Author Guidelines

Short author guidelines

Article templates are available in LaTeX, odt, and docx formats. Templates are not required for initial submission (see the Submission and formatting checklist below).

Seismica's scope includes a wide range of topics in seismological and earthquake sciences. Below we provide a non-exhaustive list of topics that fall within the scope of Seismica. Although Seismica recognizes that such a discipline-based classification might not be the best way to represent the full breadth of Seismica's scientific scope, this broad list does provide an initial framework for potential authors to ascertain whether Seismica might be a suitable venue for publishing their work. Whether or not the topic of a submitted manuscript falls within the scope of Seismica may be left to the discretion of the handling editor. Demand for publishing articles in areas not covered by existing editors may provide impetus to expand the editorial scope to include additional subjects.

Fault-slip and earthquake source phenomena: Earthquake source seismology, transient/aseismic slip phenomena (e.g. slow slip events), rupture dynamics, fault geometry and architecture, induced and triggered seismicity, earthquake geodesy and remote sensing, fault mechanics, fault zone characterization and friction, earthquake reports, statistical seismology, earthquake early warning.

Earthquake records: archeo- and paleoseismology, historical and contemporary earthquake accounts, felt reports, fault geomorphology, seismotectonics, earthquake source processes from active and exhumed faults and laboratory experiments, geochronology of faults.

Imaging the Earth: seismic tomography and structure, receiver functions, seismic anisotropy, active/passive source seismology, seismic noise imaging, urban and shallow subsurface seismology, volcano-seismology.

Theoretical and computational seismology: advances in seismology driven by numerical modeling including high-performance computing, by forward and inverse theories, uncertainty analysis and machine learning.

Beyond Earth-tectonic applications: cryoseismology, urban and environmental seismology, tsunami nucleation and propagation, ionosphere seismology, planetary and helioseismology, seismo-acoustics, infrasound, forensic seismology, nuclear test ban treaty monitoring, landslide monitoring.

Techniques and instrumentation: seismometry, field deployment reports, seismic networks and arrays, ground motion instrumentation (accelerometers, rotational sensors, GNSS), rotational seismology, fiber-optic technologies (Distributed Acoustic Sensing), seismic signal processing techniques.

Earthquake engineering and engineering seismology: seismic hazard and risk evaluation, strong motion characterization, site response analysis, geotechnical earthquake engineering, ground motion simulation, seismic response of structures and infrastructure, earthquake scenarios, seismic design codes, seismic protection.

Community engagement, communication and outreach: societal awareness and disaster preparedness, seismology education, citizen and participatory science, hazard and risk communication, publicly accessible datasets, data analysis tools.

Please note that this list is non-exhaustive. If you are unsure whether your article is appropriate for submission in Seismica, we recommend contacting Seismica's Community Editor.

Seismica publishes three types of manuscripts:

Research articles, which present advances in scientific knowledge or understanding. These are typically from 3,000 to 10,000 words in length (excluding references and figure captions), and can address any aspect of seismology and earthquake science within the journal's scope (see above). Authors who have long articles of over 10,000 words that cannot be shortened should contact the Executive Editor for Production ahead of submission to see if this can be accommodated.

Fast Reports: Fast Reports are high quality, time-sensitive manuscripts (typically submitted within several weeks following an event), and short (typically ~3000 words, with 2-3 display items). An earthquake report may include: original observations and ground motion recordings, source inversions, felt reports and impacts on the built environment, or secondary hazard assessments (e.g., tsunami, landslides). However, submissions offering little more than information routinely provided by earthquake monitoring agencies (e.g. USGS, Geoscope, EMSC) will not be considered. To be accepted for Seismica, the Fast Report must be brief, but the research must be neither overstated nor overly summarised; it must include multiple analyses of the event in question, must be scientifically sound, and must provide new information. Fast Reports also welcomes articles that could be perceived critical and urgent for science strategy, policies or standards (e.g., building codes). Fast Reports go through an accelerated review process managed by a dedicated team of editors and one additional expert review, and aim to publish about 30 days after submission. Manuscripts which are too long (without prior permission of editor), out of scope, or for which accelerated review is not adequately justified will be rejected with an invitation to submit in another article type. Fast Reports must conform to Seismica's guidelines for authorship, conflict of interest, and code and data availability. Authors are strongly encouraged to submit in Seismica's LaTeX template to reduce delays in revisions and typesetting. If "major revisions" are required prior to acceptance, the manuscript may be transferred out of "Fast Reports" to another article type. In order to facilitate rapid publication, authors are expected to respond to emails from the Seismica team quickly during the review/revision period and preparation for publication. Supplementary material may be included (<1000 words and <10 display items).

Reports, which contribute peer-reviewed useful information to the public sphere but may not represent a substantive advance in scientific understanding in themselves. Reports include:

  • Null results / failed experiments: While null results are often ignored in the scientific literature, they can be useful in advancing science, for instance through highlighting difficulties in reproducing published results or by documenting the circumstances in which particular methods or approaches may be unsuccessful. Due to the lack of editorial interest and the difficulty in defining the value of negative results, very few journals offer the possibility for such publications. Seismica is willing to consider publications of null results where they are illuminating or instructive in the context of previous published studies. Null-result manuscripts should include sections on: the background to the study, methods, details of the null results, discussion of the null results in the context of previous work, and scientific and/or technical insights drawn from the null results. This last element is essential for a good null-result report - the insights presented there should serve as a 'take-home message' for other researchers in that field.

  • Software Reports: The goals of Software Reports in Seismica are to document new codes, to facilitate community use of them, and to ensure reproducibility of their outputs. Software Reports should include a main paper, plus a user manual and source code that should be uploaded to a public domain repository. The main paper should describe the scientific context, the methods employed, and detail aspects such as test case simulations, model verification, evaluation and performance. Including the examples and test cases mentioned in the main paper as tutorials within the repository is strongly recommended. All code repositories must be privately accessible by the editors and reviewers upon submission, publicly accessible upon acceptance, and the codes included are subject to peer review. See Availability of data, materials, and code for more information.

  • Data-based Reports (e.g., Large Community datasetinitiatives, Instrument Deployments, and Field Campaigns): These submissions allow seismological and other field data collection (e.g., logging a paleoseismic trench or collecting photogrammetric data) to be documented via a citable and peer-reviewed reference that describes the data collected, the experiment design, and relevant collaborators. Ideally these manuscripts should be submitted as soon as possible - i.e., after the instruments and/or data are recovered, and initial data quality assurance (e.g., noise analysis) is completed. Datasets must be publicly available or be made available within two years via a public domain data repository such as the IRIS Data Management Center or Zenodo. If the data are embargoed, then the end date of the embargo and the repository for the data must be stated in the article. Reports are constructed given a specific structure: Scientific background and motivation; Description of the instrument deployment or field experiment (including technical details of the instrumentation, such as instrument response, make and model, etc.); Description of obtained data (including repository details), Preliminary observations and interpretations. For rapid, temporary deployments or experiments, the Editorial process will follow that of Fast Reports.

Opinion articles and reviews, which are invited papers about a scientific idea, controversial topics and/or innovative concepts. Authors may contact the Editorial Board with ideas of subjects for editorial articles.

Special Issues may include specific criteria for inclusion of different article types, consult the main page for any open Special Issue for details.

All article types will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0) license by default, with a possibility for customization should the authors request it.

The following section outlines the baseline requirements for submitting a manuscript to Seismica, for both research integrity and formatting.

Research Integrity: Material submitted to Seismica must be original and not published or concurrently submitted for publication elsewhere in any language. Plagiarism or duplicate submission will result in the immediate rejection of any manuscript, or, if detected post-publication, in retraction. The authors must declare any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest that may exist. A short statement on conflicts of interest should be included in the "Comments To The Editor" box in the submission form. By submitting an article to Seismica, authors confirm that they have read, understood, and agreed to follow Seismica's Editorial Policies, including the policies on Originality and Competing Interests; the Singapore Statement on Research Integrity; and Seismica's Code of Conduct.

Formatting for submission: For initial submission, authors should submit a PDF file containing the manuscript and figures, and a separate PDF for any Supplementary Materials. Minimum formatting requirements for initial submission of a manuscript are:

  • PDF document(s) for article and any supplemental materials

  • Line numbers

  • Double spacing

  • Font size 12 or larger

  • Figures included in text at the appropriate points

  • Corresponding author ORCID provided in the text (contributing authors are also encouraged to provide ORCIDs)

The manuscript does not need to conform to a template at this stage, but authors are welcome to use one of the Seismica templates. Seismica's style guide provides some guidance on preferred formats for dates and times, units, and abbreviations. Please follow these guidelines to the best of your ability.

Note that after acceptance, Seismica requires that authors format their manuscripts using a Seismica template (docx, odt, or tex). See Post-acceptance for more details.

Authors must run a complete spelling and grammatical check before submission (e.g., using (free) online tools such as Grammarly). Seismica has no preference for British vs American spellings, as long as manuscripts are self-consistent throughout. If the level of writing in a submission is such that it cannot be understood by the editor, then the editor at their discretion may return to the authors for correction before the manuscript is sent out for peer review.

The following sections are required as part of each submitted manuscript:

  • Abstract (in English), maximum 200 words, no references included.

  • Author contributions statement, using only the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT). The Seismica article templates include a section for a CRediT statement. Please see policies on authorship for more details.

  • A Data and Code Availability Statement, detailing where all data and codes used in the study can be accessed. Statements along the lines of "please contact the authors for data access" are not acceptable for data which could be distributed digitally. If the data are not available, the data availability statement should explain why. Please see policies on availability of data, materials, and codes for more details. Questions about data and code sharing should be asked in advance of submission or posed in the Comments to the Editor.

  • A list of all references cited in the study. DOIs for the references cited must be provided when they are available. We ask that submissions formatted using LaTeX use the bibtex style available as part of our tex submission template or any similar style that includes DOIs in the bibliography, while submissions formatted using a word processor should use the APA reference style. Each reference in the bibliography should include the full author list. Seismica strongly suggests that authors consider ensuring that their citations are inclusive and conscientious. Citation Diversity Statements are not required, but efforts should be made to cite widely, such as citing non-English works, non-academic, policy documents.

The following sections may be included, but are not required:

  • Authors are encouraged to include, in addition to the English version of the abstract, up to two additional language translations of the abstract to be included in the typeset paper, also with a maximum of 200 words each. Please note that the additional-language abstract may undergo a technical review (at the discretion of the Handling Editor). Seismica does not guarantee reviews of additional language abstracts, so it is the responsibility of the authors to ensure correct translation. Please contact your Handling Editor if more than two translated abstracts are desired.

  • To make your research accessible for everyone, Seismica encourages the inclusion of a non-technical summary with the initial manuscript, explaining the essential methods and results of your article so that someone unfamiliar with your field of research can understand. The target audience may include journalists, government staff, other researchers, people involved in civil protection and disaster management, and the public in general. Your non-technical summary should be one or two paragraphs (about 200 words total), covering the following main points:

  • What is the current issue or problem that your research addresses, and why are you researching it? Try to consider why this topic is vital to the larger community.

  • Without excessive use of jargon, how did you go about collecting and analyzing the data and results?

  • What are the main conclusions of your study? Ultimately, what will the impact of your research be? What societal benefits may be realized?

  • Supplementary material. Supplemental pdf files containing text and figures should be uploaded into the journal submission system. All other supplementary files (e.g., data tables - in, e.g., .csv format) should be uploaded to a relevant separate repository. Seismica recommends tagging the Seismica community repository in Zenodo.

  • Appendices. Your article may include appendices if necessary, but please think carefully about how the information you want to put in an appendix relates to the rest of your paper. If it is necessary for understanding the work, should it be incorporated into the main text instead? If it is not essential to understand the work but should be included for completeness, could it be supplementary material instead? Note that supplementary material is included in the review process but is not typeset, which reduces the burden on our copy/layout team.

Figures and tables: Figures should be sized so that their text is readable at either full or half A4 page width (i.e., 180 or 86 mm width). The maximum figure height is 200 mm. Authors should provide figures at a minimum of 300 dpi resolution. Figures with multiple parts must be combined in a single file that conforms to the figure size limits. Since Seismica is relying on volunteers from the community to typeset articles, any table that is included in Supplementary Material instead of in the main text will be greatly appreciated; if tables are included in the main text, production of an accepted article will take longer. However, tables can also be created in Word's table environment and embedded in the manuscript or uploaded as a separate document (e.g., .xls file). Figures do not need to be uploaded as separate, publication-ready files until the manuscript has been accepted.

Data and code archiving: Authors should archive data and code in public repositories when appropriate forums exist. Physical samples should be adequately cataloged with curation to insure access for the long-term. Where the study has used data from a seismic network, the full FDSN citation should be given if it exists. Examples of open-access, DOI citable repositories for data and code include Figshare, Zenodo, Dryad, GFZ Data Services, and the ISC Dataset Repository. Code repositories like GitHub do not guarantee long-term archiving, nor do they directly assign DOIs to a given version of the content; this may cause problems when authors make changes to the repository that are not documented in the publication. Fortunately, it is easy to archive a GitHub repository in Zenodo for a DOI-citable version.

Code should include comprehensive documentation, and a license specifying how it may be used or reused by others.

Licensing considerations. Articles accepted to Seismica are published under a CC-BY 4.0 license with copyright retained by authors by default. If you anticipate needing a different license to comply with regulations or job requirements, please note this during submission in the Comments to Editor box.

Suggesting potential reviewers. The authors should suggest potential peer reviewers in the Comments to Editor box in the online submission form (see the Peer Review section below for more details).

Submitting a manuscript for double-anonymous review. Authors may elect not to share their identities with reviewers during the review process by requesting double-anonymous review in the "Comments to the Editor" during submission. Note that remaining completely anonymous may not be possible since authors may be publicly linked to datasets they collected, or may have previously presented preliminary work at conferences with published abstracts. For double-anonymous review, it is the authors' responsibility to anonymize their submitted manuscript file to the best of their ability; identifying data will be collected during manuscript submission but will not be passed on to reviewers with the manuscript file. The submitted manuscript PDF should not include author names and affiliations, an author contributions statement, a data and code availability statement, or acknowledgements. However, a statement on data/code availability should be included in a cover letter or Comments to the Editor. This information will be used to confirm that the work is in compliance with Seismica's policies on open data, but will not be shared with reviewers. If the article is accepted, author names and affiliations, author contributions, a data and code availability statement, and acknowledgements are required in the post-acceptance formatted files submitted for typesetting. If authors choose to use the Seismica LaTeX submission template, it has an "anonymous" option which will produce a pdf without author names, affiliations, and contributions.

To save time for authors and peer-reviewers, only those papers that seem likely to meet our editorial criteria should be sent for formal review. Papers may be judged by the handling editor(s) (whilst seeking advice from other editorial board members, if required) to be rejected promptly without external review for any of the following reasons:

  • of insufficient interest

  • outside the scope of the journal

  • not original (see policies on originality)

  • written with grammatical or other errors sufficiently severe as to prevent meaningful scientific review;

  • non-compliance with data requirements;

  • or otherwise inappropriate

If a paper is rejected without external review as per the reasons above, it is Seismica's policy to provide clear reasons for this decision and constructive guidance on whether further work (e.g. with the language) can potentially improve the paper to the expected standard of a submitted manuscript. Guidance may also be given on whether the manuscript may be submitted as a different publication type.

Research has shown that double-anonymous review may decrease reviewer bias which preferentially impacts authors from under-represented groups and early career authors. However, some work has suggested that reviewers may be biased against authors due to their selection of double-anonymous review mode. Seismica's authors and reviewers are asked to be aware of this potential for bias, and consider selecting double-anonymous review as a means to familiarize the research community with the potential positive benefits of this review mode. At the author's request, manuscripts can instead be subjected to anonymous (i.e., double-anonymous) peer review (see Submission and formatting checklist for details). Moreover, the reviewers can decide whether or not to reveal their identity in their review.).

Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to 2 reviewers, although additional reviewers may be sought if found necessary by the handling editor(s).

The authors should suggest potential peer reviewers in the Comments to Editor box in the online submission form. Authors are invited to list reviewers who should not be contacted due to conflicts of interest, or other concerns. Authors can help the journal improve the diversity of Seismica's reviewer pool by including women, early career scientists, and members of other underrepresented groups in their lists of suggested reviewers. Authors should suggest recommended reviewers in the relevant subject area. Where a submission focuses on a specific geographical location, we recommend that the authors offer at least one reviewer based in that region (assuming that the reviewer has a reasonable degree of expertise in the subject area). This effort ensures a broader diversity of reviewers and increases the impact of the scientific work.

Authors should expect to receive a decision from editors on their initial submission within eight weeks. Seismica will normally expect a revised version of the manuscript, together with a rebuttal letter, to be submitted within 6 months of receiving the peer review comments.

Peer review reports and rebuttal letters will be published online alongside the published paper if the manuscript is accepted. Review reports will not include reviewers' names unless the reviewers chose to sign their review reports. If a manuscript is rejected, the process remains confidential. Reviewers' reports and authors' answers are not published.

For details on the peer review process for Fast Reports, please see Seismica's policies on Publication Types.

Authors need to provide the following files for a revised manuscript to be assessed by the handling editor:

  • A detailed 'response-to-reviewers' document that states each separate point raised by each reviewer and the editor, followed by the authors' response, and a clear statement of the associated changes made to the manuscript where they are needed. Authors should respond to reviewer comments by making edits to the manuscript, and use the response letter to guide the editor to the changes or explain the rationale for a response to reviewer comments. Avoid duplication as much as possible to keep the response letter more streamlined (for example, by cross-reference similar comments by different reviewers).

  • A version of the revised manuscript clearly showing the in-line changes made to the manuscript. Ideally, deleted/edited text should be signified by strikethrough presentation, with new text in a different colour.

  • A cleaned-up version of the revised manuscript (showing no comments, strikethroughs, or tracked changes).

Authors should ensure that revisions to manuscripts are more than sufficient to answer the level of recommended changes to prevent multiple rounds of review/reviewer fatigue. The response letter should fully represent changes made to the manuscript. The response letter should not be terse or vague.

Authors should ensure that their response is respectful. Any personal or abusive attacks are unacceptable and will be escalated to an independent appeals committee and will be grounds for outright rejection by the editor. Politely pointing out that the reviewer is mistaken is, of course, okay. Please consult Seismica's Code of Conduct for more guidance.

Authors should be cautious of any implicitly biasing and racially/gender-specific coded language. To avoid misaddressing the reviewers and editors, we strongly recommend writing in a passive, gender-neutral style (e.g. "the reviewer says..." rather than "he/she says"), especially if pronouns have not been provided.

Once an article has been accepted, Seismica will only publish the typeset, formatted version of the paper - not the pre-typeset postprint. We recommend that authors instead use repositories such as EarthArXiv for sharing unformatted accepted post-prints. The authors are free (and encouraged) to share the typeset version of records on platforms like ResearchGate, institutional repositories, and personal websites. After acceptance, the corresponding author is responsible for the accuracy of all content in the manuscript, including co-authors' names, addresses, and affiliations.

Following acceptance, authors are requested to upload the manuscript using the Seismica template in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or LaTeX format (found on the Templates page) with figures included in the text, along with separate publication-ready figures in.png or.pdf format at a minimum of 300 dpi resolution. Any Supplemental Material should remain a separate file or files, not part of the article text, and does not need to be formatted using a template. Seismica will not typeset supplemental material. Manuscripts that do not meet Seismica submission guidelines will be sent back to authors, which will delay the publication.

Seismica provides templates in docx, odt, and tex formats for authors' convenience, but please note that a submission in docx or odt format will likely take several extra days in production while volunteers convert the file into tex. Including tables in a docx or odt file will further delay production. Authors who want their article processed more rapidly are advised to use the tex template.

Publication-formatted versions of the manuscript (proofs") will be sent to the corresponding author for approval or revisions. Once the proofs are accepted, there will be a delay of 7 working-days (or 3 for fast reports) before publication, unless the Handling Editor communicates otherwise. Seismica's Media & Branding team will contact the corresponding author after proof validation to discuss text and figures to be used for publicity. Posts about a new article on Seismica's social media channels will postdate the official publication date.

Seismica considers for publication manuscripts that have been hosted elsewhere as preprints. A preprint is an author's original version of a research manuscript prior to formal peer review at a journal, which is deposited on a public server. Seismica encourages posting of preprints on any channel of the authors' choice, including preprint servers, authors' personal websites, or institutional websites.

Preprints may be posted and shared at any time during the peer-review process. However, authors should disclose details of preprint posting, including DOI and licensing terms, upon submission of the manuscript using the 'Comments to the Editor' box, or at any other point during consideration at Seismica (by using the 'Discussion' functionality in the manuscript submission system post-submission).

Authors may use any license of their choice for the preprint, but we recommend a Creative Commons CC-BY license. Before selecting a license, consult the terms of any grant or funding related to the publication, as some programs enforce specific licenses for preprints.

Once the manuscript is published, the author's responsibility is to ensure that the preprint record is updated with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the article on the journal website. This will ensure that citations of the preprint and published article are linked.

Seismica also permits the archiving of postprints - accepted manuscripts, which include modifications based on referees' suggestions before copyediting and proof correction, or final published and copy-edited manuscripts - on any channel of the authors' choice. If uploading an accepted manuscript, once the manuscript is published, the authors should update the archived accepted version with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the article on the journal website.

Please see the policies on preprints, self-archiving, and conference proceedings for more details.