This is a brief checklist as guidance for editors when considering whether or not to send a paper out for review (i.e. put on EGUsphere). It applies to both the executive editor team and Geoscience Communication's (GC) team of handling editors (i.e. the fantastic board of people on the editorial board who do the main part of the review process).

  1. Are there any notes from the executive editors? The executive editor team might have added notes for a handling editor. Illustratively, "They have mentioned ethics but do not have an explicit ethics statement; please ensure that they add this."
  2. Does it have an explicit ethics statement (e.g. "Ethical approval for this research was given by the Loughborough University ethics committee")? This is needed for all GC papers that involve people outside of the authors, and this is true for most papers.
  3. Is it research? Except for review papers, the critical thing for GC is that the work is not anecdotal, by which we mean that research has been done, and it is not just the authors' opinion. Illustratively, simply reporting on an activity (e.g. an art wall related to earthquakes that travelled to schools) is not sufficient. The simplest research question (in communicating something about earthquakes) could be, "Did it work?"
    • Does it have data? Some examples are listed below.
      • Questionnaire answers
      • Interviews
      • Self-reflexive writing by authors (although be a little careful here)
      • Other data created during the activity
    • Does it test a hypothesis or answer a research question? There is a spectrum of what research could be in GC from activity-led to curiosity-led. For an activity, it might be, "Did our soundscape exhibit have an impact on the people who attended?" For curiosity-led, it might be, "Are geoscientific 'experts' better at identifying unrealistic geological features in video games than 'non-experts'?"
    • Is the research method clear (i.e. in its own section)? A common mistake here is for authors to describe the method used in their activity (e.g. how they implemented a new type of classroom lesson) rather than the method (e.g. questionnaires/interviews) used to investigate or evaluate.
  4. Does it seem like a well-written, robust paper to me? You know what a paper looks like and what the usual sections are. The threshold level is, "Do I think that, after input from reviewers and revisions, there is enough of a solid core of work here that there is a reasonable chance this will be publishable?"
  5. For GC Insights, is it the right length and standard, namely, <1500 words and one figure or table? Also, please note the lower threshold in terms of quantity for this format, i.e. "robust but not necessarily fully investigated", and please consider passing this information on to reviewers.
    • Length, strictly speaking, excludes the abstract, figure caption, and references.
    • The abstract should be a maximum of three sentences.
    • Supplementary material is not for continuing or extending arguments made in the main text; rather it is for "raw" supporting data (e.g. tables, photos, interview text). Illustratively, this does not include figures displaying numerical data or analysis. Code and scripts are acceptable.
  6. Has the executive editor team missed anything? Please do not be afraid to query the executive editor team if you think they have missed anything (e.g. it is not research, it is actually a review).

There is much more detail in the following two editorials. Please read them and/or email the executive editor team for clarification.