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Preparing your paper as outlined below will help expedite consideration.
AGU journals consider a number of different paper types. Each of these has different length limits or guidelines.
Length: For most journals, Research Articles are allowed to be up to 25 publication units (PU), where 1 PU is 500 words or 1 display element (figure or table). The title, authors, affiliations, text in tables (but not captions) and references are excluded from word counts. Longer papers are assessed an excess length fee. Research Letters for Geophysical Research Letters have a maximum length of 12 publication units. Longer papers are not considered in GRL and will be returned for shortening. For most journals, Commentaries are limited to 6 publication units (recommended length is about 2000 words and 1-2 figures).
In submitting, the corresponding author affirms that:
Please prepare your manuscript following our checklists and templates listed under our How to Submit resources.
For LaTeX, use the AGU template. AGU LaTeX templates are also on Overleaf, a cloud-based LaTeX authoring system that allows direct submission to AGU journals. Please DO NOT introduce any extraneous formatting, new commands, macros, or shortcuts, as they are not compatible with our publishing process. Papers with extensive extraneous formatting, macros, or shortcuts (including \def,\newcommands, \renewcommands, and especially those commands with #) will be returned for correction.
AGU will consider papers that are companions or so related that publication and citation should be coordinated. AGU can work with other journals to coordinate publication. If you are submitting companion papers, please indicate this and any information regarding coordination in your cover letter and provide copies of all papers as part of your submission if they are not being submitted to the same journal. Please provide regular updates to the editors on the progress of related papers, especially at revision. If there are multiple companions, we strongly recommend that you contact our staff and the journal editors in advance.
Other papers under consideration elsewhere and related to your AGU submission should also be included for the editors and the relation explained in the cover letter. AGU will not publish manuscripts with any references that are not yet published. If the citation of such manuscripts is approved by the editor, AGU will hold final publication until the cited literature is accepted and publicly available.
AGU recommends use of International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSNs) for all samples reported in AGU Journals. IGSNs provide a unique identifier allowing samples to be linked across publications and searched through a central repository. We strongly encourage authors to register samples and obtain IGSNs and use them throughout their manuscript and tables. We recognize IGSNs during our production process and will provide links in manuscript tables to the registered sample descriptions.
AGU requires that all data needed to understand, evaluate, and build upon the reported research be available at the time of publication. AGU journals follow the guidelines for enabling FAIR data and AGU is a signatory of the Commitment Statement on open and FAIR data.
This policy applies to the data, derived data and data products typically deposited in community repositories for that discipline and presented in the figures and analyses in the paper, and software or other methods used to generate, interpret, or process the data. If the methods and data are previously published, these can be cited. Large data sets and newly compiled data sets should be deposited in repositories that practice the FAIR principles prior to publication. Deposited data sets should be cited as full references in the reference list. Specifically:
All publishers who are signatories of the Enabling FAIR Data Commitment Statement support trusted repositories that curate research data, software, and physical samples for use by the scientific community. Authors should follow the guidelines below and in this FAQ:
In order for reviewers and readers to assess any paper fully at the time of publication, AGU does not accept citations to in-preparation or submitted/under review-manuscripts. The Editorial Board can, in exceptional circumstances, allow citation of submitted/under review works which are intimately associated with the manuscript submitted to this or other AGU journals. An example would be a companion manuscript submitted to this or another AGU journal where the intent is to have them published together so that cross-citations can be fully updated before publication. Authors willing to cite submitted/under review works must, at submission time, (1) upload a PDF copy of the unpublished work(s), and (2) use the ‘cover letter’ field to justify to the editor why an ‘under review’ reference is required. In the event an exception is granted, the submitted/under review work(s) will have to be accepted or published in its respective journal(s) by the time of acceptance of the manuscript.
For submission, we prefer to receive a single file containing your manuscript, figures, and tables; you can use our checklists and templates in Word and LaTeX. Supporting information and large tables should be uploaded separately.
Your manuscript should be arranged in the following order:
A title should be specific, informative, and brief. Use abbreviations only if they are defined in the abstract.
Authors are individuals who have significantly contributed to the research and preparation of the article (see specific guidelines above). Group authors are allowed, if each author in the group is separately identified in an appendix or supplement. Other contributors who do not meet the authorship criteria should be acknowledged.
Author affiliations should indicate to the reader where the author was employed or affiliated with at the time of the work. Current addresses or affiliations should be indicated with a footnote. Authors are expected to indicate in the acknowledgements and cover letter any additional affiliations or employment that might be perceived as a conflict of interest related to the paper.
AGU now requires all corresponding authors to register for an ORCID identifier and connect it to your account in our editorial system. We strongly encourage all authors and reviewers to register for an ORCID. Your ORCID identifier will be included in your published manuscript, and we will in turn update your publication list in your ORCID record. Please look for an email message from ORCID and CrossRef to grant permission for this update process. Including your ORCID identifier helps ensure you get credit for your work, improves integrity in publishing, and enables discovery and linking of your publications, datasets, and more.
AGU Journals allow authors to indicate their respective contributions using the CRediT taxonomy. This information will be published with your paper starting in 2018. If a more specific contribution statement is needed, please add a paragraph as part of the acknowledgements.
Key Points convey the main points and conclusions of the article. Up to three key point statements are allowed, and each is limited to at most 140 characters with no abbreviations
The abstract (1) states the nature of the investigation and (2) summarizes the important conclusions. The abstract should be suitable for indexing. Your abstract should:
AGU journal articles can now include a plain-language summary that will help the general reader understand your paper. This is required for GRL, JGR: Planets, JGR: Biogeosciences, JGR: Oceans, G-Cubed, Reviews of Geophysics, and JAMES; optional for other journals. It is optional for other journals and can be added at revision. The plain language summary should be written for a broad audience. It should be free of jargon, acronyms, equations and any technical information that would be unknown to the general public. The purpose is to explain the study to the public. A good summary should state the general problem, what was done, and the result. Suggestions for writing a plain-language summary.
Index terms are important for discovery and linking your article. Up to five index terms are allowed and are provided at the time of submission. Use the AGU Index Set. Do not use terms ending in “00.”
Authors may also provide up to six keywords. These are free-form terms that can be used to facilitate online searches.
Headings. Except for short manuscripts (such as comments and replies), the text should be divided into sections, each with its own heading.
Sections are numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.). A maximum of four levels of heads may be used, with subsections numbered 1.1., 1.2.; 1.1.1., 1.2.1; 184.108.40.206., and so on. Headings should be sentence fragments and do not begin with a lowercase letter or number. They should not include parenthetical reference citations or table and figure callouts.
Footnotes. Footnotes are used only for author affiliations and tables. Incorporate all other footnoted information into text.
Reference citations. Use name-date format, not numbered references, and enclose citations in parentheses.
(Zhu et al., 2016) or
Zhu et al. (2009)
Detailed citation style can be found in AGU’s Style Guide.
Mathematics. Build equations with Mathtype or the Word Equation Editor (if using Word), or in Latex. Do not use graphics for equations.
The acknowledgments must list:
All sources cited in text, tables, figures, and supporting information must appear in the reference list. References in supporting information should also be cited in the main text and included in the reference list of the main paper so that they will be discovered, linked, and indexed. A separate reference list in the supporting information is not necessary. Every reference must be available publicly online or in print before a paper can be accepted. Thus “unpublished” or “in press” references are not allowed. Reference text is not included in excess length calculations.
AGU follows the Joint Declaration of Data Citations Principles and the Enabling FAIR data guidelines. Authors should cite data and software in the reference section of their manuscript. Authors should strive to archive their data in repositories practicing the FAIR principles.
AGU’s Publications Style Guide offers examples and style information.
Data sets should be deposited in appropriate repositories practicing FAIR principles (see data section above). Tables can still be used within a manuscript or supporting information as summaries or averages of deposited data or for tabulated information (e.g., standard values used for variables or parameters).
Every table must have a unique title. Explanatory information and definitions should be included in a footnote to the title.
Column heads. All columns (except the first one) must have headings.
Additional information on table formatting is available in AGU’s Publications Style Guide.
AGU recommends that figures be prepared in one of the following formats: JPG, TIFF, EPS, PS or PDF. Figures should be embedded in the main manuscript for submission but uploaded separately at resubmission or revision (because separate files are needed for production). For revision, each figure file must be complete and contain all parts of a single numbered figure. Do not include figure captions or figure titles (e.g., “Figure 1”) as any part of the figure. Separate files for different parts of a figure cannot be accommodated.
Each figure should also have a caption in the text. These can be placed near the figure at submission.
Figures larger than a typical PDF page (e.g., a large map) should be included as a supplement.
Authors who use figures or other material (e.g., graphics,) from another author or copyright holder must obtain permission to do so. This includes any figures redrawn but basically unaltered or with only slight modifications. Permission is not needed for material that originated in AGU journals or is in the public domain.
Permission must allow for the distribution of the material in any and all media in current and future formats.
Obtaining permission can be a lengthy process, so please make sure that you have the necessary permissions before you submit your manuscript to AGU.
Permission(s) should accompany the revised manuscript when submitted. Articles will not be published until permissions are received at AGU.
Supporting text and images/figures should be included in one .PDF file, except where limited by file type or size. Movies, .zip archives, and other files can be uploaded separately. Authors should download and make use of our templates. Supporting text can include methods or other information about samples or summary data. Discussion or interpretations should be in the main text only.
All supporting information will be reviewed with your manuscript. References cited in supporting information must also be included in the main text so that they will be discovered, linked, and indexed. A separate list in the supporting information is not necessary. Reference text does not count toward length limits.
Please see Supporting Information Guidelines for more information.
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