publish header

Review Criteria: All AGU Journals

What does a review entail?

Reviewers for all AGU journals must evaluate the following criteria when reviewing submitted manuscripts. The criteria include questions on research significance, methods, data and its availability, appropriate referencing, presentation, and key points.

A review will begin with these four specific questions. We also ask reviewers to include a full formal review, which is explained more below.

Is the paper significant and convincing?

Review responses:

  • Yes, the science is at the forefront of the discipline.
  • Yes, the paper is a significant contribution and worthy of prompt publication.
  • The paper has some unclear or incomplete reasoning but will likely be a significant contribution with revision and clarification; or there are major errors or gaps in the paper, but it could still become significant with major changes, revisions, and/or additional data.
  • No, the paper is not obviously a significant advance or contribution.
  • No, the paper is not strong and/or not appropriate for this journal.

Do the methods, data, and analysis support the conclusions?

Review responses:

  • Yes.
  • Mostly yes, but some further information and/or data are needed.
  • No.

Is the referencing appropriate?

Review responses:

  • Yes.
  • Mostly yes, but some additions are necessary.
  • No.

Is the presentation high quality?

Review responses:

  • Yes, it is well-written, logically organized, and the figures and tables are appropriate.
  • The organization of the manuscript and presentation of the data and results need some improvement.
  • No, the writing, organization, and illustration make it too difficult to review.

Does the Paper Meet AGU'S Data and Software Guidance?

Reviewers must:

  • Read each Open Research (Availability Statement) section carefully to verify that ALL data and software necessary to understand, evaluate, replicate, and build upon the reported research have been preserved in a repository and cited in the Availability Statement and References.
  • Confirm that any supplemental data is also preserved in a repository and cited.
  • Check any hyperlinks (e.g. DOIs) that have been provided in the Open Research section to verify the accessibility of data.
  • Report any failure to meet the data and software guidance when submitting a review or making a recommendation to the editor.

Review document

A reviewer’s review must address the main claims and methodology of the paper. The review should be uploaded or pasted in the Geophysical Electronic Manuscript Submission system (GEMS). Reviewers may wish to consider these questions when writing a formal review, however it is not required.

  • 1
    Is this paper appropriate for the journal? Is the paper clearly and concisely written? Are the key points written clearly, and do they accurately reflect the main points of the paper?
  • 2
    Are the interpretations and conclusions supported by the evidence presented? That is, are the assumptions valid, is the methodology sound, is the evidence adequate, and do the conclusions logically follow?
  • 3
    Does this paper put the progress it reports in the context of existing published work? Is there adequate referencing and introductory discussion?
  • 4
    Are all parts of the text, references, graphics and tables necessary for the new results and main points to be understood? Are the graphics and tables clear and their captions self-explanatory?
  • 5
    Are the conclusions and potential impacts of the paper clear?
  • 6
    Does the title adequately represent the content of the paper? 
  • 7
    Does the abstract clearly and concisely summarize the paper and state the main results? Can the abstract and main body of the paper each stand alone? 
Blank notebook with sharpened pencil