For Reviewers

AGU's award-winning journals are widely respected because of the rigorous peer review by referees who volunteer their time, insight, and knowledge to improve the work of their colleagues and peers. Their contributions add value to the scientific enterprise and strengthen the quality of the research. Thank you to our reviewers!

Become a Reviewer

Reviewing for AGU’s Publications


AGU's volunteer reviewers help advance the Earth and space sciences and maintain the integrity and accountability of the scientific record.

If you are interested in joining the AGU pool of reviewers, please send your contact information, journal preference, and areas of expertise to [email protected].

Benefits of Reviewing

As a reviewer for AGU's journals, you become part of a journal and scientific community and observe emerging developments and key themes in the field. You also receive:

  • Recognition in the journal’s annual Thank You to Reviewers editorial
  • Consideration for the annual AGU Journals Outstanding Reviewers recognition
  • Invitation to the Reviewer Reception at AGU’s Annual Meetings
  • credit in your ORCID profile and through Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service, and
  • Participation in our Co-reviewer Program and mentorship of the next generation of reviewers

Ethical Obligations

AGU’s reviewers are expected to follow the ethical obligations outlined in AGU’s Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy and to disclose any conflicts of interest to the editors.

Reviewer Resources
Visit our Resources and FAQs page to see answers to most common reviewer questions and various training and educational materials on how to perform excellent and constructive reviews.
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General Guidelines for Reviewers

Our peer review process is managed in the Geophysical Electronic Manuscript Submission (GEMS) system. You will receive an email with a link requesting a review. New reviewers will need to update their profile in the GEMS system (this is separate from your profile on

Reviewers are expected to keep manuscripts confidential, and to only annotate PDFs by downloading them and adding anonymized feedback using the Comments feature in Adobe, then uploading the file as an attachment to the review.

The most helpful peer reviews summarize the main contribution of the paper, its appropriateness for the journal, and any major revisions required. Minor suggestions or edits are best listed separately. Any issues that the editors should be aware of can be indicated separately in Remarks to the Editors and will remain confidential.

It is important to meet the review deadline, but if you are unable to, contact the journal staff immediately. Extensions are granted at the editor’s discretion. Please submit your review online using the link provided in the emails.

Final decisions on acceptance or rejection are made by the editors. You will be informed promptly of the final decision.

When you log in to GEMS, the manuscript you have agreed to review will be under Reviewer Tasks and marked with a red arrow. After clicking the link, you will be presented with reviewer instructions, manuscript details and files, and a review form.

You can change your profile and/or update areas of expertise by selecting Modify Profile/Password, under General Tasks, at the bottom of your GEMS home page.

We will add your review service to your ORCID profile with your permission. Simply register for an ORCID and/or link it to your GEMS profile. We also recognize reviewers throughout the year with awards and service subscriptions.

Individual reviews are internally rated on how helpful their feedback is to an author, and how valuable the review is in the associate editor recommendation and the editorial decision. For more information, please see the GEMS Reviewer Statistics System FAQ's.

For detailed information on the review criteria for AGU’s journals, please see below. If you are reviewing a commentary, please see the guidelines for writing and reviewing a commentary for an AGU journal.

Review Criteria for All AGU Journals
Review criteria for all AGU journals include questions on research significance, methods, data and its availability, appropriate referencing, presentation, and key points.
Additional Review Criteria for Geophysical Research Letters (GRL)
Review criteria for all AGU journals include questions on research significance, methods, data and its availability, appropriate referencing, presentation, and key points.

Co-reviewer Program
As part of our efforts to widen our reviewer pool and train and recognize the next generation of reviewers, all AGU journals participate in our Co-reviewer Program. Co-reviewers are expected to adhere to the same ethical obligations and conflict of interest disclosure, and to uphold confidentiality of the process as general reviewers.
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