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The American Association of Physics Teachers is seeking a new Editor for the American Journal of Physics


Marilyn Gardner
American Association of Physics Teachers

October 25, 2010. College Park, MD—The American Association of Physics Teachers is seeking a new Editor for the American Journal of Physics to transition into the post by January 2012.  Also see the Editorial from the November 2010 issue of AJP.

Duties of the Editor

The Editor has overall responsibility for the operation of the Journal under the general supervision of the Publications Committee of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The Editor is responsible for selecting articles, notes, and letters for publication from those submitted to the Journal. The Editor also coordinates the work of the other journal section editors including book reviews, apparatus and demonstration notes, and physics education research. Most of the routine tasks are presently carried out by editorial software which logs in new and revised submissions, sends reminders to reviewers, logs in reviews, maintains a database of correspondence with the journal, and provides a web based platform allowing the Editor and section editors if they choose to carry out the work of the journal from any location. Regular activities of the editor include submission to the AAPT for approval an annual budget for the editorial work; monitoring expenditures under the budget; electronically sending submitted papers out for review; corresponding with authors concerning reviewed papers; making publication decisions; editing papers to be accepted (an important and large part of the job); preparing accepted manuscripts for copy editing and production; monitoring the publication process; and assisting in the preparation of the annual index. The nature of the sharing of this work with the associate editor will be determined by the editor and has varied in the past. Publication of the Journal is done through a service provided to AAPT by a contract with the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

In addition to supervising these tasks, the Editor solicits some papers to be written, reviews the editorial policy of the Journal in consultation with the Editorial Advisory Board, writes editorials and solicits "guest comments," reports twice a year to the AAPT Publications Committee, nominates members of the Editorial Advisory Board for appointment by the AAPT Executive Board, and is at the center of every editorial emergency. The Editor is a member of the AAPT Publications Committee, and an ex officio, nonvoting member of the AAPT Executive Board.

More information can be found in the Editorial in the November 2010 issue of AJP.


The Editor's responsibilities constitute professional activities requiring approximately one-half of the Editor's time on a 12-month basis, but the specific time commitment and personal financial arrangement will be negotiated between the prospective Editor, the Editor’s host institution and AAPT. In the past, host institutions have provided some or all of the following: released time for the Editor and Associate Editor(s), part or all of the salary for the released time, office space for the editorial staff without cost, disbursement of funds at the direction of the Editor, payroll services for the office staff, and billing of AAPT periodically for these expenses, without overhead.

The arrangements for the initial appointment are flexible. One possibility is to begin as an Associate Editor for a time period of up to one year, and then assume full responsibility as Editor after that. Editorial appointments are normally for 3 years. It is AAPT policy to conduct periodic reviews of each of its editorial functions.

The Search Committee is primarily interested in the qualifications of candidates, and thus present or past arrangements should not discourage anyone from applying.

Criteria of selection

Candidates will be judged on their interest and accomplishments in physics teaching, familiarity with the various fields of physics, demonstrated ability to use the written word, acquaintance with the Journal, and administrative ability. The Search Committee will review all applications and submit a recommendation to the AAPT Executive Board for approval.

Application procedure

The Search Committee welcomes inquiries from those interested in the Editor's position, as well as nominations of others. These should be directed to the Chair of the Search Committee (contact information below). Applications should include: (1) a cover letter explaining the candidate's views on the role of the American Journal of Physics and how it might be improved to serve the physics community better; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) a letter of recommendation from the candidate's department chair (or equivalent), indicating, among other things, the willingness of the department and institution to support the presence of the AJP editorial office; and (4) two additional letters of recommendation. Applications should be complete by February 1, 2011 but will be accepted until the position is filled. Address correspondence to John Mallinckrodt, ajm@csupomona.edu.

Search Committee Members

  • John Mallinckrodt, California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona)
  • Joseph Serene, APS Treasurer/Publisher
  • Karen Cummings, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Marie Plumb, AAPT TYC At-Large Representative
  • Steven Iona, AAPT Secretary, Chair of AAPT Publications Committee
  • Jan Tobochnik, AJP Editor, ex officio, non-voting
  • Beth Cunningham, AAPT Executive Officer, ex officio, non-voting

About AAPT

AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education—with more than 10,000 members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics teaching. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.