ESurf Letters – instructions for authors

ESurf Letters are short research articles that report particularly important results and major advances in Earth surface science in a concise and engaging style. Letters have fewer than 2,500 words in the main text and 200 words in the abstract. They include an appropriate number of figures or tables with captions (not included in word count), an appropriate number of references (no specific upper limit), and a concise description of the applied methods in the form of an appendix (up to approx. 3,000 words) in a separate appendix after the main text (see

Letters will include both of the following characteristic features:

  • Important discoveries and research highlights in Earth surface science.
  • Solutions to or progress with long-standing and important questions in Earth surface science research.

In addition, the reported research findings should be of high interest to the broad geoscience community or to the broader public and media.

A manuscript submitted for consideration as an ESurf Letter will initially be handled as a research article. After the completion of peer review, a decision will be made whether the manuscript can be accepted for final publication in ESurf as a research article or as an ESurf Letter. Papers accepted for final publication as ESurf Letters will also become "highlight articles", which are promoted on the websites of ESurf and EGU. ESurf Letters are also eligible for inclusion in EGU Letters.

During the submission process, please make sure to specify the request for consideration as an ESurf Letter in your "Cover letter (information for the editor)" and justify why your manuscript qualifies for the manuscript type ESurf Letters in the corresponding textbox.

In the review process, ESurf Letters are expected to be rated as outstanding/excellent in the principal review criteria. Building on the ratings and recommendations of the referees and handling associate editor, the ESurf editors will decide whether to accept the paper for final publication as an ESurf Letter and "highlight article". If not accepted as an ESurf Letter, the manuscript may still be accepted for final publication as a research article. Under certain circumstances, e.g., if the manuscript does not comply with the formatting requirements, a paper not accepted as an ESurf Letter but as a research article may still be labeled as a "highlight article" – in analogy to other manuscript types, that were from the beginning not formatted and intended as an ESurf Letter (cf. EGU newsworthy research guide).