Editorial Style Guide

Journal articles are edited for clarity, consistency, and house style. It is not the function of staff to rewrite.

AGU style is based on the Chicago Manual of Style and Words Into TypeWebster’s Collegiate DictionaryWebster’s Third International Dictionary (and its Addendum), and The Glossary of Geology are used for hyphenation and spelling. Because the writing is scientific and not literary, AGU uses an open punctuation style, i.e., using only as much punctuation as necessary for clarity.

Note that the metric system should be used throughout, and the use of appropriate SI units is encouraged.

The following checklist covers the changes made most frequently to AGU manuscripts. Following this checklist will help speed the processing of your manuscript.

Most frequent changes made in editing:

  • List all authors on title page and provide complete addresses for all authors
  • Use American spellings rather than British spellings
  • Incorporate footnoted information into text (footnotes are used only for affiliations and supporting information)
  • Define abbreviations/acronyms at first use
  • Change dates to international date format: 25 January 2003 (in tables, months may be abbreviated)
  • Change bulleted lists to numbered lists
  • Add space between numeral and unit of measure; do not use a dot
  • Number text equations consecutively throughout; do not number by section, except appendix equations, which must be numbered separately from main text equations
  • Provide equations that are editable, not formatted as pictures
  • Format reference citations to AGU style: use name-date format, not numbered references, and enclose citations in brackets: …[Smith et al., 2009]… or Smith et al.[2009] show…
  • Provide complete information for each reference, as outlined above
  • Cite all references in the text and provide a reference for each unique text citation
  • Provide tables that are editable, not formatted as pictures (note that tables may be submitted in Excel)
  • Include at least two points of latitude and longitude on figures containing maps
  • LaTeX: Do not use \newcommands, particularly ones with # (using \ref and \label and \cite commands for reference citations is acceptable)

More details, including a list of words commonly occurring in AGU articles and their treatment (hyphenation, capitalization, etc.), are available in the AGU Grammar and Style Guide.