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PER Conference 2008 Proceedings

The purpose of the conference proceedings is to provide a written record of the scholarly work undertaken by physics education researchers by documenting the research presented at the annual Physics Education Research Conference. To this end, the editors welcome the submission not only of significant or final results, but also of preliminary research results and discussions of works in progress.


In order for a manuscript to be eligible for submission to the Proceedings, the first author must make a presentation related to the manuscript at the PERC 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta. That is, the first author must contribute a poster to either a targeted or the contributed poster session, lead a roundtable discussion, give an invited talk, or give a workshop. (One need not submit a manuscript in order to make a presentation.)

Work that is presented at the main AAPT meeting but not at the PERC is not eligible for submission to the Proceedings. Everyone submitting a paper for publication may also be asked to help with the peer-review of other people's contributions.

Types of Manuscripts

Manuscript submissions may be contributed or invited.

Contributed manuscripts are those associated with either a contributed PERC poster or a roundtable discussion. All contributed manuscripts will be peer-reviewed with the understanding that such submissions may concern preliminary results and work in progress.

Invited manuscripts are those associated with either an invited oral presentation, an invited poster at a targeted poster session or a workshop. Each person who makes an invited presentation at the PERC is expected to submit a manuscript documenting that presentation. Invited manuscripts are normally not peer-reviewed, only copy-edited by the editors. However, they may be peer-reviewed at the author's request.

Review Process

Invited Papers:

Invited papers submitted to the PERC Proceedings are copyedited by the editors. If significant changes are required, they will be returned to the authors to make the necessary modifications, then published when received back by the editors.

Contributed Papers:

Contributed papers submitted to the PERC Proceedings are reviewed based on six criteria: (1) Interest/Value to the PER Community; (2) Content Novelty; (3) Strength of Research; (4) Conclusions; (5) Organization of Ideas; (6) Grammar and Formatting. The most important criterion for publication is interest/value to the PER Community. The Proceedings are meant to be inclusive, welcoming not just significant or final results, but also preliminary research results and discussions of works in progress.

Papers submitted are assigned to three (or in rare cases, two) peer referees. If all referees recommend that a paper be published, it will be accepted. If one or more referees recommend that a paper be declined, the three editors will read all the reports carefully and decide whether the objections are serious enough to warrant not publishing the paper. Once a paper is accepted, the authors will be given the referee reports and a short amount of time to make minor revisions before submitting a final version of the paper. If an author feels that a mistake has been made in the review process, he or she may contact the editors for clarification or appeal, but in all cases the editors have the final decision on the acceptance of papers.

Authors should keep in mind that because of the short time between the PERC conference and the publication of the Proceedings, manuscripts requiring substantial or content-based revisions that would necessitate a re-review cannot be accepted. In rare cases, the editors may decide to accept a paper contingent on whether or not certain modifications recommended by the referees are made to a paper. The acceptance rate of contributed papers in the PERC Proceedings is typically between 70% and 80%.

Manuscript Submission

Contributed Papers

Deadline: Sunday, June 29: Online Submission Form

Invited Papers

Conference attendees with invited presentations (talk, targeted poster or workshop) have two options for submitting their work:

  1. without peer-review (but copy-edited by the editors), Deadline: Sunday August 3
  2. to be peer-reviewed, Deadline: Sunday June 29

The only time a person is allowed to be the first author on two peer-reviewed papers is when one is for a contributed session and the other is for an invited session.
Note that the deadline for peer-reviewed papers is earlier so if you plan to submit your invited session presentation as a peer-reviewed paper, you must submit it by June 29 not August 3.

Deadline: Sunday, June 29: Online Submission Form

Paper Format

The PERC Proceedings will be published as a volume in the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Conference Proceedings Series.

Preparing a manuscript

General instructions for authors can be found at: http://proceedings.aip.org/proceedings/authors.jsp. Click on "8.5 x 11 inch, double-column format" to download the author instructions booklet (http://proceedings.aip.org/proceedings/8x11doubleinst.pdf). MS Word and LaTex templates are available for use in preparing your manuscripts. All papers must be submitted in .PDF format. The paper should not exceed four (4) pages in length.

Transfer of Copyright

AIP will hold the copyright for the Proceedings. A Transfer of Copyright Agreement is available at: http://proceedings.aip.org/proceedings/tca_blank.pdf. The Transfer of Copyright Agreement must be submitted along with each manuscript by the above deadline. Please fax the signed form to Charles Henderson at 269-387-4939.

Permission to Reprint Published Material

If your submission contains any material copyrighted elsewhere you must obtain permission using the Request for Permission to Reprint Published Material form (http://proceedings.aip.org/proceedings/permission.pdf). Submit the returned forms as evidence that you have obtained all necessary permissions. The author instructions booklet has examples of what does and does not require permission. Note that material previously published in an AIP journal (e.g., Physical Review, American Journal of Physics, etc.) is exempt, as AIP already owns the copyright.

Fee for Publication

Beyond the conference registration fee, there will be no additional fee required to contribute a paper for publication in the Proceedings.

Obtaining a copy of the proceedings

All registered PERC participants will receive a copy. The purchase price of the proceedings is now included in the registration fee for the meeting. AIP will make additional copies available for purchase and will make the entire Proceedings available on the web. (If your institution has a site license, access to the full text should be free of charge; otherwise there is a fee.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How serious are the editors about the deadlines?
VERY serious. In an effort to insure timely publication of the proceedings, the editors must strictly enforce the deadlines. Failure to submit manuscripts, copyright forms, revisions, and referee reports of manuscripts you have been asked to review by the given deadlines may result in the exclusion of your manuscript from the Proceedings.

Does presenting a talk in a PER session of the main AAPT meeting qualify for manuscript inclusion in the Proceedings?
No, only work presented at the PERC is eligible for inclusion in the conference proceedings. Hence, presentation in a PER session of the main AAPT meeting does NOT qualify (the main meeting is not the PERC).

Can color be used in the manuscripts?
No. The Proceedings will be printed in grayscale. Therefore, manuscripts should be submitted in grayscale.

Why are manuscripts due BEFORE the conference? Can I submit a manuscript AFTER the conference?
The deadline to submit the manuscript is BEFORE the conference in order to allow reviewers to evaluate the manuscripts during the conference. This will keep the turn around time short and allow reviewers to be influenced by interactions at the poster sessions and oral presentations. Modifications to the submitted manuscript that address the reviewers' comments can be made after the conference. NO manuscripts will be accepted after the deadline.

If you are submitting a manuscript concerning an invited presentation and you would like your manuscript to be peer-reviewed, note that you must submit the manuscript by June 29, rather than Aug 3.

I want to purchase a copy of the Conference Proceedings, how can I do so?
All PERC conference attendees will receive a copy of the Proceedings at no additional charge. Additional copies can be ordered from AIP. The Proceedings will also be available on the web either through your institution’s site license or for a fee.

There are all these new session formats. Which of them qualify for manuscript inclusion in the Proceedings?
All of them. Specifically, you may submit a paper for inclusion in the Proceedings if you

  1. contribute a poster to the PERC contributed poster session,
  2. lead a PERC roundtable discussion,
  3. present an invited talk at the PERC,
  4. present a poster at a PERC Targeted Poster Session, or
  5. present a PERC Workshop.