Manuscript preparation guidelines for authors
The following sections provide guidelines on how to prepare and compose your manuscript. Please follow these standards to ensure a smooth peer-review and production process. If you or your institute plans a press release or some other promotional work on your paper, please inform Media and Communications at Copernicus (firstname.lastname@example.org) before. We may be able to assist you and help distribute your work further.
For the review process a *.pdf file of the complete manuscript is required following the standards for sectioning and structure (see below). Tables and figures should be included in the text. All pages must be numbered consecutively and line numbers must be included.
- Sectioning and structure:
- Title page
- Keywords (only for some journals)
- Copyright statement
- Code availability
- Data availability
- Supplement link (will be included by Copernicus)
- Team list
- Author contribution
- Competing interests
- Title page: Title (concise but informative), author first and last names, full institutional addresses of all authors, correspondence email for proofs.
- Abstract: The abstract should be intelligible to the general reader without reference to the text. After a brief introduction of the topic, the summary recapitulates the key points of the article and mentions possible directions for prospective research. Reference citations should not be included in this section, unless urgently required, and abbreviations should not be included without explanations.
- Sections: The headings of all sections, including introduction, results, discussions or summary must be numbered. Three levels of sectioning are allowed, e.g. 3, 3.1, and 3.1.1. The abbreviation "Sect." should be used when it appears in running text and should be followed by a number unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence.
- Footnotes: These should be avoided, as they tend to disrupt the flow of the text. If absolutely necessary, they should be numbered consecutively. Footnotes to tables should be marked by lowercase letters.
- Equations: They should be referred to by the abbreviation "Eq." and the respective number in parentheses, e.g. "Eq. (14)". However, when the reference comes at the beginning of a sentence, the unabbreviated word "Equation" should be used, e.g.: "Equation (14) is very important for the results; however, Eq. (15) makes it clear that..."
- Figure composition: It is important for the production process that separate figures are submitted. Composite figures containing multiple panels should be collected into one file before submission. The figures should be labelled correctly with Arabic numerals (e.g. fig01, fig02). They can be submitted in *.pdf, *.ps, *.eps, *.jpg, *.png, or *.tif format and should have a resolution of 300 dpi. The width should not be less than 8 cm. A legend should clarify all symbols used and should appear in the figure itself, rather than verbal explanations in the captions (e.g. "dashed line" or "open green circles").
Tips for producing high-quality line graphics:
The abbreviation "Fig." should be used when it appears in running text and should be followed by a number unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence, e.g.: "The results are depicted in Fig. 5. Figure 9 reveals that...".
- The first choice should be vector graphics in *.eps or *.pdf format. Fonts must be embedded.
- If this is not possible, a bitmap image should be saved in a "non-lossy" format (e.g. *.png). A high quality is recommended. It is always possible to reduce the size of the figure later.
- The *.jpg format should only be used for photos. It is not suitable for sharp edges. Note that it is not advisable to convert a *.jpg file back to *.png. If *.jpg files must be used please save them with high quality.
- If you are not able to fulfil the above-mentioned criteria, it is also possible to submit figures produced with Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign in the original file format. Our image processors will then produce the figures from these source files.
- For maps and charts, please keep colour blindness in mind and avoid the parallel usage of green and red. For a list of colour scales that are illegible to a significant number of readers, please visit ColorBrewer 2.0.
- Figure content guidelines: In order to facilitate consistency with our language and typesetting guidelines applied to the text of the manuscript, please keep the following in mind when producing your figures:
- Labels of panels must be included with brackets around letters being lower case (e.g. (a), (b), etc.).
- Ranges need an en dash and no spaces between start and end (e.g. 1–10, Jan–Feb).
- Coordinates need a degree sign and a space when naming the direction (e.g. 30° N, 25° E).
- Spaces must be included between number and unit (e.g. 1 %, 1 m).
- Units must be written exponentially (e.g. W m–2).
- Common abbreviations to be applied: hour as h (not hr), kilometre as km, metre as m.
- Capitalization: only the first word is capitalized in headers (in addition to proper nouns). More guidelines are provided in section English guidelines and house standards.
- Maps: please adhere to United Nations naming conventions for maps used in your manuscript. In order to depoliticize scientific articles, authors should avoid the drawing of borders or use of contested topographical names. The editors reserve the right to insert the label "under dispute" if contested borders are presented.
- Figure captions: Each illustration should have a concise but descriptive caption. The abbreviations used in the figure must be defined, unless they are common abbreviations or have already been defined in the text. Figure captions should be included in the text file and not in the figure files.
- File size: Authors are kindly asked to find the best balance between the quality of figures and submitted material on the one hand, and a manageable file size on the other hand. Individual figures should not exceed 5 MB, and the overall size of all submitted files, excluding supplements, should not exceed 30 MB.
- Plot data: Authors are encouraged to put the data needed to create the plots, which are included in the manuscript, in a supplement to the published article (see below). Then, reviewers and readers are able to reproduce the plots.
- Tables: Any tables should appear on separate sheets after the references and should be numbered sequentially with Arabic numerals. For the production of the accepted manuscript, they should be submitted as MS WORD or included in the LaTeX file. Tables submitted as a PDF or an image file cannot be processed. Tables should be self-explanatory and include a concise, yet sufficiently descriptive caption. Horizontal lines should normally only appear above and below the table, and as a separator between the head and the main body of the table. Vertical lines must be avoided. Please note that the word "Table" is never abbreviated and should be capitalized when followed by a number (e.g. Table 4).
- Data sets: Authors are requested to follow our data policy including the deposit of data that correspond to journal articles in reliable data repositories, the assignment of digital object identifiers, and the proper citation of a data set. Authors are required to provide a statement on how their underlying research data can be accessed. This must be placed as the section "Data availability" at the end of the manuscript before the acknowledgements. If the data are not publicly accessible, a detailed explanation of why this is the case is required.
- Appendices: These should be labelled with capital letters: Appendix A, Appendix B etc. Equations, figures and tables should be numbered as (A1), Fig. B5 or Table C6, respectively. Please keep in mind that appendices are part of the manuscript whereas supplements (see below) are published along with the manuscript.
- Authors have the opportunity to submit supplementary material with their manuscript, such as additional figures and tables, plot data, movies, animations, highly detailed and specific technical information, such as computer programme code, user manuals, maps, very large images, etc.
- The supplement shall contain only complementary information but no scientific interpretations or findings/messages that would go beyond the contents of the manuscript.
- Supplements will receive their own DOI (digital object identifier) and will be published online along with the article as *.zip archive or single *.pdf file.
- Supplements will receive a title page added during the publication process including title ("Supplement of"), authors, and the correspondence email. Therefore, please avoid providing this information in the supplement.
- Equations, figures and tables in supplements should be numbered as (S1), Fig. S5 or Table S6. Sections are numbered as S3, S3.1, and S3.1.1.
- The overall file size of a supplement is limited to 50 MB. Authors of larger supplements are kindly asked to submit their files to a reliable data repository and to insert a link in the manuscript. Ideally, this linkage is realized through DOIs.
- Author contribution: Authors are encouraged to add a section "Author contribution" before the acknowledgements in which the contributions of all co-authors are briefly described. Example: A. Aman and B. Bman designed the experiments and C. Cman carried them out. D. Dman developed the model code and performed the simulations. A. Aman prepared the manuscript with contributions from all co-authors.
- Competing interests: Declaration of all potential conflicts of interest is required by Copernicus Publications as this is an integral aspect of a transparent record of scientific work. Please see our competing interests policy.
- If there are no competing interests in their submitted manuscripts, authors should state: "The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest."
- If there are possible conflicts of interest, authors must state what competing interests are relevant to the submitted work: "Author A is a member of the editorial board of the journal. Author B has received research funding from Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z."
- Evaluation criteria: While preparing their manuscript, authors are kindly requested to consider the manuscript evaluation criteria to meet the quality standards and to reduce the peer-review processing time.
Papers should make proper and sufficient reference to the relevant formal literature. Informal or so-called "grey" literature may only be referred to if there is no alternative from the formal literature. Works cited in a manuscript should be accepted for publication or published already. These references have to be listed alphabetically at the end of the manuscript under the first author's name. Works "submitted to", "in preparation", "in review", or only available as preprint should also be included in the reference list. Please do not use bold or italic writing for in-text citations or in the reference list.
Please supply the full author list with last name followed by initials. After the list of authors, the complete reference title needs to be named. Journal names are abbreviated according to the ISI Journal Title Abbreviations Index, followed by the volume number, the complete page numbers (first and last page) and the publication year. If the abbreviation of a journal name is not known, please use the full title. In addition to journal articles, all reference types are summarized together with examples in the Copernicus Publications Reference Types list.
If there is more than one work by the same first author, his/her papers are listed in the following order: (1) single author papers (first author), followed by (2) co-author papers (first author and second author), and finally (3) team papers (first author et al.). Within these three categories the respective papers are then listed as follows:
- Single author papers: chronologically, beginning with the oldest. If there is more than one paper in the same year, a letter (a, b, c) is added to the year, both in the in-text citation as well as in the reference list.
- Co-author papers: first alphabetically according to the second author's last name, and then chronologically within each set of co-authors. If there is more than one paper in the same year per set of co-authors, a letter (a, b, c) is added to the year both in the in-text citation as well as in the reference list.
- Team papers: first chronologically (beginning with the oldest), independent of the team author names, then alphabetically within each year according to the second (third, etc.) author. If there is more than one paper in the same year for a first author (independent of the team), a letter (a, b, c) is added to the year both in the in-text citation as well as in the reference list.
In terms of in-text citations, the order can be based on relevance, as well as chronological or alphabetical listing, depending on the author's preference.
Examples for reference sorting
In general, in-text citations can be displayed as "[…] Smith (2009) […]", or "[…] (Smith, 2009) […]".
|Single author: chronologically
|Smith, P.: …, 2009.
|Smith, P.: …, 2010a.
|Smith, P.: …, 2010b.
|Co-authors: alphabetically before chronologically
|Smith, P. and Brown, P.: …, 2010.
||Smith and Brown, 2010
|Smith, P. and Carter, T.: …, 2007.
||Smith and Carter, 2007
|Smith, P. and Carter, T.: …, 2010a.
||Smith and Carter, 2010a
|Smith, P. and Carter, T.: …, 2010b.
||Smith and Carter, 2010b
|Smith, P. and Thomson, A.: …, 2005.
||Smith and Thomson, 2005
|Team: chronologically before alphabetically
|Smith, P., Thomson, A., and Carter, T.: …, 2006.
||Smith et al., 2006
|Smith, P., Carter, T., and Hanson, M. B.: …, 2008a.
||Smith et al., 2008a
|Smith, P., Carter, T., and Walter, N.: …, 2008b.
||Smith et al., 2008b
|Smith, P., Carter, T., and Hanson, M. B.: …, 2009.
||Smith et al., 2009
|Smith, P., Brown, P., and Walter, N.: …, 2010.
||Smith et al., 2010
Please do not use bold or italic writing in the reference list or for in-text citations.
Video supplements and video abstracts
In collaboration with the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), Copernicus Publications provides authors with the possibility of uploading video supplements and/or video abstracts relating to their accepted article.
If you wish to upload a video associated with your article, please register the video in the AV Portal of TIB Hannover and follow the instructions. Within about three days, the TIB will issue a DOI for your video. This DOI has to be entered during your production file upload at Copernicus after the acceptance of your manuscript. The journal library will use the DOI to link your article with the corresponding video.
Registration and upload steps
- Register via the respective tab on the AV Portal.
- Log in by using your customer name and password.
- Use the tab "Upload" and fill out the upload form.
- A number of entries are specific to your video, but please make sure that the following specifications and selections are made:
- Specify the publisher as Copernicus Publications (section 1).
- Fill in the field "Abstract" including the title of the paper and journal (section 3).
- Select the CC-Attribution licence (section 4).
- Select the relationship type "isSupplementTo" (section 6).
- Video format: MPG1, MPG2, MPG4, H264, FLV, DVCPro25/50
- Aspect ratio: native image format without letterboxing (4:3, 16:9)
- Resolution: 720 × 576 (16:9, anamorphic), 1024 × 576 (16:9, square pixel), 720 × 576 (4:3, anamorphic), or 768 × 576 (4:3, square pixel)
- Images per second: 25
- Maximum size: 2GB