Article Types

Rapid Reports

Rapid Reports are short papers presenting important new findings that could potentially have a major impact on the field.

Rapid Reports may contain no more than 4,000 words, including references, and no more than 4 tables or figures. Peer reviewers (largely selected from the Journal Editorial Board) will be asked to return their reviews of the manuscript within 10 days, and our goal is to provide authors with an editorial decision regarding their Rapid Report within 2 weeks of submission. Rapid Report submissions deemed to have high potential impact by the reviewers and editor, and which require only modest revisions, will remain eligible for publication as Rapid Reports, so long as the normal standards of scientific rigor are met, but also, authors must address the concerns of the reviewers within 2 weeks, so a final editorial decision will be made within 5 days of returning the Rapid Report to the Journal. Thus, the full processing time for a Rapid Report, from first submission to final decision (whether accepted or rejected, or decision to redirect as a standard submission), should be approximately 1 month.

Rapid Reports accepted for publication will be highlighted in the Journal as "Featured Articles." In addition, these articles may have a podcast related to the article and linked directly to it, which will be shown in a prominent place on the Journal home page. Listen to our current podcasts here.

Manuscripts originally submitted and reviewed as Rapid Reports, but which are deemed to have a lack of exceptional potential impact but are otherwise worthy of further review or which require substantial revisions, will be reclassified as regular research articles and handled accordingly, through the rest of the peer review process.

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 and will be prominently linked to the online article; such data such should be submitted as “supplemental data” in the submission system. All research articles are peer-reviewed.

Case Studies in Neuroscience – original research articles

“Case Studies in Neuroscience” provides a forum for human or animal subjects studies that cannot be replicated experimentally (e.g., they report the neurological effects of a rare disease), but provide unique insights into mechanisms of neural function (either at the cellular or systems level). Clinical case studies that describe the treatment of a patient with a rare medical condition are NOT appropriate for this category, and will be rejected without peer review. Acceptable submissions must provide insights into mechanisms of neural function, and/or how those mechanisms are altered by a disease process. Authors are encouraged to consult with the Editor-in-Chief to determine if their manuscript qualifies for submission as “Case Reports in Neuroscience”.

The key elements of such articles are:

  • The title must begin "Case Studies in Neuroscience:..............." 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.

Case Studies in Neuroscience are not intended to report the following:
  • The medical treatment of a patient with a rare disease
  • Preliminary experimental findings that could feasibly be replicated in additional animal or human subjects
Please select the "Case Studies" option from the pulldown menu on the article submission site when submitting a "Case Study in Neuroscience."

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. All reviews are peer-reviewed. Authors should consult with the Editor-in-Chief (jnpeditor@the-aps.org) prior to preparing and submitting review articles. 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).

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 with consideration the following criteria:

  • The novelty of the new method. Papers should not be minor incremental improvements of old methods, but must 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 these would interrupt the flow of the manuscript but are deemed important and helpful to others wishing to implement the technique.

Neuro Forum

Neuro Forum is a place for brief reviews of recent, single target articles and mini-reviews of current and significant developments in neuroscience. The articles are authored by current students or postdoctoral fellows (faculty excluded). For single target article submissions, the target article must have been published within the past 3 months (at the time of submission). For mini-review submissions, significant advances in the field must have been published within the last year. Please see the Neuro Forum Guidelines for details.

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.

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.


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