EarthArXiv Moderation and Terms of Use

Version 2.5 - May 20, 2022

EarthArXiv publishes articles from all subdomains of Earth science and related domains of planetary science. We are not a journal and thus do not evaluate the scientific quality of a paper. However, we do have Terms of Use and a moderation policy to ensure the appropriate community standards are upheld, and that relevant material is hosted on the service; as a result, this may result in your paper being rejected. To ensure your submission will pass moderation, we strongly encourage you to review this document if you are interested in submitting to EarthArXiv.

When all submission requirements are met, EarthArXiv is typically able to moderate manuscripts within one week of submission. However, this is simply a guideline and time to publication can fluctuate due to needed interactions between EarthArXiv and authors, increases in submission rate, and volunteer moderator availability.

Basic Requirements for Paper Submissions

Supplementary Materials

Your submission to EarthArXiv needs to be a single PDF file. If you have a short appendix in a separate file, you must combine these into one file to submit. EarthArXiv does not host other supplementary materials directly. However, we do provide options to link your preprint to materials hosted elsewhere. EarthArXiv encourages authors to use free hosting sites such as GitHub, Zenodo, and FigShare. These sites can be used to share scientific software, research notebooks, small datasets, and related supplementary materials that assist in reproducibility and engagement of your preprint. During preprint submission, EarthArXiv provides options for authors to include links to these external sites, which will be displayed alongside the published preprint. In addition, many of these external sites (e.g. Zenodo and Figshare) provide DOIs and versioning, which can be helpful as your supplementary materials evolve and are used elsewhere.

The distinction between the need for an external repository and simply including supporting material in an Appendix of a preprint is not well defined. EarthArXiv moderators will work with authors on a case-by-case basis. Yet, as a general guideline, authors are encouraged to set up and use an external repository prior to submission at EarthArXiv when they intend to supplement a preprint with software, collections of files, and/or an extensive Appendix of tables or figures.

What does EarthArXiv accept?

The following types of articles are generally suitable:

A few notes on software papers

EarthArXiv supports scientific software development by accepting software papers (e.g. preprints detailing new research software, models, or replication studies involving scientific software/numerical models). We follow software paper guidelines similar to the Journal of Open Source Software and EarthArXiv recommends the following workflow that results in citable DOIs for both the software and the paper:

  1. Place your code in a repository and mint a DOI for the code. We have had success using Github+Zenodo. The workflow detailed at explains how to mint individual DOIs for citing specific versions of the code as it evolves.

  2. Your EarthArXiv software paper should include

  3. The software paper should not be solely documentation of API (Application Programming Interface) functionality. Such documentation should be outlined elsewhere with the EarthArXiv submission being a summary of purpose, functionality, and domain examples for non-specialist readers

  4. For those interested in continuing on to peer review of the software, we recommend the Journal of Open Source Software for any software or ROpenSci for R packages. Replications of previously published scientific research can also be submitted to (Re)Science.

What does EarthArXiv not accept?

Publication and hosting of your paper

Upon successfully completing moderation EarthArXiv agrees to publish your paper by

EarthArXiv is not a journal and does not evaluate the scientific quality of a paper. Once a paper passes moderation and is published, it persists on the system indefinitely. Yet, EarthArXiv reserves the right to remove papers after publication if fraud or plagiarism is identified.


EarthArXiv views preprints as a form of publication. Every preprint receives a DOI making it citable and publicly available on the web. As such, withdrawals are viewed as retractions and reserved for special cases. Example of such special cases are exemplified by, but not necessarily limited to:

  1. EarthArXiv moderation does not involve peer review. As a result, there may be rare cases where significant errors/miscalculations are identified after the preprint has been published. In such cases, EarthArXiv will first work will authors to published a revised version of the preprint. The preprint will be withdrawn if the author(s) are unable to provide a revision.

  2. Confirmed cases of plagiarism and/or data fabrication will result in preprints being withdrawn

Withdrawal requests can be made through the preprint submission system and will be considered by the EarthArXiv Advisory Council on a case by case basis.

Fraud and Plagiarism

EarthArXiv takes fraud and plagiarism very seriously. Detection of fraud and plagiarism involve manual moderation, automated algorithms, and community feedback. Any claim of fraud or plagiarism will be granted a review by the Advisory Board. Should the Board deem fraud or plagiarism to have occurred, the paper will be immediately removed from EarthArXiv.

Author Responsibilities

We accept preprints and postprints: check for an example of how they differ.

Many journals do not consider preprints to be prior publications; however, some still do. It is the responsibility of the authors to determine if submitting to EarthArXiv precludes them from simultaneous or subsequent submission to their journal of choice. The EarthArXiv Advisory Board is happy to help determine journal policies. However, determining future impacts of submitting to EarthArXiv is ultimately the responsibility of the authors.

EarthArXiv recommends the Sherpa/Romeo publisher copyright database as a good starting point for authors: However, we strongly encourage authors to check the specific copyright and sharing information provided by their journal of choice. Postprints will not be accepted if they are within the embargo period of the publishing journal. Embargo periods vary by publisher, journal, and country of corresponding author, and can be found on publisher’s websites and on SHERPA/RoMEO.

The submitting author must obtain permission from all co-authors prior to submission to EarthArXiv. Should EarthArXiv receive notice from a co-author that they did not authorize the publication of the preprint, the following steps will be taken:

  1. Moderators will attempt to work with all authors on the paper to address the issue
  2. If an agreement can be reached, we will continue publishing the original preprint or accept a new revised preprint – whichever the authors prefer to resolve the dispute
  3. If no agreement can be reached, then EarthArXiv will be forced to remove the preprint