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AGU Publications Policies

AGU Publications Policies

AGU strives to maintain the highest ethical standards for our publications and to be transparent with our policies and procedures. This page outlines the policies related to peer review and publication of AGU Journals and Books. The AGU Publications Policies page is overseen by Ethics Manager Sarah Dedej, and supported by the AGU Director of Publications Operations, VP of Publications, the Publications Committee, and the AGU Ethics and Equity Center. Questions on publications policies can be sent to the respective journal inboxes or to [email protected]. Ethical queries can be sent to [email protected]. For ethics policies and procedures, visit the Publication Ethics and Integrity page.

Transparent Header

With the exception of AGU Advances (see below), AGU journals follow a single anonymized peer review model where the names of the authors are visible to the editors and reviewers, but the names of the reviewers are kept confidential. At their discretion reviewers may disclose their name to the authors during the peer review process. AGU will never release the names of reviewers to authors or outside parties without their explicit permission.

AGU Advances follows a single anonymized and transparent peer review model. Author names and affiliations are not revealed to reviewers until they have accepted the request to review, and the reviewer names are never revealed to the authors. When AGU Advances publishes a paper, we will also make available online the history of the review process, including reviewer comments (anonymous or self-identified) but not reviewer names. Thus, reviewers and authors need to know that their comments may be published on the web, though only in the case of papers that are ultimately accepted for publication.

Co-Reviewer Program

All AGU journals also participate in co-review. In an official co-review one or two junior scientists, research assistants, postdocs or similar assist in all stages of the review as a learning experience and are given credit via the reviewer form in the submission system.

AGU requires that the underlying data needed to understand, evaluate, and build upon the reported research be available at the time of peer review and publication. For more information and guidance, visit the Data and Software for Authors page.

All coauthors share responsibility for a submitted paper and are expected to follow the AGU Ethical Obligations for Authors. Each author must read and approve the paper and will be informed about all reviews and revisions. It is expected that authors will have: (1) made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data, or creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it; (2) approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author’s contribution to the study); and (3) agreed to be personally accountable for their own contributions and for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and documented in the literature. AGU will notify each co-author about a submission and all revisions. A deceased person who met the criteria described here may be designated as an author.

The corresponding author accepts the responsibility of including as authors all persons who meet these criteria for authorship and none who do not. Other contributors who do not meet the authorship criteria should be appropriately acknowledged in the paper. The corresponding author also attests that all living co-authors have seen the final version of the paper, agree with the major conclusions, and have agreed to its submission for publication.

AGU encourages all authors to indicate their respective contributions using the CRediT taxonomy. This is used to describe the specific contributions of each coauthor to the paper, to learn more please visit A CRediT Taxonomy is required for the following journals: AGU Advances, Earth and Space Science, and JGR-Solid Earth.

Authorship and AI Tools

According to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and endorsed by AGU Publications, Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, are not permitted as authors as they cannot take responsibility for submitted works, however their use should be fully transparent. As non-legal entities AI tools cannot assert the presence or absence of conflicts of interest nor manage copyright and license agreements. Authors who use AI tools in the writing of a manuscript, production of images or graphical elements of the paper, or in the collection and analysis of data, must be transparent by disclosing details of use, including which AI tool was used and how it was used, in the Materials and Methods (or similar section) of the paper. Authors are fully responsible for the content of their manuscript, even those parts produced by an AI tool, and are thus responsible for any breach of publication ethics.

Group Authorship Policy

A group or team of authors should only be listed as a coauthor if they meet the criteria above. The group must have contributed significantly to research and preparation of the paper. Otherwise, the group should be appropriately acknowledged in the Acknowledgements Section.

If the group meets the co-author criteria, add a list of each person in the group and institutional affiliations as an appendix at the end of the manuscript. A copy of an email sent to all individuals in the group notifying them of co-authorship status must also be submitted.

JGR Biogeosciences Global Research Collaboration Pilot

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 may 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; and if not already provided, 2) a completed CRediT Taxonomy; and 3) a more detailed explanation of the authorship in the cover letter. This additional information will be made available to editors and reviewers during the peer review process.

JGR Biogeosciences also encourages researchers to consider recommendations from the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings when conducting and reporting their research, as applicable.

The AGU Conflict of Interest policy covers all individuals in significant decision-making capacities, applies to all volunteer and staff leaders, and all involved in the journal peer review process including authors. The purpose is to ensure that potential conflicts are recognized, and individuals will properly disclose situations that might generate a conflict of interest during one’s work, or situations that may create the appearance of such a conflict.


Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest. Such conflicts include handling papers from: present and former students; colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated; and individuals employed by the editor’s institution. Conflicts also include work closely related to or similar to topics the editor is currently working on themselves.

Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by an editor and submitted to the editor’s journal should be delegated to another qualified editor or associate editor of that journal. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an editor’s own research except with the consent of the author.


Reviewers should declare all potential conflicting or competing interests and not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has a personal, professional, financial, or institutional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript. This could also include intellectual, political, or religious conflicting or competing interests.

Reviewers should inform the journal if they work at, will be joining, or will be applying to work at the same institution as any of the authors; they are or have been mentors, mentees, close collaborators, or joint grant holders with any of the authors; or have a close personal relationship with any of the authors.

Reviewers should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the reviewer’s work in progress or in a published work. When in doubt, the reviewer should reach out to the journal or return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.


All authors should disclose any potential conflict of interest (COI) that might affect the results reported in a manuscript and the development of the research. All funding should also be reported to avoid the appearance of any conflict. Some AGU Publications require both this declaration and a signed form.

COI statements

For AGU Advances, GeoHealth, and Community Science authors will be required to disclose any potential conflict of interest for any author that might be affected by publication of the results contained in a manuscript or in the development of the research. These will be disclosed via a form in the submission process and COI statements will be included in the published articles. Journal editors and staff will assess the disclosures.

In order to preserve the integrity of AGU publications with respect to publishing original investigations, AGU prohibits the submission of material for publication that has been previously published in any form that constitutes public distribution. Specifically, any document that is accessible to a library user, who does not have special access or privileges, directly or indirectly in paper or electronic form is considered published, except as noted below.

Previously published explicitly does not include oral or poster presentations, meeting abstracts or student theses/dissertations. AGU does allow posting of preprints and accepted papers in preprint servers that are designed to facilitate community engagement and discovery across the sciences. Any other online publication with a service that provides archiving with citation protocols and public retrieval capabilities constitutes prior publication.

Publication in Eos does not constitute dual publication if an author submits a manuscript on the same research to one of the AGU journals. Eos articles present material in a completely different manner from the archival publication.

Publication of an article in any language prior to submission to an AGU journal constitutes dual publication.

Other exceptions of postings or publications required for legal or other reasons may be considered at the discretion of the editors.

Preprints Policy

AGU encourages authors to post draft manuscripts (prior to peer review or accepted versions) on Earth and Space Science Open Archive or another preprint server.

Papers submitted to Earth and Space Science Open Archive as part of the submission process with an AGU journal will automatically update with a link to the final published article with no action needed by the author.

Self-Archiving Policy

Authors of articles published in AGU’s journals are permitted to self-archive as outlined below. Self-archiving is often referred to as Green Open Access. Please note that all AGU content is made freely available 24 months after publications.

For articles published as Gold (paid) Open Access, reuse and immediate deposit of the final published article (version of record) in any website or repository is allowed.

Submitted and Accepted Versions

AGU allows authors to self-archive the abstract, the submitted (preprint) version, and the accepted (unformatted) peer-reviewed version of their articles in an institutional repository or personal and departmental website without embargo, following the guidance provided below.

When authors self-archive the article, they cite according to the stage of the manuscript:

  1. If the paper has been submitted for publication, but not yet accepted, the author should include the following statement if they place the paper on a website:
    • “Submitted for publication in (journal title).”
  2. If the paper has been accepted for publication and copyright has been transferred to AGU, the author may place the paper on their own website with the following statement appearing on the first screen of the abstract or article:
    • “Accepted for publication in (journal title). Published (year) American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.”
  3. If the paper has been published, or when it is published, the above statement should be changed to the following:
    • “An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Published (year) American Geophysical Union.”
    It is recommended that the full citation and a link to the open abstract also be provided:
    • “Author(s), Year of publication (in parentheses), Title of article, Name of journal, Volume number, Citation number, Digital Object Identifier (DOI). To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.”
    Providing the full bibliographic reference helps assure that authors receive full credit through correct citation to their articles, while including the URL directs viewers to the published abstract.
  4. If an article is placed in the public domain.
    • If the article is entirely from US government employees, the credit line would be: “An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Published (year) American Geophysical Union. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.”
    • If the work is a mix of US government employees and non-government authors, they may include this additional footnote/credit line: “An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Published (year) American Geophysical Union. This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.”

Final Published Article (Version of Record)

AGU allows the final published article (version of record) to be placed in an institutional repository or personal website if the AGU copyright statement is clearly visible, and the post is made 6 months after the official publication by AGU. AGU also supports governmental and institutional repositories and access is available to AGU content through CHORUS, usually 12 months after publication.

Researchgate Syndication Pilot

To facilitate the publishing of preprints and accepted papers and make it easier for you to share your research directly, we are engaged in a syndication pilot with ResearchGate.

The full-text, final published articles from all open access and hybrid open access journals will be uploaded automatically to ResearchGate. Open access articles published in the participating journals will be available to all ResearchGate members, while subscription-only articles will be accessible to ResearchGate members with access through their institution, without the need to authenticate or leave the site to log-in.

All AGU journals participate in this program. More information about this effort is available on Wiley's website.


AGU grants permission for individuals to use figures, tables, and short quotes from AGU journal and books for republication in academic works and to make single copies for personal use in research, study, or teaching provided full attribution is included. There is no need to request this permission from AGU.

This permission does not extend to public posting of the PDF or HTML created by AGU for publication. AGU journal content after 1996 is now freely available 24 months after publication; AGU encourages linking to this content directly. There is no charge or additional permissions needed for any of these uses, but the material must be cited appropriately.

For information on requesting permission for commercial reuse of AGU content, please click on the “permissions” link on any journal or book home page in the Wiley Online Library.

Rights granted to all authors

AGU’s philosophy recognizes the need to ensure that authors have a say in how their works are used and the necessity to foster broad dissemination of scientific literature while protecting the viability of the publication system. The following nonexclusive rights are granted to AGU authors who publish in hybrid journals as subscription (not open access) article:

  • All proprietary rights other than copyright (such as patent rights)
  • The right to present the material orally
  • The right to reproduce figures, tables, and extracts properly cited
  • The right to make paper copies of all or part of the contribution for classroom use
  • The right to deny subsequent commercial use of the contribution
  • The right to place the contribution or its abstract on his/her personal website as described below.

Rights granted to authors publishing their article as open access

Authors who publish their papers as open access in hybrid or fully open access journals have an additional set of rights because they retain the copyright to their papers. Authors have a choice of using the CC BY/ CC BY-NC/ CC BY-NC-ND Creative Commons License. When choosing a license make sure to take into account your funder or institution’s mandates. For more information about Creative Commons licenses, please visit Wiley Author Services.


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. Sharing of excerpts and figures via social media is generally allowable, please reach out to [email protected] for longer excerpts or questions.

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.

Permissions resources

The article, including related supplements, first published online after copy-editing is the AGU version of scholarly record. In order to protect the integrity of the paper, it is essential to have a clear record of any changes to the content of published files.

The guiding principles of the AGU Corrections policy include:

  • The latest correct version of the published article will always be available.
  • Corrections will be in one of two categories:
    • Erratum: An error introduced by the publisher or author that affects the integrity of the version of record, the reputation of the authors, or the reputation of AGU.
    • Retraction: Withdrawal of a published paper due to invalid results or conclusions. All authors of a paper must sign a retraction request, indicating the error and describing how it affects the paper’s conclusions. If authors are not in unanimous agreement in requesting a retraction, the pertinent editor in chief will consult with associate editors, and as necessary, the AGU Publications Committee, to decide whether an erratum or retraction is most appropriate.
  • As an alternative to retraction, the editor may choose to publish an ‘expression of concern’ about aspects of the conduct or integrity of the work that are under investigation.
  • All substantive content-related modifications to the version of record must be described in a footnote identifying the changes made to the published article.
  • Changes appearing in the version of record that are introduced from the accepted article version that are beyond normal copy-editing and would affect scientific understanding may also be indicated.
  • Format corrections, such as replacing a low-resolution image, correcting corrupted figure labeling, and similar minor changes not involving scientific content, can be made at the discretion of AGU, without formal notification.

Name change policy

AGU Publications fully supports authors who have changed their name for reasons including but not limited to marriage or divorce, religious conversion, and alignment with gender identity and will update the published version of record to reflect this change. Authors should contact AGU Publications to request updates to their published record.

AGU staff will treat such requests confidentially whenever possible and work with authors to ensure changes are made quickly and accurately. Authors will not be asked to provide reason, proof, or documentation of their name change and erratum notices will be at the discretion of the author when a name change is requested. To preserve confidentiality, co-author notification will only occur at the author’s request. Please be advised that, unless co-authors are notified, citations of the paper with outdated references may result. AGU will update and republish the paper and redeliver the updated metadata to indexing services.

There are a few important details to note related to the name change policy:

  • Once requested, AGU will work as quickly as possible to make the changes and it may take several weeks for the changes to take effect.
  • Your ORCID is one means of curating your record of authorship. We recommend you register with ORCID and ensure your profile accurately reflects your name and your publication history.
  • The name change will appear on the author list and metadata of the html version, which is the version of record. We may not be able to update PDF files. References in other works including those for AGU publications will not be updated.
  • While AGU will update its own published version of record to reflect name changes and provide an update to standard indexing services, the changes might not cascade to other databases containing an author’s name and work.

AGU expects authors to comply with the ethical guidelines for publication of scientific research, specifically expressed in the AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics policy pdf icon. Intentional activities of scientific misconduct are subject to the sanctions outlined in the above-referenced policy.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. For the purposes of AGU Publication ethics, this should include anything that can be found within a manuscript, data, figures, text, methods and any other documented aspects of the manuscript may be plagiarized.


Self-plagiarism, the act of reproducing your own work without significant changes for the current science and submission, is also a violation of our plagiarism standards. It potentially constitutes dual publication or prior publication. Including a few identical sentences from your own previous paper is not likely to be considered plagiarism; any material quoted verbatim should be placed within quotation marks with appropriate citation. Author reuse of figures from prior published work is often acceptable, please refer to the publisher’s reuse guidelines for more information. For example, AGU allows the reuse of a few figures from prior papers published in AGU journals with proper attribution without acquiring formal permission. However, including significant portions of your own work—whether text, datasets or the majority of figures —without acknowledging the source is unacceptable and could also violate copyrights. AGU journals use plagiarism detection software from iThenticate upon submission to identify any such duplication.

Duplicate Submission

AGU will not consider for publication a manuscript that has been submitted to another peer-reviewed journal with the same basic scientific content reaching the same fundamental conclusions. This does not prohibit the submission to AGU of a manuscript that has been rejected by a peer-reviewed journal so long as that original submission and review process has been completed. Specific questions with respect to this policy should be directed to the editor in chief of the relevant journal.

AGU special collections feature premier Earth and space science research focusing on a particular topic, significant event, or prominent theme. Articles in a special collection are published online as they are ready and will be collated into a virtual issue, allowing quick access to all papers in that collection. Special collections maintain the same scientific rigor and high ethical standards of the rest of the AGU portfolio. In addition:

  • Special collections must fall within the scope of the journal(s).
  • The journal’s Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the content of the entire journal, including special collections; special collection articles are handled with the same editorial oversight as regular papers, undergoing single anonymized peer review (see Peer Review Policy section for general peer review information).
  • Guest Editors' credentials will be checked and must be approved prior to acceptance of a special issue proposal.
  • Guest Editors may contribute to the special collection, but their submissions will be overseen by an independent review process. In addition, no more than 25% of the issue’s total content may be authored by the Guest Editors.

To learn more about special collections or to submit a proposal, please see more information on the AGU special collections page.

AGU Publications Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Statement

As an organization that serves a global community of Earth and space scientists, AGU is committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). Following AGU’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, AGU Publications is implementing changes to foster a more equitable and inclusive scientific publishing environment. This includes proactively working to eliminate the influence of bias in peer review, improving diversity and inclusion within our editorial teams (editors, reviewers, authors) and our publishing processes and policies, and ensuring our publications content fairly and inclusively represents people and communities. We also plan to regularly track and publish our AGU Publications DEI progress.

All AGU members, editors, authors, reviewers, and publications officers and staff are expected to aspire and adhere to our Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy pdf icon, which includes AGU’s Code of Conduct (Section III) and Ethical Guidelines for Publications of Scientific Research (Section VI).

More information: