How to submit your journal article

IOP Publishing aims to be flexible and to make submission as easy as possible for authors. We only require a PDF file for a new submission. These guidelines apply to our journals that use the ScholarOne Manuscripts submissions system.

Use our Submission Checklist to check that you’re ready to submit an article to us. It covers all of the things you’ll need to cover before you start the process. Once you’ve checked everything off the list, find the journal where you want to submit your article and follow the submission guidelines on our ScholarOne site.

There is also a Chinese language version of the Checklist.

If you are an early career researcher you may find our PDF guides (available in both English and Chinese) helpful.

Please submit all new articles via the ‘Submit an article‘ link for the relevant journal. If you are a new author, you will need to set up an account before submitting your first article. Before submitting your article please read ‘What we look for in your article’.

Please ensure that you enter all the required information about your article. You will first be asked to select an article type for your manuscript, to enter the title and abstract, and then to select some keywords. Please note that, if your article is accepted for publication, we will display these keywords on the published article.

You will then be asked to enter your author information. Please include all the authors (if there are less than 10). Please see below section on “ethics of authorship” for guidelines on who qualifies/should be cited as a coauthor. We recommend you use authors’ full names and ORCID identifiers to avoid ambiguity. Please note: we require the submitting author to provide their ORCID. You can check if a co-author already exists in the journal’s database by entering the author’s e-mail address. You should ensure that all author e-mail addresses are correct to the best of your knowledge.

You may also propose preferred (and non-preferred) referees on submission. The suggested referees should have suitable subject expertise and not have any conflicts of interest (please see the IOP ethical policy for journals for further information on conflict of interest). These suggestions will be considered, but the editorial staff and/or Editorial Board will make the final decision regarding referee selection.

Any pertinent information that could affect the way the manuscript is handled may be provided in a cover letter. This may include highlighting anything particularly notable or significant about their research, and information about previous versions of this manuscript submitted to the current journal or to other journal(s).

You will be asked to provide information on all funders associated with your work. It is vital that you enter this information as it helps you to meet your funder requirements as well as to make your research more discoverable. Please search the Open Funder Registry for your funding institutions, and provide grant numbers.

If you have submitted to a hybrid open access journal you are then required to choose between publishing under a gold open access licence or on a subscription basis. You may change your decision at a later stage in the review process e.g. when completing Copyright. If you have submitted to a gold open access journal then you must agree to publish under a gold open access licence. You must also state whether or not you have reproduced any previously published material in your submission, and to confirm that you would like your accepted manuscript to be made available online within 24 hours of acceptance.

Finally, before submitting your article, you are required to confirm that you have read and understood the IOP ethical policy for journals, and that your submission complies with its terms.

File upload: to make submission as easy as possible for you,when submitting a new article, we only require you to upload a single PDF file (and any relevant supplementary data) for your article. The PDF should contain your complete manuscript, including any embedded figures and tables. You may upload your article from the arXiv directly by entering the arXiv e-print number. Please also submit any permissions that you have already obtained at this stage.

If you experience any problems submitting your article online, please contact the journal for assistance.

Please note, IOP journals do not charge you to submit an article. If there are any publication fees to pay (for open access, colour printing or page charges), these will be made clear to you at the point of submission, and are payable on acceptance for publication.

When determining the credit for a piece of work, authors should ensure that all those who have made a significant contribution are cited as co-authors. Other individuals who have contributed to the study in a lesser capacity should be acknowledged, but not cited as authors. An author is someone who has made a significant intellectual contribution to the article, this can include but is not limited to:

  • Background theory
  • Design of experiment
  • Device prototype
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Writing of the article or reviewing and/or revising the text and/or figures

We encourage authors to make specific attributions of contribution and responsibility in the acknowledgements of the article, otherwise all co-authors will be taken to share full responsibility for all of the paper. Authors may wish to use a taxonomy such as CRediT to describe the contributions of each author.

Authors are expected to reach agreement between themselves regarding credit for authorship, and the order in which author names are presented. If agreement between the authors cannot be reached, the institution(s) where the work was undertaken should be asked to investigate. IOP Publishing will not arbitrate in cases where these is disagreement over authorship. IOP Publishing has the right to remove your article from the review process until a resolution can be agreed.

Co-authors

Some co-authors will be accountable for the entire article, for example those who provide critical data, written the article, present the findings at conferences or provide leadership for junior colleagues. Other co-authors may be responsible for specific contributions to an article. Authors should not use acknowledgements misleadingly to imply a contribution or endorsement by individuals who have not, in fact, been involved with the work or given an endorsement.

Responsibility of the corresponding author

It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all named authors have approved the submitted version of the article, and all further revisions, agree to its submission and are willing to take appropriate responsibility for it.

It is important that all authors have approved the final version of the article as accepted for publication.

It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure the paper is not under consideration by any other journal at the time of submission.

Changes in authorship

Any changes to authorship during the publication process must be approved by all authors of the paper, and all authors must confirm to the journal that they give their consent. In addition, you must explain to the journal the reasons behind the change in authorship based on the guidelines above.

Deceased authors

In cases where an author has sadly passed away before a paper has been submitted, we require consent from a familial or legal proxy of the deceased for the paper to be reviewed for potential publication. Deceased authors are still eligible for co-authorship if they made a significant intellectual contribution to the article (see above).

The files you need to submit on initial submission are:

1

A PDF of the complete manuscript for review (designated 'Complete Document for Review (PDF Only)'), containing the names and institutes of authors, and figures and tables embedded within the text. Authors are asked to consider the need for clarity and readability when selecting column type, line spacing, font size and layout when preparing the PDF, to assist reviewers.

2

Any permissions that you have already obtained at this stage.

3

Any suitable supplementary data (see below for details about suitable files).

We encourage you to submit supplementary data files with your manuscript. If you are submitting video files, most standard file formats are suitable: animated GIF, AVI, MPG, etc. However, we strongly recommend video files be delivered in the MPEG-4 container, encoded with the H264 codec. Other formats are permitted, but using MPEG-4 will provide the most faithful rendering of your video in the HTML journal article.

Video files should be a maximum of 10 MB file size each. Exceptions can be made in cases where larger files are essential for the science being presented.

The recommended settings are:

  • Frame size: 480 x 360 pixels
  • Frame rate: 15 frames/s
  • Data rate: 150 kB/s.

Some of our journals encourage authors to submit video abstracts. Read more about video abstracts here.

Our guidelines are applicable to the journals listed below. For guidelines specific to other partner journals, including the American Astronomical Society titles, please consult those journals’ respective homepages. Journal homepages can be accessed from here.