Submit your manuscript

Thank you very much for your interest in submitting a manuscript. Please find your way through the manuscript preparation and file submission:

Get ready

Before submitting your manuscript for peer review, you are kindly requested to do the following:

  • to download the Copernicus manuscript templates for LaTeX or MS WORD, or to follow the instructions for R Markdown submissions;
  • to prepare your manuscript *.pdf file according to the manuscript preparation guidelines including line numbers and page numbers. Should you have used AI tools to generate (parts of) your manuscript, please describe the usage either in the Methods section or the Acknowledgements;
  • to prepare your abstract text and your short summary, both to be pasted into the file upload form, as well as your supplement file as *.pdf or *.zip archive, if applicable;
  • to identify funding sources to be entered during manuscript registration;
  • to choose the appropriate manuscript type;
  • to read our section on files for the review process;
  • to ensure that your figures' colour schemes allow readers with colour vision deficiencies to correctly interpret your findings (see our guidelines for figures & tables);
  • to ensure that your figure files are labelled correctly with Arabic numerals (e.g. fig01, fig02), compiled as *.pdf, *.ps, *.eps, *.jpg, *.png, or *.tif files with a resolution of 300 dpi, panels are collected into one figure file, the reproduction rights have been secured, and our guidelines for figures & tables are followed;
  • to ensure that your maps and aerial files follow our guidelines for maps & aerials, the reproduction rights have been secured, and copyright statements or credits are included in your maps and aerials according to the regulations of the provider;
  • to ensure that your references follow our guidelines for references;
  • to agree and comply with the general terms and the article processing charges;
  • to agree and comply with the licence and copyright agreement;
  • to agree and comply with the general obligations for authors;
  • to register the manuscript in order to receive a link to upload the manuscript files into the online system Copernicus Office Editor.

While preparing their manuscript, authors are kindly requested to consider the manuscript review criteria to meet the quality standards and to reduce the peer-review processing time. We recommend that any data set used in your manuscript is submitted to a reliable data repository and linked from your manuscript through a DOI. Please see our data policy. Please also consider other assets like software & model code or video supplements.

Prepare your assets

Once your manuscript is about to appear online you will be asked upon upload of production files to provide DOIs (digital object identifiers) for assets to your work. While a supplement is stored in the journal online library alongside your work, other assets as described below must be submitted to specialized repositories. Please consider providing at least preliminary links to such assets for the period of peer review to allow reviewers to access these essential additions.

Software and model code

Data sets

Interactive computing environment (e.g., Jupyter Notebooks)

Sample availability

Video supplements & video abstracts


Files for the review process

After the manuscript registration, you are kindly asked to upload those files which are necessary for the peer-review process. The following files are required:

  • the abstract as plain text to be pasted into the upload form where requested;
  • the complete manuscript (title, authors, affiliations, abstract, text, tables, figures) as a *.pdf file with embedded fonts in portrait format following the standards for sectioning and structure as given below in the manuscript composition. All pages must be numbered consecutively and line numbers must be included. Figures and tables as well as their captions must be inserted in the main text near the location of the first mention (not appended to the end of the manuscript) and the figure composition must embed any used fonts. Maps and aerials must include the copyright statements or credits following the requirements of the provider;
  • the Crystallographic Information File (CIF) in case your manuscript presents a new mineral. In this case, you must include (1) the CIF file ('mineral.cif') as well as (2) the checkCIF report as *.pdf file ('checkcif_mineral.pdf') in your supplement *.zip archive (see below). The checkCIF report file can be obtained from the IUCr CIF check form.
  • data sets, model code, video supplements, or other assets to your manuscript should be submitted to a reliable repository receiving a DOI, cited in your manuscript, and included in your reference list. Reviewers can then access these relevant sources.

Other possible review files include the following:

  • If you have supplementary material to your manuscript which does not meet the above-mentioned asset criteria to be hosted by a reliable repository, you can submit your supplement as a *.zip archive or single *.pdf file. The overall file size of such a supplement is limited to 50 MB. Larger supplements have to be submitted to a reliable data repository in any case receiving a DOI, cited in your manuscript, and included in your reference list.
  • The author's response in case of revisions must be submitted as one separate *.pdf file (indicating page and line numbers), structured in a clear and easy-to-follow sequence: (1) comments from referees, (2) author's response, and (3) author's changes in the manuscript.
  • The marked-up manuscript version highlighting the changes (track changes in Word, latexdiff in LaTeX) must be submitted as one separate *.pdf file.

Templates for your manuscript file

Technical instructions for LaTeX

Technical instructions for MS Word and compatible formats

Technical instructions for R Markdown

Files for journal article production

After the final acceptance of your manuscript for publication in the journal, you will be informed by email and are kindly asked to complete the file upload for the publication production process. Then, please submit the following files:

  • the actual text followed by the table(s) and figure caption(s) prepared in the way as outlined in the manuscript preparation as one file in LaTeX (as a *.tex file) or MS Word format (as a *.doc/*.docx file). Although initials are used in reference lists, please use full first names on the title page;
  • all figures as individual files in one *.zip archive without any subfolders, numbered (e.g. f01, f02, ..., f11) and prepared as outlined in the figure guidelines;
  • a key figure which best represents your work. If your paper includes figures, you might select one of the figures used in the text as the key figure. Alternatively, you can upload a new figure, which is also the solution if your paper has no figures included. Your key figure will be used to present your article in tables of contents, recent papers, and other library presentations and will also appear on your paper's HTML page. The key figure is also the preferred way of posting a graphical abstract. However, if you aim to have the graphical abstract included in the article PDF file, it has to be unnumbered and must be placed directly after the text abstract. In that case, please add your graphical abstract file to your figure *.zip archive (see above).

During this file upload you are asked to (a) define your assets (optional) and (b) include a short summary. Assets are data sets, model code, or video supplements corresponding to your manuscript and should be submitted to a reliable repository including the receipt of a DOI and the citation in your manuscript. A short summary is a 500-character (incl. spaces) non-technical text that may be used to promote your work to a broader audience. It should highlight your main conclusions and results, and what the implications are. If possible, please also summarize briefly why you did the research and how you did it.

Manuscript composition

  1. Title page: the title page must include the title (concise but informative), author first and last names, full institutional addresses of all authors, and correspondence email for proofs. Deceased co-authors should be marked accordingly.
  2. 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. An abstract should be short, clear, concise, and written in English with correct spelling and good sentence structure. The inclusion of graphical abstracts depends on the format of the publication. For journal articles, the preferred way is to use the graphical abstract as key figure. It will then be used to visually advertize the paper on the journal website but is not part of the paper *.pdf file. If the graphical abstract should be part of the paper, it has to be unnumbered and must be placed directly after the text abstract. For preprints, since these have no key figure, graphical abstracts must always be included in the paper as unnumbered graphic placed directly after the text abstract.
  3. Copyright statement: the copyright statement will be included by Copernicus, if applicable.
  4. Introduction
  5. 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 should be avoided in the text, 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.
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendices: all material required to understand the essential aspects of the paper such as experimental methods, data, and interpretation should preferably be included in the main text. Additional figures, tables, as well as technical and theoretical developments which are not critical to support the conclusion of the paper, but which provide extra detail and/or support useful for experts in the field and whose inclusion in the main text would disrupt the flow of descriptions or demonstrations may be presented as 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.
  8. Code availability
  9. Data availability
  10. Interactive computing environment
  11. Sample availability
  12. Video supplement
  13. Supplement link: the link to the supplement will be included by Copernicus, if applicable.
  14. Team list: if your manuscript has been co-authored by a team, please indicate the team name in the author list on the title page of your manuscript and then add a section "Team list" providing the names of the team members and, optionally, the affiliations.
  15. Author contribution: authors are required to add a section "Author contribution" before the acknowledgements in which the contributions of all co-authors are briefly described. Example: "AA and BB designed the experiments and CC carried them out. DD developed the model code and performed the simulations. AA prepared the manuscript with contributions from all co-authors." We recommend using the CRediT contributor roles taxonomy. If some of the co-authors contributed equally to the work, we recommend to include a corresponding mark in the author list on the title page and a corresponding affiliation-type statement (example).
  16. Competing interests: a 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.
    1. If there are no competing interests in their submitted manuscripts, authors should state: "The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.".
    2. If there are possible conflicts of interest, authors must state what competing interests are relevant to the submitted work: "Author A has received research funding from Company Y. Author B is a member of committee Z.".
    3. If some authors are members of the editorial board of the journal, a sentence should be included for the sake of transparency: "Some authors are members of the editorial board of journal X.". This is sufficient during the review process, including preprints. Later, during the production of final journal articles, Copernicus Publications ensures to extend this sentence by the statement: "The peer-review process was guided by an independent editor, and the authors have also no other competing interests to declare.". Please do not include this latter statement extension in your original manuscript.
  17. Disclaimer
  18. Special issue statement: the statement on a corresponding special issue will be included by Copernicus, if applicable.
  19. Acknowledgements
  20. References

Figures & tables

Information & tools to improve the accessibility of colour figures: we are striving to improve the accessibility of colour figures for readers with colour vision deficiencies (CVD; this affects ~5% of the global population). Besides the Coblis – Color Blindness Simulator to check how your figures are perceived by those with CVD, there are several tools available to help authors create CVD-friendly figures:

  • Adobe Photoshop Accessibility: colour proofing your figures using Adobe Photoshop as an alternative approach to the Coblis simulator.
  • Scientific colour maps 7.0: freely available, citable, and validated colour schemes for your scientific figures, which address known issues. Compatible with many software tools frequently used to create graphics. Details are given in the user guide and the background of this tool is described in Crameri et al. (2020). Please cite this source when using the package.

For more information on the background and importance of addressing this issue, we refer to Stoelzle & Stein (2021).

  • Colour schemes: it is important that the colour schemes used in your maps and charts allow readers with colour vision deficiencies to correctly interpret your findings. Please check your figures using the Coblis – Color Blindness Simulator and revise the colour schemes accordingly.
  • 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. f01, f02, ..., f11). 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"). You are kindly asked to find the best balance between quality of figures (and submitted material) and overall file size. Individual figures should not exceed 5 MB, and the overall size of all submitted files excluding supplements should not exceed 30 MB. The produced paper file will contain all figures in *.jpg or *.png format. However, if authors use vector graphics, readers can download such files labelled "high-resolution" from the full-text HTML version online. Tips for producing high-quality line graphics:
    1. The first choice should be vector graphics in *.eps or *.pdf format. Fonts must be embedded. Please make sure that the *.pdf files do not contain hidden objects. If you want to adjust fonts in your original figure file before converting into *.pdf, please make sure that you change the actual font of the original figure rather than adding text boxes or other additional layers.
    2. Please use only one font family in your figures (e.g. Arial or Helvetica) and consider using sans-serif fonts. Keep in mind that the usage of regular, italic, bold, and bold-italic of one font family already leads to four different fonts that must be embedded or adjusted by our image processors in case of text corrections within figures.
    3. If the processing of your vector figures requires an exceptional amount of time due to multiple fonts or hidden objects, we reserve the right to convert your *.eps or *.pdf figures into *.png files for the further production process.
    4. If the usage of vector graphics 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
  • 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...".
  • 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:
    1. Labels of panels must be included with brackets around letters being lower case (e.g. (a), (b), etc.).
    2. Ranges need an en dash and no spaces between start and end (e.g. 1–10, Jan–Feb).
    3. Coordinates need a degree sign and a space when naming the direction (e.g. 30° N, 25° E).
    4. Spaces must be included between number and unit (e.g. 1 %, 1 m).
    5. Units must be written exponentially (e.g. W m–2).
    6. Common abbreviations to be applied: hour as h (not hr), kilometre as km, metre as m.
    7. 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.
  • 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 in the *.pdf format should not exceed 2 MB, file types other than *.pdf should not exceed 5 MB per figure, and the overall size of all submitted files, excluding supplements, should not exceed 30 MB.
  • Plot data: authors are encouraged to publicize the data needed to create the plots, which are included in the manuscript, in order to enable reviewers and readers to reproduce the plots. Ideally, such plot data is treated like any other research data and should be deposited in FAIR-aligned data repositories that assign persistent identifiers (see section data sets).
  • Tables: they 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. Coloured table cells should be avoided. 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. Please note that the word "Table" is never abbreviated and should be capitalized when followed by a number (e.g. Table 4).
  • Reproduction and reuse of figures and tables: authors must secure the right to reproduce any material that has already been published or copyrighted elsewhere, and corresponding citations must be included in the text as well as in the captions. If distribution licences other than CC BY are applied, corresponding statements must be included in the captions. If authors adapt figures from other authors they must still cite the original authors and indicate that the figure was adapted. There are three cases:
    1. Figures entirely compiled by the manuscript authors: since such figures are part of the manuscript they will receive the same distribution licence as the entire manuscript, namely a CC BY License. No citation is needed and no reproduction rights must be obtained.
    2. Figures entirely taken from another author: such figures do not follow the distribution licence of the manuscript. A citation must properly indicate the original source and reproduction rights must be granted before submitting your manuscript.
    3. Figures adapted from another author: although you adapted such a figure and included your own intellectual work, the underlying figure is still taken from another source. The citation in the figure caption must indicate the adaptation (e.g. "(adapted from Smith et al., 2014)") and the reproduction rights must be granted before submission.

Maps & aerials

  • The above-listed regulations for figures and tables are also applied to maps and aerials. The following items include additional information specifically for maps and aerials.
  • 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. If disputed territories are relevant for your map, please make sure that the figure caption stays neutral as well as the legend and labelling within your map.
  • Reproduction and reuse of maps and aerials: authors must secure the right to reproduce any material that has already been published or copyrighted elsewhere, and corresponding citations must be included in the text as well as in the captions. If distribution licences other than CC BY are applied, corresponding statements must be included in the captions. If applicable, maps from map providers such as Google Maps, Google Earth, or OpenStreetMap used in manuscripts must include the required copyright and distribution licence statements of the map provider. Authors must adhere to the individual redistribution permissions. The copyright and distribution licences of such maps must be visible in the maps themselves.
  • The way a map must be shown in your manuscripts depends on the way it was created. Sometimes a map does not need any specification in the map itself or in the caption, sometimes a credit must be given, and sometimes a full copyright statement is needed. If the map itself already contains an explicit credit or copyright statement, nothing additionally must be done in the caption. But if nothing is given in the map itself, authors must decide whether they need to add a credit or copyright statement to the caption or to the map itself. We differentiate between 5 main models:
    1. Material created by the authors: no copyright statement and no credit. Example: a digital elevation model (DEM) purely based on measurement points collected by the authors and derived by using a software product.
    2. Reuse of material from other authors: no copyright statement needed but a citation, like in most cases for figures and text paragraphs (e.g. (Smith, 2016)).
    3. Reuse of material from a map provider without requirement for a copyright statement: no copyright statement needed but a credit (e.g. ESRI or ESRI 2020).
    4. Reuse of material from a map provider with copyright needed: explicit copyright statement, no additional credit (e.g. © Google Maps 2019 or © Google Earth 2019).
    5. Reuse of material from a map provider under public domain: no copyright (since copyright is waived) and credit desirable (e.g. NOAA 2020).
  • Examples:
    • Global methane emissions: see figure 2 of paper The authors used trivial information, the borders of the countries worldwide, to give their own information, the simulated methane emission per square kilometre, a spatial reference. The gain of knowledge for the reader is the amount of methane emissions and not the borders of countries. Therefore, such a map can be cited as the authors' work and needs no extra copyright statement. This is model 1.
    • Cited map: see figure 1 of paper The authors cited a map originally published by Parker et al., 2015. The map itself contains trivial information, borders of the continents as well as some larger rivers, and complex information generated by Parker et al., the mean GOSAT methane. The original map does not need an extra copyright statement, simply a citation. This is model 2.
    • Location of the research site: see figure 1 of paper In the left panel, the authors used trivial information, the borders of counties around Beijing, to show the location of their 2 research sites. This left panel would need no copyright statement. However, to give a more detailed view on where in Beijing these sites are located, they used a part of Google Maps in the right panel and added their 2 sites. The gain of knowledge for the reader is primarily still the location of the sites. But by watching the right panel, readers can also identify extra information and, even more important, the design and content as provided by Google Maps. Due to the right panel, the figure requires a copyright statement. This is model 4.

Mathematical notation and terminology

  • Mathematical symbols and formulae: in general, mathematical symbols are typeset in italics. The most notable exceptions are function names (e.g. sin, cos), chemical formulas, and physical units, which are all typeset in roman (upright) font. Matrices are printed in boldface, and vectors in boldface italics. Variables are typeset in italics. Super- or subscripted variables should also be italics. If super- or subscripts are abbreviations (Hm for molar enthalpy) or chemical elements (μAR) it is typeset in roman. Further information on the use of italic and roman fonts for symbols in scientific text can be found in the corresponding IUPAC summary. A range of numbers should be specified as "a to b" or "a...b". The expression "a–b" is only acceptable in cases where no confusion with "a minus b" is possible.
  • Equations should be numbered sequentially with Arabic numerals in parentheses on the right-hand side, e.g. (1), (2). If too long, split them accordingly. If there are chemical formulae included, e.g. reactions, please number them (R1), (R2), etc. When using Word, the equation editor and not the graphic mode should be used under all circumstances. In the text, equations 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..."
  • Units: for units of physical quantities, the metric system is mandatory and, wherever possible, SI units should be used. Hereby, we differentiate between SI base units, SI-accepted units, and SI-derived units. Regarding the abbreviation of such units, SI base units and SI-accepted units must be abbreviated in conjunction with numbers (e.g. the velocity is 10 km h-1) and must be written out without numbers (e.g. the velocity is given in kilometres per hour). SI-derived units must also be written out when they do not contain a number. If they contain numbers, the abbreviation is preferred where possible (e.g. the average atmospheric pressure is 1013 hPa), but authors can decide not to abbreviate them if no abbreviation is commonly used (e.g. the distance is 237 nautical miles). Regarding the notation, if units of physical quantities are in the denominator, contain numbers, and are abbreviated, they must be formatted with negative exponents (e.g. 10 km h-1 instead of 10 km/h). Commonly used examples for units without abbreviation are week, month, or decade. These should be written out and not be formatted with negative exponent if placed in the denominator (e.g. 10 kg per week). Units of non-physical quantities must not be abbreviated and if they are in a denominator, they must also not be exponentially notated (e.g. two cars per household).
  • Date and time: 25 July 2007 (dd month yyyy), 15:17:02 (hh:mm:ss). Often it is necessary to specify the time if referring to local time or universal time coordinated. This can be done by adding "LT" or "UTC", respectively. If needed when referring to years, CE (common era) and BCE (before the common era) should be used instead of AD and BC since CE and BCE are more appropriate in interfaith dialogue and science.
  • In addition, the SI and IUPAC recommendations should be followed:
    1. SI brochure
    2. IUPAC Green Book, 3rd edition
    3. IUPAC Gold Book

English guidelines and house standards

After typesetting and before we send your manuscript galley proof, we apply English language copy-editing "lite". It is our priority to preserve the author's voice while ensuring grammatically correct and consistent language. The following aims to provide guidelines for authors on how to compose their manuscript with regards to conventions of English. Please note that the copy editor is responsible for applying these guidelines in addition to checking the grammar and punctuation of each manuscript (see English copy-editing services for more information). However, assistance from the author will expedite the production process.

  • Variety of English: we accept all standard varieties of English in order to retain the author’s voice. However, the variety should be consistent within each article. For an international readership, Oxford spelling using -z- variants instead of -s- (e.g. characterize) is often utilized. When using Oxford spellings, please do so consistently. For example, if "characterize" is spelled as such, then the -z- variant should be used for all such words throughout the article. The use (or lack thereof) of the Oxford (serial) comma should also be consistent. For more information, please see the Wikipedia pages about Oxford spelling and Oxford (serial) commas. Authors will be prompted to select an English variety when they upload the final revised version of the manuscript. The copy editor will then ensure that the variety is consistent.
  • Scientific jargon: as is commonplace in scientific writing, the word "data" is considered a countable noun (e.g. data are, data were, data include).
  • Tenses: we choose to remain flexible in the use of tense but expect consistency and readability. In some contexts it might be applicable to switch tenses within a sentence. For example, "Doe found that large pitch oscillations result in a significant drop in power output" would be acceptable.
  • Spelling: we recommend consulting one of the following dictionaries: Cambridge, Merriam-Webster, or Collins. Where appropriate, use the anglicized version of place names (e.g. Zurich, Rome, Munich). Names that have been transliterated into English often have numerous spelling variants. For geographical locations, we consult The Times Atlas of the World for the most commonly used spelling. Please ensure that foreign names have the appropriate diacritics (e.g. accents, umlauts). In accordance with IUPAC, it is our house standard to use the -f- spelling for sulfur (instead of sulphur) and related words for all varieties of English.
  • Abbreviations
    • Abbreviations should be avoided in the title, depending on the length and familiarity of abbreviation.
    • They need to be defined in the abstract and then again at the first instance in the rest of the text. In order to avoid ambiguity, abbreviations that could have numerous meanings must be defined (e.g. "GCM" could stand for "global climate model" or "general circulation model"). This generally does not apply to abbreviations that are better known than their written-out form (e.g. NASA, GPS, GIS, MODIS).
    • Units do not need to be defined.
    • Please note that most abbreviations in the plural are followed by the suffix –s (e.g. GCMs, RMSEs), although there are some exceptions (e.g. CCN, ECMWF).
    • Ma and Myr (also Ga, ka; Gyr, kyr): "Ma" stands for "mega-annum" and literally means millions of years ago, thus referring to a specific time/date in the past as measured from now. In contrast, "Myr" stands for millions of years and is used in reference to duration (CSE, p. 398; North American commission on stratigraphic nomenclature).
    • CE (common era) and BCE (before the common era) should be used instead of AD and BC since CE and BCE are more appropriate in interfaith dialogue and science.
  • Capitalization
    • Titles and headings follow sentence-style capitalization (i.e. first word and proper nouns only). This applies to table and figure headings as well.
    • Proper nouns should be capitalized. A proper noun refers to a unique entity. If there is more than one of the item in question, it is probably not a proper noun and should not be capitalized. A capitalized abbreviation does not necessarily warrant the capitalization of the written-out form. For example "LAI" is capitalized, but "leaf area index" is not. Non-standard usage of capitalization is only acceptable for proper nouns (e.g. "SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY" as the written-out form of "SCIAMACHY").
    • The capitalization of the term "earth" is disputed and based on subjective criteria. Please simply ensure that the capitalization (or lack thereof) is consistent.
    • Cardinal directions should only be capitalized when part of a proper noun (e.g. South Dakota, Northern Ireland, North America, but eastern France). If you are unsure, consult an atlas.
    • Capitalize generic geographic terms, such as "river", when they are part of a place name, but do not capitalize the generic term when it appears on its own, when it follows a capitalized generic term, or when it is in the plural (e.g. Mississippi River, Mississippi River basin, Mississippi and Missouri rivers).
    • Capitalize taxonomic ranks genus and higher.
    • "Early", "middle", and "late" are capitalized only when part of the formal name but lower-cased when used as modifiers of formal names (e.g. Early Jurassic, early Miocene, late Pliocene). This applies to "upper", "middle", and "lower" as well. For more information, we recommend consulting the International Commission on Stratigraphy and Geological Society of America.
  • Italicization
    • Italic font may be used for emphasis, although this should be used sparingly (e.g. data were almost consistent).
    • Foreign words, phrases, and abbreviations that cannot be found in any English dictionary (this does not apply to proper nouns) are italicized. Common Latin phrases are not italicized (for example, et al., cf., e.g., a priori, in situ, bremsstrahlung, and eigenvalue).
    • Ship names are italic, but their prefixes are roman (e.g. RV Polarstern).
    • Genus and species names are italic; high-order taxonomic ranks are roman.
    • When mentioned in running text, the names of books, journals, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers are italicized.
  • Numbers
    • For items other than units of time or measure, use words for cardinal numbers less than 10; use numerals for 10 and above (e.g. three flasks, seven trees, 6 m, 9 d, 10 desks).
    • Spell out ordinals "first" to "ninth".
    • Use numerals with units and expressions when used in a scientific or mathematical sense (e.g. increased 2-fold, 1 standard deviation, 3 orders of magnitude, 2 times the height (but the beaker was rinsed two times), a factor of 3).
    • Spell out numbers when they begin a sentence or when the sentence cannot be reformulated.
    • For very large numbers, use a combination of numerals and words (e.g. 1 billion people).
    • Use all numerals in a series or range containing numbers 10 or greater (e.g. 5, 7, and 13 experiments) or in a parallel construction.
    • Use words for instances such as "tens of millennia" and "non-zero".
    • Spell out and hyphenate fractions in which the numerator and denominator are both less than 10 (e.g. two-thirds).
  • Hyphens
    • Do not use hyphens between an adverb ending in –ly and the word it is modifying (e.g. "statistically based results", not "statistically-based results").
    • Latin phrases should not be hyphenated (e.g. "in situ", not "in-situ").
    • It is our house standard not to hyphenate modifiers containing abbreviated units (e.g. "3-m stick" should be "3 m stick"). This also applies to the other side of the hyphenated term (e.g. "3 m long rope", not "3-m-long rope").
  • En dashes (–) are longer than hyphens (-) and serve numerous purposes. Please note that we use spaced en dashes for syntactic constructions, not em dashes (—). En dashes are used to indicate, among other things, relationships (e.g. ocean–atmosphere exchange), ranges (e.g. 12–20 months), and components of a mixture (e.g. dissolved in 5:1 glycerin–water). They are also used to link the names of two or more persons used as a modifier (e.g. Stefan–Boltzmann constant).
  • Quotes
    • Use double quotation marks in all instances, unless quotation marks are also required within material surrounded by double quotation marks.
    • In these intra-quotation-mark instances, single quotation marks are used. Please note that quoted material should be punctuated with quotation marks but not italicized.
    • In quotations from printed sources, the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation should normally follow the original.
    • Quotations can also be used to denote an unfamiliar or newly coined term or phrase. They may also be used to introduce a term but only once at the first instance.
    • It is our house standard to position commas and periods outside the end quotation marks.
    • The following titles should be surrounded by quotation marks in running text: journal articles, book chapters, and series titles (special issues).


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 published manuscript should be published already, accepted for publication, or available as a preprint with a DOI. In addition to literature, data and software used should be referenced (citations should appear in the body of the article with a corresponding reference in the reference list). These references have to be listed alphabetically at the end of the manuscript under the first author's name. Works "submitted to", "in preparation", or "in review" can be cited upon submission with entry in the reference list, as long as these works are available to the reviewers (either on an external server or as review asset). Such works should not be cited in the final, accepted manuscript, unless published, accepted for publication, or available as preprint with a DOI. 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 Journal Title Abbreviations by Caltech Library, followed by the volume number, the complete page numbers (first and last page), the digital object identifier (DOI), 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 below.

If there is more than one work by the same first author, their 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-text citations

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. In-text citations can be displayed as "[…] Smith (2009) […]", or "[…] (Smith, 2009) […]". If the author's name is part of the sentence structure only the year is put in parentheses ("As we can see in the work of Smith (2009) the precipitation has increased"). If the author's name is not part of the sentence, name and year are put in parentheses ("Precipitation increase was observed (Smith, 2009)"). If you refer to multiple references at the same position all references are put in parentheses separated by semicolons ("Precipitation increase was observed (Smith, 2009; Mueller et al., 2010)").

Copernicus style files

Examples for reference sorting

Reference list Short citation
Single author: chronologically
Smith, P.: …, 2009. Smith, 2009
Smith, P.: …, 2010a. Smith, 2010a
Smith, P.: …, 2010b. Smith, 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

Examples for reference types

  • Journal article
    • Author(s) (initials always after last name)
    • Article title
    • Journal title abbreviation
    • Volume
    • Page numbers or article number
    • DOI
    • Year
  • Porter, J. G., De Bruyn, W., and Saltzman, E. S.: Eddy flux measurements of sulfur dioxide deposition to the sea surface, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 15291–15305,, 2018.
  • Preprint
    • Author(s) (initials always after last name)
    • Preprint title
    • Preprint server name [preprint]
    • Persistent identifier as link
    • Published date
  • Jung, M., Koirala, S., Weber, U., Ichii, K., Gans, F., Gustau-Camps-Valls, Papale, D., Schwalm, C., Tramontana, G., and Reichstein, M.: The FLUXCOM ensemble of global land-atmosphere energy fluxes, arXiv [preprint], arXiv:1812.04951, 11 December 2018.
  • Book
    • Author(s), editor(s) (initials always after last name)
    • Book title
    • Edition
    • Series title and volume (if any)
    • Editors (if not authors)
    • Publisher
    • Location (optional)
    • Total pages (optional) pp.
    • Persistent identifier (e.g., DOI [preferred], ISBN)
    • Year
  • Singh, O. N. and Fabian, P. (Eds.): Atmospheric Ozone: a Millennium Issue, Copernicus Publications, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, 147 pp., ISBN 393658608X, 2003.
  • Book chapter
    • Author(s) (initials always after last name)
    • Article title
    • Book title
    • Edition (if any)
    • Editors (if any)
    • Publisher
    • Location (optional)
    • Page numbers of article in book
    • Persistent identifier (e.g., DOI [preferred], ISBN)
    • Year
  • van Edig, X., Schwarze, S., and Zeller, M.: The robustness of indicator based poverty assessment tools in changing environments – empirical evidence from Indonesia, in: Tropical Rainforests and Agroforests under Global Change, Environmental Science and Engineering (Environmental Engineering), edited by: Tscharntke, T., Leuschner, C., Veldkamp, E., Faust, H., Guhardja, E., and Bidin, A., Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany, 191–211,, 2010.
  • Presented paper
    • Author(s) (initials always after last name)
    • Paper title
    • Name of meeting/conference
    • Location of meeting/conference
    • Date of meeting/conference
    • Abstract number
    • Persistent identifier (DOI preferred)
    • Year
  • Buiter, S.: How syn-rift sedimentation promotes the formation of hyper-extended margins, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18622,, 2020.
  • Presented paper published in conference proceedings
    • Author(s) (initials always after last name)
    • Paper title
    • Proceedings title
    • Name of meeting/conference
    • Location of meeting/conference
    • Date of meeting/conference
    • Abstract number or page numbers
    • Persistent identifier (DOI preferred)
    • Year
  • Iwata, M., Matsumoto, H., and Kojima, H.: Computer experiments on the plasma wave generation in the vicinity of Earths bow shock, in: Proceedings of the 6th International School, Symposium on Space Plasma Simulation Overview, Garching, Germany, 3–8 September 2001, 4–6, 2001.
  • Software and model code, interactive computing environments (e.g., Jupyter Notebooks)
    • Creator(s)
    • Title
    • Publisher/repository [code]
    • Persistent identifier (DOI preferred)
    • Publication year
  • Software/model code: Randall, D., Dazlich, D., Heikes, R., and Konor, C.: CSU model for DCMIP 2016, Zenodo [code],, 2017.
  • Interactive computing environment: Cheng, K.-Y., Harris, L. M., Zhou, L., Lin, S.-J., Mouallem, J., Benson, R., Clark, S., Gao, K., Chen, X., Chen, J.-H., Sun, Y. Q., Tong, M., Xiang, B., Chilutti, L., Morin, M., Bender, M., Elbert, O. D., Kaltenbaugh, A., Marchok, T., Huff, J. J., and Stern, W.: SHiELD v2021b in a container, Docker Hub [code],, 2021.
  • Data set
    • Creator(s)
    • Title
    • Publisher/repository [data set]
    • Persistent identifier (DOI preferred)
    • Publication year
  • Loew, A., Bennartz, R., Fell, F., Lattanzio, A., Doutriaux-Boucher, M., and Schulz, J.: Surface Albedo Validation Sites, EUMETSAT [data set],, 2015.
  • Sample
    • Creator(s)
    • Title
    • Publisher/repository [sample]
    • Persistent identifier (DOI preferred) or URL
    • Publication year
  • Anderson, R., Kalk, P., Froelich, F., Flleisher, M., Bouchard, G., and Schwartz, R.: PA9802-04-01, Lamont-Doherty Core Repository at Columbia University (LDCR) [sample],, 1998.
  • Report, map, thesis, and dissertation
    • Author(s) (Initials always after last name!)
    • Title
    • Report designator (M.S., Ph.D., etc.)
    • Issuing organization/university
    • Location (optional)
    • Total pages (optional) pp.
    • Persistent identifier (DOI preferred)
    • Year
  • Monger, J. W. H. and Journeay, J. M.: Guide to the geology and tectonic evolution of the southern Coast Mountains, Geol. Surv. of Can., Ottawa, Ont., Open File Rep. 2490, 77 pp., 1994.
  • Brown, R. J. E.: Permafrost in Canada, Geol. Surv. of Can., Ottawa, Ont., Map 1246A, 1967.
  • Kronberg, E. A.: Dynamics of the Jovian Magnetotail, Ph.D. thesis, International Max Planck Research School, Universities of Braunschweig and Göttingen, Germany, 133 pp., 2006.
  • Webpages
    • Title
    • URL
    • Access date
    • Year (if not the same as access date)
  • Copernicus Publications:, last access: 25 October 2018.