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Information for Authors: Policies and Practices

Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (PERC Proceedings) is published by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG). The Physics Education Research Leadership and Organizing Council (PERLOC) oversees the publication of PERC Proceedings and shares the responsibility for overall policy matters with the editors of the PERC Proceedings. The editors of PERC Proceedings are responsible for the scientific content and editorial matters relating to the PERC Proceedings. The editors of the PERC Proceedings consist of three members of the PER community serving three-year terms - initially serving as the Assistant Editor, then Editor and finally Editor-in-Chief at the end of their term. One new editor is selected by PERLOC each year.

The PERC Proceedings provides a snapshot of the research being performed within the PER community and serves as the written record of the scholarly work presented at the annual Physics Education Research Conference. The PERC Proceedings accepts for publication papers related to the teaching and learning of physics at all levels of instruction and emerging areas of research including new methodologies and/or theoretical frameworks. Accepted papers have been found to be scientifically sound, important to the field, and in satisfactory form. The editors welcome submission not only of significant or final results, but also of preliminary research results and discussions of works in progress. The PERC Proceedings editors will implement this policy as fairly and efficiently as possible and without regard to national boundaries.

AAPT and PERTG, by sponsoring the PERC Proceedings, share the responsibility for the Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (PERC Proceedings) by providing financial support and advice on editorial policy, and provide input to help maintain the high standards of the PERC Proceedings.

Electronic Publishing

The PERC Proceedings is completely electronic with all steps including submission, refereeing, and publication being done electronically through PER-Central. While electronic publishing places some restrictions on the acceptable forms of submission, it brings substantial advantages including free unrestricted distribution and easy use of enhancements such as color figures and hypertext links to references.

Subject Areas

The PERC Proceedings covers the full range of experimental and theoretical research on the teaching and learning of physics at all instructional levels. Replication studies, descriptions of the development and use of new assessment tools, presentation of research techniques, and methodology comparisons/critiques are welcomed.

Content of Papers

The PERC Proceedings provides readers with a glimpse of the range of research activities that are being undertaken by the Physics Education Research community. In addition, it provides an introduction to the field and as such strives to publish papers that are accessible and useful to both novices and experts. It is the hope of the editors that the papers published in the PERC Proceedings will provide insight, data, inspiration, and the potential to spark new collaborative efforts.

Authors are asked to give considerable attention to the presentation of their material, making introductions accessible to undergraduate students and readers from other fields. The body of each paper should be economically and thoughtfully organized. Papers should be clearly written in good scientific English, using the specified style and format. New terminology should be introduced only when clearly needed and appropriate, and it should not be introduced in titles. Excessive use of acronyms is discouraged.

First Author Responsibilities

The first author on the paper:

  1. must be registered for the annual PERC meeting by the peer reviewed paper submission deadline. Furthermore, the first author must attend and present on a topic directly related to the paper at the annual PERC meeting.
  2. must have an active and updated account on PER-Central in order to participate in the peer review. All co-authors are also expected to have active and updated accounts on PER-Central.
  3. is expected to participate with the peer review by reviewing up to three papers. Unwillingness to assist in the peer review process by the first author will result in the withdrawal of the paper from the peer review process. Co-authors may participate in the peer review process by reviewing up to three papers.
  4. may not be the first author on two peer reviewed papers unless one is for a Plenary session.

When a paper has several authors, the first author should be the one designated to receive and respond to correspondence from the Editor. This designation can be changed upon notification of the Editor. It is the responsibility of the first author to represent all those involved with the work reported.

By submitting the paper, the first author certifies the following:

Authors may not present data and other results obtained by others as if they were their own. Nor may authors incorporate without attribution text from another work (by themselves or others), even when summarizing past results or background material. If a direct quotation is appropriate, the quotation should be clearly indicated as such and the original source should be properly cited. Papers that have been found to be in violation of this policy will be rejected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can color be used in the papers?
Yes! The PERC Proceedings are in color as of 2013.

Why are peer reviewed papers due BEFORE the conference? Can I submit a peer reviewed paper AFTER the conference?
The deadline to submit the paper is BEFORE the conference in order to allow reviewers time to evaluate the papers during the conference. This will keep the turn-around time short and allow reviewers to be influenced by interactions at the poster sessions and oral presentations. Modifications to the submitted paper that address the reviewers' comments can be made after the conference. Absolutely, NO papers will be accepted after the deadline.

Furthermore, the PERC Proceedings Editors have been asked to implement double-blind review, and are working on a scheme to accomplish that. When this change occurs, publishing the conference program will un-blind the authors. Therefore, in the future, reviews will be due before the conference program is released.

I want to purchase a hardcopy of the PERC Proceedings, how can I do so?
Hardcopies of the PERC Proceedings are no longer be available as of 2013. The PERC Proceedings are made available only online through PER-Central.

Who are the contacts for this year's PERC Proceedings?
The Editors are the primary contacts for questions related to this year's PERC Proceedings. Contact information is provided on the Editors' page.

The paper's first author has just graduated (either in December or in May) and will enroll as a graduate student in the fall. Can this abstract be submitted by the undergraduate abstract deadline, or does it need to be submitted by the earlier deadline for non-undergraduates?
Yes, the paper may be submitted by the undergraduate deadline. Generally speaking, this work is done while working as an undergraduate, and the summer following, and it fits the general guideline being laid out in the rule, that undergraduates can have more time to put their abstract together. As usual, any proceedings paper being submitted is still due at the common deadline.