New Guidelines for Manuscript Submission to the Journal of Geodesy

by Jürgen Kusche Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Geodesy
This article is published with the special permission of Springer-Verlag GmbH, part of Springer-Nature 2018

Journal of Geodesy, as the merger and continuation of Bulletin Géodésique and Manuscripta Geodaetica, represents the oldest and most venerable international geodesy journal. Its mission is to disseminate high-quality papers on scientific problems of geodesy and related interdisciplinary sciences, concerning the entire range from theoretical and modeling studies to results of experiments and interpretations. Among regular research papers, the Journal of Geodesy publishes topical collections in the form of special issues, short notes (brief papers that are of exceptional significance to a broad readership), and, occasionally, review papers. With a Journal Impact Factor (JIF) of 4.633 for 2017, it is now among the top-cited geosciences journal of the past 2 years.

The core editorial process—to each submission, the Editor-in-Chief assigns a knowledgeable editor from the group of editorial board members (which is approved every 4 years by the International Association of Geodesy, IAG), this handling editor then obtains three reviews—has hardly changed over the years. Five-year average turnover times at the Journal of Geodesy are 54 days since submission to first decision, and 18 days since acceptance to publication in online first. We are aware that relying on three reviews may sometimes be in the way of more rapid publication, but we firmly believe that it is important for maintaining the quality level of our contributions, which is the most important asset of the journal.

Yet, as with any journal, during the years a number of minor modifications and updates have been made both to the workflows of submission and review and to the editorial policies which shape the EB’s decisions. As a result, we felt the need to clarify these workflows and policies to our authors in the form of a set of guidelines. These guidelines, which augment Springer’s generic guidelines for authors, can be downloaded from the journal Web site.

In addition and starting January 1, 2019, there will be two new elements to be considered by authors:

Author Contribution Statement (ACS)

All original articles will have to include an Author Contribution Statement (ACS). Authorship confers credit and has important academic, social, and sometimes financial implications, and it implies responsibility for the work. But since authorship itself does not communicate what contributions qualified for an individual to have (co-) authored the work, we decided to create transparency by introducing a mandatory ACS. The ACS should follow the conclusions or discussion section of the manuscript; an example would simply be: Author contributions: A.B. designed the research; C.D. and E.F. performed the research; G.H., I.J., and K.L. analyzed the data; and A.B., C.D., and G.H. wrote the paper.

Data Availability Statement (DAS)

The editorial board supports the move of IAG toward an open data policy, yet we recognize that authors of the Journal of Geodesy have their data often scattered over multiple databases and it would be impractical to define a few community-mandated central repositories as in other data-driven sciences. Therefore, to improve transparency and repeatability, all original articles will have to include a Data Availability Statement (DAS). The DAS should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analyzed or generated during the study. By data, we mean the minimal dataset that would be necessary to interpret, replicate, and build upon the findings reported in the article. In exceptional cases, where data are not publicly available, the DAS should still state the data owner and any conditions for access.

The Journal of Geodesy will continue to strive to disseminate the top-quality papers in geodesy.


This document has been provided by the Communicational and Outreach Branch of the International Association of Geodesy.