Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Open Water

This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to manuscript submission to Open Water Journal™. Please email the editors with any questions about these instructions.

Formatting Requirements

Submissions to Open Water Journal™ should be formatted using the following specifications. A Microsoft Word template document is available for download here: Open Water Submission Template

  • U.S. Letter size pages (8.5 x 11 in. or 21.59 x 27.94 cm)
  • 12 point Times New Roman font
  • 1 in. (2.54 cm) margins
  • Double-spaced, single column, left-justified paragraphs with 0.5 in. (1.27 cm) first-line indentation
  • Centered, bold title using "title case" capitalization
  • List of authors and affiliations below title
  • Line number on each line of text (use continuous line numbering, not page-based line numbering)
  • Page number at the bottom-center of each page
  • Abstract (around 150 words) and Keywords (up to 5 words or 2-3 word phrases) included on the first page
  • Main body starting on the second page with numbered, bold type headers for sections and subsections (for example: 1.0 Introduction, 2.0 Methods, 3.0 Results)
  • Optional sections such as acknowledgements, software availability, glossary
  • List of references and in-text citations cited following the American Geophysical Union (AGU) citation format style guide
  • Copyedit your manuscript according to standard American English usage and grammar guidelines

Additional Recommendations

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English. Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided.

Authors should use proper, standard American English grammar. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the "standard" guide, but other excellent guides (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press) exist as well.

Article Length

Page limits, including all figures, tables, references, etc. (following the above specifications) for each manuscript type are as follows:

  • Letter to the Editor: 4 pages
  • Dataset Descriptions and Software Introductions: 10 pages
  • Conference Proceedings: 25 pages
  • Research Articles: 40 pages

These page limits are recommended to promote readability of each article and to expedite the publication process.

Colored text

Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. We encourage authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, etc., however, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black & white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.

Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.)

Emphasized text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it. The use of color to emphasize text is discouraged.

Foreign terms

Whenever possible, foreign terms should be set in italics rather than underlined.

Font faces

Except, possibly, where special symbols are needed, use Times or the closest comparable font available.


Headings (e.g., start of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text by the use of bolded font. Use the same font face for all headings and indicate the hierarchy by marking through a numerical sequence (for example: 1.1 Background, 2.2, 2.3, etc.)


Whenever possible, titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics rather than underlined.

Tables and Figures

To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. All tables and figures must fit within 1 inch margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.


Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables should be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.

Short mathematical expressions should be typed inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Also expressions using many different levels (e.g., such as the fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.

Equations should be numbered sequentially. Whether equation numbers are on the right or left is the choice of the author(s). However, you are expected to be consistent in this.

Symbols and notation in unusual fonts should be avoided. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help insure that it displays correctly on the reader's screen and prints correctly on her printer. When proofing your document pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other than standard fonts.