Figure File Transfers in GEMS

There is a cool new feature in the GEM manuscript submission system of which I think people should be made aware. A quote from the page: “You are now able to transfer files from the previous version of your manuscript. If you have already uploaded individual files in publication-ready formats, you may bring them over to the revised submission.”

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When authors are submitting a revised version of a manuscript, the “Upload Files” tab at the GEMS submission site will now have a table of files available for transfer from the previous version of the same paper. This list will include essentially everything except the manuscript text and responses to reviewers. The big things it will include are the figure files and the auxiliary material files. If the figure files are not being modified in the new version of your manuscript, then this new feature should save you time in uploading the revision.

Even if the figures are being renumbered, you can still transfer those that did not change. For instance, if you are inserting a new “Figure 1″ into the methodology section of your paper, but otherwise keeping all of the other figures the same, then you will only need to upload that new figure and not all of the others. The others can be transferred from the earlier version and simply renumbered/relabeled in the GEMS system.

I am rather excited about this new feature. Considering that I just had a paper go through the system with 28 auxiliary files, none of which changed from initial submission to final acceptance, this would have been highly convenient for me to simply click the button and propagate the original upload from version to subsequent version. I hope that you find it a useful new tool when submitting revised manuscripts to AGU journals.

I say “to AGU journals” because this new feature has been installed across all of the GEMS submission sites. So, whether you are submitting to JGR Space Physics, JGR Planets, GRL, Space Weather, Reviews of Geophysics, Radio Science, or Earth and Space Science (I think I covered all of the AGU titles in which space papers appear), you have this option to transfer unchanged figure files from one version to the next.

I’d also like to point out that this feature is being added, at least in part, because of the space physics community’s conversational engagement with me about improving AGU journals. This feature in GEMS was requested by space physicists and I passed it on to AGU HQ. In their latest round of GEMS upgrades, they put it in. Now, perhaps AGU received many such requests, or perhaps they were already thinking of doing this. I have no idea if we can take full credit for its implementation, but I think that we can take a little bit. Thank you very much for your input! I appreciate it, I pass it on, and it has an effect. Keep it coming!

Women In Science

My colleague, Dana Hurley, wrote an Eos forum article, “Women Count,” published last week, addressing the issue of the underrepresentation of female scientists on planetary mission teams. This is an important reminder of a rather sad state of affairs in space and planetary science: a dearth of women in leadership positions. I highly encourage you to read it.

A main point of the article is that this imbalance is probably not overt sexism, but rather a subconscious instinct to surround ourselves with those very similar to ourselves. At the formation of a team for an upcoming mission, the mission PI chooses instrument PIs that he knows, who in turn form a small science team for that specific instrument. Because the field was historically dominated by men in the senior positions, this system of team formation leads to selection of more men on the instrument teams, which aggregate into a mission team that is seriously out of balance with the gender proportion of the community. This imbalance applies far beyond the specific example of planetary mission teams analyzed in the article. This is true across many leadership positions across a number of scientific communities.

Then, of course, there is the bigger issue of recruiting and retaining women in science, let alone being in a leadership position. The article cites a number of 27% for the female population of the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Science. AGU’s membership is about the same: according to the 2012 AGU Annual Report, it was 65% male, 22% female, and 13% not reporting (so, ~25% of those reporting were female). We shouldn’t be satisfied with these numbers that are so out of line with the general population.

The article ends with a call to action: count. Pay attention to the number of women “on the team” or “in the room.” Even more importantly, ask the leaders about how the team is being formulated, and pose the question: “Are there candidates for this team who are female/early career/international/minority?” We should all, men and women alike, feel empowered to ask this question and offer suggestions for improving team diversity.

Furthermore, we should expand our usual definition of “team” and “room” here to include any group or cohort, be it a research project investigator team, an advisory committee, a special session organizing crew, a proposal review panel, or a dinner group at a conference. It would be great to be blind to gender in our professional lives, but until we have equity, it is important to follow Dr. Hurley’s advice and take it into account.

New “AGU Space” Facebook Page

When I created this blog, I also created a Facebook page for JGR-Space Physics. The main thing that I have used it for, however, was to spread the news of a new blog post, with very little extra content on it. This is about to change!

With the help and support of AGU HQ staff, my journal-specific Facebook page has been converted to a section-wide forum for all of Space Physics and Aeronomy. The new link is here:

with a cover art graphic:

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and profile “picture:”


I love it! A big thank you to all of the AGU HQ staff that worked hard to make this happen, and a huge thank you to those that helped with my weird special unlike/re-like request so that the conversion of ownership could go quickly and easily.

There are now several administrators for this page (and perhaps even more in the future) that will regularly post information about news, upcoming events, science tidbits, and journal article highlights. I will still be posting links to new blog articles here, but please look forward to a lot more content coming your way through this social media channel. Please feel free to post on the wall of AGU Space!

Using the JGR Space Physics App

Okay, yes, this took me a long time and probably should have done it as soon as I became EiC, but last month I finally loaded the JGR Space Physics app onto my phone. My experience with it can be summed up in a word: fantastic!

It seems very easy to navigate and you can get the full article text right there on your mobile device. The menu starts with “Early View” articles, assuming that you are using the app to check out the latest papers available from the journal, but it has an “Issues” tab that allows you to browse through any article since the creation of the app, which was about a year ago. It also has a “Saved Articles” tab for quickly pulling up any article that you flag for inclusion in this folder. This feature seems especially handy as I go through the issues and identify the papers of most interest to me.

Reading papers on my phone was actually pretty easy for me to accept. The default font size is big, making it very readable on the tiny screen. I find it much easier to read than many news apps, which insist on a much smaller font size. The size is adjustable, too, in the Settings tab. The figures on embedded just like in the HTML version of the paper and clicking on them opens a larger view. In fact, allowing better adjustability of papers for mobile devices was one of the driving factors in switching to the new single-column paper format.

One of the best features that I have found regarding the app is the “roaming” feature. Being at a major research university, I have access to most journals that I want to browse through institutional subscriptions, and this is true for AGU journals. With the app, you need log in (and perhaps create an account) at the Wiley Online Library and turn on “roaming access” under the “My profile” top menu link. When you download the app and request institutional access, you get instructions on how to do this. When you first set it up, the mobile device must be on the wifi network on the institution. After that, however, the app will remember this connection that you have with an institutional subscription and still allow access to any article. I really like this feature for reading on my phone wherever I am, like this week being in Portland at the LWS Workshop.

There is one critical issue about the app regarding institutional access: your roaming access must be refreshed every 90 days. That is, after 3 months, you have to bring the device within the wifi network of the institution, go to the Wiley website, and click a button to reinstate access for another 3 months. This mild inconvenience is a tradeoff that allows “anywhere” access to those with subscriptions while also trying to limit fraud. Specifically, it prevents one-time visitors to a subscriber institution from “forever onward” having unlimited access to journal articles. People can make such connections, but they expire after 90 days.

I highly encourage you to check out the mobile apps for AGU’s journals. I’ve installed several of them now and I’m enjoying their use.

AGU Has an Open Search For a New EiC of Radio Science

Happy Halloween!

I would like to reiterate the call in Eos, the SPA Newsletter, and other places that there is an open call for nominations/applications for the Editor-in-Chief of Radio Science. The announcement can be found here:

The PDF of the call with full details is here:

Radio Science has been around for near 50 years. It focuses on ” measurement, modeling, prediction, and forecasting techniques pertinent to fields and waves.” In perusing the recent articles in the journal, it is mostly a space physics publication, specifically ionospheric in nature, but the topic is not limited to this field alone. There are also atmospheric and ground measurements made with radio frequency signals and a significant fraction of the papers in Radio Science extend its scope well beyond that of JGR Space Physics. Furthermore, while many of the papers are experimentally oriented, its focus is not limited to instrumentation and data analysis but spans theoretical and numerical studies of electromagnetic propagation and interaction with materials, fluids, or other waves. The only two things it specifically excludes are wave propagation in “biological media” or optical (i.e., visible) frequencies.


Radio Science has been doing very well the last few years under its current leadership crew. Dr. Paul Cannon of the University of Birmingham is the current EiC, who works along with one other editor, Joshua Le-Wei Li of the University of Science and Technology of China, and a long list of Associate Editors.

Sometimes a manuscript comes in to JGR Space Physics, Radio Science, or Space Weather that is better suited for one of the others. We work together with the author to fit the manuscript into the publication that will reach the appropriate audience and best fit the scope of the journal. So, I am very interested to see who is selected for this position, because it is someone with whom I will regularly collaborate on editorial issues.

The deadline for applications is actually upon us: October 31. Yes, today! They are usually a bit flexible on these deadlines, though, so you probably have the weekend to mull it over. Please think about this, contact Paul with specific questions about editing and leading this journal, and consider serving in this role for the space physics community. The application is simply a letter of interest and a CV. In fact, you can even nominate someone else, and the search committee will take this into account in their deliberations.

Soliciting Input on arXiv

My post last month generated some interesting discussion, both comments on the post but also emails and in-person conversations directly with me. It seems that arXiv is only marginally used by the Earth and planetary space physics communities but is extensively used by the solar physics community.

We have started a conversation among the JGR Space Physics editorial board, AGU staff, and the AGU Publications Committee about the issue of non-profit preprint repositories and their relationship to AGU’s dual publication policy. We are trying to identify and discuss the pros and cons of such repositories, their current usage by various communities, and if/how AGU should revise its stance on this topic. The short answer is that the evidence is mixed, the opinions varied, and decision is difficult. Steadily and surely, though, we’re making progress and moving our discussion forward.

I would like to solicit community input on this topic. Please share with us your thoughts, joys, concerns, and suggestions about your experiences with arXiv or other preprint/reprint sharing sites. You can do this several ways: post a comment below; send me an email; or contact any of the other editors of JGR Space Physics. We want to hear from you and we want to include the community perspective in this discussion.

Live from the SWMF Users Meeting

As I sit here at the inaugural “SWMF Users Meeting” here at the University of Michigan, I realize that I am listening to many talks in space physics subdisciplines that are far from my regular stomping grounds. It’s an interesting day, though, and reminds me that we all too often limit our scientific interactions to others working in our immediate niche of space physics. This is natural; we have limited time to listen to others and so we focus on attending presentations within our specialty. There is a lot to learn from interdisciplinary interactions, though, and I highly encourage everyone to take the time to listen to presentations beyond their normal scientific comfort zone.

We have several opportunities to do this in the coming years. For one, there is the LWS Workshop on “Evolving Solar Activity and Its Influence on Space and Earth” in early November. The organizers intentionally invited a broad range of solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric, and ionosphere-thermosphere researchers to come together and spend a few days talking with each other. I am a huge fan of these cross-fertilizing meetings and I am looking forward to the week in Portland. Soon after this, of course, there is the Fall AGU Meeting in mid-December. With over 20,000 attendees, this meeting can feel overwhelming. It’s a fairly easy thing to stay in the particular room of your discipline and spend the entire week among familiar concepts. This meeting, though, also makes it easy to wander into the adjacent room or poster aisle and experience a very different set of presentations. It’s worth your while to do this every now and then. This spring, we have back-to-back-to-back opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction, with the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna in mid-March, the inaugural Triennial Earth-Sun Summit, the joint SPA-SPD meeting to be held in Indianapolis in late April, and the AGU Joint Assembly in Montreal the following week. Finally, more opportunities for such interaction exist at the summer meetings of IUGG General Assembly (in Prague in late June) and the AOGS Annual Meeting (in Singapore in early August). I am sure I am forgetting other meetings of this nature, but you get the idea…we have lots of opportunities for extending our scientific experience beyond our regular boundaries.

To tie this post to JGR Space Physics: on the publication front, I encourage you to read papers that are not only in your specialty but also across the scope of the journal. Yes, this takes time, and it is easy to sign up for an alert that tailors the notification to your exact interest. However, it is useful to occasionally read a paper outside of your normal area of expertise.

Submitting to Earth and Space Sciences

As I look through my stack of work for the weekend ahead, I see that I have waiting for me the Nth round version of my grad student’s paper that we are preparing for Earth and Space Sciences. It’s nearly there and I hope we submit it in the next week. With this, I get to check off a goal to myself to submit a manuscript to ESS within the year. Woohoo! I think that I will still try fo r a first-author submission to it as well, but for now, this counts.

For those that haven’t discovered its existence yet, Earth and Space Sciences is the newest AGU journal, just launched this summer.


The paper we’re submitting is a model verification and validation paper. While the paper does not include much in the way of new scientific results, it is a thorough numerical description and grid resolution test suite, along with some parameter studies of physical quantity inputs to show the code is producing expected values. In addition to original scientific contributions to any field spanning the gamut across the AGU disciplines, model development and testing is one of the kinds of papers that ESS would like to publish for the community. It’s also a great place to go with newly available data sets or data processing techniques. I think this new journal will have an excellent partnership with JGR as the two journals complement each other’s breadth, content, and scope.

Like AGU’s other recent journals, it’s fully Open Access, which means higher publication fees but then the published papers are instantly available for anyone to read, no subscription needed. A beautiful thing about the launch of ESS is that all publication fees are waived for manuscripts submitted through December 19, 2014. That is, now is the time to finalize that paper and get it into the review system with ESS.

Please join me in supporting AGU’s latest journal and submit a paper to it in the coming months. Oh yeah, and one to JGR Space Physics as well!

Posting Papers on ArXiv

Some have asked about posting preprints or reprints of articles submitted to JGR Space Physics on the website. The official AGU position on this issue is clear but not explicitly spelled out for the particular case of arXiv. The pertinent link is AGU’s dual publication policy that includes these lines:

“Posting of a preprint of an article via electronic media does not constitute prior publication unless with a service which provides archiving with citation protocols and public retrieval capabilities. In the latter case removal of the preprint from the archive will be sufficient for AGU to consider it as unpublished.”

While the arXiv site does not assign a digital object identifier resolvable at, the website follows a standardized “citation protocol” and is fully citable in the reference list of another paper. The short answer to the question of, “Can I post my JGR Space Physics preprint on arXiv?” is “no.”

You can, however, post it to your own personal website. If you do this, then please follow AGU’s policy on such postings and clearly state that it has been submitted to JGR Space Physics. After acceptance, then please change the statement to say, “accepted for publication with JGR Space Physics.” In fact, at this point, it is best to give proper reference and include the DOI so that others can go the AGU/Wiley page where it is located. After publication, the formatted “published” version can only be made available elsewhere is the author pays for Open Access. If you have paid this extra fee, then please feel free to post the Wiley-formatted version of the article wherever you choose. Otherwise, only the “unformatted manuscript” (i.e., the final submitted/accepted version without the Wiley publication-ready formatting) can be posted on your website, again clearly stating that it is “published in JGR Space Physics.”

Six months after publication, the formatted version can now be placed into an “institutional archive,” which includes the site, as long as the copyright information and official DOI of the paper is clearly posted.

Finally, twenty-four months after publication, the formatted version becomes Open Access at the Wiley site (for those that didn’t pay the Open Access fee earlier).

In short, AGU does not want you to post preprints to arXiv of your work that will be or has been submitted to an AGU journal. Because arXiv has a citation protocol, it counts as a publication and therefore such posting counts as dual publication. Yes, it counts even though it is not peer reviewed when posted at that site. Only after it has been accepted and published in the AGU journal can it be made available at arXiv, with a reference listing that directs the reader to the AGU version of the paper.

More On AGU’s Data Policy

There’s a new Eos article that was just published this week about AGU’s Data Policy. It can be found here:

Written by Brooks Hanson, the Director of Publications at AGU HQ, and Rob van der Hilst, the chair of the AGU Publications Committee, it gives historical context and broader perspective on why AGU is now enforcing this policy with every manuscript that is submitted to any of its journals. I highly encourage everyone to read it.

To very quickly summarize, the reason behind the policy is reproducibility of the results and veracity of the scientific findings. I agree with the Data Policy and think that it is a worthwhile goal for which all of us should strive.

In addition, the article serves as an open call for research community members to participate in an upcoming conference on data availability and archiving. This meeting is in early October, just a few weeks away, so if you have interest in being part of this discussion, then please contact Brooks or Rob immediately.

Observational data in the field of space physics is usually available at the Coordinated Data Analysis Website, Planetary Data System, one of the World Data Centers, or a mission-specific or an instrument-specific website. These are all legitimate locations to which you can direct readers to find the data used in your study. If it is from a smaller experiment, such as a rocket or balloon flight, a short-lived field campaign, or laboratory data, then the observations used in the manuscript should be made available by the authors at a personal website, an institutional server, or even as an electronic supplement to the paper.

Numerical data is very similar to the latter case above: unless it is a CCMC simulation and the results are available through their run output repository, then the authors need to make available any code results that were used for any plot or value in the paper. Again, this can be made available at a personal website, an institutional server, or as electronic supplements to the manuscript.

The Eos article includes a couple of paragraphs about the Data Policy requirement of the availability of computer codes. If commercial software was used, then simply stating the names of those packages is sufficient. If code was written to process data or solve equations, though, the ideal would be to have all of this be open source code so others can error check the code and ensure the correctness of the calculation. Making code available is the goal, but AGU is also giving each journal editorial board discretion to implement this policy specifically for their field. The editors of JGR Space Physics would like to have all codes be open source and available, but we realize the code is your intellectual property and so we are not requiring this availability as a stipulation of publication. The output from the model, however, is “numerical data” and needs to be available for others to download (from somewhere) and examine. When you submit a paper to JGR Space Physics, you will be asked to provide a statement about the availability of modeled data as well as instrumental data.

For more on this topic, the Data Policy can be found here and I have written a couple of other posts about the policy, when it first became enforced and later to help clarify the model availability issue.