Submission Checklists

Submitting a new manuscript: The process

For your convenience, we encourage you to use our LaTeX or Word templates. You can also submit papers directly using some cloud-based authoring tools: Overleaf and Curvenote, which are LaTeX-based, and Authorea. If you use any of these templates, some information, including title and abstract, from the paper will be automatically loaded into our submission system when you upload the file.

Following our checklist and guidelines properly will help ensure a timely submission and peer review process.

If you are submitting a revised or resubmitted manuscript that has already undergone peer review, please follow the checklist for revised or resubmitted manuscript.

What you need for a new submission

You will need to provide the following items with your submission. For new submissions, please upload one complete Word or PDF manuscript file containing text, figures, and tables a part of the main text. Convert LaTeX documents to PDF for initial submissions. Any supporting information should be uploaded separately for review purposes. Revisions including resubmissions of previous rejected manuscripts need separate, production-ready files and must follow the revision submission checklist.

  1. A list of authors, their emails, and affiliations. Individual author contributions can be indicated using the CRediT taxonomy.
  2. ORCID for all authors (required for corresponding author).
  3. Three or more suggested reviewers.
  4. Permissions to reuse any figures that were previously published by a non-AGU journal.
  5. Open Research Section: For data that support your research, a data availability statement must be present. This data must be deposited in a community-accepted, trusted repository and cited in the References section. For papers where software is central to the research, include a software availability statement and citation in the References section. Please see detailed information, templates, and examples in our Data and Software for Authors guidance.
  6. Copies of articles cited as unpublished and an explanation of need in your cover letter. This includes companion and special collection manuscripts submitted to this or other journals.
  7. Optional cover letter identifying any conflicts of interest (please enter in submission form).

We encourage all authors to register for anORCID. Published contributions and reviews are automatically registered to your ORCID when you enable auto-updates from Crossref and DataCite. We encourage using International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSNs) to identify all relevant samples. IGSNs should be identified in your paper by including them in the relevant dataset.

Checklist: New manuscripts

To expedite the processing of your paper, please ensure your manuscript meets the following requirements. If you are unsure about an item in the checklist, in-depth, detailed guidelines for composing your manuscript are provided on our In-depth Text and Graphics Requirements page.

Quick Links

LaTeX Template
Word Template
Overleaf template
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Checklist for New Manuscript
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Checklist for Revised or Resubmitted Manuscript
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Checklist for Supporting Information
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In-depth Text and Graphics Requirements
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Grammar and Style Guide
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Data & Software for Authors
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Your title page should include the title, authors with their affiliations, and three key points of your research.
Your abstract should be less than 250 words for all AGU journals, except Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). For Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), your abstract should be less than 150 words.
Your plain language summary should be written for a broad audience that includes journalists and the science-interested public. It should state the general problem, describe what research was conducted, the result, and why the findings are important. The plain language summary improves article discoverability and allows your paper to be more widely accessible. For tips, learn how to write a plain language summary.
A plain language summary is required for the following journals: Geophysical Research LettersGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-Cubed)Journal of Advances in Modeling of Earth Systems (JAMES)JGR: BiogeosciencesJGR: OceansJGR: Machine Learning and Computation, JGR: PlanetsJGR: Solid Earth; and Reviews of Geophysics. For all other journals, this is optional.
Ensure all key sections have descriptive headings throughout the text for organization.
Ensure that you have continuous line numbers throughout the text for organization. Lines should be spaced 1.5-2 lines.
Check the length of your paper. Papers submitted to Geophysical Research Letters must be 12 publication units (PUs) or fewer, or they will be returned to the author. Depending on the AGU journal you are publishing in, overlength papers (longer than 25 PUs) might incur excess page fees. At the time of your submission, be prepared to enter word, table, and figure counts for an automatic PU calculation. More information on publication units and fees as well as funding support for publishing fees, visit our Publication Fees page.
Figures and tables should have captions. Both should be placed near where they are cited in the text.
There should be no footnotes in the text besides the author affiliations and in table descriptions.
Your acknowledgements section should include the following items:
  • All funding information from each author pertaining to this work.
  • Any conflicts of interest for any author that are not apparent from their affiliations or funding.
  • Any additional information on author contributions.
The Editorial Board of JGR: Biogeosciences has made a commitment to bring transparency, equity, and inclusion to publishing in the biogeosciences. As part of this evolving commitment, we are piloting an initiative where we identify manuscripts that have elements of international research and where field work was completed in under-resourced, lower income countries. The aim of this pilot is to help ensure that local researchers receive proper recognition and credit for their contributions to the research. The practice of completing fieldwork outside of one’s country without engaging the local community is an area of concern within the research community (i.e., parachute science, helicopter research).
As part of this pilot, the editorial office may return a manuscript to the corresponding author for additional information. The additional information requested include:
  1. A Global Research Collaboration statement that addresses ethical and scientific considerations, as applicable to the study, as a standalone section in the manuscript following the Conclusions section. This can include disclosure of permits, authorizations, permissions and/or any formal agreements with local communities or other authorities, additional acknowledgements of local help received, and/or description of end-users of the research;
  2. The completion of the CRediT Taxonomy, if not already completed;
  3. A more detailed explanation of the authorship in the cover letter, if needed.
This additional information will be made available to editors and reviewers during the peer review process and the statement will be published with the paper. Example statements can be found in the following published papers: Holt et al., Sánchez-Gutiérrez et al., and Tully et al. JGR Biogeosciences also encourage researchers to consider recommendations from The TRUST Code: A Global Code of Conduct for Equitable Research Partnerships when conducting and reporting their research, as applicable.
Availability Statement: For data and software that support your research, citation information and an Availability Statement in the Open Research section, indicating where readers can access the data and software, must be present. Statements implying that data are available from authors are not allowed. Refer to Data and Software for Authors for citation and Availability Statement templates and examples.
  • All references must be cited in the main text and reference list for indexing. If they appear elsewhere, your submission will be returned.
  • Every reference must be available publicly online or in print before a paper can be accepted; there should be no “submitted”, personal communication, or “in press” references (unless the “in press” reference has a DOI and is available online). Exceptions are considered by the editor.
  • We recommend that references are formatted according to AGU’s publication style.

Checklist: Supporting information

Supporting information may include other images or figures, methods text, and resources needed to explain the results presented in your paper. It should not include discussion or key analysis. Data sets, software, and sample information should be deposited in repositories practicing the FAIR principles and cited in the references. Data files that are uploaded as Supporting Information MUST ALSO be deposited in an appropriate repository.

  1. Use our supporting information template and include text, captions, and figures as part of one supporting information file, saved in PDF format.
  2. Please upload the PDF file. Production staff will not convert, edit, or modify your supporting information files. They will be published as-is.
  3. Deposit data and software to repositories and cite them as part of the Availability Statement and References according to AGU’s data and software guidance.
  4. Include any analysis or discussion as part of the main manuscript, not supporting information.
  5. References in supporting information should be included in a separate reference list below the main text under the heading "References From the Supporting Information" so that they will be discovered, linked, and indexed.
  6. Do not include appendices. Appendix text and figures should be included in the main article file.
  7. Supporting Information does not contribute to the paper’s length. You may shorten your paper by moving any peripheral information to the Supporting Information.

Visit our Supporting Information requirements page for more detailed guidance.

Checklist: Submitting a revised or resubmitted manuscript

A cover letter explaining your revision to the editor is optional. The cover letter should be entered into the online submission form, not uploaded as a separate file.

If there is any change in authorship, including author order, this must be explained in the cover letter. All co-authors will receive a confirmation of the new submission.

The manuscript should be an unmarked, final file in Word or LaTeX (not a pdf), with all changes accepted. Your manuscript should contain the elements listed below and be checked for length.

  1. Individual figure files, with subfigures (a, b, c, etc.) combined into one cohesive file. Appropriate figure formats are: eps, pdf, jpg, or tif. Do not add labels (e.g., Figure 1) or captions within the image. 
  2. A Word or PDF file showing tracked changes from the previous version (even if it was initially submitted to a different AGU journal). Please convert Latex files with tracked changes into PDFs. Select “Article Tracked Changes” as the file type during submission. 
  3. A Word or PDF file giving a point-by-point response to the reviews, including the exact text of the reviewers’ and/or editors’ comments. Select “Response to Reviewer” as the file type during submission.
  4. Availability statements for data and software in the Open Research section. This section states where readers can access the data and software that supports the manuscript's analysis and conclusions. AGU requires statements for data. For research dependent on software (e.g. models, workflows), include a software availability statement. For further guidance and examples, please see AGU’s Data and Software guidance.
  5. If your manuscript is written in LaTeX, upload your bibtex BIB file as a “Latex Bib File” type or incorporate the bibliography into your document with the instructions under "Troubleshooting” in our Latex Submission Guidelines.
  6. Copies of articles cited as unpublished and an explanation in your cover letter. This includes companion and special collection manuscripts submitted to this or other journals. Note that accepted articles cannot proceed unless all references are published.
  7. Supporting information files must meet our guidelines. See Checklist: Supporting Information.