Author Submission Guidelines for the 'Physician Leadership Journal'

By AAPL Staff
September 6, 2017

The Physician Leadership Journal welcomes the submission of originally authored manuscripts for peer review that meet the following competency, formatting and preparation guidelines.

PLJ 20 socialThe Physician Leadership Journal, the American Association for Physician Leadership's signature publication,  welcomes the submission of originally authored manuscripts for peer review that meet the following competency, formatting and preparation guidelines.


All submissions must be associated with at least one of the following competencies, which represent the breadth of content covered within the PLJ.

Careers: the journey of a physician leader throughout his or her clinical and/or executive maturation.

Communication: physician leader strategies to convey meaning from one entity or group to another.

Finance: dealing with the operational aspect of budgeting and planning as a physician leader.

Health Care Organizations: the organizational role of the physician leader within health care systems.

Health Care Professionals: the role of the physician leader within clinical practice.

Health Law and Policy: current or past policy issues/topics influencing physician leadership.

Innovation: the use of novel and creative methods to enhance the role or capabilities of physician leaders.

Leadership: tactics to develop and/or enrich a physician leader’s ability to guide individuals and teams.

Management: pertaining to the administration of an organization (large or small) as a physician leader.

Patient Care and Quality: the scientific improvement of quality and patient safety for physician leaders.

Technology: tools and technologies influencing physician leadership.


All submissions must be structured using one of the following formats: Research Articles, Field Reports or Discussion Articles.

Research Articles

Manuscript submissions that qualify as Research Articles are those that include a controlled experimental investigation and provide statistical support for research findings.

Manuscript Checklist:

  • A clear description and literature support of problem.
  • A clear description of experimental methodology.
  • Participant count and setting.
  • Research design.
  • Dependent variables.
  • Measurement tools.
  • Statistical analyses.
  • A clear description of results.
  • A clear description of the implications.

Page Limit: Maximum of 15 double-spaced pages (not including title page and references)

Field Report

Manuscript submissions that qualify as Field Reports provide an outlet for authors to highlight the value of operational interventions and findings that do not currently satisfy the needs for a full-length Research Article.

Manuscript Checklist:

  • A brief description of problem and operational significance.
  • A review of the operational process, which led to the development of an intervention.
  • A brief description of the intervention/solution used.
  • A concise description of results.
  • A concise description for next steps.
  • A concise description of the operational implications.

 Page Limit: Maximum of 10 double-spaced pages (not including title page and references).

Discussion Articles

 Manuscript submissions that qualify as Discussion Articles provide reader orientation to an important topic affecting the current health care and/or physician leadership climate.

Manuscript Checklist:

  • A review of the relevant literature to set context for the discussion.
  • A concise discussion around future research directions.

 Page Limit: Maximum of 15 double-spaced pages (not including title page and references).


All submissions shall include within the manuscript file a title page, abstract, text, references, tables and figures.

The title page should include the title of your manuscript, the full names and affiliations of all authors, complete contact information for the corresponding author, and the appropriate word count (not including title, abstract and references).

The abstract should be structured for both the Research Articles and Field Reports and unstructured for Discussion Articles. Structured abstracts are limited to 250 words and include a brief description of the primary research objective, methodology, main findings and conclusions. Unstructured abstracts are limited to 250 words and provide a brief summary of the article purpose, main discussion points and highlight the article’s relevance to the current health care and/or physician leadership climate.

The manuscript text should be formatted using one-inch margins, double-spaced lines, 12-point font and should include page numbers placed at the bottom-right hand corner of all pages within the manuscript.

The references, tables and figures should all be prepared in accordance with the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition. Visit the AMA Manual of Stylefor more information

Note: if the research was funded by a granting agency, please be sure to include the relevant funding information in a document, separate from the manuscript.


Please submit all completed manuscripts for review and potential publication to In this email, be sure to indicate (1) which competency your manuscript addresses, and (2) the submission type in which your manuscript is formatted.

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Now more than ever, physicians are leaders in their organizations and communities.

The American Association for Physician Leadership maximizes and supports physician leadership through education, community, and influence. We promote thought leadership in health care through our Physician Leadership News website, bimonthly Physician Leadership Journal and other channels.

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Journal Submission Guidelines

AAPL's award-winning print publication, the Physician Leadership Journal, welcomes originally authored manuscripts for peer review that meet competency, formatting and preparation criteria. To review these guidelines and other information regarding submissions, click here.