The Astrophysical Journal Letters Requirements

Manuscripts submitted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters must generally be prepared in the same way and must meet the same criteria as for all articles published in the AAS Journals. However, articles published in ApJ Letters typically report results of significantly greater importance and potential impact than those published in other AAS journals. The results should have a significant immediate impact on a number of other investigators, and they should be of broad current interest in astronomy.

Articles published in ApJ Letters must also be concise and to the point, and most should fall within the following limits:

  • Abstract – no more than 250 words
  • Main Text – no more than 3500 words (not including acknowledgments, appendices or other supplementary material)
  • Figures and Tables – no more than 5 combined figures (each limited to 9 panels) and tables, e.g. 3 figures and 2 tables.

However, these are no longer intended to be compulsory, and new manuscripts that exceed these limits can be considered at the discretion of the Scientific Editor; in exceptional circumstances, such as results of very broad significance, ApJ Letters will publish substantially longer articles. In any case, sufficient introductory background material should be included, and the content of the article should be generally understandable by scientists who are not specialists in the particular field. If in doubt, authors are encouraged to contact the ApJ Letters Editor prior to submission.