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Final Project Manuscript

All students must prepare a manuscript for a peer reviewed journal of your choosing.


Examle Author Guidleines

All journals have some form of  Author Guidelines or a Manuscript Preparation Guide somewhere off their main page (e.g. like this one above for Earth Surface Processes and Landforms)

  1. Choose a peer-reviewed journal appropriate for your research question and proposed problem.
  2. Specify the type of article you are preparing in your project proposal (e.g. Research Article)
  3. Prepare the manuscript in complete accordance with the chosen journal's guidelines for manuscript preparation (most journals have an Author Guidelines or Manuscript Preparation section)
  4. Just don't follow the journal's instructions for actually submitting the manuscript (unless you choose to later)


There is no length requirement per se, but the  manuscript should be long enough to effectively meet the objectives you define. You will need to work within the word limits of your target journal  (typically between 5000 and 10,000 words).  You should have figures and/or tables reflecting spatial analyses you did. It should also be reflective of over a month's worth of work. 

Manuscript Template

Unlike many reports you might have prepared, manuscripts are typically formatted in a very simple format in accordance with the journal's guidelines. Typically:
  • Line numbers are provided so that reviewers can easily make specific comments by line number
  • There is usually a cover page with title, author(s), etc.
  • There is usually an abstract page
  • The main body of the text does usually not have figures or tables directly in it and these are instead provided at the end of the paper
  • References are formatted in accordance with the journal guidelines
The nice thing about this is it allows you to focus on content and substance as opposed to formatting. You still need to have properly formatted, professional quality figures, they just don't need to be embedded in the main body of the text (just put all at end of manuscript).

To make it easier for you, you can use this   ManuscriptTemplate.dotx. You may need to change the template to meet your target journal guidelines, but it will give you a starting point. Make sure to use properly formatted headings, sub-headings, etc.

What to Submit for Final Project Report or Manuscript

You should submit three separate PDFs for your final manuscript (even if the journal specifies otherwise):
  1. The entirety of the manuscript should be self-contained in a single PDF
  2. Additionally, provide a brief PDF cover letter to the journal editor
  3. Provide  a separate PDF cover letter (< 1 pg) explaining to me how you addressed the peer reviewer comments you received (both verbal and written) during the poster session. 
Submit these PDFs on Canvas.