Instruction for Authors

Chinese Physics Letters (CPL) is a peer-reviewed, international and multidisciplinary journal sponsored by the Chinese Physical Society (CPS) and Institute of Physics, CAS, and hosted online by IOP Publishing Ltd. Launched in 1984 as the flagship journal of CPS, CPL has become one of the most prestigious periodicals published in China, and been among the first choices for Chinese physicists to disseminate their most important breakthroughs. Nowadays it is dedicated to build an internationally recognized platform for researchers to publish original research works in all the branches of fundamental, applied, and interdisciplinary physics.

The submitted manuscripts should be scientifically rigorous, report enough original results, make a substantive contribution in a specific research area and generate broad interest to the community. Reporting incremental steps forward from previous work is usually not sufficient.


Article Types

CPL welcomes submissions of the following article types:

- Letters. Reports of original research work, normally less than 5000 words (7 journal pages). Essential contribution in a specific research area should be clearly stated in the abstract. Please note that CPL supports Supplementary Material for articles that are longer than the length limit.

- Express Letters. Urgent publication of significant advances or competing original results. The most important criteria for acceptance of an Express Letter are significance and novelty. Authors are required to state briefly, in a cover letter, why their work merits rapid publication. Please note that Express Letters do not have limitation of article length.

- Viewpoints. Perspective articles that highlight the most important and innovative articles published in CPL. The authors are leading researchers in their fields. The articles contain 500-800 words.


Express Letters

To offer fast and impartial peer review for significant advances, CPL introduced the Express Letters section in 2012. The section has been well-received by both authors and readers for high quality and rapid publication. After publication, multichannel promotion efforts will be made to maximize the impact of your work via regular e-mail alerts and social media channels including scientific magazines, Wechat Public Accounts, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.


Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts should be written in concise and clear English and in a style consistent with that of CPL. We encourage you to use short and simple sentences for enhanced readability. If your first language is not English, please consider seeking help from a fluent English speaker to polish your manuscript. Before submission, it is important to carefully re-read your paper and send the paper to colleagues and co-authors to improve the clarity of the text. After this, please carry out final spelling and grammar check.

Articles published in CPL usually consist of the following sections: title, authors’ full names and affiliations, abstract, keywords, PACS numbers, main text, acknowledgments and references. CPL also supports Supplementary Materials in any form. The main text should follow the Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion structure, but there is no need to insert section titles for most Letters journals including CPL.

It is advisable to write your manuscript using a template, which may speed up the publication process. We provide both LaTex and Word templates online. Figures and tables should be embedded at the appropriate point within the text, rather than placed at the end of the manuscript.


Manuscript Submission

CPL accepts manuscripts that have not been published before or are currently under consideration for publication anywhere else. The journal has adopted online submission system, which allows authors to make a submission online by clicking the ‘Submit an article’ link. This system only requires you to upload a single PDF file of the complete manuscript and any relevant Supplementary Materials. If you are submitting your first article to CPL, you will need to set up an account first. Meanwhile, the signed agreement of copyright transfer to CPS should be uploaded. After submission, you can track the status of your manuscript via the system.

Upon receipt of email informing you of the decision and asking you to make the revisions, you should submit your revised manuscript and point-to-point response to each referee comment via the submission system. At this stage, you need to upload the source files used to create the revised PDF.

If you experience any problems submitting your article online, please contact the journal for assistance by email (


Peer Review Process

CPL is committed to providing fast and high-quality peer review process. Upon receiving a new manuscript, the editorial office initially checks whether the article is original, within the scope of the journal legible, complete, correctly formatted and written in clear English. Any article that has problems with any of the above criteria may be rejected at this stage.

Manuscripts passing successfully through the initial checking are typically sent to three referees who are asked to report mainly on the novelty and significance. The Editorial Board members are the adjudicators who make the decisions on whether to publish a manuscript.

The time from receipt to publication of a manuscript depends on the article type. An Express Letter typically takes seven days on average. For a Regular Letter, the first-round review normally takes about 30 days and online publication needs about 30 days.