Submissions to the AAS journals should be directed to one of the topical corridors, described below. Each corridor is managed by a different Lead Editor, and with a few minor exceptions, these corridors have been chosen to match existing IAU divisions. As it is inevitable that some papers will fall near the boundaries of these corridors, the authors should choose the corridor that they believe best reflects the emphasis of the paper. The Lead Editors reserve the right to redirect manuscripts they feel would be better suited to a different submission corridor.
The AAS journal corridors do not uniquely define the division of subject material between The Astrophysical Journal and The Astronomical Journal. The corridor descriptions below include a brief explanation of which topics will be directed to each journal within the corridor. If authors wish to indicate a journal preference that does not correspond to these descriptions, they will have the opportunity to do so during the submission process. If necessary, they can add a justification for that choice to their cover letter.
This corridor includes early universe physics, dark matter and dark energy, cosmological models, the cosmic microwave background and other diffuse backgrounds, galaxy and structure formation, stellar populations and the evolution of galaxies, physics and observations of galaxies and galaxy clusters, the intergalactic medium and reionization, and large surveys of the universe. AGN may be included here (although some aspects of AGN will also appear in the High Energy Phenomena and Fundamental Physics corridor). Papers about the internal dynamics of galaxies go here. Papers that use objects, such as supernovae, primarily as tools to study the universe as a whole, should be submitted to this corridor. Accepted papers submitted to this corridor will be published in ApJ if they have significant theoretical content, AJ if they are primarily observational, or ApJ Supplements if they are devoted to the description of large data sets with little theoretical interpretation.
Arizona State University, Arizona, US
This corridor includes the physics and observations of collapsed objects (neutron stars and black holes), processes that produce high energy photons and particles (including cosmic rays) either by themselves or as part of a broad spectrum of emission, the physics of ionized accretion disks and jets, and theoretical and observational studies of supernovae. (Supernovae as tools to study cosmology would normally go in the first corridor.) Other relevant topics include plasma astrophysics, magnetohydrodynamics, shocks, particle acceleration, photoionization, jets, high energy outflows, bursts, extreme gravity, strong magnetic fields, etc. Accepted papers submitted to this corridor will usually be published in ApJ.
This corridor includes papers on the properties of stars of all masses and evolutionary stages and the physical mechanisms that govern them. This covers a broad range of aspects, including the determination of stellar observable properties and their time variability with all possible observational techniques, the investigation of their atmospheric and internal constitution, stellar winds and outflows, the theoretical modeling of stellar formation, structure, and evolution, the techniques used to measure and classify stars such as spectroscopy, radial velocities and photometry, and the production of stellar predictions (e.g. stellar evolution tracks, lifetimes, chemical yields, star-planet interactions, etc) used by the astronomical community at large. Papers on young stars should be submitted here, but papers on protostellar disks and the environments around young or forming stars, either theoretical or observational, should be submitted to the Interstellar Matter and the Local Universe corridor. Accepted papers in this corridor may be published in either AJ or ApJ, depending on whether the emphasis is on stellar physics or on observational parameters of particular stars or systems. Papers consisting of catalogs of stellar properties, with relatively little interpretation, may be published in ApJ Supplements.
This corridor includes papers on exoplanets and solar system objects, including moons and minor bodies. Topics would include the physics of planet formation, and the dynamics of planetary systems, including celestial mechanics. (This last is found in IAU Division A, which is not represented by its own corridor here.) Papers relevant to astrobiology should be submitted to this corridor. As in the previous category, the division between AJ and ApJ primarily depends on whether the content is primarily observational or theoretical. However, following a longstanding tradition, papers in celestial mechanics are typically published in AJ. Papers in astrobiology will normally be published in AJ.
University of Rochester, New York, US
This corridor includes papers on the interstellar medium (ISM) and the stars in our Milky Way and in nearby galaxies (out to ~15 Mpc). The ISM and stars, the two major visible components of a galaxy, are coupled to each other through star formation, stellar feedback and their gravitational potential. Topics range from detailed studies of the physics and chemistry of different components of the ISM (ionized, neutral, molecular), both locally and on galaxywide scales, to measurements of resolved stellar populations and star clusters in the Local Universe and the dynamics of galaxies. The formation and evolution of atoms, molecules and dust during all phases of star formation and death are an integral part of ISM studies. Finally, this corridor includes studies of debris disks and protoplanetary disks. Papers on the ISM, dust, those related to star formation, and laboratory astrophysics relevant to molecules, atoms and dust particles will be published in ApJ. Data-intensive papers will be published in AJ. Papers that consist of compilations of observational data with relatively little theoretical interpretation can be published in ApJ Supplements.
Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Massachusetts, US
This corridor includes everything having to do with the Sun, its internal structure and dynamics, the solar wind out to the heliopause, and the interaction between the solar wind and the ISM. Papers accepted through this corridor will be published in ApJ or ApJ Supplements.
This corridor includes papers on instrumentation, astronomical software and computing, large databases, as well as methodological papers that are not strongly tied to a particular subject category already listed above. Laboratory experiments aimed at understanding astrophysical phenomena (“Laboratory Astrophysics”) is also part of this category (shared with ISM and the Local Universe). Authors should also consult the newly revised AAS policy on Software. Accepted papers in this category will be normally be published in AJ, but when appropriate (e.g. software for cosmology) the corridor also feeds into ApJ.