If you have ever published in Oceanography, you are well aware of how fussy we are about properly referencing sources. These standards are one reason why Oceanography is now included in the Web of Science Journal Citation Reports and Science Citation Index Expanded. Several articles in this December issue challenged one of our long-standing citation policies—that we do not permit referencing of “in review” manuscripts. Our reasoning is that these manuscripts have not completed peer review and may change substantially—or may simply be rejected—after being reviewed. It is also difficult to find the published version of the article later because there is no date or volume number, or because the title and authorship changed. Perhaps the review went poorly in one journal and the manuscript was revised and later submitted elsewhere. The Internet makes it easier to eventually find published versions of articles, but we at Oceanography hold that in-review manuscripts are not up to citation standards. We will continue to insist that in-review manuscripts get cited as personal communications (download our Style Guide at http://tos.org/oceanography/pdfs/style_guide.pdf).
After much deliberation, however, we made an exception for this special issue on the Coastal Ocean Processes program. We allowed in-review referencing, but do not list the journal to which the manuscript was submitted. Our guest editors persuasively argued that the CoOP Web site will be updated as the status of these in-review manuscripts changes. For that reason, in several articles in this issue, right below the subheading “References,” we include the following statement:
Editor’s Note: Oceanography does not usually permit citation of articles that are in review; however, because of the rapidly advancing nature of this issue’s topics, we are making an exception. Updates on the status of manuscripts cited as in review here will be posted on the CoOP Web site (http://www.skio.usg.edu/coop).
On a related citation note, this December issue used more doi (digital object identifier) numbers in individual references than ever before. In several instances, references already had doi’s, but the paper had not yet been published by the journal in hard copy. Our authors therefore either used a publication year of 2009 or “in press.” When we checked these references online, we determined that the publisher had already provided the citation year as 2008, the year that the article was published online. The journals’ Web pages indicated that the citation year will not change when the article moves from the online version to paper. As a result, readers will find a few references that list the publication year as 2008, and use a doi, but lack volume and page numbers.
Admittedly, checking references (and ensuring that they all follow our Style Guide specifications) can be a tedious job, even for the most detail-oriented person. But the Oceanography staff takes pride in sustaining high editorial standards from a manuscript’s beginning to its end.
—Ellen S. Kappel, Editor