Article Types

New Author Requirement for Original Research Articles and Innovative Methodologies: Authors must provide a description outlining what is “New & Noteworthy” about the original research article. The "New & Noteworthy" text should be no more than 75 words in length, and should be included in the manuscript text immediately after the abstract. When submitting the article online, authors should copy/paste this text into the online submission form field for New & Noteworthy.

Research Articles

Research articles present important new research results including the entire contents of a research project. Research articles include an abstract, an introduction, methods and results sections, a discussion, and relevant citations. Large data sets are welcome for inclusion in the online publication. Articles are peer-reviewed.

Case Studies in Physiology – original research articles

“Case Studies in Physiology” provides a forum for unusual studies that have as their subject, for example, world class athletes or physiologically unique and rarely accessible animals. These by definition are almost always studies of a single subject, and thus, while they pose statistical and interpretive problems, can offer unique and revealing insights into physiology that conventional studies may not.

The key elements of such articles are:

  • The title must begin "Case Studies in Physiology:..............." with the specific title following the colon
  • Articles must be limited to studies with data – this is not a platform for presenting theories.
  • Text including references should be limited to 3000 words (approximately 3 printed journal pages). The number of figures and tables should be commensurate with the amount of data reported. We expect Case Studies articles to be no more than 5 printed journal pages.
  • There must be critical statistical consideration so that even when n=1, the major outcome(s) are qualitatively reliable, and, to the extent possible, quantitatively robust.
  • The Discussion must clearly present the limits on experimental design/methods based on the particular situation, should discuss general applicability of results, and justify why the case is of value.
  • The article must support a broader message than merely the description of findings, and be of instructional value to readers.


To allow for the publication of high quality topic reviews, an article category has been created named "Synthesis". Authors wanting to publish a review in the Journal of Applied Physiology (JAPPL) would begin by sending the Editor a letter of intent (LOI): a) describing the area to be covered, b) providing a rationale for why we should consider it for JAPPL, and c) indicating a target date for submission. An abstract-sized summary of the review plus the CV's and publication list of all proposed authors must accompany the LOI. The criteria used to decide on whether to allow a submission will be that the article is:

  • (Co)authored by a respected, leading investigator in the field. Specifically, we will not accept literature reviews conducted by trainees in the course of their thesis preparation.
  • Rationalized well as to topic relevance to the journal and timeliness.
  • A scholarly synthesis in the field, ideally integrating reports from different labs, bringing together data from several levels of study (ranging from modeling to whole organism and everything in between), reconciling differences where possible, explaining them when they cannot be reconciled, and ending with a statement of future research directions.

Reviews should be focused and not encyclopedic, because we do not wish to compete withPhysiological Reviews. “Synthesis” articles should be no more than 10 journal pages (including figures and tables, but excluding references; no supplemental materials). One journal page of text only is approximately 1,000 words, a one-panel figure occupies approximately one-quarter of a page, and an average table occupies approximately one-third of a page. There is no limit on number of references. Unpublished data may not be included in “Synthesis” articles.

Unpublished data may not be included in "Synthesis" articles.

The submitted materials will be evaluated by those members of the Associate and Consulting Editor teams with knowledge about the topic. If this group recommends that submission be allowed, a decision (which will not be subject to appeal) on whether or not to invite submission will be made by the editor based on the sum of their opinions. An invitation to submit must not be taken as a guarantee of acceptability. Submitted articles will be subjected to peer review, and this will determine the article's acceptability just as for original research papers.


Viewpoint articles are intended to present an insightful, thoroughly documented slant on a topic for which opinions are either controversial or undecided in the literature.  The hope is that the readership will benefit from a new unconventional viewpoint on a topic.  In addition, brief commentary (250 words, 5 references) will be solicited from the readership.  The hope here is to use the journal to promote communication among scientists and therefore further understanding.  Hopefully, new ideas and improved designs for future research on these topics should follow.  Some articles will be invited; we also welcome unsolicited manuscripts. Viewpoints 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. The determination whether a proposed Viewpoint is within scope and acceptable for publication is a matter committed to the discretion of the editors.

The Viewpoint manuscript must be concise, to the point, and bring novel new insights on a specific problem.  Refer only to already peer-reviewed, published findings.  Maximum length is 1200 words, 30 references, and one single-panel figure.  No abstract is required; the title of the manuscript should be as descriptive as possible of the problem and or viewpoint being presented.  All manuscripts will be submitted to the usual peer review process. Also please provide a list of 5-10 names and emails of individuals who may be interested in providing commentary on your Viewpoint.


This series of debates was initiated for the Journal of Applied Physiology because we believe an important means of searching for truth is through debate where contradictory viewpoints are put forward. This dialectic process whereby a thesis is advanced, then opposed by an antithesis, with a synthesis subsequently arrived at, is a powerful and often entertaining method for gaining knowledge and for understanding the source of a controversy. Before reading these Point:Counterpoint manuscripts or preparing a brief commentary on the content, the reader should understand that authors on each side of the debate are expected to advance a polarized viewpoint and to select the most convincing data to support their position. This approach differs markedly from the review article where the reader expects the author to present balanced coverage of the topic. Each of the authors has been strictly limited in the lengths of both the manuscript (1,200 words) and the rebuttal (400). The number of references to publications is also limited to 30, and citation of unpublished findings is prohibited. Complete instructions for Point:Counterpoint submissions are available at Point-Counterpoint articles 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.

Innovative Methodology

Research in physiology depends crucially on the development of new methods of data collection and analysis. Manuscripts submitted under this category should describe new methods for the recording, collection, and/or analysis of data relevant to understanding how the physiological system works. Manuscripts will be reviewed taking into consideration the following criteria:

  • The novelty of the new method. Papers should not be minor incremental improvements of old methods, but have a real new component.
  • The manuscript must describe the method in sufficient detail to enable others to implement or replicate the method or procedure.
  • The manuscript should carefully describe the advantages and disadvantages of the new method, with its limitations and strengths laid out clearly for the reader.
  • The manuscript must illustrate the use of the method to demonstrate that it actually works. It is not necessary to use the method in an extensive study of a biological problem, but a "proof of principle" demonstration is required. Where possible, the method should be applied to real physiological data.
  • Manuscripts should be of the length required to meet these criteria. Extensive technical details, mathematical derivations, etc. can be placed into an Appendix if they will interrupt the flow of the manuscript but may be additionally helpful to others wishing to implement the technique.

Review Articles

Review articles provide synthesis of state-of-the-art knowledge in a defined area highlighting new questions and pointing to future research directions. They encompass examination of biological processes, systems, and models, and technologies for their study. The primary purpose is to educate readers by providing a comprehensive view of completed works presented in a concise, unified format; however, appropriate inclusion of unpublished data is permissible. Utilization of figures is encouraged. Typically, reviews are invited and all are peer-reviewed. Review articles 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.

Please note that prior to review, all review articles 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).

Cores of Reproducibility in Physiology (CORP) – Invited review article

Experts will be invited to write a detailed, instructional paper that represents best practice in physiology for a particular method or equipment that is in broad, common use.  This series of articles is available across all APS journals and is developed in response to the challenge to improve transparency and reproducibility in published research results.  To build on the value of the collective “best practices the title of the paper should start with "Cores of Reproducibility in Physiology: ............." where the specific device or method would appear after the semicolon. 

The following key elements, must be included:

  • A description of the method/device and its purported use(s)
  • Details regarding proper use, including calibration, validation, range, sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility (addressing variance of the method itself, within-subject variance and between-subject variance)
  • Particular details of practical importance that may not be widely appreciated – especially where things can go wrong.
  • A critical discussion of what the method/device can do if used properly
  • A critical discussion of limitations of the method/device (what it cannot do or is not intended to do)

These invited articles will be peer reviewed with standard rigor and in light of meeting the above-listed criteria, and so will be accepted at the Editors’ discretion.


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. Editorials 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.

Editorial Focus

Editorial Focus articles are commentaries on papers of unusual interest published in the journal that were chosen by the Editor to be highlighted by a brief Editorial Focus commentary. They should describe the most important conclusions of the paper; place the paper into context with the current state-of-the-art; highlight controversial issues; when relevant, denote strengths and weaknesses of the paper; and review questions that remain to be addressed. Editorial Focus articles 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

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.

Physiology in Medicine

Manuscripts submitted for the Physiology in Medicine series should discuss a relatively narrow aspect of basic physiology as it relates to the pathophysiology or treatment of a specific disease (or group of diseases). The disease in question should be one that the specialist in internal medicine commonly encounters in his/her practice. By emphasizing a strong connection between laboratory research and clinical medicine, we hope to stimulate interest in translational research among clinicians and to encourage medical students and young physicians to follow a scientific pathway in their careers. However, authors should be aware that the PIM articles will be designed to appeal primarily to clinicians who may not be specifically trained in current laboratory methods so that descriptions of laboratory methods and physiologic processes must be accessible to an intelligent, medically trained non expert.

The main point of the article should be to describe how important scientific discoveries or principles have affected our understanding of a disease, with implications for diagnosis or treatment. We intend for these articles to be highly focused, usually making only a few teaching points, but doing so in a way that makes the knowledge stick in the readers’ memory. In addition to describing important aspects of laboratory research that have elucidated physiologic mechanisms, the manuscripts should also detail the ways in which this knowledge has had an impact on our understanding of the way diseases develop, are diagnosed, or treated in everyday practice.

Manuscripts for this series must be evidence based (with appropriate citations) rather than being based on expert opinion, although an expert interpretation of diverging points of view are often illuminating. We encourage the use of glossaries for explanation of terms that might be unfamiliar to the clinician. Liberal use of figures (if scientifically necessary in color) is also encouraged. We think that manuscripts in this series are often enhanced by collaboration between a bench researcher and a clinician and for this reason, we encourage joint authorship.

Manuscript length should not exceed 2500 words plus tables and figures, with no more than 70 references. Graphics should be used liberally and should avoid excessive complexity. Because the articles are meant to be informative and to engage the clinician, they should be focused but not definitive, archival reviews. Each manuscript should conclude with a paragraph that summarizes the importance of the discussion for the clinician in easily understandable language.

References should be listed and cited in the style of the journals of the American Physiological Society. Authors should refer to the Instructions for Authors appropriate for the specific APS journal to which the PIM article will be submitted.


Various article types can be published under the following Categories, or headings:

Calls for Papers - Highlighted Topics

Manuscripts containing results of unusual interest may be submitted to the Editor, in response to a Call for Papers. Accepted manuscript appear in the next available issue after acceptance.

Special Sections

Manuscripts of any type may be submitted to one of these Special Sections.

Translational Physiology

The field of Translational Physiology is an area of research that bridges the gap between basic physiology and patient care. Original papers in this field may transfer clinical insights into hypotheses that can be tested and validated in the basic research laboratory, or they may transfer knowledge gained from basic research to human physiology or even to improved methods of treating or preventing disease.

Historical Articles

Manuscripts on the history of physiology may be submitted to the Editor.