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Editor of the American Journal of Physics

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) seeks applications from and nominations of candidates for the position of Editor of the American Journal of Physics (AJP), the world’s preeminent journal in physics education focusing on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Candidates should have the following demonstrated experience and skills:

  • Strong interests and accomplishments in physics teaching
  • Significant acquaintance with AJP
  • Reasonable familiarity with the various sub-fields of physics
  • History of publications in professional physics journals
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills
  • An ability to meet deadlines and to make difficult decisions fairly and rapidly
  • Computer skills, including a working knowledge of LaTeX
  • Experience reviewing journal articles, particularly for AJP, and serving on a journal editorial board is preferred


The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on January 20, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. The Search Committee will submit its recommendation to the AAPT Board of Directors for final approval. The official start date will be September 1, 2020, but the new editor will ideally begin transitioning into the post no later than June 2020.

Primary Duties of the Editor

  • Exercises overall responsibility for operation of the Journal under the general supervision of the AAPT Publications Committee
  • Oversees the review process, corresponds with authors and reviewers, and selects articles for publication
  • Edits papers to be published, prepares accepted manuscripts for copyediting and production, and monitors the publication process
  • Reviews and updates the journal’s editorial policy in consultation with the Editorial Advisory Board
  • Writes editorials and solicits guest comments
  • Appoints and coordinates the work of Associate, Assistant, Consulting, and Section Editors
  • Serves as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the AAPT Board of Directors and is a member of the AAPT Publications Committee
  • Attend meetings including the Summer and Winter national AAPT meetings to network with potential authors and reviewers

Financial Arrangements

The Editor's responsibilities constitute professional activities requiring approximately two-thirds of the Editor’s time on a 12-month basis. The specific time commitment and financial arrangement will be negotiated between the prospective Editor, the host institution (if applicable), and AAPT. In the past, host institutions have provided some or all of the following: release time for the Editor and Associate Editor(s), part or all of the salary for the release time, all benefits, 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 an agreed-upon time period, before assuming full responsibility as Editor. Editorial appointments are normally for three (3) years.

Application procedure

The Search Committee welcomes inquiries from those interested in the Editor’s position, and encourages nominations from people familiar with AJP. AAPT values diversity, equity, and inclusion. Persons from communities traditionally underrepresented in physics are especially invited to apply. Inquiries and applications should be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Eugenia Etkina at <>. Each application should include:

  1. A cover letter explaining the candidate’s views on the role of the American Journal of Physics, its audience, strengths and weaknesses, and how it might be improved to better serve the physics community.
  2. A complete curriculum vitae.
  3. A letter of recommendation indicating, among other things, the willingness of the institution to support the presence of the AJP editorial office and the candidate’s interest and accomplishments in teaching. If, for example, the candidate is at an institution of higher education, then the letter should come from the candidate's department chair.
  4. Two additional letters of recommendation that address the candidate’s potential as an editor and their familiarity with AJP and a broad range of physics subfields, as well as the candidate’s interest and accomplishments in teaching.

Note: The Search Committee is primarily interested in the qualifications of candidates. Institutional arrangements can differ from present or past precedents, and should not dissuade anyone from applying. Interested parties are encouraged to read the recent editorial, "Should you be editor of AJP?," Am. J. Phys. 83, 909–910 (2015);

AJP Editor 2019-20 Search Committee

Eugenia Etkina, Chair - Rutgers University
Paula Heron, - University of Washington
Jan Tobochnik, past AJP Editor - Kalamazoo College
Stamatis Vokos - California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
Beth Cunningham, ex officio - Executive Officer, AAPT