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Policy number Policy name Policy date Sunset date
AP 139-A Overview and Guiding Principles of the AAPM Report Review Process 10/18/2023 12/31/2028
Section
Policy source
EXCOM October 18, 2023 Meeting Minutes
Policy text

Medical PhysicsandJACMPwelcome submission of high-impact consensus reports (commonly referred to as Task Group reports (TGs), or Medical Physics Practice Guidelines (MPPGs)) or other AAPM-initiated reports that address clinical, scientific, educational, and professional practice recommendations on topics of interest to our readership. While these manuscripts are not scientific articles in the traditional sense, their publication inMedical PhysicsorJACMPis mutually beneficial to the Journals, the report authors, and the sponsoring organization. Recent examples include reports from the GEANT4 Collaboration, NRG Oncology, IAEA, and the NIH. They are among the most highly cited of our published articles. Publication in the Journals provides the authors with a citable peer-reviewed publication and disseminates the report to a larger international audience.

Overview and Guiding Principles of the Review Process

All AAPM reports must undergo peer review, culminating in an editorial decision. Referees and editors may require significant revisions, and report authors are expected to make a good-faith effort to address the peer review critiques. Reports that do not present a clear distillation of a topic (with optional recommendations) pertinent to the field of medical physics, or are poorly written, will be subject to revision or rejection.

ForMedical Physics, the review process outlined below has been developed over several years and will proceed along the following steps. Most reports emanate from a Task Group (or Working Group), and this is assumed in the process specified below. The process for Science Council reports is outlined in the AAPM Volunteer Handbook. Once a report is formally approved by the parent committee (which reports to the Council), it is eligible for concurrent review by the Council, EXCOM, and the journal.

  1. The report will then move to the parent Council, and a Lead Reviewer from that council will be appointed (or volunteered) to review the AAPM Report document through eJPress by the council chair or co-chair. The full Council will receive the report for concurrent review and will supply comments to the Council's lead reviewer.
  2. Simultaneously to the Council peer review (#1 above), aMedical PhysicsorJACMPeditorial board member designated by the Editor-in-Chief (referred to here as the Report Deputy Editor: RDE) will initiate a review of the Report within the journal peer-review management system. A minimum of two anonymous reviewers will be selected by the RDE and will be expected to provide a timely review of the document independent from the selected Council reviewer. These two reviewers should be AAPM members in good standing. Individuals from all AAPM membership classes should be eligible to be a reviewer, but neither reviewer may be a member of the initiating committee or group or an author or consultant to the committee or group authoring the report.
  3. All three review critiques (1 from the Council representative and 2 independent reviewers) will be reviewed by the RDE and forwarded to the authors of the AAPM report, with an understanding that the document will be revised based upon those critiques. A response to the critiques will also be provided by the authors. Prior policy requires that reports must address the charges approved by the Council. If a report would be substantially changed as a result of the journal review, the Council may convene a special review to confirm that the revised report is still acceptable to the AAPM prior to completion of the review process with the journal.
  4. Once the revision is completed, the revised manuscript (and response to referee comments) will go back to the RDE, who will consult with the Editor-in-Chief as to the disposition of the report. Concurrently, the article will be forwarded to the AAPM Executive Committee for review. There are three possible decisions at this point (A) accept as revised, (B) send back out for review and revision, or (C) reject. The latter decision (rejection) should be considered only in rare cases, but rejection is a necessary option to compel the authors to revise the AAPM Report per the critiques, as is required for all article categories published by the journal. A final round of review will include the AAPM Executive Committee for approval of AAPM Report Branding. The Editor-in-Chief will make the final decision on the Report.
Policy version history
Policy number Policy name Policy date Sunset date Active?
AP 139-A Overview and Guiding Principles of the AAPM Report Review Process 10/18/2023 12/31/2028 Active

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