Comment and reply policy


Comment and Reply Policy

Adopted and updated in consultation with the Publications Committee

AGU journals will consider for publication comments on papers that have previously appeared in the journal. For the sake of relevance, comments should generally be made on papers published fewer than 5 years ago. The editor of the journal determines whether a comment meets the standards for publication and may elect to decline a comment without further consideration or require revisions before further consideration. If the editor decides to go forward with consideration of a comment, a reply by the author of the paper commented upon will also be considered for publication. Both comments and replies will be refereed to ensure that

  1. the comment addresses significant aspects of the original paper without becoming essentially a new paper;
  2. the reply responds directly to the comment without becoming evasive; and
  3. the tone of each is appropriate for a scientific journal.

A comment will first be reviewed by the editor to determine if it meets the above criteria and can be sent out for review. Once the comment is close to acceptance it will be sent to the author of the original paper, who will be given the opportunity to write a reply. The editor will provide a deadline for receipt of the reply in order to ensure prompt publication of the discussion. If a reply is submitted within the reasonable deadline, the editor will have the reply reviewed. If the original author chooses not to submit a reply or is unwilling to respond within the time frame set by the editor, the editor may elect to publish the comment without a reply.

At this point, a final decision will be made whether to publish the comment and the reply. If it is decided to proceed with publication, both the comment and reply will be posted online on the same day. Both authors will receive copies of the final manuscripts before publication.

Comments and replies will be limited to half the length of the original published paper.  Note that there are no publication fees associated with comments or their replies.