitted. Each review is also assigned to a member of the Editorial
Board, who assumes primary responsibility for the review, answers
questions about scope or coverage, and otherwise assists the author in
preparation. This Editorial Board member also handles the review of the
completed manuscript, with whatever further editorial appraisal may be
appropriate. A manuscript will be published if judged to represent a
critical and comprehensive review of the selected topic.
The European Committee of the Editorial Board is responsible for all
invitations and initial review of manuscripts by authors in Europe,
Africa, and western Asia, including the Middle East. Manuscripts solicited
by Corresponding Members of the Editorial Board and those volunteered by
authors in other parts of the world are evaluated by the Editorial Board
in the United States.
Authors are urged to write with both a general and a specialized
readership in mind. The general reader often uses papers published in Physiological
Reviews to provide the background for teaching or for research in an
area that is new to him/her. Therefore, authors are encouraged to provide
an informative Introduction and Summary or Conclusion, and to make use of
figures and tables with a high didactic value.
Preparation of the Review
Length: Reviews should be from 25 to 50 printed pages, including
figures and references (approximately 10,000 to 25,000 words). Longer
manuscripts require special approval of the Editorial Board.
Table of Contents: The Table of Contents, with two levels of
headings, should serve as an outline of the review. A well thought out and
organized Table of Contents can greatly enhance the utility of the review
for the generalist and specialist alike.
Abstract: Included just after the Table of Contents, the
Abstract (approximately 200 words) serves as an overview of the text and
is used by abstracting services such as Index Medicus.
Introduction: This first major section of the manuscript should
put the review in historical context. It should be understandable to a
general audience, provide the rationale for the review, make reference to
the Table of Contents, and indicate the level of specialization.
Illustrations: Any type of illustration may be used that
contributes to the analytical, critical, and review functions of the
manuscript. For the sake of the general readership, authors are
especially encouraged to use "model" diagrams that illustrate
hypothesized physiological mechanisms or key technical considerations.
The author may wish to reproduce primary data if those data clearly
illustrate an important physiological and/or technical principle. Color figures are encouraged as long as the use of color is necessary to convey an important scientific message.
Tables: Tables are especially useful for organizing key
principles for the general readership or for summarizing large amounts of
data for the more specialized reader. Complicated tables are more easily
reproduced if supplied as photographs that can be reduced to fit the
Summary or Conclusion: This last section of the text should
organize and summarize the key concepts discussed. If appropriate, this
section can also indicate areas of the field that need further attention
and/or areas of future investigation.
References: Because references are one of the most important
features of a review, authors are asked to give them particular attention.
Cite only key references that are required to document your statements. The references must be
alphabetized and numbered, and cited by number in the text. We recommend
that the author use reference-formatting software.
The Editorial Staff cannot verify the accuracy
of citations and thus depends on the authors to verify their own.
All manuscripts must now be submitted electronically through our
online submission system.
Please note that prior to review, all manuscripts will be examined for
originality using CrossCheck screening software to compare the submitted
text to all available literature, including previous publications from
the same author(s).
Title page: Should include title; author's name; laboratory or
institution of origin, with city, state, and country; running head (i.e.,
short title); complete correspondence address; and the current phone, fax,
and e-mail information. The e-mail address is necessary to be able to send
electronic proof to authors and to correspond during production.
Footnotes: Submit on a separate page, double-spaced.
Figure Legends: Submit on a separate page, double-spaced, and
Tables: Submit on a separate page, double-spaced.
Abbreviations and terminology: In general, the conventions
followed are those in the CBE Style Manual, sixth edition, 1994, published
by the Council of Biology Editors. A list of abbreviations not requiring
definitions is available on our website.
Original figures from accepted reviews are eligible for the Figure Redraw Program provided as a courtesy of APS Publications. The Figure Redraw Program employs trained medical illustrators to redraw selected figures from the accepted reviews. The Editor and APS Publications staff review submitted figures and choose candidates. Previously published figures are not considered for the program.
Authors must either agree to participate in the Figure Redraw Program or opt out. Authors will work directly with an illustrator to create and finalize redrawn images for publication.
APS assumes all costs associated with the Figure Redraw Program.
Go here for detailed instructions
on creating your illustrations.
Use of Previously Published Illustrations
Previously published illustrations may be included if scientifically
appropriate and permission is obtained from both the original author and
publisher. Authors are responsible for: 1. obtaining and including permission letters with their accepted manuscript in advance of publication, and 2. for providing publication-quality electronic
files of the previously published illustrations. These are best obtained
from the original publisher or original author. Previously published images
downloaded from the Internet are not acceptable for publication.
Style: Format of Physiological Reviews must be followed.
References should be double-spaced, with punctuation as in examples below.
Inclusive page numbers are required for journals, congress proceedings,
and symposium series; for books, theses, and government publications it is
useful to give specific page (see example no. 3) or chapter citations.
Abbreviations: Periodical titles are abbreviated as in Index
Order: Alphabetically by author (note: Madden precedes McAdoo;
Smith, Brown, and White precede Smith and White). Names and titles in
other languages should include all accents. All citations must be numbered
serially and each must have a number.
Acceptable citations: Only material already published or in
press may be cited in the reference list. Unpublished material should be
cited in the text. An abstract may be cited only when it is a definitive
publication (example 5).
1. Bern HA and Yagi K. Electrophysiology of neurosecretory systems. In:
Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Endocrinology
London 1964. Amsterdam: Excerpta Med., 1965, p. 557-583. (Int
Congr Ser 83)
2. Grillner RS and Hongo T. Vestibulospinal effects on motoneurones and
interneurones in the lumbrosacral cord. In: Progress in Brain
Research. Basic Aspects of Central Vestibular Mechanisms, edited
by Brodal A and Pompeiano O. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1972, vol. 37, p.
3. Maynard LA and Loosli JK. Animal Nutrition. New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1962, p. 182.
4. McMurphy DM and Boreus LO. Studies on the pharmacology of the
perfused human fetal ductus arteriosus. Am J Obstet Gynecol 109:
ANNUAL MEETING ABSTRACT
5. Oliver JA, Kimmelstein S, and Steinmetz PR. Energy dependence of
urinary HCO3- secretion in turtle bladder (Abstract). Proc Annu
Meet Am Soc Nephrol 6th Washington DC 1973, p.80.
6. Sexton AW. Factors Influencing the Uptake of Sodium Against a
Concentration Gradient in the Goldfish Gill (PhD thesis).
Columbia: Univ. of Missouri, 1955.
7. Johnson RC, Bergman AE Jr, and Jackson MM. Lower Body Negative
Pressure: The Second Manned Skylab Mission. Houston, TX: NASA,
1974. (NASA Spec Rep SP-269)
For more examples, see Manuscript Composition.
Letters of Permission
Letters of permission should accompany the manuscript in the following
- for permission from the publisher and author to use
previously published tables, illustrations, and quotations that exceed 100
- for permission from the publisher and author to
modify/adapt illustrations (permission not required if the
illustrations are previously published in an APS journal)
- for permission from any individual who is listed in a
"personal communication" for reference material;
- for permission to cite an individual for
"acknowledgment" of help in preparation of the manuscript;
- for permission to discuss information that an individual has
Copyright and Mandatory Submission Form
The Journal is copyrighted for the protection of authors and the
Society. A copyright transfer form, called Mandatory Submission Form, is
available during online submission. The copyright transfer form must be
completed, signed, and returned before the accepted review may be sent for
An electronic set of page proofs, called Rapid Proof, will be e-mailed
to the corresponding author for correction of errors only. The proofs with
hand-marked corrections must be returned promptly to the Editorial Office.
Excessive changes in proofs will be charged to authors.
Fifty printed copies are provided gratis to the senior author.
Additional copies may be ordered when proofs are received. The Reprint
Order Form is included with the Rapid Proof. Reprints containing color may
only be ordered at proof time.
Requirements for the Accepted Review
Once the review is accepted, the author needs to submit the
print copy as well as the disk files of the final accepted version,
including text and tables. Digitally prepared figures should be sent on a
separate disk. Please follow the acceptance letter instructions for this