AGU’s 20 peer-reviewed scientific journals span topics in the Earth and space sciences. Credit: AGU

AGU journals published more than 6500 papers in 2017, led by Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) with more than 1400 papers. We continue to experience increases in submissions and publications into 2018. We are grateful to the more than 400 editors and associate editors, as well as thousands of reviewers, who help guide the journals and these papers through to publication; they continue to give generously of their time and scientific exprtise. In addition to publishing the highest quality geoscience, AGU journals offer a range of new features to benefit our authors, editors, and readers.

Greater Access, Custom Searches

All AGU content migrated to Atypon’s Literatum web platform in April 2018. This provides journal readers with improved and customizable search capabilities and alerts. AGU books are now integrated into the same platform making series, volumes, and individual chapters more visible and searchable. For example, targeted topical searches can be saved to a weekly alert for new content across all journals.

Authors and readers can share full articles with colleagues worldwide

Also, through Wiley’s Content Sharing service, authors and readers can share full articles with colleagues worldwide, even with people without a subscription to that journal. All AGU journal content published after 1996 continues to be freely available 24 months after publication.

Reduced Fees, New Manuscript Types

AGU continues to increase publication options for authors. Fees for open access papers in Water Resources Research have been reduced to $2500, and the publication fees for papers in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-Cubed) have been reduced to $500 for a trial period.

G-Cubed and Earth and Space Science now welcome shorter letters-length manuscripts

G-Cubed and Earth and Space Science now welcome shorter letters-length manuscripts, in response to the continued popularity of shorter papers in GRL, as well as papers on important data sets. Another recent initiative: Radio Science has added ‘Technical Reports: Methods’ as a new manuscript type.

Expanded Scopes, Special Collections

Several journals recently expanded their scopes, reflecting the growth of transdisciplinary fields. The new title Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology (formally Paleoceanography) supports the continued growth of that field and broader systems approach to understanding past climates. The Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems (JAMES) has expanded its scope to include ocean modeling.

Special collections that are currently open for submission include The Three Major Hurricanes of 2017, Cassini’s Final Year, and Fog

Water Resources Research, JGR: Earth Surface, and JGR: Biogeosciences are collaborating on a special collection on the critical zone—the key area of biological, physical, and chemical interaction that forms and defines Earth’s surface. Other new special collections that are currently open for submission include The Three Major Hurricanes of 2017: Harvey, Irma and Maria, Cassini’s Final Year: Science Highlights and Discoveries, and Fog: Atmosphere, biosphere, land, and ocean interactions.

Broader Outreach, Societal Focus

AGU selects more than 10% of its journal content to be featured beyond the readership of each journal. Editors recommend the most interesting, newsworthy, or scientifically significant papers to be featured as Research Spotlights, Editors’ Highlights, Editors’ Vox, or via AGU’s social media channels. In addition, we issued 56 Press Releases in 2017 about new scientific findings published in AGU journals and presented at AGU meetings. The AGU public information department also posted more 130 items about new AGU research on the GeoSpace Blog.

AGU press activities resulted in more than 31,000 mentions in the media in 2017, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. Through a collaboration with Wiley, if AGU journal content is featured in a news story, the media outlet can enable the sharing function to give their readers access to the full research article. This will further increase public engagement with important scholarly research.

Scientific research greatly contributes to understanding, addressing, and mitigating major challenges facing humankind

We believe that scientific research greatly contributes to understanding, addressing, and mitigating major challenges facing humankind. In 2017 we published a collection of commentaries entitled Earth and Space Science is Essential for Society illustrating the relevance of Earth and space science research. This collection has been expanded further for this year. All AGU commentaries are always free to access.

New Initiatives, Editor Search

AGU Publications are playing an important role in AGU’s upcoming Centennial celebrations by commissioning a set of papers on Grand Challenges in Earth and space science. These articles will explore fundamental questions in our understanding of Earth and space, from climate change and earthquake prediction, to weather on Mars and forecasting solar eruptions. Starting in late 2018 and through 2019, the papers will be published across AGU journals as a special collection. The Grand Challenges papers will be free to access and accompanied by additional information to make them accessible to the general reader.

Five AGU journals are all seeking new Editors-in-Chief for 2019. Why not consider applying?

Meanwhile, Earth and Space Science, Geophysical Research Letters, JGR: Planets, JGR: Earth Surface, and Radio Science are all seeking new Editors-in-Chief for 2019. This is an excellent opportunity to help lead these areas of science forward into AGU’s Centennial year and beyond. Why not consider applying for a four-year term?

—Brooks Hanson, Executive Vice President of Science; Barbara Meyers Ford, Interim Vice President of Publications; and Jenny Lunn, Director of Publications, American Geophysical Union; email:


Hanson, B.,Ford, B. M., and Lunn, J. (2018), AGU publications continue to expand, diversify, and adapt, Eos, 99, Published on 26 June 2018.

Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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