Category Archives: Publishing

Call for Papers: Physiology Core Concepts

In 2011, Michael and McFarland (1) described 15 core concepts of physiology, as defined by physiology educators. The core concepts provide an objectives-based teaching approach focused on the learning of unifying physiological concepts that can be applied across the discipline. Educators have used the core concepts to design and organize courses (2), as well as physiology-related curricula (3). Over the last 10 years, the core concepts have been further explained (4) and revisited (2). However, there remains a gap in the current understanding about how educators are using and assessing the core concepts in their own classrooms.

Advances in Physiology Education is issuing a Call for Papers to address this gap and highlight the work of educators implementing the core concepts in their teaching. We hope this work will demonstrate whether and how the implementation of the core concepts results in gains in student understanding of physiology. We encourage submissions from diverse perspectives and welcome authors from any career stage or title, a variety of educational institutions, and varying levels of education research experience.

To be considered for this Call, authors must first submit an abstract/pre-submission inquiry for review. If the abstract/pre-submission inquiry is accepted, the authors will receive a formal invitation to submit their article, which will then undergo the regular review process (see ABSTRACT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES below).

A broad range of manuscript topics will be considered, including but not limited to:

  1. Impact of core concept-based strategies on student learning;
  2. Successful strategies for the implementation of the core concepts by instructors;
  3. Curricular development centered on the core concepts;
  4. Teaching of core concepts as a tool for more inclusive classrooms.

Articles reporting original research will be prioritized, but reviews and perspectives submitted as essays will be considered as well. To be publishable in this special collection of Advances, scholarly work must:

  1. Connect in some way to the use of the physiology core concepts with students, instructors, programs, or innovations;
  2. Have implications for the use of core concepts in education research and practice;
  3. Align with one of the established article types currently listed here:

Submitted abstracts should include the following and should be 300-500 words:

  • AUTHOR(S): Include name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and email address(es); submissions are welcome from all.
  • NARRATIVE: Provide brief description of focus of anticipated manuscript submission, including 1) connection to students, instructors, programs, or innovations, 2) implications for biology education researchers and practitioners, and 3) align with one of the established article types in Advances in Physiology Education.
  • HOW TO SUBMIT ABSTRACTS: Abstracts/pre-submission inquiries should be submitted online by end of January 2022 for evaluation by the Guest Editors at
  • SELECT CALL FOR PAPERS: During the online submission process, under the “Keywords & Special Sections” tab, please use the “Category” drop-down menu and select “Call for Papers: Physiology Core Concepts.”
  • ABSTRACT REVIEW: Feedback on all submitted abstracts/pre-submission inquiries will be provided to authors by the end of February 2022 after review by the editorial team to ensure that a range of topics and viewpoints are represented in this special collection.
  • OPPORTUNITIES FOR CLARIFICATIONS AND SUPPORT: Interested authors are welcome to contact Advances Editor-in-Chief Barb Goodman (
  • Contact Ed Dwyer ( with any submission issues.
  • MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION: After evaluation of abstracts/pre-submission inquiries, authors who are encouraged to submit a full manuscript should do so by the end of May 2022.


  1. Michael J, McFarland J. The core principles (“big ideas”) of physiology: results of faculty surveys. Adv Physiol Educ 35: 336–341, 2011.
  2. Michael J, McFarland J. Another look at the core concepts of physiology: revisions and resources. Adv Physiol Educ 44: 752–762, 2020.
  3. Stanescu CI, Wehrwein EA, Anderson LC, Rogers J. Evaluation of core concepts of physiology in undergraduate physiology curricula: results from faculty and student surveys. Adv Physiol Educ 44: 632–639, 2020.
  4. Michael J, Cliff W, McFarland J, Modell H, Wright A. What Are the Core Concepts of Physiology? In: The Core Concepts of Physiology: A New Paradigm for Teaching Physiology, edited by Michael J, Cliff W, McFarland J, Modell H, Wright A. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 2017, p. 27–36.

About Advances in Physiology Education

Advances in Physiology Education promotes and disseminates educational scholarship to enhance teaching and learning of physiology, neuroscience, and pathophysiology. The journal publishes peer-reviewed descriptions of innovations that improve teaching in the classroom and laboratory, essays on education, and review articles based on our current understanding of physiological mechanisms. Submissions that evaluate new technologies for teaching and research, and educational pedagogy, are especially welcome. The audience for the journal includes educators at all levels: K–12, undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.


Physiology Education Manuscripts in Demand

Advances in Physiology Education is one of the family of journals published by the American Physiological Society (  Submissions of manuscripts to Advances cost nothing and accepted papers are available with free access from their initial posting online.  Annually a printed copy of the journal with all 4 issues is available to those who request it.  Publications in Advances are contributed from the global community of physiology educators and carefully peer-reviewed by expert colleagues.  Of all the APS family of journals, 7 out of the 10 most accessed articles (full-text accesses) during 2019 were published in Advances. The top three accessed Advances articles are briefly described below.

Number 1 Most Accessed 2019:

“Applying learning theories and instructional design models for effective instruction” by Mohammed K. Khalil and Ihsan A. Elkhider from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville, South Carolina, USA published on April 11, 2016 (Adv Physiol Educ 40:147-156, 2016).  In this article from the Best Practices series, the major learning theories are discussed and selected examples of instructional design models are explained.  The objective of the article is to present the science of learning and instruction as the theoretical evidence for the design and delivery of instructional materials in the classroom and laboratory.  As of June 2020, this article has been downloaded 81,467 times!

Number 2 Most Accessed 2019:

“Measuring osmosis and hemolysis of red blood cells” by Lauren K. Goodhead and Frances M. MacMillan from the School of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience of the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK published on May 19, 2017 (Adv Physiol Educ 41: 298-305, 2017).  This article from the Sourcebook of Laboratory Activities in Physiology series, describes classroom laboratory experiments to help students visualize and appreciate osmosis (the movement of water and small molecules across selectively permeable membranes of mammalian cells).  Animal blood is bathed in solutions with differing osmolarities and tonicities to explore the concept of water movement by osmosis and the resultant hemolysis.  As of June 2020, this article has been downloaded 71,180 times.

Number 4 Most Accessed 2019:

“Attention span during lectures: 8 seconds, 10 minutes, or more?” by Neil A. Bradbury of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics of Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois, USA published on November 8, 2016 (Adv Physiol Educ 40:509-513, 2016).  This article presents a Personal View by reviewing the literature on the “common knowledge” and “consensus” that there is a decline in students’ attention 10-15 min into lectures.  The author believes that the most consistent finding from his literature review is that the greatest variability in student attention arises from differences between teachers and not from the teaching format itself.  Thus, it is the job of the instructor to enhance their teaching skills to provide not only rich content but also a satisfying lecture experience for the students.  As of June 2020, this article has been downloaded 39,910 times. 

The other four Advances articles in the top 10 most accessed in 2019 included an APS Refresher Course Report on “Smooth muscle contraction and relaxation” by R. Clinton Webb, a Best Practices series article on “Learning theories 101: application to everyday teaching and scholarship” by Denise Kay and Jonathan Kibble, an editorial on “The ‘African gene’ theory: it is time to stop teaching and promoting slavery hypertension hypothesis” by Heidi L. Lujan and Stephen E. DiCarlo, and a Staying Current review on “Recent advances in thermoregulation” by Etain A. Tansey and Christopher D. Johnson.  These articles ranged from >20,000 to almost 30,000 downloads. 

This short article shows the variety of offerings in Advances in Physiology Education and documents the global demand for these contributions to the literature.

Editor-in-Chief, Advances in Physiology Education

Barb Goodman received her PhD in Physiology from the University of Minnesota and is currently a Professor in the Basic Biomedical Sciences Division of the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota. Her research focuses on improving student learning through innovative and active pedagogy.