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Guide for Authors

Final Author Checklist

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Manuscript Templates

Manuscripts should undergo a thorough internal review prior to submission to ensure the topic is suitable for theJournal of Operational Meteorology (JOM), and meets accepted standards of scientific content, clarity of presentation, and adherence to JOM style and formatting requirements. Authors must take care to follow the template format exactly, with no alterations. Main body text should be in 11-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Other size Times New Roman fonts are used for the title, abstract, author name(s) and affiliations, and header/foot. The main elements of the paper are: title, abstract, main body, acknowledgments, references, figures, tables, and appendices (as needed). Separate pages are not necessary for each section. Please obtain the template corresponding to your category of submission from the JOM Call for Papers page: Article, Short Contribution, Images of Note, or Commentary.


Submission Process

Manuscripts may be submitted either via email or a server of your choosing. Formatting instructions specific to each category of submission are found in each template. The submission sent to the Editor should consist of the manuscript formatted via the template (including figures), and a zipped file containing all of the high-resolution figure and animation files. Each figure file should be labeled as Fig_1.png, Fig_2.jpg, etc. If the submission contains animations, include both the animation file and a still image that is representative of the animation (e.g., Fig_5.png and Fig_5.avi). After an initial examination, the Editor will send the manuscript to reviewers or reject it if the proper format or other submission guidelines are not followed.


Title and Authors

The title page should be centered on the page with the following information: the title of the paper; the author(s) and professional affiliation(s), including city and state; the month and year of submission; and the corresponding author address. Only persons who contributed significantly to the research and paper preparation should be listed as authors; other contributors should be mentioned in the acknowledgments section.



The abstract should be a short summary of the important information in the article, such as purpose, methodology, results, and conclusions. References are not allowed in the abstract, and all but the most common acronyms should be defined. The abstract should begin on the same page as the title page.


Section Headings

The text should begin after the abstract and be subdivided into logical sections beginning with the Introduction. Use tabs at the start of each paragraph, and justify the paragraphs. Acknowledgments, references, and appendices are section headings that are not numbered. Each section should be numbered consecutively and have a section heading, such as shown in the templates.


Figures, Equations, and Tables

Each figure or table should be numbered separately, using the forms: Fig. # or Table #. Figures and tables should be cited sequentially throughout the text. All mathematical equations should be numbered consecutively with the equation number placed in parentheses to the right of the equation. Figure captions should fully describe the figure and draw attention to the key features discussed in the text. Do not restate the caption in the main text, as doing so does not serve conciseness. Captions should not be embedded within the illustration. Each table must have a title and at least two columns and two rows of data/information.

Figures should be in gif, jpg, or png formats. Animations should be in wmv, avi, mpg, or animated gif formats. The Editor may allow additional formats. Authors should strive for high resolution and legibility in all images and animations. Assessment of the quality of images is part of the review process, and the reviewers and Editors may recommend that image quality be improved before a submission can be accepted. All characters, labeling, and lines (including map backgrounds) must contain sufficient color contrast and be detailed enough to be legible. Geographically based figures must feature a distance scale and a north arrow if omission of the arrow could give an ambiguous orientation to the reader.

The final layout will typically have figure sizes that conform to either: column width, figure width, or page width. In the final publication, technical Editors will link detailed images in the PDF to full-size versions hosted on the NWA web server. If animations are part of the submission, authors should embed a still image that is representative of the animation, rather than embedding the animation in the document.

The source of each figure must be stated in the caption if the author(s) did not produce it. If a figure has been previously published, permission to publish the figure must be obtained from the copyright holder. If a figure has been obtained from a website, a URL link to the figure should be provided in the caption.

If figures and tables are not cited properly throughout the manuscript, this can slow down the review process as well as technical editing. Depending upon the extent of improper citing, the manuscript may be returned to the author before entering review and/or technical editing.



Acknowledgments recognize contributions by colleagues and agencies in the areas of manuscript preparation and review, research assistance, literature searches, sources of data, and financial assistance.



Appendices provide supplemental information that is not critical for the body of the paper, but can help support the findings and assist the reader in understanding how they were obtained. Appendices can include raw data in table format, equations, glossaries, illustrations, etc. Multiple appendices in a paper should be labeled in bold as:Appendix A, B, etc., and each appendix should have a title. Appendices should be placed between the Acknowledgments and the References in each submission.



References provide information about prior published research that is relevant to the current study. They are listed to enable the readers to locate cited papers and learn more about the subject. References should be listed in alphabetical order of the last name of the primary author. Multiple papers from the same author for different years should be listed in chronological order in the reference section—sorted by single author, two authors, and three or more authors. Each reference in the list should be accurate and complete, and contain information in the following order: author(s), year of publication, title of article, abbreviated title of journal, volume number, and inclusive pages. For books and conference preprints or proceedings, the publisher and location (city) of the publisher should also be included. If a reference has been accepted for publication, but is not yet in print, the words "in press" should replace the volume and page numbers. Please note that abstract-only publications and Power Point presentations should not be referenced in manuscripts submitted to the JOM.

All entries in the reference list should be cited in the text or the table and figure captions, and all reference citations in the text should have an appropriate entry in the reference list. References should be cited in the text by the last name of the author and year of publication, such as "(Smith 1989)" or "reported by Smith (1989)". Two authors should be cited as "Smith and Jones (1989)" and three or more authors should be cited as "Smith et al. (1989)". Cite references that have no individual authors by using the sponsoring agency, such as "National Weather Service (1989)" or "NWS (1989)". When the same author has published multiple papers in the same year, they should be cited as "Smith (1989a)", "Smith (1989b)", etc.

If references are not cited properly throughout the manuscript, or if the reference list is incomplete, this can slow down the review process as well as technical editing. Depending upon the extent of improper citing, the manuscript may be returned to the author before entering review and/or technical editing.

Please refer to recent JOM publications for more detailed reference guidelines.


Use of the International System of Units is required whenever possible. For ratios, negative exponents are preferred (e.g., m s-1 rather than m/s). Units of measure used in operational meteorology in the United States may be included in parentheses. For example, "The 300-hPa jet streak reached a maximum of 45 m s-1 (87 kt)." However, surface and upper-air charts may display units commonly used in operational practice. For further information on the International System of Units, please see: physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/.



Date/time groups should be identified as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), rather than Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or Zulu (Z). The use of 24-hour local time (such as 1900 LST) is also acceptable. After the first reference to time, notation should be made to indicate that all subsequent times are in reference to the same time zone. For example: "The rotation signature was first observed at 1245 (all times in UTC)." When denoting a complete date/time group, the hour-day-month-year should be in ascending order with the month spelled out, such as 1200 UTC 25 December 1995.


Abbreviations and Acronyms

Abbreviations and acronyms should always be defined when they are first used, except for commonly used units such as UTC, mb, km, etc. Proper names of people, days of the week, months, cities, counties, provinces, states, and countries should always be spelled out fully in the text.


Grammar and Style

The following resources may help with your grammar and style. Alley, M., 1996: The Craft of Scientific Writing. Prentice-Hall, 225 pp. Day, R. A., and B. Gastel, 2011: How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. Greenwood, 301 pp. Graff, G., and C. Birkenstein, 2006: They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. W. W. Norton & Company, 208 pp. Schultz, D. M., 2009: Eloquent Science: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Better Writer, Speaker, and Atmospheric Scientist. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 412 pp. Schultz, D. M., 2010: How to research and write effective case studies in meteorology. Electronic J. Severe Storms Meteor., 5 (2), 1–18. [Available online at www.ejssm.org/ojs/index.php/ejssm/issue/view/20.] Schultz, D. M., cited 2012: Eloquent Science Blog. [Available online at eloquentscience.com/category/blog/.] Strunk, W., Jr., and E. B. White, 2000: The Elements of Style. Longman, 105 pp. Trimble, J. R., 2000: Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing. Prentice-Hall, 198 pp.