Manuscript Preparation and Submission Guidelines

  1. Submitting Manuscripts
  2. Components of Manuscript
  3. Style of Manuscript
    1. Basic Writing Style
    2. Impersonal Construction and Passive Voice
    3. Spelling, Punctuation and Capitalization
  4. Units
  5. Mathematical Expressions
  6. Abbreviations, Acronyms and Numbers
  7. Figures
  8. Tables
  9. Citations and References
    1. General Guidelines
    2. Citations in Text
    3. Reference Format
  10. Posters
1. Submitting manuscripts

Manuscripts must be complete when submitted, and all pages must be typed on one side only, on paper size 8.5" x 11". The font size should be no smaller than 12 point. A serif font such as Times New Roman should be used. sans serif fonts (such as Helvetica or Arial) should be avoided as there can be confusion interpreting some characters (e.g., lowercase "ell" versus the number "one").

All text, figures, equations, and tables of your manuscript should be within an area no larger than 5.25" x 9.25" (see sample document) and whose location in the page is determined by the margin settings indicated below. Only the material contained within that area will be reproduced. In order to correctly define this valid printing area, you must make sure that in your text processing software program, margins are set-up as follows:

  • Left margin at 1.69" at least.
  • Right margin at 1.56" at least.
  • Top and Bottom margins at 0.88" at least.

A Header containing the name of the first author and the page number should be included but special care must be taken to ensure that it is outside of the above specified printing area. This header information will not be part of the final printed Proceedings.

Articles should not exceed 12 single-spaced pages with margins set-up as specified above (approximately  5800 words in length).

The following materials should be sent:

  • A Cover letter. The letter should include the title of the manuscript; authors' names; name, address, e-mail address, and telephone and fax numbers of one author (usually the lead author) to whom future correspondence should be addressed.
  • Manuscript and figures. One copy of the complete text of the manuscript (including figures, figure captions, tables, and references). An electronic version of the full manuscript MUST be submitted in addition to the hard copy. The electronic version of the full paper should be provided on a 3.5" diskette for either Windows or MacintoshOS containing the full manuscript in MS Word format. Alternatively, the electronic version of the complete manuscript can also be submitted on-line  or via e-mail attachments to:

No paper will be included in the Hydrology Days proceedings unless an electronic version of the complete paper is made available to the editorial staff of Hydrology Days.

Once a paper has been received by the Hydrology Days editorial staff, A Copyright form will be mailed to the first author. The form must be signed and returned to Professor Jorge A. Ramirez.

2. Components of a manuscript

In this section and those that follow, guidelines are presented regarding the format and style of the manuscript, but these are intended more as recommendations (to ensure uniformity) not as requirements.

The manuscript should generally include all the components listed in the following sections in the order presented here.

    1) Title and Authors

    The first page should include the manuscript's title, the authors' names and affiliations, and corresponding author address. The affiliations should be as concise as possible and will not constitute a complete mailing address. The corresponding-author address should be included as a footnote and must be a complete address, including telephone number and e-mail address.

    2) Abstract

    The abstract should immediately follow and summarize the principal conclusions arrived at in the paper and the methods used to reach them. The abstract should be 250 words or less in length. Unless absolutely essential, the abstract should contain no mathematical expressions, should refrain from including citations or footnotes, and should not use the first person.

    3) Text

    The text should be divided into sections, each with a separate heading and numbered or lettered consecutively. Section and subsection headings should be typed on separate lines using the following format.

      1. Primary heading

      1.1. Secondary heading

             1.1.1. Tertiary heading.  Text to follow....

    New paragraphs should be indented. Avoid starting paragraphs flush with the left margin and separated by a blank line.

    Letters representing mathematical variables should be in italics. Vectors should be typed as bold roman type (e.g., V) and matrices or tensors should be typed in bold sans serif type (e.g., A)]. Mathematical terms not set as italics include uppercase Greek letters, most mathematical functions (such as sinx and lnx), and most multiple-character quantities such Froude number (Fr).

    Citations in the text may regard standard or nonstandard references. Standard references are those that have been published in a refereed scientific or technical journal or a book. Nonstandard references are those from unrefereed publications, typically preprints, symposia, proceedings, technical reports, agency or institutional documents, or contract or grant reports. If a nonstandard reference is considered essential by an author, and there is not an equivalent standard reference, the material may be referenced.

    4) Appendixes

    Material that is subordinate to the main theme of a paper, such as lengthy mathematical analysis, should normally be omitted. If inclusion is essential, however, it can be placed in an appendix. Appendixes can also be used to define symbols or other terms used in the text. If only one appendix is used, refer to it as "the appendix." If more than one appendix is used, each should be labeled consecutively with letters and referred to in text as "appendix A," "appendix B," etc. Figures, tables, equations, and footnotes that are located in an appendix are labeled according to the appendix letter (use "A" if there is only one appendix), followed by an Arabic number [Eq. (A3), Table B1, Fig. A1, etc.]. Appendixes should be given titles that are centered below the word Appendix (or Appendix A).

    5) Acknowledgments

    Keep acknowledgments as brief as possible. In general, acknowledge only direct help in writing or research. Financial support for the work done, or for an author, or for the laboratory where the work was performed, is best acknowledged here.

    6) References

    All references referred to in the text are listed alphabetically without numbering at the end of the manuscript under the heading References. References must be complete and in standardized form.

    In addition, with respect to figures, tables and footnotes:

    Figure captions. Figures include graphs, illustrations, photographs, computer plots, and line drawings. Each figure should be provided with a legend or caption that makes the figure understandable without reference to the text. Each figure must be mentioned explicitly in the text and must be numbered in the order of first mention in the text.

    All figure captions should be typed below the figure in a font that matches that of the text.

    Tables. Each table must be numbered, provided with a legend, and mentioned specifically in the text. Each table should be typed at single space and should have an explanatory caption typed above the table.

    Footnotes. Footnotes should appear in standard format at the bottom of the manuscript page in which they are cited (but within the printing area defined above). Use of footnotes should be held to a minimum, and potential footnote material should be incorporated in the text whenever possible.

3. Style

a. Basic writing style

Authors who wish their work to be read, understood, and referenced must write in a clear, terse style.

b. Impersonal construction and passive voice

Use of the first person in sentence construction should normally be avoided in the body of the manuscript. This can often be accomplished quite naturally, through the use of passive construction, when stating facts. For example, use "the rainfall rates were measured using . . ." rather than "I measured the rainfall rates using . . . ." The use of "we" is appropriate where it politely includes the reader, such as "We have already seen . . . ."

The first person should be used when directly stating opinions of the authors so that it is clear that these opinions may not be held universally. For example, the statement "It is believed that this phenomenon is a result of . . ." implies this is a widely held belief, whereas "We believe that this phenomenon is a result of . . ." clearly refers to the beliefs of the authors.

The first person may also be appropriate when comparisons are made to the work of others or when reporting on decisions that were made. For example, ". . . our calculated values are larger than those of Smith et al. (1998) . . ." or ". . . in view of the limitations of this approach we chose to use the following . . ." The acknowledgments are also a natural place for authors to use first-person construction.

As noted above impersonal construction should be used in the abstract of a paper. The use of "I" or "we" can be confusing in this context, so use "the author(s)" or passive construction.

c. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization

As a primary guide, use Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for the correct spelling of words and the guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style for determining the hyphenation of terms.

Serial commas should be used before the conjunctions "and" or "or" in a list of three or more items.

The proper names of locations and phenomena are capitalized (e.g., Lake Erie, the Gulf of Mexico, the Appalachian Mountains, the Gulf Stream). Regions and regional phenomena can also be considered proper terms and treated as capitalized (e.g., Lower Michigan, the Sun Belt, the Piedmont, the Great Plains, the Denver Cyclone). Note, however, that reference to these locations or phenomena by an abbreviated form of the name is lowercase. That is, we say "the Tibetan Plateau" (capitalized) and can refer to it later as "the plateau" (lowercase), or we can discuss "the Labrador Current" and later we could refer to it as "the current."

4. Units

Use of the International System of Units [Système Internationale (SI)] is standard and preferred.
Units should be set in roman font with a space between each unit in a compound set (e.g., m s-2 rather than ms-2). Avoid using the solidus (/) to form unit combinations; use negative exponents instead (e.g., write m s-1 rather than m/s). Words and symbols for units should not be mixed; if mathematical operations are indicated, only symbols should be used. For example, one may write "joules per second" or "J s-1," but not "joules second-1," "joules s-1," or "J second-1."

5. Mathematical expressions

Since correct typographical presentation is crucial to understanding equations, authors of mathematically oriented papers should prepare their manuscripts carefully. Authors should avoid using symbols that might be misread, such as misinterpreting a Greek rho for a roman p or a Greek nu for an italic v. The letter "l" (ell) and the number "1" (one) are often hard to distinguish, so the author must make certain it is clear which is intended.

There are other important factors, however. These include typeface and type font, particularly with respect to the use of vectors, matrices, and tensors. As stated earlier, vectors should be denoted using bold roman type (e.g., V), and matrices and tensors should be denoted using bold sans serif (e.g., A).

Every equation or set of equations, except for very short single-level equations that can be set in the text, should be displayed—that is, centered on its own separate line. Equations should be numbered consecutively, with the numbers in parentheses set flush right against the margin. Simple fractions appearing in the text, but not in displayed equations, should use a solidus and parentheses if necessary to avoid ambiguities. That is, use 1/(a + b), not 1/a + b. The following order should be used: parentheses, brackets, braces, and angle brackets <{[()]}>. When more than four groupings are involved, the sequence should be repeated. Identify special usage of brackets (e.g., <> to mean some type of average) when they first appear so that it is clear that the unusual order is intended.

The use of the exponent ½ is preferred to the radical sign. Also, the use of negative exponents is preferable to fractions made with a solidus—that is, write ax-1cosy rather than (a/x)cosy. If a paper has large numbers of notations and symbols, it is recommended that the symbols be listed in an appendix to the manuscript, with short explanations for each symbol. Use "exp" for expressions involving e modified by a complicated exponent.

6. Abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers

Apart from standard abbreviations, abbreviations (including most initializations and acronyms) should be defined at their first use in the text, such as "National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)." Since the abstract is also printed separate from the article, abbreviations should be defined in both the abstract and the first occurrence in the text. When many acronyms or initializations are used in a paper, a list of their expansions as an appendix can be an effective aid to readers. Only very well-known and established acronyms or initializations, such as NASA or USGS should be used in the title of the manuscript.

Numbers should be spelled out in text through nine and written as a numeral from 10 on. An exception to this is when a sentence includes numbers in the same context that are both above and below nine, in which case the numeral form should be used throughout. For example, use "2 out of 14 cases" rather than "two out of 14 cases." Numbers should also be spelled out when they start a sentence. The ordinal numbers for second and third are represented by the "d" alone when used in numerals (e.g., 22d or 23d); and ordinals, as with cardinal numbers, are normally spelled out for values below 10th.

7. Figures

Lettering should be simple in style, without serifs and with open areas that stay open with reduction (for instance, the open area of the number "6"). Authors should try to avoid great disparities in the thickness of lines and in the size of symbols and letters. Letters used for subscripts and superscripts should be approximately 75% of the size of the principal lettering.

Do not use open symbols with dots in them since they may appear to be filled symbols after printing.

Graphs should be self-explanatory, their purpose being evident without reference to the text. One should indicate clearly what is being plotted, on both the vertical and horizontal axes. The figure caption should provide sufficient information for the reader to understand what the figure is intended to show. Coordinate rulings should be limited in number to those necessary to guide the eye in making a reading to the desired degree of approximation. Ticks to indicate coordinate values may be placed on all four sides of the graph to increase readability and are recommended. Place numbers and letters so that they may be easily read from either the bottom or the right-hand side of the graph.

Relevant non-graphic material, such as keys to the symbols in the graphs, may be included in the graph itself if it fits without too much crowding . Otherwise, such material should be in the caption. Symbols of SI units should be lettered as lowercase or capital letters as specified by the SI standard, and variables or vectors used in the figure should be set in italic or bold non-italic font, respectively, following the style that will be used in the text.

8. Tables

Tables are to be numbered consecutively using arabic numerals in the order they are mentioned in the text. All tables must be mentioned in the text.

If abbreviated column headings are used to allow a table with several data columns to fit in one page, provide definitions of the abbreviations as part of the column.

Each table should have a caption that is positioned at the top of the table. Captions should be brief but sufficient to make the table contents clear. Column headings should be clear and concise. Capitalize the first word of a heading but use lowercase letters for all other words except proper terms. Use horizontal lines in tables only to separate headers from the body of the table, and not between each line of the table. Do not use vertical lines but instead use appropriate spacing. A blank line can be used to separate blocks of data within a table that the author wishes to group together.

9. Citations and references

a. General guidelines

References are intended to lead readers to other relevant work. If they are not complete or in error, readers may be unable to find the material being cited. Thus, authors should put a great deal of emphasis on getting the references correct.

b. Citations in text

Citations to standard references in text should consist of the name of the author and the year of publication—for example, Smith (1990) or (Smith 1990). If there are three or more authors, state the first author's surname, followed by "et al." and the year of publication—for example, Smith et al. (1990) or (Smith et al. 1990). When there are two or more papers by the same author or authors in the same year, distinguishing letters (a, b, c, etc.) should be added to the year in both the citation in text and the reference listing—for example, Smith (1990a). For multiple citations by one author, separate years by commas—for example, Smith (1989, 1990) or (Smith 1989, 1990). Separate multiple citations by different authors within the same parentheses by semicolons—for example, (Smith 1990; Jones 1991) or (Smith 1989, 1990; Jones 1991).

When a citation in text needs to refer to a specific section or chapter, this should included after the year, preceded by a comma—for example, Smith (1996, chapter 7), Smith (1997, section 3.22), or (Smith 1977, section 3.22). Do not include the chapter in the citation if that chapter is explicitly identified in the reference itself (as in the case of a chapter of a multiply authored monograph). If a specific page or page range needs to be cited, this should also follow the year, preceded by a comma—for example, Smith (1996, 235–237). If a single page is cited, insert a "p." before the number—for example, Smith (1996, p. 125).

Nonstandard references should be used only if they are essential to support the author's arguments or to give proper credits. When required, the same form of text citation is used. References to personal communications should appear only in the text and should include initials and year—for example, D. E. Smith (1982, personal communication). It is sometimes necessary to make reference to information that is located on the Internet. Internet files do not, however, have the permanence of traditional publications and are therefore generally considered nonstandard references. Reference to files, information servers, or World Wide Web sites should be made through the use of a footnote or parenthetically, which should contain the complete Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the document or server.

Manuscripts that have been submitted to a journal but not yet accepted for publication cannot be included in the reference listing and must be cited in text in a manner similar to personal communication—for example, Smith (1998, manuscript submitted to Mon. Wea. Rev.). Manuscripts that have been accepted and are currently in the process of being published can be cited as regular references and should be listed in the reference section with "in press" replacing the normal page range information. Note that "conditional acceptance" from an editor does not qualify for a manuscript being listed as "in press." A manuscript is truly "in press" only when it has been accepted in final form and forwarded from the editor to the publisher for processing.

c. Reference format

Reference style for typical journal citations follows the general form:

Author(s), publication year: Article title. Journal name, volume, page range.

and for a book it follows the form

Author(s), publication year: Book Title. Publisher, total pages.

References should be ordered alphabetically by the last name of the first author. When there is more than one reference by the same first author, use the following sequence to order them: all singly authored papers first, arranged chronologically by year of publication; followed by papers authored by that first author with only one coauthor, chronologically by year; followed by papers authored by that first author with two or more coauthors, chronologically by year.

For references with more than eight authors, list only the first author by name followed by "and Coauthors" (e.g., "Smith, J., and Coauthors, 1998: Title of article ...").

Elements of these guidelines have been adapted from: Water Resources Research, the American Meteorological Society, and AGU Hydrology Days.

10. Posters

       HDs posters are expected to follow normal size limitations as for other AGU conferences. We will supply poster boards which will have a maximum size of 4 ft x 6 ft in landscape orientation.

     We will provide pins and other supplies to mount your posters. In addition to the poster board, there will be a 6 ft table on which you can place handouts or other information for interested people. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


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