Neuro Forum Guidelines

Revised 7-1-2014

Author Requirements

To submit a Neuro Forum manuscript, authors must be current students or postdoctoral fellows (including medical residents).   Multiple authorship is allowed. Authors of Neuro Forum submissions must comply with the same requirements as other Journal of Neurophysiology authors regarding ethical issues (including plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and multiple submission) and potential conflicts of interest (please see the APS Ethical Policies and Standards for details).

Target Article Requirements

Neuro Forum submissions may either be based on a single recent target article or these may comprise a mini-review of a “hot topic.” For Neuro Forum submissions that target a single article, this target article must have been published within the past 3 months (at the time of submission). For mini-review submissions (with several articles as the target of the Neuro Forum submission), significant advances in the field must have been published within the last year. You should not submit a manuscript to Neuro Forum if you have another manuscript examining the same or an overlapping set of target articles under review, recently published (within the last year), or in press elsewhere. Target articles should not be from the author’s current or former laboratory. Neuro Forum submissions related to publications in the Journal of Neurophysiology are particularly encouraged.

Content and Format

Submissions (both those based upon single target articles and mini-reviews) are limited to 3 published printed pages (this corresponds to ~2,300 words in the main text, exclusive of reference list) including a maximum of 12 references and one original schematic/explanatory figure. This figure can include color if it is scientifically necessary. The figure should not, in whole or in part, reproduce material from other sources.

The title page should include the names, affiliations, and contact information for all of the authors. The title should be clear and informative and should avoid wordplay. Submissions based upon single target articles should give the full citation for the target article on the title page. Four keywords should be provided for indexing purposes. Brief acknowledgments, to be placed on the title page, are allowed.

The submission should start with a stand-alone brief abstract of 3 sentences or a maximum of 75 words. Authors should endeavor to make their writing accessible to a broad readership of neuroscientists. Thus, specialized jargon and abbreviations should be avoided. More importantly, the scientific context and rationale for the studies should be clearly and concisely articulated. It is not necessary to discuss every figure from the target article, although crucial controls, analytic techniques, and statistical issues may be mentioned. Please strive for an evenhanded and constructive critique. Overly harsh or laudatory prose is not appropriate and will be cause for rejection. The purpose of Neuro Forum pieces is not merely to summarize recent research, but rather to enhance the readers understanding of it.  As such, it is useful to consider possible alternative explanations for the conclusions of the target articles. If the target articles provide data bearing upon an ongoing scientific dispute, it is worthwhile to explain the dispute and the role of the new study. A brief discussion of future questions and avenues for research prompted by the work is also useful.

While it is reasonable to briefly present your own theoretical ideas that are prompted by the target articles, these should be clearly indicated as such and should comprise no more than a single paragraph. Neuro Forum should not be a venue for extensive explication of one’s own theoretical ideas.

It is appropriate and desirable to seek feedback and advice from your colleagues, including faculty, during the composition process, before submission. However, the main ideas must be those of the authors, and the text itself should be composed by the authors.

Review Procedures

Reviews will be conducted by the Editor in Chief and Associate Editors. Occasionally, submissions will be sent for external review. Submissions will be evaluated for scientific accuracy, logic, clarity, and general interest. Successful submissions will not merely summarize the target article but will evaluate it critically, place it in context, and suggest further lines of inquiry. Manuscripts requiring major revisions cannot be accepted due to time constraints. Submitted manuscripts that clearly meet the standards of the journal and the considerations of this article type may be sent back to the authors for minor revision, when needed; those submissions that are not perceived as highly valuable or those that would require heavy revision will most often be rejected without further review. Decisions on Neuro Forum submissions cannot be appealed.

Submission Instructions

Neuro Forum manuscripts should be submitted through the Journal of Neurophysiology web site. No submission fee is required and no page charges or color charges will be levied for accepted manuscripts. Reprints will be billed at the normal rate.  Presubmission inquiries to the Editor in Chief (jnpeditor@the-aps.org) are encouraged, to help assure that a target article or mini-review topic is appropriate and timely and that the topic has not been covered by another submission.

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