General Editorial Policies
Focus and Coverage | Format and Content | Criteria for Publication | Refereeing and Adjudication Procedures | Ethics and Responsibilities of Authors | Web Postings | Retraction and Correction Policies | Transfers
Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP); content is published online daily, collected into quarterly online and printed issues (4 issues per year). Chaos welcomes submission of original papers on the full range of topics in the broadly interdisciplinary area of "nonlinear science," which includes, among other topics, classical deterministic chaos, quantum and wave chaos, solitons and coherent structures, pattern formation and competition, adaptive and evolving systems, and networks. Papers on these and other nonlinear phenomena in all disciplines of science and engineering are encouraged, as are selected articles on the more mathematical aspects of nonlinear systems, provided these are accessible to the broad nonlinear community. In terms of methodologies, analytic, computational, and experimental studies are all equally welcome.
General guidelines regarding the preparation of manuscripts are available at the Chaos website and in the printed journal. Chaos places a premium on the accessibility of all its articles to a widely interdisciplinary audience. Accordingly, all manuscripts must be written in correct English and should avoid overly technical or jargon-laden presentations. The responsibility for preparing the article in the proper format rests with the authors, not the Editors, and manuscripts with substandard English will be returned to the authors for rewriting. As a further aid to accessibility, Chaos requires that the first paragraph of each article be a Lead Paragraph that will be highlighted in the journal in boldface type. This paragraph, which essentially advertises the main points of the article, must describe in terms accessible to the nonspecialist reader the context and significance of the research and the importance of the results. The Editors pay special attention to the clarity of this lead paragraph and may rewrite it.
Regular Articles are unsolicited manuscripts describing original research on a topic within the scope of the journal. While there is no limitation on the length of these articles, they are typically no more than eight journal pages, and referees are asked to comment explicitly on the concision of the presentation. Although the journal carries no regular page charge, for any contributed article that exceeds 12 journal pages, a mandatory fee of $150 per page will be assessed for each page beyond 12 pages. This policy does not pertain to invited, focus issue, and review papers.
Several times per year, Chaos publishes a Focus Issue section, designed to present a collection of papers devoted to a particular subject of timely interest to the nonlinear community. Focus Issues are often assembled by Guest Editors, who assume the responsibility for inviting contributions from the individual authors. Focus Issue Articles are similar to regular articles in content and form and are subject to the same reviewing procedures, with the Editor-in-Chief again having final responsibility for their acceptance and publication. Each focus issue contains an extended introduction by the Guest Editors, intended to place each of the articles in the issue in the appropriate context and to provide a brief overview of the focus topic.
Occasionally, Chaos publishes Announcements of Public-Access Software, intended to describe publicly available software packages — "tools" — for solving problems of interest to nonlinear scientists. These articles are not, in the conventional sense, research articles, for they will not, in general, discuss the solution of a particular new research problem. All such articles should contain a concise explanation of the mathematical technique underlying the code, some illustrative examples of the calculations, a discussion of the limitations and potential pitfalls, and a clear indication of how users can obtain assistance in using the software. On an ad hoc basis, Chaos accepts and publishes Comments concerning articles that have previously appeared in the Journal. Authors of the original article are given the opportunity to respond to a Comment, and the Response may also be published. Finally, Chaos publishes Errata, which are typically reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and only rarely sent out for review. Errata should be used principally to correct typesetting errors and should not be viewed as a means to partially rewrite a paper. Changes in authorship are generally not appropriate for errata. Changes in acknowledgment may be appropriate.
For specific editorial format requirements and submission information, see Information for Contributors.
The major criteria for publication are correctness, originality/novelty, interest, and accessibility. Referees are asked explicitly to assess the merit of papers in each of these four areas. Papers covering material previously published in any peer-reviewed journal will be returned to the corresponding author. Chaos will consider for publication papers that contain some material previously published, but not yet peer reviewed, as in a non-peer-reviewed conference proceedings paper. However, such papers should have significant new content; it is not acceptable to simply resubmit the verbatim text of a paper that has previously appeared in a non-peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Highly technical articles, even if correct and original, in particular subareas of nonlinear science may be rejected with the suggestion that they be submitted to a specialized journal.
Chaos requires that copyright be assigned to the American Institute of Physics. It is a tradition of long standing that submission to the Journal implies that the work has neither been copyrighted, nor accepted for publication elsewhere. Since copyright transfer is required before publication, electronic acceptance of the Transfer of Copyright Agreement during the submission process can prevent unnecessary delays. Chaos also requires authors to inform the editors if a paper has been previously submitted to another journal, whether or not it is currently active with that journal.
The Editor-in-Chief of Chaos, aided by the other members of the Editorial Board, is responsible for the content and other editorial matters related to the Journal. Submissions must be made in electronic form through the Chaos manuscript submission website, which can also be reached through the primary Chaos website. Submitted manuscripts are first screened by one or more of the editors, and those within the scope of the Journal are sent to expert referees for evaluation. Authors, who wish to do so, may make suggestions for potential editors and reviewers upon submission at the manuscript submission website. However, suggestions for specific editors or reviewers may not be followed. Manuscripts deemed outside the scope of the journal or otherwise inappropriate may be returned to the author unreviewed. Chaos strives to reach a decision on the basis of no more than two rounds of reviewing and only in exceptional cases will consider a third round of reviews. Significant changes in a resubmitted manuscript are typically reviewed by the editors and the referee who requested the changes.
Authors may appeal an individual Editor's decision by requesting that the case be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief. If the Editor-in-Chief feels that the appeal has technical merit, he may seek further expert advice or adjudication before making a decision on the manuscript.
Authors may appeal the Editor-in-Chief's decision to reject a manuscript by requesting that the case be reviewed by the Executive Director of AIP. The Executive Director will not make direct decisions whether or not the paper should be accepted for publication, but rather will assess whether the procedures were followed properly. Additional rounds of review or adjudication would only be called for if proper procedures were not followed.
Chaos is published as part of the charter of its publisher, the American Institute of Physics (AIP), to advance and diffuse knowledge of the science of physics and its applications to human welfare. To that end, it is essential that all who participate in producing the journal conduct themselves as authors, reviewers, editors, and publishers in accord with the highest level of professional ethics and standards.
A detailed statement of what this journal expects can be found here.
By submitting a manuscript to Chaos, each author implicitly confirms that it meets the highest ethical standards.
The AIP grants to the author(s) of papers submitted to Chaos the right to post and update the original article on an author's personal web page as well as on e-print servers. The final AIP version may be posted on the author's personal website, the author's institutional website, and institutional repository. Related specifications and details are available from the Chaos homepage.
AIP takes its responsibility to maintain the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record of our content for all end users very seriously. AIP places great importance on the authority of articles after they have been published and our policy is based on best practice in the academic publishing community. Changes to articles after they have been published online may only be made under the circumstances outlined in AIP's Retraction and Correction Policies which can be accessed here.
It is possible to transfer a rejected manuscript to another AIP journal for consideration. A list and descriptions can be found here: http://journals.aip.org. If you feel that your manuscript would be appropriate for publication in another of AIP’s journals you may request a transfer by email to the Journal that rejected the article. This is exclusively for AIP journals on the list at: http://journals.aip.org. Please note that transferring manuscript files does not guarantee that the manuscript will be considered by the receiving journal. It is only meant to offer the technical facility to allow transfer of manuscript files and correspondence without the inconvenience of having to resubmit from journal to journal.
(Revised March 2012)