ESSOAr (Preprint Server) FAQs

Earth and Space Science Open Archive (ESSOAr) will be a community preprint server for the open dissemination of Earth and space science preprints and rich conference presentations. It is guided by an advisory board that includes representatives from societies across the international Earth and space science community.

What is a preprint?

Generally speaking, a preprint is a freely accessible communication, traditionally a manuscript that contains new research findings and data not yet published in a peer-reviewed outlet, such as a journal. Once the final version of record is published, it can be linked to the preprint. Preprints on ESSOAr will receive a DOI that can be used in citations and links.

What can be posted on ESSOAr?

Any preliminary communications of new research findings not yet published in a peer-reviewed outlet, such as a journal. When the ESSOAr preprint server launches, this can also include posters presented at scientific conferences.

Posted material should be equivalent to what is typically contained in a scholarly research manuscript, including an abstract and references. Extensive data or data sets should be deposited in repositories (for guidance see or AGU Publications Data Policy FAQs).

The ESSOAr advisory board may later consider accepting other presentation formats providing extensive material such as videos or audio formats with slides.

What is the cost associated with posting to or reading content on ESSOAr?

It is free to post and to read content on ESSOAr.

Am I required to post on ESSOAr?

Participation in ESSOAr is completely optional. Registration through ORCID will be required to post content on ESSOAr or to comment on posted content.

Is posting on ESSOAr considered prior publication, and can it endanger my chances of publishing in a journal?

Every journal has different policies regarding prior publication and posting on preprint servers. Many journals, however, explicitly allow posting of content on not-for-profit preprint servers. Authors should consult the author guidelines/journal policies for their targeted journal before posting on ESSOAr. View AGU’s prior publication policies.

Can preprints posted on ESSOAr be submitted to journals not published by AGU, Wiley, or societies on the advisory board?

Preprints posted on ESSOAr can be submitted to any journal the author wishes as long as it is in accordance with that journal’s prior publication policies. There will also not be any prohibition on submitting manuscripts to AGU journals that have been posted on other preprint servers. ESSOAr will be agnostic, and aim to support any journal that is relevant to the international ESS community.

What happens when my final paper is published in a journal?

If you publish your findings in a peer-reviewed journal, ESSOAr will provide a link to the paper automatically if the paper can be easily identified or you can directly link it. Standards are being developed across the scientific community on how to cite work on preprint servers and link to them from final papers.

What are the benefits of an Earth and space science preprint server to authors?

  • You may receive comments on early work that help you improve your final published output.
  • Your findings will be more discoverable and citable; studies have shown that posting on preprint servers increases citations.
  • Your findings will be disseminated more quickly before finding a home for them to be published.
  • Poster content can be archived, curated, and cited rather than lost.

How will ESSOAr operate?

Development of ESSOAr and overall policies will be formed and guided by an advisory board that includes representatives from a number of international Earth and space science societies. Participation on the board does not require or imply endorsement of the server. AGU will manage this input directly with their technology partner, Atypon.

Current participants on the advisory board include:

Initial development for this effort will be sponsored by Wiley, the publishing partner of AGU and several other Earth and space science societies. Atypon is developing ESSOAr on Literatum, its online publishing platform, which will provide stability and regular feature enhancements, as well as industry standards that will provide researchers with content format interoperability. Many services such as email alerts, sophisticated search, and content tracking will be available for ESSOAr.

Additional interested parties should reach out to Brooks Hanson,

Why is there a need for an Earth and space science-specific preprint server? Wouldn’t it be better for me to post on arXiv, bioRxiv, or ChemRxiv?

Many major disciplines are starting discipline-specific preprint servers, and this would provide a domain-specific space that meets the particular needs of the Earth and space sciences. ESSOAr will also specifically include posters as a content type given the large use of this type of “preprint” in the Earth and space sciences.

What type of quality control and pre-screening will postings undergo?

The Advisory Group will be discussing the details of screening best practices before launch. When fully operational, every posting will undergo a check for plagiarism and screening to verify that the postings are original research and represent valid research content in the Earth and space sciences. Posts on ESSOAr are not peer-reviewed, edited, or typeset.

How can I learn more about ESSOAr and engage in community-led development efforts?

Sign up for updates! We’ll keep you posted on what’s happening with the Earth and Space Science Open Archive (ESSOAr) initiative with occasional email updates or opportunities to provide feedback.

AGU-specific policies

Will all AGU meeting posters and presentations be automatically posted to the server?

Posting of posters and presentations from AGU meetings is at the discretion of the author and is not required. Other meeting organizers may opt to require that presenters post their posters and presentations on ESSOAr. AGU encourages it, but will not make posting a requirement.

Does posting on servers other than ESSOAr endanger my chances of publishing in an AGU journal?

AGU’s publication policy allows posting of preprints and accepted papers in not-for-profit preprint servers, e.g. arXiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, and EarthArXiv, that are designed to facilitate community engagement and discovery across the sciences. View AGU’s prior publication policies.

Questions Regarding ESSOAr and EarthArXiv

A large number of preprint servers are being introduced in an era of rapid experimentation with open science. We believe that allowing for different experiments will better support the scientific community. AGU and the advisory group working on ESSOAr applaud the efforts by the group working on EarthArXiv and the Center for Open Science to increase open dissemination of science and improve the scientific discussion.  Further information on EarthArXiv is here.

ESSOAr will accept the posting of conference presentations, in addition to preprint manuscripts. It is also intended that a solution will be developed that streamlines the workflows tied to meetings. It is because of those workflows that the advisory board includes societies that hold important meetings within the Earth and space science community.

ESSOAr will have a broad scope that includes a community beyond earth scientists, e.g. ocean scientists, atmospheric scientists, biogeochemists, planetary scientists, and more.

The community ESSOAr serves is diverse and already uses a variety of existing preprint services, such as (planetary scientists) and bioRxiv (biogeochemists and environmental genomics). Others will use ChemRxiv.

Are there opportunities to collaborate? Why not merge the two efforts?

The working groups for ESSOAr and EarthArXiv had both been working on parallel efforts without each other’s knowledge at the same time, but in the discussion phase it was found that the two groups have some different visions. AGU continues to work with The Center for Open Science (which will host EarthArXiv) on other efforts and will continue to do so.

Though these are parallel efforts, the group working on ESSOAr would like to continue to work with EarthArXiv to help scale broader preprint efforts in the Earth and space science community. These could include: (1) Adding efficiencies to the screening process for posts throughout the global ESS community, (2) Developing best practices. The ESSOAr group has already had similar conversations with many other preprint groups, including the effort being led by asapbio.

Why did ESSOAr decide to work with Atypon?

The group supporting ESSOAr believes that a platform developed by Atypon, the largest global scholarly publishing platform, will offer advantages in scalability and efficiency, as well as benefits to be gained within the publishing ecosystem. These benefits can include improvements brought by machine learning, enhancements in search and discoverability, workflow improvements through links to authoring and submission systems, development of APIs, and more. The platform also may be better designed to accommodate conference presentations. This effort with Atypon is similar to other efforts, which are hosted on HighWire (bioRxiv), FigShare/Springer Nature (chemRxiv), SSRN (Elsevier), or