OS Letters – instructions for authors
OS Letters are short research articles that report particularly important results and major advances in a concise and engaging style. Letters have fewer than 2,500 words in the main text and 200 words in the abstract. They include an appropriate number of figures or tables with captions (not included in word count), an appropriate number of references (no specific upper limit), and a concise description of the applied methods in the form of an appendix (up to approx. 3,000 words) placed between the end of the main text and the references.
Letters will include one or more of the following characteristic features:
- Important discoveries and research highlights in ocean science.
- Solutions to or progress with long-standing and important questions in oceanic research.
- Research findings of high interest to the broad geoscience community or to the broader public and media.
A manuscript submitted for consideration as an OS Letter will initially be handled as a research article. After the completion of peer review, a decision will be made whether the manuscript can be accepted for final publication in OS as a research article or as an OS Letter. Papers accepted for final publication as OS Letters will also become "highlight articles", which are promoted on the websites of OS and EGU.
During the submission process, please make sure to specify the request for consideration as an OS Letter in your "Cover letter (information for the editor)" and use the "Potential OS Letter/highlight article" textbox to justify why your manuscript qualifies as an OS Letter.
In the review process, OS Letters are expected to be rated as excellent in the principal review criteria. Building on the ratings and recommendations of the referees and handling editor, the OS executive editors will decide whether to accept the paper for final publication as an OS Letter and "highlight article". If not accepted as an OS Letter, the manuscript may still be accepted for final publication as a research article. Under certain circumstances, e.g., if the manuscript does not comply with the formatting requirements, a paper not accepted as an OS Letter but as a research article may still be labelled as a "highlight article" – in analogy to other manuscript types, that were from the beginning not formatted and intended as an OS Letter (cf. EGU newsworthy research guide).