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Information for Authors - Preparing and Submitting a Manuscript

Submission Timeline for Peer-Reviewed Papers

The submission periods for poster abstracts and abstract-associated manuscripts largely overlap after the move to double-confidential review. As soon as poster abstract submissions open, authors may also submit manuscripts attached to those posters. Authors may submit both poster abstracts and manuscripts up until the “paper-eligible poster abstract” deadline. After the paper-eligible poster abstract deadline (in 2020, this date is 5 June), poster abstracts may still be submitted up to the “poster-only abstract” deadline. These abstracts, however, are not eligible for association with a manuscript, and abstracts submitted during this second period will not have the option of uploading a manuscript as well.

The poster abstract submission process has otherwise not changed. Authors may upload their poster abstracts, author lists, contact info, etc. any time during the submission process, and there is no need to mask poster abstracts. The poster abstract will appear in the PERC schedule and program.

Again: Conference abstracts and manuscripts for the 2020 PER Conference are due on 5 June, 2020. Note that the deadline for both manuscript submission and paper-associated poster abstract submission is the same this year, and that that date is earlier than previous years due to the implementation of double-confidential abstracts. Posters not associated with a PERC paper may be submitted after this 5 June deadline.

Manuscript Composition and Preparation

The PERC Proceedings will be published online and hosted by PER-Central.

ALL PERC Proceedings papers are limited to four (4) pages in length, double-column 8.5 x 11 inch format. References and the title page do not count against this page limit.

Authors should use the PERC Proceedings Style Guide Summary to guide the preparation of their papers. This style guide is based on the Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research style requirements. Papers submitted for peer review not meeting these requirements will be subject to immediate rejection. All peer reviewed papers must be submitted in .PDF format for the peer review process. Plenary papers should be submitted directly to the Assistant Editor in an editable format (LaTeX or MS Word).

Please note that the major changes to the new 2019 template include a separate title page, that references do not count against the page limit, and that full article titles should be included in the references.

A new .tex template is available. For authors who are interested but new to LaTeX, https://www.overleaf.com/ is a free online editor, and the template has been posted there as well.

At the request of many PER community members, a Word template is available to help with formatting your submission. However, the Editors caution that Word documents can be both platform and version dependent. Authors need to ensure that the version you download and use truly matches the formatting requirements.

Download an example pdf using the new 2019 template.

Modifications to Body of Manuscript

Because the peer-review process is meant to be double-confidential, authors are requested to modify their manuscripts for submission in order to minimize the chance of recognition by a referee -- this process is known as “masking.” The following recommendations are provided as a minimum acceptable basis for masking, but authors are encouraged to think as well about the nature of their manuscript and what additional steps may be necessary to accomplish masking for the review process. Note that, if a manuscript is accepted for publication, authors will have the opportunity to unmask their manuscript before publication (as long as doing so would not require a re-review of the paper).

  1. Authors should remove direct, explicit references to themselves, their institution, and any other explicit affiliations or identifiers. For example: rather than naming a school, use “a large R1 university,” “a small liberal arts college,” etc. Authors are allowed to use active pronouns such as “we” when describing actions taken as part of the study or investigation described in the manuscript but should of course avoid using names.
  2. Authors should remove self-identifying information from any in-text references. For example: rather than “We have previously shown [1]...” use “A previous study [1] has shown...” Additionally, citations in the references list that could be used to identify the authors (including those not from the authors themselves) should be masked: rather than “A. Author et al., in Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference (2019),” use “Anonymous. (2019) Details redacted for review,” or similar.
  3. Authors should remove self-identifying information from figures, tables, etc. as well as from filenames. Also be aware that many PDF and Word documents contain metadata -- authors are encouraged to investigate their documents before submission to remove these identifying pieces of information.
  4. Authors should omit all acknowledgements, including acknowledgements of named persons, funding sources or grants, institutions, etc. from the body of the review copy of the manuscript. Authors will have an opportunity to include the acknowledgements if their paper is accepted; however, remember that there is a strict 4-page maximum to manuscript length, and that content revisions requiring a re-review cannot be accepted. Authors are therefore encouraged to write their manuscripts including the acknowledgements, and simply remove them from submission.

Authors List and Abstract Page: Authors do not need to modify the author list at all, as the page will be removed from the document before the manuscript is given to referees. However, as stated above, referees will be provided with a copy of the abstract for review. Therefore, authors are requested to mask their abstracts following the same principles as listed above.

References/Citations List: Beginning with the 2019 PERC Proceedings, the citations list does not count til the 4-page manuscript limit. As mentioned above, in-text references should be masked. At this time, we have elected not to strip the citations list from the manuscripts before review. Therefore, authors are requested, as noted above, to remove information that could be used to identify them from the citations list as well, masking both their own references and those of other authors that could be used to identify them as well. Note that this implementation tries to strike a balance between providing no references (thereby achieving perfect masking at the cost of providing no contexting information) and masking only those references written by the manuscript’s authors (providing maximum context at the cost of all-but-unmasking the authors’ previous works). Authors are encouraged to work in good faith and use their best judgement to reduce the chances of identification through citations.

Permission to Reprint Published Material

Reproduction of figures, tables, and text material that have been published previously should be kept to a minimum and must be properly referenced. In order to reproduce figures, tables, etc., from a journal, authors must show that they have complied with the copyright/licensing requirements of the publisher of the journal. Publication of material in a thesis does not preclude publication of appropriate parts of that material in the PERC Proceedings.

If your submission contains any material copyrighted elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the original copyright holder. Please submit the release form as evidence that you have obtained all necessary permissions.

Peer-Reviewed Manuscript Submission

Authors can submit their manuscripts on the landing page for their poster abstracts. Authors should compose their manuscripts in accordance with the policies detailed above. Since 2019, the author list / abstract page and references have been included as separate pages from the body of the manuscript; these pages should be submitted as part of the manuscript file as normal. The author list / abstract page will be “stripped” in processing before reviewers are assigned their papers, which include the body of the manuscript and the citations list, for review. Authors will be provided with a separate field where they can upload their abstract; in this way, reviewers may still include the abstract in their review. Upon submission, authors will be required to verify, on behalf of all authors, consent to participate in the confidential peer review process, and to provide a list of potential conflicts of interest with respect to paper referees.

Submitting a Plenary Paper

Conference attendees that have an invited Plenary talk

  1. may submit a paper to be peer reviewed by 5 June, 2020; and/or
  2. may submit a paper without peer review (but copy-edited by the Assistant Editor) by August 21, 2020.

Peer-Review Requirement

As stated on the General Information for Authors page (at this link), manuscript first authors are required to engage in the double-confidential peer review process. Failure to participate in the review process is grounds for a manuscript to be excluded from the publication of the Proceedings. More information on the review process can be found on the "Review Process" page (via this link).

Peer Review Assent: Upon submission, authors will be presented with the following statement, to which they will be required to assent before the manuscript can be accepted for review:

Co-authors will be sent the following statement upon receipt of a manuscript, addressing their participation in the peer review process:

Conflict of Interest

Upon submission, authors will be presented with a means of submitting conflict of interest disclosures (conflict of interest is defined on the Policies and Practices page, which you can access via this link). Along with the list, the author will be required to assent to the following statement: