Geology & Geophysics AGU News

Providing Greater Context for Earth and Space Science Research

A new "highlights" page, plain-language summaries, and other recent initiatives further enhance the material in journals and books published by the American Geophysical Union.

By and

An article last August described how the American Geophysical Union (AGU) had expanded communications related to its new journal articles to provide more context around AGU-published science. Now AGU has added yet more forms of content and collections to provide even richer context for both AGU journal articles and books.

At, scientific press releases about AGU journal papers have recently joined the publication’s news, opinion, and other content. On, as well, Editors’ Vox blog posts offer discussion of hot topics in different scientific fields, interviews with authors of recent papers and books, and other contributions from the editors of AGU journals and books. Meanwhile, research spotlights, which now share a section of with the newly included scientific press releases, continue to summarize some of the most interesting papers from across AGU journals and to rank among the most read items on the website.

Added as a regular enhancement of AGU journal content last year, close to 100 commentaries presented the views of Earth and space science researchers on recent science, publications, meetings, and policy in 2016. Commentaries now reside in a special collection organized by topic. The editors are continually commissioning more.

Synoptic View of Enhancements

To help readers better navigate these and other enhancements that build upon our journal content, we’ve pulled together recently featured papers across all of AGU’s journals onto one highlights page. This synoptic view includes the content types mentioned above, as well as links to recent AGU papers mentioned in the mainstream news media and to those trending on social media. The page also notes recently published AGU books, journal cover images, and special issues across AGU journals.

In addition, many authors are now providing plain-language summaries of their papers. Each summary appears as an additional abstract in both the HTML and PDF versions of the journal article. Those summaries that best explain the science in a straightforward and jargon-free way for a public audience are featured on social media. Soon, the highlights page will include those outstanding summaries as well.

We encourage authors to use their plain-language summaries in their outreach, including via their social media platforms. We have pulled together a guide for authors that offers resources and suggestions to help them explain their science to the public.

Overall, about 15% of AGU’s content now receives some type of additional coverage, with the goals of making Earth and space sciences more accessible and interesting and demonstrating the relevance of those sciences to society. Assistant director of publications Jenny Lunn coordinates and leads these efforts by AGU staff.

—Jenny Lunn (email: [email protected]), Assistant Director of Publications, AGU; Brooks Hanson, Director of Publications, AGU

Citation: Lunn, J., and B. Hanson (2017), Providing greater context for Earth and space science research, Eos, 98, Published on 12 April 2017.
© 2017. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
  • Emmanuel V Masongsong

    Yes I noticed the plain language summaries, outstanding idea! Keep up the wonderful work translating these important discoveries to the public, especially now that NASA education funding has been cut and the future of public school science is in jeopardy…