Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors


The AAPS Journal (ISSN 1550-7416) is a peer-reviewed online-only journal owned by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. The journal covers all areas of pharmaceutical research, except pharmaceutical technology and engineering, which are covered by its sister journal, AAPS PharmSciTech. The Journal is indexed by PubMed/Medline, Index Medicus, Institute of Scientific Information's Science Citation Index Expanded® and Chem Abstracts.

Editor-in-Chief, Ho-Leung Fung, Ph.D., oversees an international editorial board of leading researchers in the pharmaceutical sciences. Dr. Fung is Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

Instructions for Authors (Download pdf, 519 kB) (Download pdf, 519 kB)


The AAPS Journal publishes the following article types. For examples of published articles, please visit

Reviews, usually by invitation and organized into themed issues, report on recent advances in pharmaceutical research.

Mini-Reviews discuss a more narrowly focused topic of recent research. Unsolicited reviews are considered only if they are authored by investigators who have demonstrated expertise in the relevant areas.

Original Research Papers contain innovative, hypothesis-driven research that is supported by sound experimental design, methodology, and data interpretation.

Brief Technical Notes, normally more limited in scope than Original Research Papers, must be of high quality, general interest, and sufficient importance to warrant publication.

Rapid Communications provide a venue for fast-breaking research updates or other news items. The justification for rapid communication should be stated in the cover letter during submission.

Regulatory Notes provide a summary of regulatory decisions made and rationale for the regulatory decision made on a product. These notes are typically submitted by invitation only, but Authors may propose notes to the Editors.

Editorials, Commentaries or Summaries are usually published by invitation only. These articles contain topical issues of public and scientific interest.

Meeting Reports on AAPS or AAPS-affiliated meetings provide readers with summaries of such meetings, including consensus views. When a meeting report purports to be a Consensus Report, authors should review and adhere to the Consensus Report Review and Publishing Guidelines available at The corresponding author must complete and submit the Corresponding Author’s Consent to Publish Consensus Report ( and all contributing authors must complete and submit the Contributing Author’s Consent to Publish Consensus Report , available at

Meeting Notices

A Meeting Notice provides readers with information on an upcoming AAPS or AAPS-affiliated meeting, including title of the meeting, date, time, location, an outline and description of meeting topics, and a list of invited speakers. If possible, Meeting Notices should include contact information for the organizers and a URL to the meeting’s webpage. Meeting Notices should be submitted to the AAPS Editorial Office two to three months prior to the meeting.

Letters to the Editor: May be submitted by readers commenting on articles already published by the Journal.

All articles published in the journal will follow the Springer Online First production workflow, enabling publication on the SpringerLink website after receipt of author corrections to page proofs.


AAPS uses Editorial Manager™ as its peer review tracking system. Manuscripts must be submitted online by the Corresponding Author at You may be required to register as a new user with Editorial Manager upon your first visit. Straightforward login and registration procedures can be found on the website. Editorial Manager allows authors to track the progress of manuscript review in real time. Detailed, step-by-step instructions for submitting manuscripts can be found on the website. Manuscripts must be created and saved in Microsoft® Office Word for Windows (Editorial Manager and AAPS cannot accommodate files created in the new Microsoft Office Word .docx file format at this time). All correspondence regarding your manuscript must go through Editorial Manager.

Special Features, Appendices and Supplementary Material

Can be accommodated and may contain highly interactive features or large databases. All authors are encouraged to take full advantage of the Web-only capabilities of online publishing, including 3-D, video, and interactive graphics. If a desired technical feature is not covered in the Author's Instructions, please contact the AAPS Editorial Office ( for assistance. All special features must be created by the Author.

Authors who wish to publish electronic supplementary material to their article (Excel files, images, audio/video files) must submit the supplementary files/materials with their manuscript submission via our online peer review tracking system, Editorial Manager. These files may be submitted as one file or multiple files as desired by the authors. Accepted formats for these files include .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .jpeg, .pdf, and for videos, mpeg-3 format. Note that supplementary files are not automatically included in the reviewer PDF. Please therefore note in a cover letter if these materials should be evaluated by reviewers only, or if the supplemental files should be included for review and be published with the article should the manuscript be accepted for publication. If the supplemental files are intended for publication, callouts using supplemental1, supplemental 2, etc. should be placed in the appropriate location within the text of the manuscript body.

Hypertext Links

Authors may identify uniform resource locators (URLs) for websites that provide the reader with additional information on the topic addressed in the manuscript. Although URLs are an important feature of electronic publishing, authors are encouraged to be selective in their choice of sites to include. Do not include URLs for web pages with newspaper or journal articles that will be removed or archived to another web page. Links to pharmaceutical manufacturers or other sources of product information are acceptable; however, providing a URL to the reader should not be substituted for adequate discussion within the manuscript itself. Do not include links to sites that are not accessible without a password.


AAPS Journals Ethics Policy

The Editors-in-Chief of the three Journals of AAPS: Pharmaceutical Research, The AAPS Journal, and AAPS PharmSciTech, along with the AAPS Publications Committee developed an integrated ethics policy to guide decision-making across the three Journals. The document is based on the recommendations on publication ethics policies for medical journals published by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), posted at, and subscribed to by almost 1,000 journals.

Authors are required to review and adhere to the AAPS Journals Ethics Policy ( in full prior to submitting manuscripts to The AAPS Journal. Excerpts from the Policy are outlined below.

Full Disclosure

During the manuscript submission process, all authors will be required to confirm that the manuscript has not been previously published in any language anywhere and that it is not under simultaneous consideration by another journal. The Journal policy regarding compound disclosure centers on the data presented. If specific data relating to the study compound are reported then the Journal requires identification so that reviewers and readers can judge, based on general principles, whether the data are plausible and internally consistent, and to potentially allow future examination and/or validation of the results and conclusions reported. If however a library of compounds is used to generate correlations, such as in QSAR when the scope and diversity of the compounds are described, then it is possible that the specific chemical compositions of the compounds need not be identified, subject to the discretion of the reviewers and the Editor.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors will be required to declare all conflicts of interest (or their absence) during the submission of a manuscript. This conflict declaration includes conflicts or potential conflicts of all listed authors. If any conflicts are declared, AAPS will publish them with the paper. In cases of doubt, the circumstance should be disclosed so that the editors may assess its significance.

Conflicts may be financial, academic, commercial, political or personal. Financial interests may include employment, research funding (received or pending), stock or share ownership, patents, payment for lectures or travel, consultancies, nonfinancial support, or any fiduciary interest in a company.

The Copyright Revision Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-533) requires that Authors transfer their copyrights to the Publisher, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, in order to provide for the widest possible dissemination of professional and scientific literature. A signed Transfer of Copyright form must be submitted online with the manuscript. The Transfer of Copyright form for an accepted manuscript must be on file with the AAPS Editorial Office prior to production for publication. Corresponding Authors may print and sign the form on behalf of all authors The Transfer of Copyright form can be found at of Copyright 2011.pdf

Ethics in Animal and Clinical Investigations

Human Subjects and Clinical Trials

AAPS Journals require author(s) at the time of manuscript submission to make a statement in the cover letter, indicating documented review and approval from a formally constituted review board (Institutional Review Board or Ethics committee) for all studies involving people, medical records, and human tissues, per the uniform guidelines from the World Medical Association ( ).

Studies and research using human subjects, medical records, and human tissues (including educational research) must also state this compliance within the Methods Section.

The AAPS Journals also require that controlled clinical trials must be registered in a publicly available database or the Journals will not publish the results of these trials. Manuscripts submitted to the Journals must include trial registration information in the cover letter. To register a clinical trial, authors should go to the NIH registry ( or the International Standard Randomized Controlled Trials database ( Further information can be obtained from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at

Animal Use and Assurances

AAPS Journals require author(s) at the time of manuscript submission to make a statement in the cover letter, indicating that animal experiments are conducted in full compliance with local, national, ethical, and regulatory principles and local licensing regulations, per the spirit of Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International’s expectations for animal care and use/ethics committees ( Investigations using experimental animals (including educational research) must also state this compliance within the Methods Section

Originality of Manuscripts

Authors of manuscripts submitted to the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists are obliged to present accurate representation of the research performed along with an objective discussion of the significance of their findings. The author’s submission should be original work that reflects research undertaken with integrity and honesty, and that conforms to ethical practices outlined in the AAPS Journals Ethics Policy. Authors should be willing to reply to any reasonable request from editors, referees, and scientist for materials, methods, or data necessary for verification of the conclusions reported in the paper.

Use of Copyrighted Tables and Figures

A copy of the granted permission to use copyrighted figures and tables must be included with the submitted manuscript.

Peer Review

All submissions will be reviewed anonymously by at least two independent Reviewers. Authors are encouraged to submit names and email addresses of expert reviewers, but selection remains a prerogative of the Editors. Authors may include supplementary notes to facilitate the review process. If an accepted paper is cited that has not yet appeared in print and is required for evaluation of the submitted manuscript, authors should provide an electronic version for use by the Reviewers. Authors are responsible for all statements in their work, including changes made by the copyeditor after a manuscript is accepted.


Several components of the manuscript must be submitted as individual files within Editorial Manager: cover letter, title page, manuscript body (including references list), individual figure files, and the Transfer of Copyright.

(* indicates item is required for all manuscript types, unless otherwise specified)

Cover Letter

A Cover Letter is recommended, but not required. Please note, a cover letter is required for a Rapid Communication.

Authors who wish to submit names and email addresses of recommended reviewers for the peer review process may also indicate those in the Cover Letter.

*Title Page

The title page must be submitted as a separate file, and should include the title of the article, author names with full first name (no degrees), each author’s affiliation, and a suggested running head (of less than 50 characters, including spaces). The affiliation should comprise the department, institution (usually university or company), city, and state (or nation) and should be typed as a footnote to the author’s name. For the corresponding author designated to correspond with the Editorial Office and review proofs, indicate his/her complete mailing address, office/cellular telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address.

*Transfer of Copyright Form:

A signed copy of the Transfer of Copyright must be submitted online as part of the manuscript submission process. The Transfer of Copyright is available at of Copyright 2011.pdf


Only Reviews, Mini Reviews, Original Research Articles, Rapid Communications and Meeting Reports require an abstract. The abstract is limited to 250 words or less. For Research Articles, the abstract should include a brief (2 to 3 sentences) statement for each of the following sections: Introduction, Methods and Materials, Results and Discussion, and Conclusion written in paragraph form. All abstracts must be written in one paragraph, with no subheadings, equations, tables, reference citations or graphics.


Provide a list of no more than 5 key words.


Required for Reviews, Mini Reviews, Original Research Articles, and Meeting Reports only.

*Main Text Body

Please include continuous line numbers in the manuscript body file.

For Original Research Articles, Brief Technical Notes, Rapid Communications, organize the main text as follows: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Combining Results and Discussion is discouraged. The use of subheadings to divide the text is encouraged. Primary, Secondary, and Third level headings should be clearly defined, but do not use numbers or letters.

Recommended word counts are as follows: Reviews, Original Research Articles and Meeting Reports: 5000; Mini Reviews: 2500; Brief Technical Reports/Note, and Rapid Communications: 1200.

Use abbreviations sparingly, and define them at the first insertion in the text. Define all abbreviations used in tables within the table footnotes Use the metric system for all measurements. Express metric abbreviations in lowercase letters without periods (cm, mL, sec). Define all symbols used in equations and formulas. When symbols are used extensively, the authors may include a list of all symbols in a table.

Numbers should be reported to reflect the precision of the instrumentation utilized. Calculated numbers, such as means and standard deviations, should be expressed to no more than one significant digit beyond the precision of the instrument. Normally, data reported to more than 3 significant figures should be justified. The precision of the variability (e.g., standard deviation) should not exceed that of the reported mean value.


The conclusion should be a brief paragraph, containing 3 to 4 sentences, that summarizes the findings presented


Include funding source(s) and other contributions. If the work has been funded by NIH, please provide name(s) of funding institute(s) and grant number(s). This information is required for automatic deposit into PUBMED Central by the Publisher.


References should conform to Vancouver style and be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are cited in the text. Cite in the text by the appropriate Arabic numeral enclosed in parentheses, e.g., (1), (2-5), etc.

Maximum reference limits are as follows: Reviews, Original Research Articles and Meeting Reports: 100; Mini Reviews: 40; Brief Technical Notes and Rapid Communications: 20.

References to unpublished peer-reviewed, personal communications, including conference abstracts, and papers in preparation or in review, cannot be listed, but can be notated parenthetically in the text.

Abbreviations for journal names should conform to those of Vancouver style. The style and punctuation of the references should conform to the following examples:

Type Example

1. Journal article Smith JJ. The world of science. Am J Sci. 1999;36:234–5.

2. Journal article with DOI (and with page numbers) O'Mahony S, Rose SL, Chilvers AJ, Ballinger JR, Solanki CK, Barber RW, et al. Finding an optimal method for imaging lymphatic vessels of the upper limb. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004;31:555–63. doi:10.1007/s00259-003-1399-3.

3. Journal article by DOI (before issue publication with page numbers) O'Mahony S, Rose SL, Chilvers AJ, Ballinger JR, Solanki CK, Barber RW, et al. Finding an optimal method for imaging lymphatic vessels of the upper limb. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004. doi:10.1007/s00259-003-1399-3.

4. Article in electronic journal by DOI (no paginated version) Slifka MK, Whitton JL. Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. Dig J Mol Med. 2000. doi:10.1007/s801090000086.

5. Journal article in a supplement Frumin AM, Nussbaum J, Esposito M. Functional asplenia: demonstration of splenic activity by bone marrow scan. Blood 1979;59 Supple 1:26–32.

6. Book chapter Wyllie AH, Kerr JFR, Currie AR. Cell death: the significance of apoptosis. In: Bourne GH, Danielli JF, Jeon KW, editors. International review of cytology. London: Academic; 1980. p. 251–306.

7. OnlineFirst chapter in a series (without a volume designation but with a DOI) Saito Y, Hyuga H. Rate equation approaches to amplification of enantiomeric excess and chiral symmetry breaking. Top Curr Chem. 2007. doi:10.1007/128_2006_108.

8. Book, authored Blenkinsopp A, Paxton P. Symptoms in the pharmacy: a guide to the management of common illness. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science; 1998.

9. Online document Doe J. Title of subordinate document. In: The dictionary of substances and their effects. Royal Society of Chemistry. 1999. of subordinate document. Accessed 15 Jan 1999.

10. Online database Healthwise Knowledgebase. US Pharmacopeia, Rockville. 1998. Accessed 21 Sept 1998.

11. Supplementary material/private homepage Doe J. Title of supplementary material. 2000. Accessed 22 Feb 2000.

12. University site Doe, J.: Title of preprint. (1999). Accessed 25 Dec 1999.

13. FTP site Doe, J.: Trivial HTTP, RFC2169. (1999). Accessed 12 Nov 1999.

14. Organization site ISSN International Centre: The ISSN register. (2006). Accessed 20 Feb 2007.

For a full description of the Vancouver reference style, including numerous examples, please access


Tables must be created in Microsoft Word table format. Tables should be numbered (with Roman numerals) and referred to by number in the text. Center the title above the table, and type explanatory footnotes (indicated by superscript lowercase letters) below the table. Data must be placed in separate cells of the table to prevent text and numbers from shifting when the table is converted for publication on the Internet. Empty cells may be inserted to create spacing. Tables should not duplicate information provided in the text. Instead, tables should be used to provide additional information that illustrates or expands on a specific point the author wishes to make. Each table should be self-explanatory.


The AAPS Journal offers authors the use of color figures in online published manuscripts, free of charge. Figures (as well as photographs, drawings, diagrams, and charts) are to be numbered in one consecutive series of Arabic numerals in the order in which they are cited in the text. The captions for illustrations and figures should be separated from the text, and collated in a separate section called ’’Legend to Figures. All Electronic artwork must be submitted online via our online peer review tracking system, Editorial Manager. Figure files should be submitted in TIFF or EPS format (1200 dpi for line and 300 dpi for half-tones and gray-scale art); however, .jpeg, .gif, and .bmp files may also be submitted as long as the dpi specifications above are met. Use of a professional graphics program such as Adobe® Photoshop to edit and/or save photographs and graphics is highly recommended. Because of difficulties with exporting graphics from Microsoft PowerPoint, original graphics (those imported into PowerPoint) must be saved in an acceptable file format (above). Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word figure files will not be accepted.

The maximum combined count for tables and figures are as follows: Reviews, Original Research Articles and Meeting Reports: 10 (suggested); Mini Reviews: 6, Brief Technical Notes, and Rapid Communications: 6.


Footnotes should be avoided. When their use is absolutely necessary, footnotes should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals and should be typed at the bottom of the page to which they refer. Place a line above the footnote, so that it is set off from the text. Use the appropriate superscript numeral for citation in the text.

English Language Support

For editors and reviewers to accurately assess the work presented in your manuscript you need to ensure the English language is of sufficient quality to be understood. If you need help with writing in English you should consider:

  • Asking a colleague who is a native English speaker to review your manuscript for clarity.
  • Visiting the English language tutorial which covers the common mistakes when writing in English.
  • Using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts.

Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in this journal and does not imply or guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted.

If your manuscript is accepted it will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style before publication.

English Language Tutorial

Springer Nature Author Services

Open access publishing

The AAPS Journal publishes open access articles. Authors of open access articles published in this journal retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work.

Visit our Open access publishing page to learn more.