Author Guide

This Author Guide will provide you with information and specifications for submission and approval of journal articles. Reading and using the advice in this guide will help your article publish more quickly.


Types of Paper | Ethics in Publishing | Conflict of Interest | Peer Review | Manuscript Submission


[Types of Paper]

Contributions falling into the following categories will be considered for publication: [original communications–length articles, reviews, research highlights, perspectives, project reports, data description, etc.].


Please ensure that you select the appropriate article type from the list of options when making your submission. Authors contributing to special issues should ensure that they select the special issue article type from this list.




[Ethics in Publishing]

For information on Ethics in Publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see and




[Conflict of Interest]

All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also




[Peer Review]

This journal operates a single blind review process. All contributions are sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final.


Submitted papers are evaluated in the following three aspects: relevance to the journal’s focus, academic merit, and standard of writing. The decision on the acceptability of a contribution is made by AOSL editors based upon the opinions of corresponding reviewers. AOSL editors have full power and responsibility in deciding whether to accept or reject a paper. All submitted manuscripts should contain original research not previously published and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. 


For your better understanding the workflow of Editorial Office, including Peer-Review Process and Production Process, please find it here.




[Manuscript submission]

All submissions should be made online at AOSL  Scholar One Manuscripts  website. New users should first create an account. Once logged on to the site, submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Online user guides and access to a helpdesk are available on this website. 


AOSL have a length limit of 5500 words including figures (one figure is equivalent to 400 words), tables, references and an abstract of no more than 250 words. Manuscripts may be submitted in any standard editable format, including Word and EndNote. These files will be automatically converted into a PDF file for the review process. LaTeX files should be converted to PDF prior to submission because ScholarOne Manuscripts is not able to convert LaTeX files into PDFs directly. All LaTeX source files should be uploaded alongside the PDF.  


Due to length limit, AOSL accept Supplemental Materials associated with the article in most file formats, text, figures, and tables should be included in one PDF file, animations/movies and sound files should be in *.mp4 or *.mp3 format. Please upload these supporting materials separately from the main manuscript, choosing File Designation as “Supplemental File for Review” in the ScholarOne system. Please also note that Supplemental Materials are not copyedited during the proofing process, which would be available online only, with a link in the final publication.


Manuscript Template for WORD Users:

A Sample WORD File

References Style for Endnotes Users:

AOSL Style.ens


Prepare your manuscript according to the AOSL FormattingManuscript componentsMathematical Formulas, Symbols and UnitsFigures, and References guidelines.



    Authors will be asked to provide final manuscripts including tables and figures as electronic files when submitting. Acceptable file formats for submission are Word and PDF. For best compatibility with reviewers’ computer, it is required to submit the manuscript in PDF format firstly.

    In the final publishing process, the preferred file formats for the text part of a manuscript including the tables are Word and LaTex. However, as the final output of AOSL’s typesetting system is in PS format. Graphics in vector-based format (PS, PDF, Adobe Illustrator) are preferred in most circumstances. In some cases, high-resolution and good-quality raster figures pixel-based could also be accepted.

Manuscript components
Each manuscript should include the following components, presented in the order shown.

1) Title, name and affiliation of each author provided on the title page.


2) Abstract

A brief, concise abstract is required at the beginning of each manuscript. The abstract should 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 and should refrain from including citations or footnotes, and should not use the first person.


3) Key words

46  key words should be provided.


4) Text

The text (12-point) should be typesetted in one column, divided into sections, each with a separate heading and numbered consecutively using following format 

1.Primary heading

1.1 Secondary heading

1.1.1Tertiary heading Quaternary heading


5) Acknowledgements

Keep this section as brief as possible by acknowledging only direct assistance in your research and writing. Financial support for the work done should be acknowledged here rather than as footnotes to the title.


6) References

References should be arranged alphabetically without numbering. Citations to standard references in text should consist of the name of the author and the year of publication—for example, Wang (1990) or (Wang 1990). If there are four or more authors, state the first author’s surname, followed by "et al." and the year of publication—for example, Wang et al. (1990) or (Wang 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, Wang (1990a). For multiple citations by one author, separate years by commas, for example, Wang (1989, 1990) or (Wang 1989, 1990). Separate multiple citations by different authors within the same parentheses by semicolons, for example, (Wang 1990; Li 1991) or (Wang 1989, 1990; Li 1991).


7) Figure captions

Each figure must be supplied with a self-explanatory caption and all captions should be listed together. Authors should include captions below the figures for the reviewer copies, but the figure originals should not have captions below them.


8) Illustrations and tables

Each figure and table should be numbered consecutively and cited specifically in the text by number. All tables should have a title or legend. 

Mathematical Formulas, Symbols and Units 

    Fractions and other complicated equation structures should better not be mixed together with text. Instead, complicated expressions can be centered on their own line by using the equation number in parentheses set flush right consecutively to facilitate their citation in the text.


    Different typefaces should be set for different kinds of variables. Scalar variables are set as italic (e.g., a), and vectors, matrices and tensors are set as bold italic (e.g., V). Symbols, which might be misread, such as misinterpreting a Greek rho for a roman or a Greek nu for an italic v, should be identified with a notation in black pencil on the printed copy to avoid typo.


    Subscripts and superscripts should be set off clearly. As a decimal sign, a full stop is preferred; crosses should be reserved for multiplications.


    Each author should make a clear distinction between the letter o and the zero symbol, also between the number 1 and the letter l.

    Units should be SI with the exception of a few approved non-SI units of wide meteorological or oceanographic usage. Units should be set in roman font using exponents rather than the solidus (/) and with a one-letter space between each unit in a compound set (e.g., m s-1 rather than m/s or ms-1).


       Figures often pose tough problems for both editors and publishers. In this section, detailed instructions for preparing successful figures will be given. Please follow the steps to produce acceptable figures to smoothen the publication process. Besides, Figures FAQ explain frequently occurred problems during the publishing process and our solutions.

Tips for authors to prepare figures: 

    1. Strive to produce the figures as 100% of the publication size. Figures are adjusted into two sizes for published product, one-column size of about 60-80 mm wide and two-column size of about 120-160 mm wide. Please have this in mind when setting approprite font size in figures.


    2. Standard font and size for axis numbers are Arial 9 pt for the publication size. For axis titles, the size could be enlarged to Arial 10 pt. For descriptive numbers and words in the figure, please ensure they are readable in minimal publishing size. Choose fonts carefully (please refer to the aforementioned publication size) and embed all fonts used. If it is difficult for you to embed all the fonts, please convert the font to paths (or outlines). For example, please create font outlines for figures drawn in Adobe Acrobat Illustrator to avoid font transformation or missing.


    3. In the 100% publication size, resolution for graphic files must be 300–600 dots-per-inch resolution (dpi) for color and gray-scale images and at least 600 dpi for black and white line images. Please note that enlargement of figures would decrease the resolution. For example, a 400 DPI image scaled at 200% becomes a 200 DPI one.


    4. In almost all the circumstances, line thickness for lines, numbers, and words should be at least 0.3 pt. Otherwise, they might appear broken or disappear in the publication. Please note that reduction of figure size will make line weight thinner. For example, a 1-point line scaled at 50% becomes a 0.5-point line.


    5. Information, if clearly explained in the figure caption, would be deemed redundant in the drawings. Please strive to make your figures both readable and concise.


    6. For axis titles, please just capitalize the first letter of the first word.


    7. It is better to denote combined units with negative exponent than backslash. Meanwhile, please note that there is a one-letter space between different unit symbols.


    8. For subfigures, lettering labelsa), (b),(c)., are expected to be positioned in the corners of the figures without interfering other part of that figure. And the position of lettering labels for one main figure should be placed in the same position respectively, for an example, both in bottom-left corner. Please note that, the labels should be written in white ground without overlapping with the other part of the figure.


    9. For color figures, CMYK is required for the print version of the journal. Authors should clearly indicate which figures are intended to be published in color when submitting. For figures in color but not intended to be published in color, it is strongly recommending to reproduce them in black and white to ensure the printing quality. 


    10. Please note that figures as well as tables should be separated from the text for the convenience of editors and reviewers when submitting.


Figure FAQ


    1. Why vector-based figures are preferred to pixel-based?

        Usually, vector-based formats (eps, ps, pdf etc.) is preferred to pixel-based (bmp, jpeg etc.) because resize or conversion to other formats would not reduce the quality of vector-based figures.


    2. Why high-resolution good-quality raster figures are acceptable?

        For an example, Tiff is vector-based but could be turned into clear pdf or eps format if the original figure is in actual high resolution. However, if the original figure is not clear in the first place, it might not improve the graphic quality to increase the resolution 600 dpi or even higher.


    3. Why my figures are labeled as fuzzy or saw-toothed?

        Figures are converted into eps format before adapted into our typesetting system.  As eps format is vector-based, for figures in pixel-based formats, for example, jpg, bmp, psd, gif, after the conversion, the quality will be greatly diminished and might appear fuzzy.


    4. Why there is a shadow in my figure?

        Insertion of figures into word or PPT might create a shadow. You could try to provide us the figures in source format.


    5. Why line thickness should be at least 0.3 pt?

        The printing resolution is lower than the figure itself. The lines will appear broken instead of continuous for line thickness lower than 0.2pt in final printed product.


    6. Why the authors should strive to produce figures at 100% the size of the final printed product?

        It is strongly recommended that the authors produce the figures at the size as that would appear in the publication to ensure appropriate font size and line thickness.


    7. What is CMYK?

        CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) figures are widely used for printing.


    8. Why all the fonts need be imbedded or converted to paths or outlines?

        It is recommended that all the fonts be embedded when first created. If it is difficult to embed the fonts in the figure-drawing software, it is alternative to create outlines for the fonts used. In some cases, fonts used in the creation of a figure would be converted to a totally different font or get lost when converted to another format if the fonts are not embedded or created with outlines.


References should be arranged alphabetically without numbering. Each in-text citation must have a corresponding reference, and each reference listed must be cited in the text.

All citations in the text should refer to:

Reference to a journal publication:

Author(s), publication year. Article title, Journal name (in abbreviation). volume(issue), page range. doi number.

Journal abbreviations source:

Journal names should be abbreviated according to (1) List of title word abbreviations:; (2) CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service):

Examples: Weaver, S.J., Kumar, A., Chen, M., 2014. Recent increases in extreme temperature occurrence over land. Geophys. Res. Lett. 41 (13), 4669–4675. doi: 10.1002/2014GL060300.

Reference to a book:

Author(s), publication year. Book title, publisher, city.

Examples: Strunk Jr., W., White, E.B., 1979. The Elements of Style, third ed. Macmillan, New York.

Reference to a chapter in an edited book:

Author(s), publication year. Chapter title, in: Editor’s name (Eds.), Book title, publisher, city, page range.

Examples: Mettam, G.R., Adams, L.B., 1999. How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: Jones, B.S., Smith , R.Z. (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age. E-Publishing Inc., New York, pp. 281-304.

Please be mentioned that:

(1) Author(s) less than ten persons: List all the authors' names (Last name and surname with initial)

(2) Author(s) more than ten persons: List the first seven authors followed by et al.

Citations may be made directly (or parenthetically). Groups of references should be listed first alphabetically, then chronologically.

Data Policy (for depositing & sharing paper related data)