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APS » Journals » Supplemental Material in the APS Journals

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June 2011

Supplemental Material in the APS Journals

Supplemental Material (SM) is information that will be useful to a subset of readers, but is not essential to comprehension of the main results of the published article. The APS journals archive SM to provide permanent access to information of various types, including multimedia files and items such as tables of raw or analyzed data, parameters used in or produced by calculations, and computer code.

Submitted SM increasingly includes content beyond that described above. It may include details of how the research was conducted, such as sample preparation, derivations of equations, etc. This material too must not be crucial to a reader’s understanding of the associated paper. In other words, the paper must stand on its own; it must be convincing without the SM.

SM cannot be subject to any prior copyright, since it is covered under the same copyright as the associated published paper. Any republication of SM must follow the guidelines in the copyright agreement for the published manuscript.

SM cannot be used to avoid a length limit, and often a short paper accompanied by a lengthy supplement will not be appropriate. Editors will use their judgment to decide if a longer version with all material integrated into the text is required. The editors may seek guidance in this from referees, who will review any SM, as necessary. In a longer format, some or all of the additional material might be best presented as an appendix to the main article. In general, SM should not accompany Comments, Replies, or Errata.

The following items should be included in the main text, and not as SM:

  • additional references
  • substantive details (not fractional weights) of author contributions
  • acknowledgments

For information on how to submit and cite SM, see Instructions for Depositing Supplemental Material.

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