Operating Procedures

Newsletter Guidelines

The following information provides guidance for newsletter editors to ensure the timely production of the newsletters and to ensure appropriate and consistent content and format. It also includes general guidance about newsletters.

1. Newsletter Editors: It is the responsibility of the chair of the FEd to ensure that there are newsletter editors during their tenure. This involves successive summer, fall, and spring newsletters. Preferably the chair will also ensure that there is a newsletter editor for the summer newsletter after their term is complete.

2. Deadlines: Newsletters are published in the spring, summer, and fall. Articles for the spring newsletters are generally due about 4-6 (6 is preferred, 4 is the final deadline) weeks before the March or April meeting, whichever occurs first; the goal is to be able to distribute printed newsletters at these meetings. Articles in the summer newsletter are generally due about 4-6 weeks before the summer AAPT meeting; the goal is to be able to distribute printed newsletters at this meeting. Review these deadlines with the chair and the Secretary/Treasurer for your newsletter. The fall newsletter should be distributed at the Winter AAPT meeting. About 30 printed newsletters are generally distributed at each of these meetings. The Secretary/Treasurer arranges to have the newsletter printed at a location (such as FEd-Ex/Kinko’s) near the meeting or a FEd member, and assigns a FEd member to pick up and distribute the printed copies. The details of the distribution of printed copies will be determined by the Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and the newsletter editor.

3. Content: Newsletters are usually either themed or non-themed depending on the newsletter editor’s interests. A themed newsletter mainly includes articles about a certain topic or from a certain workshop. An example of the first is the summer 2007 newsletter about K-12 science education. An example of the second is the fall 2010 newsletter that was mainly about the Gordon Conference on Experimental Research and Labs in Physics Education. In non-themed newsletter, each article is independent.

There are standard components to the newsletter as well. These include the “From the Chair” article which is written by the current chair, and the Browsing the Journals and Web Watch articles, currently written by Carl Mungan. The newsletter editor should ensure that these articles are submitted in a timely fashion. The newsletter may include an article “From the Editor” at their discretion.

Another standard section is the Teacher Preparation Section, which includes an introduction by the section editor, John Stewart, and articles that he solicits. The newsletter editor should interact with John Stewart to determine the articles that will be included in this section.

The final section of the newsletter consists of a listing of the Executive Committee of the FEd, which should include the name, date, and affiliation of each voting member. It should also include the name and affiliation of each non-voting member, as well as the next 2 newsletter editors, their affiliation and the submission deadline for their articles. See previous newsletters for the standard format.

You should use your knowledge of the field and your contacts to solicit articles that you think are appropriate for the newsletter. You should also expect articles and letters to the editor to be sent to you that are not solicited.

The newsletter editor should also contact the following for potential short articles that pertain to ongoing FEd related activities:

  • FEd Chair-elect, chair of the program committee, for information related to the March and April meetings or soliciting session topics.
  • FEd Vice chair, chair of the nominating committee, for information related to the election, nominees, or soliciting nominees.
  • FEd Past chair, chair of the fellowship committee, for soliciting new nominations for fellowship or for acknowledging new fellows. The deadline for submission for FEd fellowship is April 1.
  • FEd Chair, for soliciting candidates for the APS Excellence in Physics Education Award (submission deadline is July 1) and the COE Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education (application deadline is July 15).
  • Chair of the Excellence in Physics Education Award selection committee for writing an article on the award winners after the award is announced. The chair of the selection committee is available at:
  • Chair, APS Committee on Education, for writing an article on the winner of the COE award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education after the award winners are announced, or for providing an update on COE activities.
  • APS Director of Education and Diversity for providing an update on APS education activities.

If there are any controversial articles or letters to the editor that are submitted, the editor should forward that input and their opinion to the chair for advice on how to proceed. The chair may request the input of the chair line and Secretary/Treasurer or the entire Executive Committee for advice.

4. Format: Each article should include a title and the author’s name at the top of the article. The bottom of the article should include the author’s affiliation, their email address if they are willing to provide it, and if they wish, a short description of themselves or their interests in physics education. See previous newsletters and examples below.

Example 1: Dean Zollman is William & Joan Porter University Distinguished Professor and Head of Physics at Kansas State University. He was the AAPT Millikan Medalist in 1995, Carnegie National Professor of the Year in 1996, and NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar in 2004. He has conducted research in physics education since 1972.

Example 2: Jean P. Krisch is Professor of Physics and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

Example 3: William Goffe is an economist in the Department of Economics at SUNY Oswego. While an economist, he became interested in PER after two other economists (Mark Maier and Scott Simkins) sent him a paper they had written on PER as well as Carl Wieman’s “Why Not Try a Scientific Approach to Science Education?” (Change, September/October, 2007). He was deeply impressed and feels that PER has much to offer other teachers in higher education. Besides research in economic education, he has also published in computational economics and in how economists can best use the Internet. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Education.

The length of articles should be comparable to those in previous newsletters; authors should be encouraged to look at previous newsletters for examples of appropriate length and style.

5. Submission and Review: After the articles have been submitted to you, in Word format, you will be emailing them to the FEd Secretary/Treasurer. Please interact with the Secretary/Treasurer regarding how the contributions should be sent and labeled. After collecting the articles from the editor, the Secretary/Treasurer will submit them to the APS for assembling into the publishable format. After the first draft of the publishable format is completed, it is sent by the APS back to the Secretary/Treasurer, who will forward it to the editor and the FEd chair. The FEd chair will then send the draft to the Executive Committee for corrections. These corrections are to be sent to the editor, who will assemble all of the corrections into a single document. These corrections will then be sent back to the Secretary/Treasurer, who will forward them to the APS for incorporation into the final publishable document.

6. Distribution: See section 2 for guidance about the distribution of printed copies. After the newsletter has been posted on the FEd newsletter web site, the Secretary/Treasurer will send an email to all FEd members notifying them of its publication and providing a title and/or synopsis of each article, along with a link to each article. The Secretary/Treasurer will also work with AAPT to have the newsletter contents included in the AAPT eNNOUNCER.