May 14, 1932

Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

I. The Governing Board met, in accordance with action at the last meeting, at 10:15 a.m. on May 14, 1932 in New York City at the office of the American Institute of Physics, 11 East 38th Street.

Present: Chairman K. T. Compton, Messrs. Arnold, Davey, Foote, Hunter, Jones, Miller, Palmer, Pegram, Richtmyer, Tate and Director Barton.

Absent: Messrs. Bingham, Dodge, Fletcher, Klopsteg and Treasurer Buffum.

II. Approval of Minutes of the Meeting of February 7, 1932 was voted.

III. Report of Chairman: None.

IV. Report of Secretary: None.

V. Report of Treasurer: None.

VI. Report of Director:

The Director, H.A. Barton, submitted a written report as follows:

At the time of the last meeting of this Board (February 7) the organization of the Institute was far enough advanced, the problems it faced were well enough understood, and the approval it had received from the Founder Societies was sufficiently definite, to permit the institution of its function as publisher of the American journal of physics. The Board accordingly authorized the Administrative Staff to open a permanent office, to negotiate with the several societies and to assemble the management of their journals.

The progress made since that time has been unexpectedly rapid and I hope the Board will consider it satisfactory. The rapidity has been due entirely to the universal willingness of every one concerned to cooperate without hesitation. This, of course, indicates a universal recognition of the soundness of the Institute’s journal plans. It also means that the representatives of the Societies on this Board have done good missionary work in their own societies. These two major functions of the Board, namely planning and then educating, have been so well carried out that the Director’s course has so far been pleasant and unobstructed. The morale and accomplishment of these Administrative Staff is so much dependent on these considerations that we very much appreciate the present effectiveness of the Board. These remarks are made not to compliment the Board but to emphasize the necessity of continued close interest and support through the next stage of the Institute’s affairs. This coming stage will be the first which directly and considerably effects the individual members of the Societies and is accordingly critical. It will remain so at least until the end of 1933.

Opening of office. The first step, namely the opening of the office, was reported in a letter dated April 9th. You can now check up on the statement then made by direct observation. Some furniture has been added and two more girls have been employed so that the staff now consists of five girls. With the addition of one girl, the final staff should be complete.

Assembly of journals. The second step, namely negotiations with the Societies and the assembly of the journals, has reached the following stage:

  • Physical Society: PHYSICS is now fully operated. THE PHYSICAL REVIEW and REVIEWS OF MODERN PHYSICS have been handled by the Editorial Mechanics Department for six weeks. The business management was turned over this week and is now being brought into conformation with our system. This involves translating the subscription file into a new form and, with the necessary checks to prevent introduction of errors, will require several weeks.

  • Optical Society: At a meeting of its Council February 24, this Society authorized the transfer of the editorial mechanics during the summer. The Institute will not take over the business management until later in the fall. The books are to be transferred as of December 31, but the Institute will have to begin arranging advertising contracts, etc. for 1933 before that time.

    As our staff is now already familiar with the subject matter of the JOURNAL OF THE OPTICAL SOCIETY and the REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, the editors, Doctors Foote and Richtymer, plan to transfer the editorial mechanics gradually and with close supervision at first. Some proofs have gone through our office already and manuscripts are expected shortly.

  • Acoustical Society: Negotiations with this Society were delayed because it did not hold a meeting until May 2. However, the action then taken was so prompt and conclusive that no time has been lost. We understand Mr. Waterfall will immediately turn over the entire editorial mechanics so that the July number of the JOURNAL OF THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY will be an Institute job.

    The business management will now be taken over in part. We will handle the non-member subscriptions, sale of back numbers, and $2.00 page charge. The member files and subscriptions will be handled by the Secretary and Treasurer. This arrangement is similar to that with the Physical Society.

  • Society of Rheology: The business management of the JOURNAL OF RHEOLOGY is now 100% operated. Subject material for the July issue of the journal is to be handled by the Editorial Mechanics Department.

  • Association of Physics Teachers: The Association has no journal but is considering starting on a modest scale. Dean Dodge has informally discussed with us a quarterly (possibly with the summer number omitted). The facilities of the Institute would be utilized.

  • Other matters connected with publications include:

    1. Financial agreements with the Societies;
    2. Support which has been assured for the “two dollars per page” plan; These two items will be referred to in the report of the Executive Committee.
    3. A proposed journal of Chemical Physics; To be discussed by the Executive Committee and a special committee.
    4. Advertising policy; To be discussed by the Executive Committee
    5. Recommendations as to journal style and format; being the conclusions reached at the meeting of editors held in this office May 4th and to be reported by Dr. Tate.


Publicity. The newspapers have continued to ask for our services. Staff representatives of the New York Times, New York Herald-Tribune, and two press associations covered the Cambridge meeting of the Physical and Optical Societies. The Washington meeting of the Physical Society was covered by the Associated Press. Several New York papers made use of material prepared by the local committee for the recent meeting of the Acoustical Society. The science editors attended most of the sessions and the meeting was well reported.


Important new discoveries in the field of nuclear disintegrations have been reported from Cambridge, England. The New York Times and the Associated Press asked and received considerable help in interpreting these reports. The article on the front page of last Sunday’s New York Times Science Section was proof-read in this office.

While the office continues to be occupied in assimilating the journals and promoting the journal of Chemical Physics, it is difficult to do much more than keep the publicity service moving. Later, more initiative can be devoted to this work. There is, of course plenty of room for it.

Miscellaneous. Suggestions as to services the Institute might render continue to be received. They include recent requests:

  1. That we operate an employment bureau;
  2. That we arrange cooperation between laboratories for the purchase of supplies in large orders;
  3. That we commence the management of a lecture booking service; and
  4. That we coordinate and distribute the field of research among the laboratories of the country, etc. etc.

Most of the suggestions have merit but many are more properly activities for other organizations such as the National Research Council than for the Institute. Others may well be developed in the future.

The policy at present recommended is to concentrate on our major tasks, namely the journal business and an attempt to lay a foundation for future financial assistance from industries and individuals. Any considerable distraction from these functions would be dangerous. It would also be good policy not to start new services until financial support for them is assured.

VII. Report of Executive Committee:

The Chairman requested the Secretary to read the Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on April 17, 1932.

From the Minutes of this meeting of the Executive Committee the following actions were transmitted:

  1. “that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the American Institute of Physics undertake the publication of a journal of chemical physics to begin in January 1933;

  2. that the Chairman appoint a committee to make specific recommendation as to plan of editorial management of publications for the journal of chemical physics;

    The Chairman appointed as this committee: Mr. Davey, Chairman, Messrs. Barton and Tate, with the Chairman and the Treasurer as consultants.

  3. that the proposal to publish a journal of chemical physics be communicated, in as much detail as practicable, to the Founder Societies for their action as to approval and cooperation;

  4. that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the Review of Scientific Instruments be taken over by the Institute with the understanding that it shall carry the combined advertising of the various journal of the Institute and that it be arranged to send it to all members of the Founder Societies;

  5. that a committee consisting of the Adviser on Publications as chairman, the Secretary and the Director be charged with preparing statement of financial arrangements to be agreed upon in connection with the handling of publications and other matters between each of the Founder Societies and the Institute of Physics, the statement of such an arrangement to be submitted to the Governing Board for approval and through the Board to the respective societies;

  6. that the redraft of the Constitution and Rules as submitted be approved and that incorporation should be proceeded with; and

  7. that the Secretary be authorized to employ a lawyer for putting through the certificate of incorporation.”

Following the report of the Executive Committee the following resolutions were adopted by the Governing Board:

  1. Review of Scientific Instruments

    On motion it was voted:

    that the Governing Board approves the recommendation of the Executive Committee that negotiations be entered into with the Optical Society of America looking toward the taking over of the Review of Scientific Instruments by the Institute, with the understanding that the Review of Scientific Instruments shall carry all the advertising of the Institute; that it shall carry such additional features of general interest as may be recommended by the Adviser on Publications; and that it shall be arranged to send the Review to each member of each Founder Society:

    and further that the Executive Committee be given power to complete the above mentioned negotiations and to make all necessary arrangements with regard to the publication and distribution of the Review of Scientific Instruments.

  2. Journal of Chemical Physics

    (Before this resolution was adopted Mr. Davey, for a sub-committee for the Executive Committee, made an informal report on the study that had been made for the question of the need of a journal of chemical physics, in which he referred to letters that had been sent out to persons known to be interested in the field and stated that the replies so far received from them had all been favorable to such a journal if the editorial policy could be made strict as to excluding qualitative articles and in general held up to the standards of the Physical Review;  and that further, promptness in publication was indicated as of great importance. Mr. Dravey reported also that considerable study had been made of the desirable scope of a journal of chemical physics. Report was made of the conference on this subject that was called by Mr. Barton for the sub-committee at the meeting of the American Physical Society in Washington.)

    On motion it was voted:

    that the Governing Board approves the action that the Executive Committee has taken looking to the publication of a journal of chemical physics to begin January 1933, authorizes the publication of such a journal, and refers the matter with power to the Executive Committee to proceed, through its sub-committee or otherwise, with plans for this publication.

VIII. Report of Editors’ Committee on Uniform Format of Journal:

Mr. Tate made a report as follows:

Present: H.A. Barton, E.C. Bingham, M.M. Mitchell, C.A. Peerenboom, F.K. Richtmyer, J.T. Tate, Wallace Waterfall and F.R. Watson.

  1. General Factors considered in the Selection of Style and Format

    1. Costs

      1. The costs of publication are (a) editorial and management, (b) composition, (c) presswork and binding and paper.
      2. The costs of editing and business management are not affected by style and format.
      3. The cost of composition will be materially reduced by any common style of type and format. The amount of the reduction does not depend on the particular choice made.
      4. The cost of presswork, binding and paper is very considerably affected by the particular choice made. With the style and format of the Physical Review as the basis of comparison, the amount of money involved in the whole publication program is of the order of $60,000 of which $30,000 would be for composition and $9000 for presswork and binding and $7000 for the paper. These last two items are the only ones affected by the particular choice of format.
      5. The cost of presswork and binding is determined almost entirely by the number of pages to be printed and bound. Hence the most economical format is that which makes it possible to put the greatest quantity of material on the page. This involves a large page and type as small as consistent with good readability. The largest page size capable of being handled on ordinary presses in 32 page forms is 7 ½” x 10 ½”. Such a page would accommodate a type page 6 1/6” x 8 1/6” and would of necessity involve a two-column format, with columns 3” wide.
      6. The cost of paper is reduced to a minimum by reducing to a minimum the ratio of margins to type area. This is likewise accomplished by using as large a page as possible.
    2. Appearance and Serviceableness

      1. From the artistic point of view that style and format will have the most lasting merit which enables the journals to serve their purpose most efficiently.
      2. The text must be readable. The factors involved are: size and style of type, length of line, amount of leading between lines. 10 point type with 2 points of leading is generally conceded to be most satisfactory. The maximum readability with such type is obtained with a line length not exceeding about 3 inches.
      3. The type page should be utilized as uniformly as possible, i.e. there should be a minimum of blank space around cuts, mathematical formulas and tables.
      4. As much material as possible should be put on the page. In scientific reading it is frequently necessary to refer back to previous figures, tables, and equations. The more material on a page the less necessity for turning pages.
      5. The paper should be permanent, reasonably opaque and preferably be so surfaced as to avoid glare and yet make possible a satisfactory reproduction of half tones without the necessity of introducing special insert paper.
  2. Style and Format Recommended

    All the above considerations have led the committee to recommend the following style and format for all journals published by the American Institute of Physics.

    1. Overall size: 7 ½” x 10 ½”
    2. Type-page 6 1/6” x 8 1/6” (37 x 49 picas) type to be set in two columns 3” (18 picas) wide
    3. Type size: 10 pt face on 12 pt body
    4. Type style: 8 A (Modern)
    5. Paper: 60# coated stock similar to that used in the Journal of the Acoustical Society.
  3. Advantages of the Style and Format Recommended

    1. Appearance and Serviceableness

      1. The short line makes the text ideally readable.
      2. The two-column format makes it possible to adapt tables and cuts to two sizes, either 3” or 6”. This leads to greater efficiency in space utilization and a consequent improved appearance of the page.
      3. The wide page makes possible the paper display of those tables and cuts which might otherwise have to be turned lengthwise the page or spread over two pages.
      4. The bound volume will be thinner and will weigh less.
    2. Economies

      1. This format is the most economical of all those possible of consideration.
      2. The saving in presswork costs over the Physical Review format would be about $2500 per year.
      3. The saving in paper cost, where the same paper is used as in the Physical Review, would be about $1400 per year.
      4. With this format and the paper recommended the cost for paper, presswork and binding would be about the same as for Physical Review format and paper.
      5. The larger size page will bring in greater return from advertising.
      6. Charges for alterations will be lower.”

On motion the following resolution was adopted:

That because of the advantages set forth in the Report of the Editors’ Committee the Governing Board approves the style and format therein proposed for journals published under the Institute and recommends that the arrangements for publishing journals for the Founder Societies include in each case the adoption of this format.

IX. Report on Incorporation:

The Secretary reported that the certificate of incorporation has been prepared by a lawyer, signed by six members of the Board of Directors as incorporators, and that this certificate would be sent to the Commissioner on Education for approval on account of the fact that it touches somewhat on educational matters and would then be approved by a judge of the Supreme Court and sent to the Bureau of Corporations for acceptance and filing.

X. Miscellaneous Business:

  1. Dates of meetings of societies

    The Director was authorized to offer to have the Institute act as a clearing house for meeting dates of the Founder Societies and other societies with which a conflict should be avoided.

  2. Associated Societies

    1. The Chairman reported that as previously authorized he had informed representatives of the Association of Scientific  Instrument Makers that that association was invited to become an Associated Society of the Institute of Physics.

    2. On motion it was voted:

      That the Executive Committee should be asked to report on the status and privileges that will be appropriate for “Associated Societies”.

  3. Meeting of Governing Board

    On motion it was voted:

    That the next meeting of the Governing Board be held on Saturday, October 8, 1932, at the office of the Institute.

XI. The Board adjourned at 1:15 p.m.