Many potential authors ask how they should go about getting published in AFP. If you are thinking of writing a clinical review article, you might begin by doing a little groundwork. A good place to start is the “Information to Authors” section in each issue (see page 1698), which provides details about how to prepare and submit a manuscript and what to expect during the publication process. An expanded version of the instructions is published in the January 1 and July issues and is posted on the AFP home page (https://www.aafp.org/afp).
If you have a topic in mind for a review, it would be a good idea to submit an article proposal to Cathy Bell, AFP's administrative officer, or Annette Henneghan, administrative assistant, who work in the editor's office at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. (telephone: 202-687-1631; fax: 202-687-7230; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). That way, you'll find out early on if there is a need for a clinical review in the area of your interest.
Your article proposal will be reviewed by AFP's editor, Jay Siwek, M.D., who will decide whether to accept or reject it. If your proposal is accepted, you'll receive a letter requesting that you submit the article within the next four months. Once you submit the manuscript, our editors will review it and decide whether to reject it or—hopefully—send the manuscript through the peer review process. You'll usually receive an acknowledgment of your submission right away, and you'll probably know the decision about acceptance, revision or rejection within 12 weeks of submission.
If your manuscript has been chosen for review, Cathy Bell will send it for review by family physicians and physicians in other specialties as appropriate. Reviewers are given a deadline of two to three weeks, and once the results are in, you'll receive a copy of the reviewer's comments along with instructions from Dr. Siwek. You'll be given an opportunity to address the reviewer's comments and revise the manuscript, and you may be asked to write a patient information handout. If revisions are satisfactory, you're on your way to publishing in AFP.
At that point, you certainly deserve to stop and pat yourself on the back—but you should remember that much of the publication process still remains to be done. Your manuscript will go through an edit by one of our medical editors located across the country, and then it will be returned to Dr. Siwek for another review. The manuscript may go through the art coordinator's office at Georgetown University before being sent to AFP's Kansas City editorial office, where the transformation from a manuscript to an article begins.