Guidelines for authors

Introductory Guide for Authors
For early career researchers - an introductory guide on what to expect when submitting a paper for publication. As well as English UK, this guide has also been translated into English US, Spanish / Latin American, Portuguese / Brazilian, Russian and Mandarin.

What we look for in your article

We consider for publication in Institute of Physics (IOP) journals articles which:

Articles should not:

Articles based on theses for higher degrees may be submitted, although authors should take care that such articles are prepared in the format of a research paper, which is more concise than is appropriate for a thesis.

Articles presented at conferences may also be submitted, provided these articles do not appear in substantially the same form in a published conference proceedings.

Reports that are not available to the general public are not regarded by IOP as prior publications. Authors of articles are not restricted to being members of any particular institute, society or association.

All articles offered for publication are given unbiased consideration, each being judged on its merits without regard to the race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy of the author(s). We treat all articles as confidential until they are published.

How to prepare your article

Please read these guidelines carefully and familiarize yourself with the style and editorial policies of your chosen journal by examining the online version and taking a look at the Featured Articles. It is important to check that your research fits well into the scope of your chosen journal before you submit it. You are also advised to read the IOP ethical policy. If you have any queries, please contact us.

Your article should normally consist of the following:

The following sections give a brief overview of the main elements or structure of an article. Read them first.

You can find more detail in our LaTeX and Word guidelines which are presented in the style of a typical article.

Title page

Title of article
This should be concise but informative.

Authors and addresses
For multiple-authored articles list the names of all the authors first, followed by the full postal addresses, using superscript numeric identifiers to link an author with an address, where necessary (see LaTeX and Word guidelines). If an author's present address is different from the address at which the work was carried out, this should be given as a footnote to the page. You can also include e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers on the title page.

Short title
This is used at the top of odd-numbered pages in the printed journal and should not exceed 80 characters. You do not need to provide short titles for Fast Track Communications, Rapid Communications or Topical Reviews.

Classification numbers
Many of our journals use the Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS), published by the American Institute of Physics to help with the refereeing process. We therefore ask you to supply a list of appropriate classification numbers. You do not need to supply classification numbers when submitting to Physics Education. When submitting to Inverse Problems and Nonlinearity you should include suitable classification numbers from either the Physics and Astronomy scheme or the Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC), but MSC is preferred. You should include a list of keywords when submitting to Measurement Science and Technology, Physics in Medicine and Biology and Physiological Measurement.

Your abstract should give readers concise information about the content of your article. It should be informative and not only indicate the general scope of the article but also state the main results obtained and conclusions drawn. For Journal of Neural Engineering, the abstract should consist of the following elements: problem addressed; methodology; results, significance and potential impact. As the abstract is not part of the text it should be complete in itself; no table numbers, figure numbers, references or displayed mathematical expressions should be included. It should be suitable for direct inclusion in abstracting services and should not normally exceed 200 words. If the article is not in English, an English version of the abstract must also be supplied.

When readers are searching for information online, an abstract of an article is likely to be the first thing they see. Consequently your abstract needs to be concise but convey as much information as possible about the content of your article.

Research papers and review articles can be divided into numbered sections and subsections.

You should use tables only to improve conciseness or where the information cannot be given satisfactorily in other ways such as by histograms or graphs. Tables should be numbered serially and referred to in the text by number (table 1, etc). Each table should have an explanatory caption which should be as concise as possible.

If your article consists of a very large amount of tabular material such as long lists of crystallographic results, computer programs and spectrographic results we would not normally publish these in full. Instead these may be published online as supplementary data files.

In terms of general style, conciseness in writing helps the reader, but clarity is most important. Short sentences and paragraphs make reading easier. You should aim for consistency within your article in matters such as hyphenation and spelling.

All acronyms and abbreviations should be clearly explained when they first appear in the text, and all units used should be consistent throughout the article.

If English is not your first language, you should ask an English speaking colleague to read through your article or at least apply a UK English spellchecker to your article.

Detailed information on the presentation of mathematics, formulae and equations is provided in our LaTeX and Word guidelines.

All authors and co-authors are required to disclose any potential conflict of interest when submitting their article (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licenses, honoraria, advisory affiliations, etc). This information should be included in an acknowledgments section at the end of the manuscript (before the references section). All sources of financial support for the project must also be disclosed in the acknowledgments section. The name of the funding agency and the grant number should be given.

It is vitally important to fully acknowledge all relevant work and we advise that you also consult our ethical policy for general guidance on compiling your reference list.

A complete reference should provide your reader with enough information to locate the article concerned and should consist of: name(s) and initials, date published, title of journal or book, volume number, editors (if any) and, for books, town of publication and publisher (in parentheses), and finally the page numbers. Where there are up to ten authors, all authors' names should be given in the reference list. Where there are more than ten authors, only the first name should appear followed by et al.

You should take particular care to ensure that the information is correct so that links to referenced articles can be made successfully.

Material which is really a footnote to the text should not be included in the reference list, which should contain only references to bibliographic data.

Copies of cited publications not yet available publicly should be submitted for the benefit of the referees. Unpublished results and lectures should be cited for exceptional reasons only.

Before submitting your article, please ensure you have done a literature search to check for any relevant references you may have missed.

Journal specific notes:

You can use either of the referencing systems, alphabetical (Harvard) or numerical (Vancouver), described below, except for Physics in Medicine and Biology and Physiological Measurement, which insist on the Harvard system.

For articles prepared in LaTeX, please use the tools provided in your LaTeX class file (for example IOP's recommended class file). For articles prepared using Microsoft Word, please refer to the detailed Word guidelines, which contain much more detail with examples.

Alphabetical system (Harvard)
In the Harvard alphabetical system the name of the author appears in the text together with the year of publication, e.g. (Smith 2001) or Smith (2001) (as appropriate). Where there are only two authors both names should be given in the text (Smith and Jones 2001) or Smith and Jones (2001); however, if there are more than two authors only the first name should appear followed by et al, (Smith et al 2001) or Smith et al (2001). If you refer to different works by one author or group of authors in the same year they should be differentiated by including a, b, etc after the date (e.g. 2001a). If you refer to different pages of the same article, the page number may be given in the text, e.g. Smith (2001, p 39). The reference list at the end of your article using this system should be in alphabetical order.

Numerical system (Vancouver)
In the numerical system you should number your references sequentially through the text. The numbers should be given in square brackets and one number can be used to refer to several instances of the same reference. The reference list at the end of the article lists the references in numerical order, not alphabetically.

Carefully chosen and well-prepared figures, such as diagrams and photos, can greatly enhance your article. We encourage you to prepare figures that are clear, easy to read and of the best possible quality. Characters should appear as they would be set in the main body of the article. We will normally use figures as submitted; it is therefore your responsibility to ensure that they are legible and technically correct.

Note: If you are intending to use previously published figures, you must obtain written permission from the copyright holder before using them in your article.

To get the best possible results in print and online, please consider the following points when preparing your figure files:

Detailed information on common graphic formats and their preparation with examples are provided in our graphics guidelines.

Colour figures
The use of colour in figures can enhance the effective presentation of results, and there are no restrictions on the use of colour in the online version of your article. However, because conventional full-colour printing remains an expensive process, we must ask you (or your institution) to pay the additional costs incurred (i.e. the costs over and above the cost of normal black-on-white reproduction) if you also require colour in the printed version of your article. An estimate of the charges for your article can be obtained from the Publishing Administrator of the journal.


There is no additional charge for offprints of articles containing colour figures, but authors are reminded that these must be ordered by the time proofs are returned; reprints produced after publication are very expensive.

If you need further information or guidance, please contact the journal.

Figure captions
Your figures should be numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text. If there is more than one part to a figure (e.g. figure 1(a), figure 1(b) etc), the parts should be identified by a lower-case letter in parentheses close to or within the area of the figure. Captions should be included in the text and not in the graphics files.

Micrographs should include a scale bar of appropriate size, e.g. 1 mum.

Supplementary data
All of our journals encourage authors to submit supplementary data attachments to enhance the online versions of published research articles. Supplementary data enhancements typically consist of video clips, animations or supplementary data such as data files, tables of extra information or extra figures. They can add to the reader's understanding and present results in attractive ways that go beyond what can be presented in the print version of the journal.

The printed journal remains the archival version, and supplementary data items are supplements which enhance a reader's understanding of the article but are not essential to that understanding. For electronic-only journals, supplementary data attachments may be used to convey essential information.

Length of submissions
Most journals have guidelines for the maximum recommended length of each different type of article, as detailed in the scope available from the journal's homepage. It is important that you follow these guidelines when preparing your submission.

The length of an article can be calculated by allowing 600 words per page in a B5-sized journal or 900 words per page in an A4-sized journal. Diagrams and tables usually occupy the equivalent of 200-300 words each, and you should allow for this in your total.

What files to submit

We encourage you to send us your article in electronic form so it can be refereed without postal delays and be published more quickly.

You are welcome to send PDF and PS files of your article, but all the separate text and figure files for your article must also be supplied because:

The guidelines below provide the essential information you need to prepare your article in a form that will enable us to most efficiently process your submission.

Naming your files
Please name all your files according to the following guidelines:

In addition to the above points, please give figure files names which indicate the numbers of the figures they contain; for example, figure1.eps, figure2.tif, figure2a.gif etc. If a figure file contains a figure with multiple parts, for example figure 2(a) to 2(e), give it a name such as figure2a_2e.jpg, and so forth.

Article text files

TeX and LaTeX

Microsoft Word

Adobe Acrobat PDF

Figure files
For articles prepared using Microsoft Word, please make sure all graphics are fully embedded in the Word document and supplied as separate files where possible. For full details, please refer to our graphics guidelines.

For articles prepared using LaTeX2e, please make sure that your figures are all supplied as EPS and linked to your main TeX files using appropriate figure inclusion commands such as \includegraphics. For full details, please refer to our graphics guidelines.

Our preferred graphics format is vector Encapsulated PostScript (EPS). These files can be used directly to give high quality results and file sizes are small in comparison with most bitmap forms. Most graphics software has the facility to save as or export as EPS.

Vector formats
The advantage of vector graphics is that they give the best possible quality at all output resolutions.

In order to get the best possible results, please note the following important points:

For full details, please refer to our graphics guidelines.

Bitmap formats
Unlike vector images, which are readily scaleable, bitmap images frequently present quality problems in the production of printed and electronic versions of our journals. Quality is basically dependent on two attributes of a bitmap graphics file: resolution and size (bitmap dimensions in pixels). Low resolution files do not reproduce well, especially when enlarged. Files with small bitmap dimensions are frequently too small to reproduce well at the resolution required for printing and suffer an unacceptable reduction in quality if enlarged. For these reasons, black and white, greyscale and colour bitmap graphics files should all have a resolution of at least 300 dpi (preferably 600 dpi for black and white bitmap graphics files). In addition, the bitmap dimensions should be sufficient to produce an image of adequate size (normally 3 to 6 inches wide, or 900 to 1800 pixels for a 300 dpi image).

Files in most bitmap formats are acceptable, including: TIFF (this is our preferred bitmap format), BMP, GIF and JPEG.

But please note that if your GIF and JPEG graphics files have been derived from Web sites they may not suitable for printing purposes as they are generally specified at only screen resolution (72 dpi).

Note: If you intend to supply your figures as JPEG files, the following points are important:

Note on file sizes: For information on how to avoid unnecessarily large bitmap files, please see our graphics guidelines.

Supplementary data files

Video clips and animation
Acceptable formats for video or animation clips are MPEG, QuickTime, Windows AVI or Animated GIF.

Your video or animation clips are intended for internet use via our Web server, and we need to consider the needs of users with slow internet connections (e.g. modem-based users) so that your work can be made available to the widest possible readership.

Please aim to minimize file sizes and data rates, by considering the following points:

Please consider the use of lower specifications for all these points if the material can still be represented clearly. Our recommended maximum file size is 3MB. Our recommended maximum data rate is 150 KB/s.

The various formats have different characteristics that you should consider when choosing the format for your material:


QuickTime and Windows AVI

Animated GIF

Since the printed journal is the archival copy, a representative frame from your movie or animation should be included in the manuscript as a figure. Include the file size and type of the supplementary data file in the figure caption.

Supplementary data
Data files or extra figures can be submitted in any of the usual formats (PDF, Word, TeX, EPS, GIF, TIFF, etc). In addition, we are happy to consider output files from specialized data processing software and computer program codes. As we will not always be able to check the contents of data files, we request that authors also submit a 'read-me' file containing brief instructions on how to use the file, and a signed statement confirming that the material is as stated and is pertinent to the article. Supplementary data submitted as figures, TeX or Word will appear in the electronic journal in PDF format; specialized files will be offered in their original form.

How to submit

For most IOP journals, you should send your article files directly to us; however, for a small number of journals there is a different submission address (see the Exceptions section below).

We encourage you to send us your article in electronic form (guidelines in What files to submit) so that it can be refereed without postal delays and be published more quickly. You can do this via the Web, e-mail or FTP.

We strongly recommend that you submit via the Web using our online submission form, because this method is most efficient and therefore quickest to publication.

If you are a new author, we will setup a personal author homepage for you as soon as we receive your article. Using your personal author homepage, you will be able to track the progress of your article, respond to the referee reports, submit your revised version and make sure your accepted article is ready for publication.

Because your personal author homepage is integrated with our publishing systems, it will enable us to provide you with the quickest and most efficient service throughout the publication process.

There is no need to supply hard copies of the manuscript, provided that it has been prepared according to the guidelines in the What files to submit section above. Please submit all the components necessary to generate a complete printed version of your article together with any supplementary data enhancements.

For all submissions, please use the following procedure:

1. Prepare your submission information
You are required to provide us with important information about your submission and article to allow us to process it correctly.

For Web submissions you can type these details into the online submission form. For e-mail submissions, send the submission information as the main body text of the e-mail. For FTP and disk submissions, create an ASCII text file called readme.txt and include it with your submission. For hard copy submissions, please include a typed sheet with your manuscript.

The following information should be included:

2. Archive and compress your files for electronic submission
Combine all your files (article text, graphics files and, if applicable, the readme.txt file) into a single compressed archive file for ease of handling and to save you time and space. IOP supports all common compression formats including WinZip, PKZip, tar+gzip etc. Please name the resulting file filename.ext where the first four characters of filename are the first four characters of your surname and the last four are the current day and month in MMDD format (e.g. smit0531) and .ext is an extension (maximum three letters) denoting the file type (e.g. zip for a PKZip file, sit for a Stuffit file, .uu for a uuencoded file). If you have any difficulty archiving your files, please contact us for assistance (

Revised versions: If you are submitting a revised version of your article, please remember to include a list of changes and, if applicable, replies to the referees.

For articles prepared using Microsoft Word, please make sure all graphics are fully embedded in the Word document and supplied as separate files where possible. For full details, please refer to our graphics guidelines.

For articles prepared using LaTeX2e, please make sure that your figures are all supplied as EPS and linked to your main TeX files using appropriate figure inclusion commands such as \includegraphics. For full details, please refer to our graphics guidelines.

3. Send us your article
There are a number of alternative methods of submission, which are described below.

If you have any queries, questions or suggestions for electronic submission, then please contact our Electronic Services Specialists by e-mail:

We strongly recommend that you submit via the Web using our online submission form, because this method is most efficient and therefore quickest to publication.

All common web browsers are supported, including Netscape (version 7 or higher) and Internet Explorer (version 5 or higher).

There are two different submission procedures - one for new authors that do not yet have a personal author homepage and one for returning authors for whom we have setup personal author homepages.

If you are submitting via Author services for the first time:

Please use our online submission form.

Once you have chosen the journal to which you are submitting, the submission procedure is in two steps:

Step 1: Enter article details
By giving us as much information about your submission as possible you can help us avoid problems later in the publication process and your article will be more likely to be published quickly.

Step 2: Upload files
You can either upload your article files from your local drive or, if your article has already been posted to the e-print archive, you can upload the files from there. (Note. Please allow enough time for arXiv to process and release your files before you submit to us. If you do not do this, we may not receive the correct version from arXiv. See for details.)

By ensuring that your article files are complete and accurate you can help us avoid problems later in the publication process and your article will be more likely to be published quickly.

If you are a returning author:

First, login to your personal author homepage using the username and password we have sent you. Then click on the 'Submit an article' link in the lefthand panel.

Once you have chosen the journal to which you are submitting, the submission procedure is in three steps:

Step 1: Enter article details
By giving us as much information about your submission as possible you can help us avoid problems later in the publication process and your article will be more likely to be published quickly.

Step 2: Upload files
You can either upload your article files from your local drive or, if your article has already been posted to the e-print archive, you can upload the files from there. (Note. Please allow enough time for arXiv to process and release your files before you submit to us. If you do not do this, we may not receive the correct version from arXiv. See for details.)

IOP uses PDF files for all aspects of the peer-review and production processes: they can either be built by us or supplied by you.

There are several options for you to tell us how to manage the files you upload:

If you choose to build a PDF online, an 'Organize files' screen enables you to select and classify the files you want to build into the PDF.

Whichever option you choose, your article files are transferred to our server in this step, but await checking and finalisation by you in the third step.

Step 3: Finish submission
This step enables you to check the article details you have given us and the article files you have uploaded.

If you have chosen to build a PDF of your manuscript online, you can check and approve the PDF we have built for you. Please check that you are happy with the text and figures but do not concern yourself with changes in formatting such as font sizes and line or page breaks. If you are happy with the manuscript PDF produced, press the ‘Send PDF’ button to send the manuscript PDF and your electronic files to us. Your article will begin the peer-review process immediately. Alternatively, if you are not happy with your manuscript PDF, you can try changing your article files by pressing the ‘Change’ button, or you can press the ‘Send article file’ button to send your electronic files for our staff to process.

If you are not ready to finish your submission, you can save as draft and return to your homepage later to complete the submission.

By checking that your article details and article files are complete and accurate you can help us avoid problems later in the publication process and your article will be more likely to be published quickly.

Send your article's single compressed archive file as an attachment to an e-mail to the journal's e-mail address (see the journal's homepage) with the words 'electronic submission' in the subject line. Please do not send each of your text and graphics files as separate e-mails as this causes a considerable delay in processing your submission.

Note: Some e-mail systems have a file size limit, for example 1 MB. If this is the case for your e-mail system, files that are larger than 1 MB after compression should not be split into multiple parts, but should be sent using our online submission form, FTP or on disk.

Send your article's single compressed archive file by anonymous FTP to

Send your article's single compressed archive file on:

Please label your disk with the journal name, date and the name of the first author.

Hard copy
If it is not possible or practical for you to use electronic submission, you can send us your article conventionally by mail in hard copy form. Some of our external journals insist upon hard copy submission (see the Exceptions section).

You need to send the following material:

Please pack your typescript carefully. Use stiff card to protect the typescript and pack it in a padded or reinforced envelope.

Authors from outside Western Europe should ensure that their articles are sent by airmail; delays caused by the use of surface mail can be very considerable.

4. Send us your signed Assignment of Copyright form
Please note that a signed hard-copy version of the Assignment of Copyright is always required, regardless of submission method (see our guidelines in Copyright, reproduction and permissions).

Acknowledgment of electronic submissions
Successful receipt and processing of your electronic submission will be manually acknowledged by the Electronic Services Specialist by e-mail. If you do not receive this notification within one week then you should contact the Electronic Services Specialist ( Shortly afterwards you will receive a further acknowledgement from the Publishing Administrator when your article has been assigned a reference number.

In the case of Chinese Physics, Chinese Physics Letters, Europhysics Letters, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Journal of Physics Conference Series, Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment and Metrologia, submissions should not be sent directly to IOP. The procedures for submission are given both on the respective journal homepage and in the printed versions of the journals.

Articles for consideration by Chinese Physics and Chinese Physics Letters must be submitted in hard copy form.

Details of the hard copy material required are given in the section Send us your article and submission addresses are given on the relevant journal's homepage. Please send your electronic files on acceptance or when requested by the Editor.

How we assess your article

The peer-review process
When we first receive an article here at IOP it is given a reference number. This number subsequently appears on all future correspondence.

You can check the progress of your article and carry out your author tasks on your IOP Author homepage at

Should you need any further information about your article, you can use the 'Contact us' links from your article's 'Article details' page, accessible from your Author homepage. This is the most efficient way of contacting us.

You can also enquire about your article by e-mail or post. In this case please quote the reference number and the name of the first author to us.

We make use of a streamlined refereeing system that aims to be both fair and consistent. For every submission that falls within the scope of one of our journals, we normally select two independent experts in the subject of the article who normally act as referees and advise the Editors on whether the article should be accepted or rejected. We ask our referees to take into account the content of the article, its quality and presentation when reaching their recommendations. As a result we may ask you to revise your article in the light of the referees' comments which you will be able to access via your IOP Author homepage. If the referees give conflicting advice, a senior referee acts as an adjudicator. If the referees recommend rejection of your article, you can appeal to the Editorial Board for further consideration. You should note, however, that an article rejected by one IOP journal on quality grounds is essentially rejected by all of them.

Our electronic refereeing facility has now been extended across our journals. Articles submitted electronically will be converted into a PDF file, unless this has been supplied, and placed on a homepage created for the referee. We then send referees instructions to enable them to access their homepage. We strongly encourage referees to report online or by e-mail to speed up the review process.

Variations on the procedure
Some journals, however, have slightly different refereeing procedures:

Articles of a possibly speculative nature are often referred on arrival to a Board member in the first instance, to decide whether or not the article should be sent to referees in the usual way.

The normal length of submissions is given as part of each journal's scope accessible from its homepage; where this length is exceeded, the article may be referred to the Editorial Board for special consideration.

Externally edited journals
In the case of Chinese Physics, Chinese Physics Letters, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, Metrologia and Physica Scripta all articles are handled externally up to acceptance for publication. The contact details for enquiries prior to acceptance are given both on the respective journal homepages and in the journals themselves. Enquiries concerning accepted articles, however, should be sent to the Publishing Administrator of the journal at IOP.

Revising your article
You can submit the revised version of your article via your IOP Author homepage at We strongly recommend that you submit the revised version of your article via your Author homepage, because this method is most efficient and therefore quickest to publication.

When you submit a revised version of your article in response to the referees' comments, you must accompany it with a detailed list of the changes made (ignoring typographical errors, but mentioning additional paragraphs, changes to figures, etc) suitable for transmission to the referee. Where changes have been made in response to the referees' remarks it is important to mention this and indicate where they can be found. You may also wish to send in a second copy of your article with the changes marked or underlined.

You should go through the referees' comments and for each comment mention whether you followed their suggestion or whether you disagree and wish to respond to the comment. If a referee has misunderstood a point, it is not necessarily their fault and may have been caused by ambiguity or lack of clarity in your article which needs to be corrected. Some authors copy out each of the referees' comments in turn and include their response immediately after. In other cases responses can be made referring back to the reports. Finally, please make sure that you send your revised article to us and not simply the original version again. This is a common mistake, especially when authors send in their work electronically. Electronic revised articles should contain all text and graphics files needed to generate the revised version, and not just those files that have changed.

By observing these guidelines you will be assisting the referees, who give up their time to review manuscripts. If you prepare your article carefully then this can save valuable time during the publication process.

Fast Track Communications and Rapid Communications
Fast Track, Rapid and Preliminary Communications are outstanding short papers reporting new and timely developments to their journal's community (but are not expected to meet any requirement of 'general interest'). It would be helpful if you accompanied your submission with a brief note justifying why your article deserves accelerated publication. Your article will be refereed promptly and only minor amendments are allowed. If more major revision is required, we may ask you to resubmit your Communication as a regular Paper. Please see the Scope section of each journal's webpage for full details on individual journal policy about Fast Track and Rapid Communications.

When you prepare your Fast Track Communication, you should consider the following criteria which the referees will be asked to assess:

  1. Does the article exhibit a significant advance in the field?
  2. Is the research reported timely?
  3. Are the results significant enough to justify accelerated publication?
  4. Is the paper likely to be of interest to the journal’s readership?
  5. Is the paper written in a clear and concise style?

Comments and Replies
If you wish to submit a short item as a Comment on a published article or a related scientific issue then you should be aware that these are subject to assessment by the respective journal's Editorial Board. In addition, any criticized author has the right to submit a Reply (and will normally be invited to do so); this will also be assessed on receipt. The expected series of items when published consists of: Article/Comment/Reply. Where possible, a Comment and its related Reply are published together in the same journal issue.

What we do with your article after it is accepted

After acceptance your article will be edited and processed and a proof will be produced.

We will contact you by e-mail when the PDF proof of your article is ready for you to check on your IOP Author homepage at

You can look at the PDF proof of your article on the 'Check proof' task on your article's 'Article details' page. You should check your proof carefully and return corrections using the web page provided. This is the most efficient way to send them to us.

If you are using e-mail then we prefer to receive the corrections as a list with each correction given a precise location in terms of, for example, page and line number. You can also send corrections by fax, first-class post or airmail.

Please do not amend the PDF proof file, add annotations or send an amended manuscript at this stage.

The ultimate responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the published article rests with you. If proofs reach you during an absence of which we have not been informed, or if the proofs are not returned sufficiently quickly, we may publish the article without your corrections.

When checking your proofs you should take particular care checking mathematics, tables and references. Only essential corrections should be made. You may be charged for excessive corrections arising from your own errors or omissions. You should provide new files if figures need correction. We recommend that you check the accuracy of your original diagrams very carefully before submission: we cannot accept responsibility for any errors in original diagrams.

You may purchase offprints from journals with printed versions using the order form available from your article's 'Article details' page on your IOP Author homepage. You should order your offprints promptly and they must be ordered before the journal issue goes to press. Please note that we are unable to accept late orders for offprints. You should send payment or an official purchase order from your organization with your order. Current prices appear on the order form.

You may subsequently purchase reprints of your article, for which the minimum order is 100. Since the cost of reprints is substantially higher than that for offprints, you are advised to ensure that you purchase sufficient offprints for your needs.

We will e-mail to let you know if your article receives a large number of downloads within three months of publication, or if it is one of our most downloaded articles of the year. If you would prefer not to receive these e-mails, please write to us at the journal e-mail address.

Copyright, reproduction and permissions

Transfer of copyright
Before we can publish any article in one of our journals the copyright must be transferred to Institute of Physics Publishing, or a legal Licence to Publish must be signed by the authors. Transfer of copyright helps Publishers such as IOP to make articles more widely accessible across different media, whether supplementing or replacing printed versions, and hence ensures that the research gains global exposure.

We ask you to submit a completed and signed Assignment of Copyright form with your article. A general form is available (please note however that this form is not appropriate for The Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Nonlinearity or European Journal of Physics). If you cannot send an Assignment of Copyright form with your article we will create an Assignment of Copyright task on your article's 'Article details' page on your IOP Author homepage when we acknowledge receipt of your article. Please use this web page to send us your signed Assignment of Copyright.

If you cannot assign copyright then an agreement giving Licence to Publish will be required instead. Please consult the Managing Editor, Copyright and Permissions ( if the standard form is not appropriate for your circumstances.

Copyright of articles is assigned to Institute of Physics Publishing from the date on which the article is accepted for publication. The main features of the copyright transfer are that:

The transfer assumes that all authors have received the final version of the article and have agreed to it being submitted to the journal. The copyright assigned to IOP covers all formats and media (including electronic, microform and paper).

Transfer of copyright allows IOP to participate in the work of the UK's Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), which licenses copying in the UK. In addition, through bilateral arrangements, it participates in the work of other reproduction rights organizations around the world, principally the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) in the USA. IOP supports these organizations as they represent a development in copyright protection that is extending to other countries, so that copies beyond those permitted under legislation should be paid for by the copier.

Copying IOP articles
IOP permits single copying of single published articles for private study or research, no matter where the copying is done. Multiple copying of journals or parts of journals without permission, however, is in breach of copyright.

Permission is normally given upon request to the Managing Editor, Copyright and Permissions (, for figures, tables and short extracts from the text of individual articles published in our journals to be copied, provided that the original source of the material is acknowledged in each case and the permission of the authors is also obtained.

Multiple copying of articles is permitted in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the UK's Copyright Licensing Agency, under the terms of its agreement with Universities UK (UUK). Libraries in the UK participating in the schemes agreed between the CLA and various other bodies may photocopy items as set out in the guidelines that govern these particular arrangements.

Libraries and other users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) Transactional Reporting Service may photocopy items for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients in the USA, provided that the fee given at the bottom of the first page of the article is paid directly to CCC, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, USA.

Reproducing published material
If you wish in your article to make use of material published previously by other authors (including short extracts or diagrams) then you must first obtain the written permission of the author and the publisher concerned before incorporating the work in your article for any IOP journal. This is especially important for authors of Topical Reviews, who often use substantial amounts of material (e.g. diagrams and tables) from the work of colleagues within their own field. For such articles, we ask authors to submit evidence along with their article that all the necessary permissions have been obtained beforehand. We do not undertake to perform this task for you.

Similarly, if you wish to reproduce material from IOP journals - in an article for another IOP journal or even elsewhere - then you should contact the Managing Editor, Copyright and Permissions (, as well as the author of the article concerned, before proceeding with your intentions. Please include as much information as you can when sending in any requests to us at IOP and we will be pleased to help you.

A permission request form is available for the use of authors of IOP journal articles, as well as those authors who may wish to make use of material from IOP journals. Please modify this form to suit your own situation before sending it to us or to any other publishers you may need to contact before completing your article.

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