Advice to Referees for Physical Review Letters
- The editors often have speciﬁc comments or questions concerning
the paper in question and may also enclose additional reference material.
Please read them before your review, and address them either in your
report or in additional comments to the editors.
- Your report should contain both an assessment of the scientiﬁc
soundness of the paper and an evaluation of its potential impact on the
physics community. Inclusion of substantive arguments supported by
concrete facts will strongly inﬂuence how the editors value and use your
- Good presentation and wide readability are necessary, but not sufﬁcient,
qualities for a paper that is meant to inﬂuence the research activities of many
readers. We ask you to consider the following questions: Does the introduction
convey the basic physics issues addressed, and the primary achievements? Is
the research placed in proper context? Are the references sufﬁcient? Are
assumptions clearly stated? Is jargon minimized? Do the title and abstract stand
alone? Are tables and ﬁgures effectively presented?
Advice regarding recommendations to the editors of the Physical Review:
- Any paper that might move from PRL to the Physical Review should be
evaluated in light of Physical Review editorial policy, which requires
manuscripts to be scientiﬁcally sound, to signiﬁcantly advance physics, and to be
presented in satisfactory form. The editors discourage a series of short papers by
the same authors on a particular subject, in favor of a single comprehensive article.
Rapid Communications are intended for especially important results that deserve
accelerated publication, and are therefore given priority in both the editorial and
Regular articles allow space for comprehensive discussion, but sometimes may
Brief Reports are short papers that provide accounts of completed research. The
same standards of scientiﬁc quality apply as for other sections, but they do not
warrant the priority handling given to Rapid Communications, and are inappropriate
as regular articles.