Article Types

Advances in Physiology Education welcomes original research papers in the areas of 1) generalizable education research and 2) classroom and laboratory research projects. These will be published as "How We Teach" articles. All research studies that involve student subjects must indicate that local Institutional Review Board approval or ethical review was granted and that students participated only after giving the appropriate informed consent. 

How We Teach: Generalizable Education Research

These studies may arise from physiology and its associated life sciences as well as medical, dental, and allied health education. Studies will be hypothesis driven, with a clear justification grounded in learning theory or published research. Articles should state a central hypothesis and specific aims and will include a succinct review of the relevant background literature. The research design, educational context, methods, and statistical analysis of quantitative data should be described in detail. The relevance of the research findings to physiology or general science education should be made clear in the Discussion.

How We Teach: Classroom and Laboratory Research Projects

These studies typically arise from innovations by physiology teachers. The topic of research may cover any aspect of pedagogy, assessment, or curriculum development. Papers that address the use of technology, mathematical modeling, or simulation are particularly encouraged. Articles should state the educational problem that is addressed and should include information about the educational context, a description of the teaching or assessment, and sufficient detail of how the strategy was implemented so that readers can duplicate the intervention. The project should be justified from published research, and references to the literature should be cited. Outcome data should be included to demonstrate the success of the intervention; these data may include student and teacher perceptions as well as quantitative assessment of the activity’s impacts on learning.

Sourcebook of Laboratory Activities in Physiology

This section contains detailed descriptions of practical activities that can be used for hands-on exploration in student laboratory settings. The goals of the Sourcebook of Laboratory Activities in Physiology (Laboratory Sourcebook) are to preserve the history and protocols of classic experiments in physiology and to introduce new or unique experiments. Submissions to the Sourcebook may be made only with prior approval from Dr. Dee Silverthorn, the Associate Editor who oversees the Sourcebook, in order to avoid duplication.  All submissions must conform to a specific template that is unique to this section, and they will undergo the usual peer review process of the journal.  Please also consult the Sourcebook Instructions to Authors

Sourcebook articles are designed to guide faculty in developing activities for their students; they are not intended for use as a student handout. All submissions should have been previously class tested by the author(s) and include sample data as well as precautions about safety and common student mistakes.

The ideal activity is one that can be easily adapted to an inquiry format.  Experiments need not be elaborate or require expensive equipment. Experiments that use students as human subjects should be noninvasive or minimally invasive, and experiments using animals must have been approved by the author’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee or an equivalent.

Authors who have a substantial addition to a previously published Sourcebook paper should request permission to submit a Sourcebook Update article. Commentary or suggestions for variations on a published experiment may be submitted as a Letter to the Editor.

Advances in Physiology Education also welcomes several categories of scholarly essays and activities.  Contributions to these categories may be unsolicited or commissioned by the Editorial Board.  If you would like to contribute a manuscript to one of these categories, please contact the Editor.

Historical Perspectives

Historical Perspectives are scholarly essays that pertain to the history of physiology. Included also within this section are Living History profiles of the distinguished physiologists selected by the American Physiological Society.  If you would like to submit a paper to Historical Perspectives, please contact Dr. Kathy Ryan, the Associate Editor who oversees this section.

Personal Views

Personal Views are substantive essays that present philosophical perspectives on physiology education. These essays must be scholarly but can be provocative, pointed, candid, and reflective. 

Staying Current

This section is intended to help us stay current in physiology and education. Contributions consist of short reviews that describe recent advances or new methods in physiology and highlight important concepts that students should understand or that teachers of physiology need in order to better teach a concept.  In addition, contributions that review new advances in educational technology or educational pedagogy are encouraged. When applicable, contributions to this section will include a list of links to content in the teaching archives and other articles of interest.  Papers and abstracts from the annual Refresher Course held at the Experimental Biology meeting will be published in Staying Current.


As educators, we continually design new ways to enhance learning. During this process, good ideas are conceived and then tested in the classroom, or once-promising ideas are tested and found wanting when they are implemented.  Nonetheless, each of these kinds of ideas may help improve the teaching and learning of physiology.  Illuminations is a section designed to facilitate the sharing of these ideas or illuminations. The format of the submissions is quite simple: a succinct description of something you have used in the classroom, for teaching, or in the laboratory.  You may include one or two simple figures or references.  Informal assessments of your idea are helpful.  If you have an illumination you would like to share, please contact Dr. Jodie Krontiris-Litowitz, the Associate Editor who oversees Illuminations

Finally, Advances in Physiology Education welcomes Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and Meeting Reports and Announcements. 


Editorials provide commentary by the Editor, Associate Editors, and other scientists and experts on issues related to the Journal's mission as well as of general interest to our readers. Unsolicited editorials will be considered for publication. Acceptance will reside with the editors

Letters to the Editor

In all cases, determining whether a proposed Letter to the Editor is acceptable for publication is a matter committed to the discretion of the editors. Letters, including an informative title, should be short, approximately one journal column (500 words). Letters are reviewed by the appropriate editor and are subject to editing and possible abridgment. Letters to the Editor must be authored by experts in the field under discussion, such expertise having been demonstrated by original research published by the author(s) in peer-reviewed journals indexed in the major services, such as PubMed. Letters to the Editor should not include original, unpublished data. If a proposed Letter is found acceptable, a copy will be sent to the author of the original article if applicable; that author will have an opportunity to provide a rebuttal with new material that will be considered for publication with the Letter. Letters to the Editor may also simply address matters of general interest to the readership.

Meeting Reports and Announcements

Meeting reports and announcements of interest to the Advances community may be submitted for consideration of publication.